The Cyrus factory is in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, where all our products are conceived. We design, prototype, tune, manufacture and support our products, both new and historic from this UK headquarters which is unusual for a modern consumer product.
Cyrus is a privately owned company conceived and run with the core principle that, like our customers, we focus on premium stereo music systems. In a world where 99% of audio manufacturing happens in low cost economies, Cyrus has chosen to build our team of people and expertise in Cambridgeshire, where we are surrounded by a rich pool of excellence in education, technology, high-tech manufacturing and enquiring minds.
Modern manufacturing processes mean that smaller scale, premium products can be successfully manufactured in England. In fact our decision to locate our manufacturing in one of the world’s most advanced economies, where high quality is expected, means we can set our quality standards higher. For all these reasons, our suppliers understand our requirements and because the UK is a world leader in many high-tech industries, we can access leading-edge technologies faster.
Whether we are restoring your cherished Cyrus amplifier from 1983, or delivering a new system, Cyrus is set up to support our products over many years; and in many instances over several generations, as our products pass down through a family. We appreciate your investment in Cyrus and are proud to provide unparalleled service to extend the useful life of a Cyrus system.
Cyrus is an extraordinary company, populated by enthusiasts passionate about the reproduction of music. Moreover, we aspire to manufacture products that achieve much more than just functionality.
All of our models are built into the legendary Cyrus chassis. This has emerged as a true icon in the audio world… understated yet undeniably stylish. The `classic` Cyrus die-cast chassis is formed under enormous pressure and, once cooled, is hand-finished before the final surface is applied. The unique casting forms a strong and technically valuable enclosure that ensures our products are destined to endure.
Over the last 30 plus years, many exciting ideas and technologies have influenced the audio world. CD was new when we started; AV systems have offered multi-channel audio and the improvement to the performance of digital storage has been simply astounding. Cyrus has earned world-wide critical acclaim across a broad range of systems, but the common denominator is audio performance. Every one of our products sounds so good that, compared to mass-market so called "hi-fi", we provide a clearly better sound. We are very keen to remind you that this has been achieved in the UK by a British company run by music enthusiasts.
Research & Development
Cyrus is a specialist audio company built around its Research and Development team. Shaping our company in this way encourages fresh ideas to flow out into everything we do, feeding our obsession for ever higher quality reproduction. If your goal, like ours, is to invest in components that do much more than merely reproduce music, you will appreciate why Cyrus is constantly advancing techniques to enhance the emotion, energy and drama of the musical performance in all our homes.
Developing ultra-high-performance audio components requires skilled audio engineers and tuning ears with regular experience of the sound of live music across different genres and venues. The process begins with a document detailing the concept for the project, describing features and techniques that may help advance the current state-of-the-art. The Cyrus R&D team is next tasked with developing this concept through a series of prototypes each subject to listening assessments as we evaluate newly available components and the evolving layout of the circuit. While we design in many known audio concepts such as star-earthing and multi-layer boards, each design inevitably presents new opportunities to investigate new techniques to tune the sound. Although the sound is by far the most important tuning goal, we must also engineer for global safety, emission and energy standards.
The Cyrus sound is an intentionally tuned acoustic picture; we want to paint a vast soundstage encompassing width and depth in which to realistically position the performers, extend the frequency range to capture ambient sounds, create deep and tuneful bass without commercially added upper bass, set precise timing and project accurate female vocal tones.
Each component must conform to our acoustic palette as we want all components in a system to play a part in a consistent sonic image, and never to conflict. Although detail, dynamics, soundstage and other parameters improve with each new model, the sonic signature remains constant. This is what we believe will recreate the most lifelike performance in your home. We want to resolve the fine details that reveal the emotion and passion truly great artists share with us at the recording stage. Most audio systems unintentionally filter out much of the special magic that is evident at a live performance. It is our goal to refine our art so our components transmit more of the subtle details through to your listening room.
The Cyrus listening panel may decide to re-spin a circuit many times through the development processes in order to be sure we have explored every option to refine our design. Each board may require comparative component auditions across as many as 50 parts, each shaping small but cumulatively important changes to the overall performance.
