As the years go by, I have become more and more attracted to my personally modified version of Occam’s Razor: the simplest way is the best way.
In audio terms, the appeal of the recently developed “just add speakers” component became very appealing as I got more and more into streaming (from my laptop into desktop speakers or headphones). My Oppo player died, and I had no desire to replace it.
The NAD M33 and the Naim Uniti Atom were candidates to replace my venerable Musical Fidelity A3, but the prices of these units gave me pause. Then, Cambridge Audio introduced the EVO series at $2,250 (75 watts) and $3,000 (150 watts and more bells and whistles).
While I was looking, I noticed that Music Lovers was holding a contest for the EVO 75: show up for a demo and throw your name into a hat. After far too long away, I returned to visit their Berkeley store and enjoyed a Qobuz stream (into the gorgeous and lush-sounding Sonus Faber Olympics). I was pretty much sold on buying the EVO75 at that point, but part of me said, why buy it if you could win it? But does that ever happen, that you win the thing you want to buy? I decided the best course of action was simply to wait and see, and if I didn’t win, I could go ahead with the purchase.
Incredibly, two weeks later I received an email that I had won! Cambridge Audio shipped the unit directly to my home and the setup was painless. I love the form factor, the ability to control the unit from either your phone or remote and, of course, the simplicity my system now has.
The StreamMagic software on my iPhone 7 is very good. I think I’ve discovered that, having ventured into the world of high-end streaming, there’s a bit of a learning curve that at times has left me wondering if the inevitable glitches I’ve encountered were due to my stumbling or the software/hardware complexities inherent in the medium. Maybe both?
As far as sound goes, The Musical Fidelity 3 packed more punch from its’ conservatively rated 100 watts per channel; conversely, the EVO is more resolving. The Oppo (model number unknown, but it was an entry-level model) is a distant third in all areas. My long-time speakers are Dynaudio Contour 3.0s’: not the easiest to drive, but the ship has sailed on my headbanger days and the EVO is more than adequate for my needs. In fact, I am enjoying my system – and the music – more than ever.