Q. Where can I buy Cyrus products?
A. A full list of our retailers and distributors can be found here.
Q. Why should I use a streamer instead of a computer?
A. A computer may seem to be the conventional place to store and access a digital music library, but it is not the best solution. A computer is optimised for multitasking, not for high-quality audio reproduction, and using a computer to stream your music requires the user to change tracks using the computer interface itself. A dedicated media streamer provides the ideal solution, with a handheld interface (via our control app Cadence), optimised audio, and best speed and stability.
Q. How should I connect my streamer to my network?
A. The ideal connection is a wired connection through an Ethernet cable, though a wireless or Ethernet-over-mains connection is possible too.
Q. What should I do if a wired connection is not an option?
A. Our streamers can be used wirelessly but this is not ideal for network streaming due to the sometimes temperamental nature of wireless networking. If possible, we recommend instead using Ethernet-over-mains products to make a wired network connection to your streamer via your home mains power supply.
Q. How do I obtain digital audio files?
A. If you have an existing CD collection, you may wish to rip these files into a digital format stored on a NAS or hard drive (please check the associated laws in your area before doing this). We recommend the use of a downloadable program called ‘dbPoweramp’ for this purpose as it is quick and simple to use. Digital music files can also be purchased online from various sources, and some websites may be able to offer high-resolution music at higher quality even than CD. One such example would be hdtracks.co.uk.
Q. Where should I store my digital audio files?
A. We recommend using a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, as this allows fast and easy access to your whole library, even with multiple streamers if needed.
Q. Which NAS should I purchase?
A. The main variable to consider when choosing a NAS drive is that the media server search options meet your requirements, as well as checking that your files are supported. Whichever NAS drive you choose, it must have a UPnP or DLNA compatible media server installed. It is also strongly advised to choose one that is RAID protected so that all of your music is automatically backed up in the event of a drive failure.
Q. Can I use a USB storage device?
A. Yes, though USB devices do not feature media servers and so you are limited to a simple folder structure. To function with the streamer, your USB drive should be formatted in FAT 32 and must be self-powered if over 400GB.
Q. Which file formats are supported, and which should I use?
A. All of the major formats including FLAC, Apple Lossless, mp3, AIFF, and WMA are supported. We would recommend using lossless formats such as FLAC or Apple Lossless where possible to ensure that audio quality is not compromised by file compression.
Q. Can I use my streamer as a source component, and connect it to a different DAC or amp?
A. Yes. Each streamer features a digital output and a fixed output (DAC-equipped models only). This allows you to use alternative DACs and amps if you wish.
Q. How do I listen to cloud-based services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal etc?
A. Our streaming products now support TIDAL. Provided that the latest version of firmware is installed, TIDAL will appear on Cadence so that you can log into and use your TIDAL account directly on the streamer. Other cloud-streaming services are not currently supported directly, though they can be accessed by connecting a smart device to the optical or coaxial inputs.
Q. How do I update the firmware on my streamer?
A. Your streamer can be updated by your local distributor/retailer in-store. Full details can be found here.
Q. How can I control my streamer?
A. Your streamer can be controlled by the front panel but we recommend using our control app for iOS and Android devices, Cadence. This is a free app that can be installed by simply searching for ‘Cyrus Cadence’ on the App/Play Store and downloading it. Alternatively, our universal iR14 remote (not supplied) can be used to control the streamer.
Q. Why does the Stream Xa and Stream X Signature feature mute and headphones buttons?
A. All of our streaming models use the same front panel and so all feature these buttons, even though they are not used on the Stream Xa or Stream X Signature. This allows us to keep the costs to the consumer as low as possible and ensure that we can supply our products at good value.
Q. What is gapless playback, and does my Cyrus streamer support it?
A. Some albums, particularly classical compositions with multiple movements, have seamless gaps between tracks, ensuring a smooth transition between one track and the next without an annoying second or two of silence. Some streaming products do not support gapless playback but all Cyrus streamers do and should move seamlessly between one track and the next if the recording is gapless.
Q. Can I connect my smartphone/tablet to my streamer to play the files on it?
A. Cadence for Android can access the files on some smartphones and tablets. Apple devices can be connected directly to the streamer via the USB input. You can also connect any smartphone/tablet directly to the optical or coaxial inputs, but you may require an adaptor cable or lead to do so.
DACS and Preamps
Q. What is a DAC and what does it do?
A. Speakers require an analogue audio signal to function, but much modern audio is now transmitted in a digital format. A DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) converts this signal into analogue, and the way that this process is carried out is critical to the audio quality.
Q. Do I need a DAC?
A. If you don’t have one already, very likely yes. Some sources such as CD players and televisions have their own DACs built-in but often these are not of the same quality as a dedicated audiophile DAC. Significant audio quality gains can be made by using a digital output from your source into a high-quality DAC.
Q. What can I connect to my DAC?
A. The DAC XP Signature features a wide range of digital and analogue inputs, allowing connection of almost any digital or analogue equipment from CD players and televisions, to tuners and phono stages, ensuring the absolute best sonic reproduction from your system.