Novel design and free-thinking is actively encouraged. Cyrus is able to research new techniques and design concepts that perhaps could not be considered in a more cost-sensitive product so that you, the customer, can enjoy the benefits.
All Cyrus models are designed and manufactured in our headquarters in Huntingdon, England. To source the best components we buy in the global market. Cyrus works to the highest ethical standards, so we have to be diligent to ensure the source of procurement is compatible with our principles.
For example, our pressure die-cast, alloy chassis is a key element for both audio quality and cosmetic value. This is cast for us by one of Europe's premier die-casting foundries to European environmental standards. We are regularly offered lower cost supplies from outside Europe, but are wary of both environmental production procedures and the safety of workers involved in this specialised technology.
Sometimes we are offered components that appear suspiciously good value. However, we insist that, no matter where our products are sold in the world, our close tolerance components are purchased with consideration for the environmental impact of component choice. We refuse to buy components containing substances that could damage the environment, such as lead and cadmium, which are commonly available options. All Cyrus production conforms to the rigorous RoHS suite of environmental standards.
The recycling of electronics has become a clear directive from the Government. Cyrus believes that, not only should a component be recycled intelligently, but its useful life should be maximised to the full.
Cyrus is still servicing amplifiers it sold 20 years ago, often handed down through generations, each enjoying the product time and again. We estimate that more than 80% of Cyrus models manufactured remain in use today, making Cyrus one of the most effective users of materials in our industry by far.
Some models in our range have been equipped with low power, standby circuits that use less than one Watt of power. The more high performance models however are designed to consume just enough power at standby to keep them at premium performance, so that they are instantly ready when brought out of standby. For consumer choice, most of our amplifiers also have a fully ‘off’ switch, if you prefer. We welcome owners’ views on this and other environmental issues, as we regularly evaluate our customers’ thoughts on these features.
For over 30 years Cyrus has been at the forefront o f audio engineering. From the early days in the 1980’s we have developed market –leading audio products with passion and innovation. Our timeline below shows just how many products hav e been developed and launched by Cyrus over the last 30 years. Timeline of product history.
Cyrus started in 1983 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Over the last 30 years we have led the field in audio expertise, developing many world firsts and influencing the way audio products are developed within the industry.
Servo Evolution – the first audiophile standard CD platform Whereas almost every other CD player uses a standard off-the-shelf disc reading platform with the focus on the DAC section, Cyrus took the unique move of creating something better: our own disc reading technology. The benefit of the Cyrus Servo Evolution technology is the ability to pick up more data from the disc first time round rather than relying on error correction to fill in missing gaps in the data. This supplies the DAC with up to 20% more information than the conventional design and explains the higher resolution that all Cyrus CD players are capable of producing. All of our CD players now use our third generation servo firmware which provides audible improvements to the reading of CDs. Benefits of Servo Evolution include: • Pulls more data from the disc than typical disc-reading systems • Up to 5 times fewer data errors • Reads more data ‘right first time’ than any other CD system • Less dependent upon error correction • Lower noise interference • Improved optic control accuracy A standard CD-ROM drive is optimised for high speed data retrieval. It is not the best tool for reading a CD audio disc in high definition. Other proprietary drives are typically low cost, high volume designs with inevitable compromises in the early stages of the data retrieval process. In order to achieve the perfect sound replication that we strive for, it is simply not enough to take the data from the CD, feed it to a DAC and expect the best possible audio performance. It is commonly misunderstood that CD data retrieval is digital and therefore always perfect. The laser light reflected from the CD surface is converted into an electrical signal, which is in fact an analogue signal. The quality of this analogue signal is directly linked to the number of errors in the later digitising process. A good analogue light signal is completely dependent upon the ability of the servo systems to control the focus of the laser light spot, providing smooth tracking of the data stamped onto the disc. The Cyrus-designed system, unlike the off-the-shelf servo systems used by almost every other manufacturer, is optimised for audio data retrieval – and the proof is in the sound.
