Cyrus Pre XP d/8 Power review

A traditional-sounding pre/power amp combi from Cyrus, that works hard to establish itself against the competition

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Cyrus pre xp d 8 power main

Something turned up with these amps that we've found before with Cyrus electronics – they seem to lack excitement, especially in quick comparisons with other, more forward, kit. For some listeners, that's just about the worst sin an amp can commit, but we think that excitement should come from the music, not the equipment and there really is such a thing as too much of it.

Some amps (and CD players) seem initially exciting, but ultimately lack insight and fine detail. A criticism one could easily make of these units.

In fact, they are capable of a very high degree of subtlety, as was picked up on very quickly by the member of our listening panel for whom that is of paramount importance.

He identified this as one of the most revealing combinations in the test, its character (or lack of it) making it a very honest and straightforward part of the reproduction chain. So far, then, it looks like a classic case of 'horses for courses'.

One further aspect requires comment, though and that's the bass. All our blind listeners felt – as we did, sighted, later – that this is not the Cyrus's strongest suit. Extension is fine, but there's less impact than one might wish for, less immediacy and less precise control of the loudspeakers.

The tuning of low notes is less obvious than it can be, and both subtle and overt sounds lack a little attack.

It's not a major drawback and is the sort of thing one can soon become accustomed to, but we certainly wouldn't object if it could be tightened up a little.

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