I won't swear to it, but I think that the British high-end mag, HiFi+, did a review on this amp. You might check their Web page to see if their old reviews are archived.
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I have always liked Cyrus, and own a Cyrus 2 with PSX. They have a very clear and dynamic sound, with great bass. The PSX power supplies are a very worthwhile addition, and give them the ability to drive difficult loads very very easily.
They are built like tanks, made in the UK (last I looked)
When I left the UK (1997) I'd say they were the most price competitive amps available. More dynamic than audiolab, arcam and creek, and much better value for money than Naim.
Plus their aftersales service was excellent when my cyrus 2 needed a new selector switch. It's still going strong and heading towards 20 years old.
If you can compare to the Densen amp (B100) which I now own, only available in the US from Audio Outlet in upstate NY then I think it would be a very interesting demo.
Did I mention I like them ? :-)
Thanks seandtaylor99. Are they less colored than Naim? That was my big problem with Naim, although I loved the dynamics. Sdcampbell I got enthused about this amp after reading about it in Whathifi?. They said the Creek 5350 was a four star, very good amp but the Cyrus was much better. The crown jewel of England? So I was interested in what people here thought.
As I mentioned, I liked they dynamics of Naim but could not live with this amp because of the colorations. It wasn't till I switched to Jeff Roland that instruments sounded like themselves. That was too pricey so I got Musical Fidelity. But they tend to sound smooth and somewhat dull albeit with low coloration, distortion, and good transparency. Better for classical orchestra than rock music.
One dealer had an interesting way to evaluate a stereo. he said listen for two things. First how natural and uncolored the sound was. Second listen for PRAT, I think. He said if you get these two things right, you could satisfy most listeners no matter where they were in the room.
Soundorganisation is importing this amp and they are lining up dealers. Only one in VA right now. I'd want to know what they will do for service if they break.
The add-on power supply seems like a marketing gimmick to me. I mean, if you buy it, you are in effect paying for 2 power supplies (one in ther original amp) and 2 cases, power cords, RCA's etc. They could probably just put a better power supply in their existing box (make a standard size box) for half the cost of what they are selling the external power supply for.
I had at one point the Cyrus 1 (plastic casing) and eventually also had a Cyrus 2 with the PSX (metal casings).
I really like the way they sound. I think they're up to the Cyrus 40000000000000000000000000 around this time, on which I have no opinion never having heard it.
The 2 is more refined and tighter bottom end than the 1. Not as warm as other Brit stuff (Audiolab, Meridian...) but still quite good.
I don't think that they're colored. They are, however, very dynamic, and bursting with energy. Very enjoyable.
The add-on power supply was, in my opinion an extremely well thought out design, especially if you use the builtin (and very good) phono preamp. When the PSX was connected to my cyrus 2 the internal power supply powered only the phono preamp. With the newer gear I think it powers the microcontroller and remote stuff, leaving the PSX to power the audio stages.
I also remember that the Cyrus PSXs sold for a lot less than the (ridiculously priced) Naim power supplies. In fact we took my PSX apart and found that the selling price was roughly equal to the parts cost (admitedly Cyrus sources in quantity at lower cost ... but I still thought it was a good deal).
I remember comparing a Cyrus 2 with PSX (total cost about 800 GBP at the time) with an Audiolab 8000Q and 2 8000M monoblocks, through KEF 103.4 reference speakers. None of us could hear the difference, even though the audiolab gear (itself considered good value) cost nearly twice as much as the cyrus gear. The cyrus 2 with a PSX supply was a real piledriver of an amp ... in fact it had way more power than I could ever use. My only criticism was I never got the volume past 9 oclock, so channel balance could be off at low volumes on the volume pot.
If I were in the market for an integrated amp (I'm not .. I like my Densen B100) I'd certainly have the cyrus at the top of the list. If I had sensitive speakers and or a smallish room I wouldn't bother with the PSX. If I had difficult speakers (low impedance current suckers) or a big room, I'd budget for the PSX.
Hi. I was impressed by a friend's old Cyrus 1 drive ability so I went out and got myself a used Cyrus 3. The Cyrus 3 has very poor drive ability. It absolutely cannot handle anything but 8-ohms speaker. I tried a 4-ohms speaker and the protection circuit cuts in before 11 o'clock. In fact, there is a warning label on the amp to NOT use 4-ohms speaker. As for the plus side, the 3's is extremely refined and the 1 is simply not in contest. It's one of the most refined amp I ever come across.