Q. Why do Cyrus DACs not feature a USB input?
A. Our range of DACs are designed to offer the highest possible sound quality from your hi-fi system. Connecting a computer via a USB interface can introduce unwanted noise and a computer is optimised for multi-tasking, not audiophile music reproduction. As such this is not the best way to playback your digital music library on your hi-fi system. Instead, we recommend a streaming media player connected to your DAC via a digital input as the best way to reproduce your digital library without compromising on sound quality.
Q. What is the Qx DAC upgrade?
A. The Qx DAC is our upsampling stereo DAC. Designed to utilise the technology from our flagship DAC XP Signature, the Qx DAC will upgrade and upsample the signal from any digital source
Q. Which models can the Qx DAC be fitted to?
A. The Qx DAC can be fitted to the Pre2 DAC. The DACs in the DAC XP Signature are superior to the Qx DAC module.
Q. How do I connect headphones to my DAC XP Signature?
A. The best way to connect headphones is via a headphone amp connected to the fixed outputs. This allows full volume control via the headphone amp itself. NOTE: the analogue inputs are not routed to the fixed output so headphones can only be used with sources connected to the digital inputs. For analogue sources, the headphones should be connected directly to the source.
Q. My DAC XP Signature gets very hot. Is this normal?
A. The DAC XP Signature is unique in the Cyrus range because it features two powerful toroidal transformers. Together with various other components within this product, it generates significant heat. This heat is dissipated by using the casting as the main heatsink, so the unit will feel warm to the touch. It is designed to operate at these temperatures and will not be adversely affected by the heat.
Q. Why does the Phono Signature have four inputs?
A. To put it simply, it made almost no difference to the cost of the product to add three additional inputs. This added flexibility is useful to consumers who may have more than one tonearm, or for comparing a number of them quickly and easily.
Q. What settings should I use on my Phono Signature?
A. The gain should be set so that the level meter just reaches the top level at the loudest passages. As for resistance and capacitance, there’s no such thing as a wrong setting, but the sound quality can be altered by changing these settings. Some cartridge manufacturers provide recommended settings which may help to set up the system initially, but you can alter them to your taste for each individual piece of music if you wish. We’ve listed some manufacturers recommend settings here.
Q. Is Cyrus ONE compatible with AirPlay?
A. No, but you can stream music files from your smartphone/tablet easily using Bluetooth.
Q. Can I use standard Bluetooth (A2DP) or will only aptX Bluetooth work?
A. Most Bluetooth devices should connect with ease, though aptX offers higher audio quality so is preferable if your device supports it. Cyrus ONE will automatically adapt to the standard used by your Bluetooth device.
Q. Can I use my turntable with Lyric?
A. Yes, but you’ll need a separate phono preamplifier too. The preamp can be connected to the analogue inputs on the rear of Lyric
Q. How do I update the firmware on my Lyric?
You can find the firmware version installed on your Lyric by selecting ‘About’ in the setup menu. You can update it to the latest version by following the instructions here.
Q. Can I connect a separate power amp to my Lyric?
A. Yes, you simply need to ensure the Lyric’s analogue output is set to be volume controlled. From the Main Menu, select Setup, Speaker Config, then 2.0, and ensure the option ‘Variable Output’ is selected.
Q. What can I connect to the USB inputs?
A. The USB A inputs can accept any Apple device or a USB hard drive. The USB hard drive must, however, be formatted in FAT 32 format, and larger drives (bigger than 400GB) should have their own power supply. The USB B input can be used to connect a computer, utilising Lyric as a soundcard. This is a driverless connection but you need to manually select Lyric as a soundcard on your computer.
Q. Some of the options are greyed out. Why is this?
A. When Lyric is first switched on, some of the internal electronics will still be initialising even when the controls become active. After all of the components have fully booted up (this takes about 30 seconds), all of the options in the setup menu will be available.
Q. How do I configure Lyric for use with an AV system?
A. You can use Lyric to power a pair of speakers in your AV system by connecting your AV amp to the analogue inputs. The AV Direct option should be selected in the ‘Analogue Input’ section of the setup menu.
Q. What exactly does my PSX-R do?
A. The PSX-R provides an extremely smooth and stable Direct Current feed to the partnered product, allowing it to achieve its full potential. The exact functions that the PSX-R controls vary from product to product, but the sonic improvements are well worth experiencing.
Q. What can I use a PSX-R with?
A. Any Cyrus product that has a PSX-R socket on the rear panel will benefit from a PSX-R connection. If you’re unsure, check the specifications for your particular product.
Q. Which of my Cyrus products should I connect my PSX-R to?
A. There’s no hard and fast rule as to which product will benefit the most, as it depends upon a number of variables not least your own perception of the sound quality. However, because the PSX-R can be quickly unplugged and plugged in (the connected units must be in standby first), it is a relatively quick exercise to connect your PSX-R to each compatible product and test which you prefer. Of course, best sound quality will be achieved only by attaching a PSX-R to each compatible product.