Servo evolution – in depth When evaluating our CD players please ensure that you use original CD’s to evaluate the performance and not copies of the originals (CD-R’s) as the burning engines in most CD burners devalue the benefits gained by our SE engineering. Not all CD burners do a good job of creating copies from the original disc and it’s a shame to compromise the fine engineering that makes our players sound so valuable, by feeding them with compromised information from the very start. Cyrus developed the Servo Evolution hardware and firmware to attempt to resolve the problem of lost data as the disc is read. We refer to this suite of engineering as a CD ‘engine’ as it covers a collection of hardware and software engineering often rather too complex to interest a casual reader. The problem: Hi-Fi manufacturers generally do not have the deep specialist servo firmware experience or investment budget to use anything other than off-the-shelf (OEM) CD drive ‘kits’ developed for mass production (CD loader, laser, sled mechanism and firmware to drive this set of parts). The engineering to make the mechanical parts work reliably in the intended environment is complex and sophisticated and therefore expensive to develop. Economics mean OEM kits are developed for the largest customers such as automotive markets. Because disc drives contain small, complex and mass produced parts, they require sophisticated firmware to keep the mechanical parts positioned over the data spiral on the CD. Even more problematic is that the big customers need this to happen while, for instance, a car is bumping 1.5g vertical acceleration over a pothole! The answer is to optimise the servo code for a tough environment and buffer the output into a powerful averaging system or error corrector to provide an unbroken data stream as the car bumps along. The resulting output will play but contain a high ‘bit error rates’ that need the errors, or gaps in data, filling in with an approximation of the data/music. Clearly this is a work around solution for a harsh car environment but not ideal for the sound quality standards of a high resolution HiFi system in your living room. However commercially it does work for many mass market applications where the subtle leading edge information that would raise the hair on the back of your neck at home, is unlikely to be missed at 50 MPH with 80db ambient background noise in a car. So this is fine for mass market applications but is a severely compromised source in the mind of a Cyrus hi-fi engineer. By comparison, hi-fi is a tiny market by volume and it is therefore not attractive for large drive manufacturers to offer a special system. Cyrus desired a disc drive that could read data ‘right first time’ without repairing gaps with approximations through error correction algorithms. The solution Because the needs of an in-car CD kit are very different from the needs of a domestic hi-fi, Cyrus had to decide if CD had a long enough life to make the substantial investment worthwhile. The decision was made and over 12 months three engineers worked to finish our unique SE (Servo Evolution) platform. The result was the world’s highest resolution CD engine. Our CD engine is very different from OEM kits as it runs the disc at 1x speed (not 50x for a PC drive) meaning we can optimise the controller motors to work much more accurately rather than just fast. We require accuracy rather than speed and this is where our SE system is so different to CD kits. So how good is the latest SE firmware and hardware? By comparison, Cyrus’ bit error rate delivers an output with 20% fewer errors than the next best system. In CD data terms, this is an enormous increase in resolution. Just take a moment to consider how much effort goes into gaining 5% improvement in amplifier noise or distortion. A 20% improvement in error rate means the error correction works infrequently, motors are rarely now asked to drag the laser sled back to re-read data, and focusing accuracy is maintained more of the time. The result of all this engineering is a data feed capable of greater subtlety and resolution because it gets more data from the disc ‘right first time’. Traditionally, hi-fi designers have attempted to improve performance by focusing on post-servo options because their data quality is fixed by the needs of the mass market. Cyrus was motivated to develop SE because we believed that getting the data with greater accuracy was the correct engineering route as opposed to attempting to fix errors retrospectively. Because we have fewer errors, data is retrieved ‘right first time’, and therefore we have far less need for error correction, so the whole system is calmer with much reduced motor noise in our ground and power planes. Clearly not needing error correction nearly as often means our sound is a closer facsimile of the data on the CD because it is less ‘corrected’ and the players DAC section is not affected by power supply noise from motors in adjacent ground planes. It is also important to differentiate between those manufacturers who market a “special” buffering or correction system. These are not high resolution servo systems; they are attempts to improve on the generally available mass-produced OEM offerings made for the mass market and these kits are limited by lower resolution servo output.