The Voyage i20 combines an analogue pre-amplifier and digital to analogue converter with a power amplifier, powered by a unique stabilised power supply, housed in a slim and attractive case.
In producing the Voyage i20 integrated amplifier, Creek’s engineers have combined several advanced techniques to achieve a hugely impressive powerhouse of an amplifier in a deceptively small case.
The Voyage i20’s intuitive user interface is easily navigated via its large OLED display. Its sophisticated menu system is navigated either by remote control or rotary control knobs.
The Voyage i20’ integrated pre-amplifier is extremely flexible, boasting ten analogue and digital inputs. Analogue signal sources may be input via three pairs of RCA sockets or one pair of fully balanced XLR sockets. Gold-contact relays direct input signals to a state-of-the-art MUSES electronic volume and balance control circuit. The MUSES’ resistor-ladder attenuator enables precise adjustment over an 80dB range, in 1dB steps, with extremely low distortion. The Voyage i20’s pre-amplifier circuit is normally set for unity (0dB) gain but, if required, each input can individually amplify the input signal, in 3dB steps, up to +12dB max. Each input can also be set to bypass the pre-amp and volume control. This user-selectable DIRECT mode allows the i20 to be used as a power amplifier with four inputs, or a combination to suit individual needs.
Line input 1 can be enhanced with an optional plug-in Sequel mk4 Phono Pre-amp, to provide for Moving Magnet or high-output Moving Coil vinyl record reproduction. The Sequel is selectable for 40 or 50dB gain, 100pF or 200pF capacitance and IEC filtering, to reduce disc warp frequencies.
To ensure compatibility with a wide variety of headphones, the Voyage i20 uses a dedicated headphone amplifier fed from the pre-amplifier’s output. The high-current amplifier is capable of driving headphones loads specified from 8 to 300 Ohm, with no added noise or loss of fidelity.
DAC (DIGITAL TO ANALOGUE CONVERTER)
The Voyage i20 incorporates a cutting-edge DAC circuit with multiple inputs for USB, SPDIF, optical, USB and Bluetooth.
Its USB Class 2 digital input provides bit-perfect audio streaming potential. The multi-core XMOS streaming controller can handle a wide range of high-resolution PCM and DSD signal sources, up to 32-bit 768 kHz – PCM, and 22.4 MHz – DSD. To further enhance performance, the Voyage i20 integrated preamplifier’s USB circuitry is galvanically isolated from its DAC to eliminate ground loops or interference polluting the signal path.
Software updates can be downloaded from the internet via USB, so the Voyage i20’s operating system can always be kept up to date.!
In addition to USB, the Voyage i20 supports 24/192 SPDIF signals via 2 co-axial and 2 TOSLINK inputs, for connection to television sound, CD Players, streamers, and other digital sources.
A “Comet mk2 aptX HD Bluetooth” module is built-in, for handy wireless streaming from mobile or static computer devices, capable of CD-quality performance!
All signals are electrically buffered and output via a pair of RCA sockets after passing through a volume control stage.
The power amplifier’s task is to increase the signal amplitude and current to a level capable of driving a loudspeaker. Modern, multi-driver loudspeakers with complex cross-over circuits can often present a heavy demand on an amplifier. The VOYAGE i20 has been designed to drive even the most difficult speaker loads with delicacy and power yet be equally at home with simple 2-way monitors.
Powerful Sanken STD03 transistors are augmented by multiple MOSFETs to deliver prodigious power output current if required. The thermal tracking Sanken bipolar power transistors immediately correct idle current, to accurately control and minimise cross-over distortion and reducing warm-up time to a minimum.
To optimise performance and maintain left-right symmetry, Creek has developed a modular plug-in voltage amplifier circuit. Their discrete transistor circuitry and relatively low negative feedback allow input signals to be fed to the power amp without the need for additional gain in the pre-amplifier.
Emitter resistors are a necessary feature of bi-polar amplifier designs but, commonly used high-wattage wire-wound resistors are a source of unwanted inductance and potential non-linearity. To combat this problem Creek has developed an alternative high wattage, low inductance, resistor module, using multiple surface-mount resistors. To improve loudspeaker damping by maintaining the amplifier’s ultra-low output resistance, both left and right channel outputs are channelled through separate 10A relays. Internal wiring is kept to a minimum and isolated terminal posts allow connection by 4mm plugs, spade lugs and twisted wires, as required.
In Creek tradition, conventional coupling and feedback decoupling capacitors have been eliminated to optimise sonic performance and directly couple input to output. An electronic servo circuit compensates for small DC offsets and maintains the amplifier’s output at 0 volts DC.
To protect both the integrated amplifier and any loudspeaker connected to it, the VOYAGE i20 employs three forms of protection, constantly monitored by the VOYAGE i20’s system microcontroller. In the event of a fault, the output will be disconnected, and the input muted.
In the event of a pre-set current-limit being reached, either by driving an unacceptably low impedance speaker load or a short-circuit in the output, both speaker relays will interrupt the signal to prevent potential damage.