Credo Audio Switzerland, Linear Tube Audio, Meitner Audio, Van den Hul | CAF 2022

Audioshield Distribution, distributor of Credo Audio, EMM Labs/Meitner Audio, and Van den Hul partnered with Linear Tube Audio (LTA) to produce an unexpectedly inviting and downright sensual pairing. Let me explain.

Reporting by Eric Franklin Shook

That’s Michael Kraske, head of Credo Audio. Just look at him — tall, slender, handsome — obviously a victim of the european diet. He speaks better english than I do, his accent is cool, and he’s always rocking that smug smile. He’s easy to hate. But it’s all those things that make him charming, disarming, and entertaining — also apply to his Credo EV1202 loudspeakers. Again, let me explain.


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Credo EV1202 Reference

Our own Dave McNair recently reviewed the Credo EV Reference One loudspeakers, which to himself and I, embodied a clean and accurate mission critical sound that is both flat and detailed. To us sounding like the best-of-the-best in pro monitor sound. To which, Kraske himself agrees. Though, this tuning didn’t exactly land for me with home use, but I could see why it’s still a special creation.

Then more recently our own Marc Phillips reviewed the Credo EV 350 Reference Monitors and said about them, “…if someone handed me a pair of the EV 350s and told me those were the only speakers I could ever listen to for the rest of my life I’d say okay, thanks!

For Marc Phillips to say such things, I know there has to be some soul, warmth, and vibe to the sound they produce. So that begs the question.

How different is the Credo EV1202 Reference ($16,995 pr USD) from the Reference One? I’ll explain more on that later in the sound portion of this report.

Some Handy Specs:

  • Chassis: 1″ textile (coated) dome-tweeter; 2 x 5.25“ mid woofer sliced paper
  • Tuning: Bass reflex (back)
  • Crossover: 2-way proprietary filter-design
  • Frequency response: 37 Hz – 20 kHz, +/- 3dB
  • Sensitivity: 87.5 dB @2.83V @ 1m
  • Impedance: nominal 4 ohms, minimal 2.7 ohms at 45 Hz
  • Recommended amplifier power: 30 – 200 W RMS

The Meitner and LTA Electronics

The driving force of this system was a deliciously synergistic bundle of digital prowess meeting bubbly tube shimmer and scale.

LTA’s MicroZOTL Preamplifier (Level 2, at $5,750 USD) and ZOTL40 Reference+ Power Amplifiers (monoblock, at $6,800 ea USD), being nourished by a Meitner Audio MA3 Integrated D/A Converter ($10,500 USD) as reviewed here by our own Grover Neville.

Van den Hul cabling throughout.


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The Sound

On paper, this system shouldn’t have been this good. That’s part of the surprise. The Credo EV1202 loudspeakers on paper would encourage one to believe that they would be more demanding of power, and shine with great power handling upward of 200wpc.

The LTA ZOTL40 Reference+ amplifiers don’t do that, but as we all know, numbers don’t tell the whole story.

In this exhibit there was no lack of resolution and detail, expected with both Credo and Meitner at either end of the chain. Unexpectedly, power for days from the LTA amplifiers, and smooth treble, juiced up tone, and warm and inviting dynamics were in abundance.

This was NOT the pro-monitor character I associated with the more business ready Reference Ones, this was something else. The EV1202 made me want to close my eyes and listen without focusing on the gear. And when I did that, I was ultimately surprised that all this sound, vibe, and sensuality was coming out of just two slim towers.

So, at the end of the day, Kraske and his Credo loudspeakers are indeed easy to love. Good show!

If you would like to hear even more coverage from CAF 2022, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunesAndroidGoogle, Deezer, SpotifyiHeartRadio and more.