Cyrus CDI £1195

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

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

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