A practical and highly compatible unit with decent results from budget and mid-price cartridges of all types.
Stereo imaging is slightly lacklustre
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Creek's range of OBH units is intended to serve simple functions conveniently.
This small, but smart and robust phono stage certainly fits that bill and offers compatibility with both moving coil and moving magnet cartridges, amplifying the signal from each with discrete transistors and op-amps.
Compatible around the world
Gain from the moving coil input is relatively low, suiting cartridges of moderate output (true 'high output' types go into the moving magnet input), but the unit is available to order with higher gain for low-output cartridges.
The supplied power supply was a switch-mode type compatible with all mains voltages and, thanks to a range of supplied adaptors, most of the world's wall sockets.
Although the frequency response of this unit is quite accurate, the subjective balance seems slightly on the mellow side, which we found not at all unpleasant.
It helps, of course, that detail is well defined and indeed the separation of musical strands is a particular strength of the OBH-15.
Without unduly dissecting the music, it is able to dig deep and present each instrument as a distinct entity, making analytical listening not merely possible, but a pleasure.
Slightly surprisingly, though, stereo imaging isn't quite as good as the best, with a little front-to-back compression and some restriction laterally, too. This may well be related to the noise level, which is a little higher than some rivals can manage.
Overall, we had good results with both cartridge types: perhaps slightly better on mm than mc.
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