What is different about 2010 CD Players?
As part of our ongoing product development programme, the Cyrus CD players had a facelift in 2010 which included a new style loading slot. The original moulded bezel has been replaced with our new style bezel to provide a slight 'smile'. This new design has a small curve to the lower lip (shown above) and this shape eliminates the possibility of marking the playing surface of the CD.
The 2010 facelift also included a new window made from optical quality Perspex. This new window replaced the injection moulded part we have used previously. This is purely a cosmetic upgrade, but one we are sure you will appreciate. As is our policy, servo code is upgraded regularly, so 2010 models are likely to have a more recent code than the first machines produced. Because we control the code we can offer customers an upgrade at any time, for example while servicing a player.
The SE engine represents many man years of software investment and development for Cyrus. We wanted to make a CD drive that could extract more data from the disc than the drive kits available to us from original equipment manufacturers (OEM). Economics normally dictate that audio manufacturers have to use one of a limited number of OEM CD drives that ship together with the controlling software. These will have been originally developed for volume customers and we wanted to escape from the limitations of this servo code because it is never developed for CD playback in high-end audio applications.
While part of the Mission group, Cyrus R&D looked seriously at making their own CD engine but concluded that the complexity of the software engineering was beyond them. When Cyrus Audio Ltd was founded in 2004, these engineering challenges were revisited. It was known that significant gains can be made if only a way could be found to select the best laser, loader and run these hardware choices with unique Cyrus code. This is the project that was started back in 2007 and is now known as our "Servo Evolution" or SE project.
So what is SE? It is the software that controls the laser tracking and focus across a CD. Uniquely, through our software engineering, we are able to drive the disc at slower speeds, track the data spiral with more accuracy and therefore extract more data with fewer errors than any OEM kit of parts. Technically this aspect is all analogue so far, so why would we do all this work when error correction can make all CD reading perfect? There is of course no such thing as perfect in engineering. All engineering is about choices and the best engineering is where those choices best match the use of the product. OEM kits are typically made for mass market projects. These are never high quality audio, because the specialist hi-fi industry volumes are very small by comparison. More likely the original developer was aiming at a mass market CD customer in automotive or boom box applications.
The Cyrus SE project rewrote the servo code to extract more data first time without needing to rely so heavily on correction. Corrective repairs are potentially easier in a PC because the data is not taken in real time so it is assumed correction can be achieved faster than the listener may require the data. However correction is never perfect and in a CD player it introduces noise in the ground plains that audiophiles will easily recognise as potentially damaging to audio circuitry, and thereby the quality of music we listen to.
Remembering that much of a CD player is analogue, the SE system is all about getting data off the disc with fewer bit errors so we don't need as much correction. Our research shows we measure 20% fewer errors from a typical CD using our SE engine, than the next best OEM kit we have available, which is what other manufacturers use. Some manufacturers have attempted to improve OEM kits poor data quality through buffering, but we believe it is a better engineering solution to get the data stream right first, and therefore minimise the need for correction.
This may all sound like we are chasing something small, but we have developed a range of CD players that are of real interest to consumers who continue to buy CD for quality reasons. Recent trends identify that the mass market is moving towards networked audio players hence why in 2011 we released our streaming audio range comprising the Streamline, Stream XP and Stream X, each of which suffice various consumer requirements. However, we also recognise that not everyone may want to go through this complex investment and CD's are likely to remain the choice for many for some time.