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Cheap Tube Amp Beats Pants Off Creek Integrated


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I have a Creek 4140 integrated SS amp that I hooked up for the first time to my Fortes.   Compared to my cheap Tubecube tube amp it sounds dull and lifeless.  Is that characteristic of this Creek amp or if I replaced the coupling caps would that wake it up?  That amp must be 20 or so years old.  I put this question in the Tech forum but got no response so I thought I'd try here.  

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For $20 in parts I can replace every electrolytic in the Creek so I'm going to do it.  Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours and I'll report back on whether it comes back to life.  Checked all the voltages and they seem to be right on.  

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I did the recap job and the Creek sounds much better - better highs, transparency and so forth.  It was worth $20 but a real PITA to desolder all those caps.  I even put one in backwards which blew a fuse but caused no other damage.  


One thing I learned is that in the instructions Creek says the 4140 is designed to work only with 8 ohm speakers.  It did not do well with my Fortes which are 4 ohms according to the terminal cup.  I also had to turn up the volume more than I would expect to get some level.  Also, when pushing the "Disc" input button, which is for a turntable, it would motorboat while hooked up to the Fortes.  


However, hooked up to my pair of Klipsch KG4's, which are 6 ohms according to the terminal cup, no such problems and plenty of gain.  If anyone cares to pontificate on why the amp motorboats hooked up to 4 ohm speakers when the phono premap is on I'd like to hear it.  I would guess that with all that gain the amp becomes unstable when hooked up to a 4 ohm load.  Mind you I don't have a turntable so nothing was plugged into the phono inputs. 


Does it now sound as good as my cheap Chinese EL84 SE amp?  I''d say no, Ski Bum is right,  but I would say its listenable now.  





Edited by Mark51
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