Cyrus CDI £1195
After years as master of the premium end of the CD player market, Cyrus still has the sector wrapped up. This is the fifth consecutive year the CDI has made these pages – we simply haven’t heard a better sounding alternative.
At the heart of this player is the way it reads the data from the disc. Cyrus spent years developing dedicated transport control software and mating it to a suitable slot-loading mechanism.
The idea behind it is to get the maximum amount of data off the CD while minimising errors. The company claims that this disc reading system has around 20 per cent fewer CD reading errors than any of the off-the-shelf alternatives. The transport is, however, a little noisy when loading a disc, though as silent as you’d hope during playback. We play Hans Zimmer’s Supermarine from the Dunkirk soundtrack and right away the CDI displays the uniform, articulate and intuitive presentation we would expect from a premium player. Offering buckets of detail, it allows the finer flurries of percussive interjections to surface cleanly, while the more intense parts of the score soar to a dramatic climax. Each layer of the composition is precisely unpeeled, and each instrument passes through the mix with coherent flow and tact.
Despite this, the player’s rhythmic talent shines through. Pace and momentum is exercised with vibrancy. We’re entertained by the Cyrus’ dynamic agility and neutral balance – though fast and fluid, the sound is also impressively authoritative.
Cyrus has never been about compromise, and the Cdi’s solid build and fuss-free, half-width design are admirable, although the basic black-ongreen display looks outdated now, even if it is easy to read.
True to Cyrus fashion, upgrades can be achieved by connecting to the company’s PSX-R2 external power supply (£795) for improved scale, authority and detail. But that’s for the future. The standalone CDI is easily the best sounding machine at this price. Its blend of analysis, agility and rhythmic precision is spellbinding.
The Cyrus CDI has bagged an Award for a fifth consecutive year