I had a Cyrus 1 (mkII) for a long time, and loved the power that came out that small, shoebox-sized (metal!!) case. It really had the speaker in a firm grip, delivering lots of detail, good soundstaging and firm bass. Eventually I bought new speakers (some kevlar-coned B&W's), and that was a bit to much. The natural replacement at that point was the Cyrus III, to which I listened but didn't like. With the III, Cyrus had a little dip, but according to the reviews, they're back. Great thing about the Cyrusses is the way you can upgrade them bij adding a PSX-power supply, or buying separate power amps.
As for Naim: the older gear has their own, to my ears oddball, sound. They're superfast, very rhytmic and very detailled, but also a bit forward and with no soundstaging. It seems that newer models have a more mor-sound, so maybe I'm judging to harsh, but I didn't like Naim. But if you got a chance: listen to it, it might be what you're looking for.
I was a happy owner of a Cyrus 2.Very nice sound ,it was paired with my Mission 753 speakers.I never bought the PSX ,so I don't know how it would sound with it.The PSX increased the power output from 50Wx2 TO 70Wx2 I believe.The case of the Cyrus was very impressive and solid.It was some kind of cast metal,very heavy.
The size was about the same of a shoe box,and it was a heavy unit for it's size.I was impressed with the sound coming out of it.One thing I didn't like was the way the inputs/outputs RCA plugs were placed,they were at the back of the unit and facing up instead of rear.They were collecting a lot of dust like that.I end up giving away my Cyrus 2 to my brother who leaves in Greece.He still has it.
Over all not a bad sounding unit for smaller systems and with an imressive build quality for it's size.
Hope that helps you I also have an old review on it ,but I got to look for it.
Cyrus have a good reputation for quality "midfi" products over here in the UK. I do'nt think anyone would call them high end, but there's no great virtue in that. They produce a full range of products but are best known for there amps. HiFiplus did review there top of the range monoblocks favourably, but the review is'nt archived as far as I know. Another UK mag has archived reviews www.hifichoice.co.uk
I hope that is of some help.
Thought I'd add my experiences of these as I , my family and friends have all had them, and I recently serviced 4 of them.
I ran a Cyrus 2 (I wanted the high quality MC stage more than the bigger transformer) from 1986 to about 1992. 2 close friends chose Cyrus 1s at the same time.
I gave it to my brother who uses it to this day with his Linn LP12 Akito. I serviced it for him 2 months ago and was still impressed how good it sounded. He bought a couple of used Cyrus 1s for his daughters , both still working well. Nothing came close for the prices Mission asked back then - £150 for the 1 and £300 for the 2.
Recently I've bought a 1 for a good friend who runs an Oracle Delphi (!) through it powering Mission 753 floor standers into his huge converted church hall.
I tried a few classic amps for him : a marantz pm40se , a rotel 840bx4 and a Pioneer A400. Quite frankly they sound poor compared. Dull, lacking clarity, lifeless. You could see why they sell for low prices s/h. The Cyrus sounds like it's from an entirely different class and strikes me as bargain for the prices they go for.
Couple of weeks ago I bought a cyrus 2 for another friend just getting back into vinyl now his kids are old enough not to wreck his tt.
I use a 2 grand Tom Evans Groove Anniversary phono stage into a 5 grand Belles IA-01 amp and Proacs. Front end is a mk6 Delphi/SME V/Lyra Delos. You can say I'm an audiophile.
I still rate the Cyrus amps VERY highly. I'd say the Cyrus outperforms the Naim Nait.
The only small 'budget' integrated amp I can think of would be the Myst tma3 but they are rare.
Points of note :
Apart from a bigger transformer, slightly bigger psu caps and a proper MC stage, the Cyrus 2 and Cyrus 1 have the same circuit.
They sound the same with MM and all other inputs.
Later models (issue 07 and final version with improved on switch) had better heatsinking and more robust circuit tracks, but the exact same circuit. Freshly serviced -
*they'll all sound exactly the same*.
Paradoxically the later metal cases break more easily earlier plastic cases.
Earlier models are easier to repair if a transistor should go, as they have an adjustable bias.
Finally, they are all OLD and will have tarnished selector switches (though they are high quality Alps units) that need dismantling and chemically cleaning. Certain electrolytics will also be getting on a bit.
My recommendation would be to pay around 100gbp for a 1 of any vintage, in good cosmetic condition and a further 120gbp for a professional service. You'll have a fine amp of genuinely audiophile quality for £220 !
Pay another 40 for a 2 if you have inefficient speakers or a MC cartridge.