Q. Should my PSX-R and the product it’s attached to both be connected to mains power?
A. Yes. The PSX-R takes over part of the internal power supply but not all, so both products must be connected to mains power to function correctly.
Q. What is the difference between the PSX-R and the PSX-R2?
A. During the design of our Limited Edition 30th Anniversary system, we learned a number of lessons about how to improve the performance of our most popular product even further. These improvements have been incorporated into the new improved PSX-R2, providing an even lower noise floor and offering an even greater improvement to the attached product.
Q. Is my PSX-R compatible with modern Cyrus products?
A. Very likely, yes. There are only a handful of first edition PSX-Rs manufactured in the early 1990s that cannot be used with modern Cyrus equipment. These can be identified by the Smooth Black case and a serial number falling into one of the following ranges:
‘HB000##’ up to ‘HB00518’
‘HBU00###’ up to ‘HBU00422’
‘HBE0####’ up to ‘HBE01352’
Q. Can I use my PSX-R with my Cyrus 2?
A. No. The Cyrus 2 can be improved with the addition of the PSX, which can be identified as being in a case of a similar shape and size to the Cyrus 2. The modern PSX-R is not compatible with this product.
Q. What is the difference between the 6 DAC and 82 DAC?
A. Both amps are based on the same design and feature similar inputs and outputs. The 82 DAC is our higher performance integrated amp and features much higher power output than the 6 DAC. The 82 DAC can also be improved further with the addition of the PSX-R2, whereas the 6 DAC cannot.
Q. What can I connect to the USB input?
A. The USB B input can be used to connect a computer, utilising the amp as a soundcard. This is a driverless connection but you need to manually select the amp as a soundcard on your computer. This input is limited to 16-bit/48kHz signals.
Q. What is the Qx DAC upgrade?
A. The Qx DAC is our upsampling stereo DAC. Designed to utilise the technology from our flagship DAC XP Signature, the Qx DAC will upgrade and upsample the signal from any digital source.
Q. Which models can the Qx DAC be fitted to?
A. The Qx DAC can be fitted to the 82 DAC, but not the 6 DAC.
Q. How should I connect a headphone amp?
A. A headphone amp can be connected to the Zone 2 output, allowing full volume control via the headphone amplifier itself.
Q. Can I leave some of the speaker outputs disconnected?
A. Absolutely. All or some of the speaker outputs can be disconnected as required for your particular setup, without causing any harm to the amplifier.
Q. What is a mono power amp?
A. Power amps can be used to drive a pair of speakers (stereo) or two separate power amplifiers can be used to drive one speaker each (mono). Utilising all of an amplifier’s power to drive a single speaker ensures precise control of the drivers, providing very significant gains in soundstage and detail.
Q. Can I bi-amp with my existing integrated amplifier?
A. Yes, if your speakers are bi-wirable. A power amp can be connected to your integrated amplifier and wired to drive either the high or lower frequency drivers of your speakers, with the integrated amplifier supplying the remaining drivers. Don’t forget to remove the bridging links on your speakers first though!
Q. How do I effectively use two power amps in mono mode?
A. Some power amps can be ‘bridged’ into mono mode. This allows the outputs to be joined together to allow all of the power of the amp to drive a single speaker. Some wiring changes are required though, so check your user manual carefully.
Q. Can I use a legacy Cyrus power amp with my modern equipment?
A. Yes. All Cyrus amplifier products are gain matched so you can mix and match old and new equipment.
Q. Why does the Mono X 300 Signature not feature a PSX-R socket?
A. The Mono X 300 Signature features its own immensely powerful toroidal transformer and adding a PSX-R to it might actually be a downgrade! This product has more than enough power on its own to get the best from any speakers.
Q. What is Servo Evolution?
A. Many of the CD players on today’s market still utilise a form of the original CD platform that was designed by Philips and Sony in 1982. This was optimised for playback, including those that have been heavily damaged or warped, rather than for absolute sound quality. In 2008, Cyrus engineers decided this wasn’t good enough and we designed our own platform at huge expense. This new platform allows us to retrieve far more data from the disc with many fewer errors.
Q. Will my CD player read SACDs?
A. No. SACD is a format that requires specific hardware to playback. Many SACDs also feature a normal audio track, and these will play in a modern Cyrus CD player.
Q. Can I use CD-Rs?
A. If you have a modern CD player (SE2 or newer), then these models do support CD-Rs, provided that they are of good quality and the disc has been finalised.
Q. Why does the CD Xt Signature not feature a PSX-R socket?
A. The CD Xt Signature has been designed in such a way that the power supply generates very little noise, and as a transport, it does not require the levels of power that the PSX-R can supply. We don’t think it would be improved with a PSX-R connected, so we haven’t fitted a socket.
Q. Why does my Cyrus Pre make a grinding noise when I mute it or adjust the volume?
A. The Pre uses motorised volume potentiometers that mechanically adjust according to the required volume level. When this unit is switched on, muted, or the volume adjusted, it will make a mechanical noise while the pots adjust to their required position. Our more recent preamplifiers use electronic methods to control the volume, and so operate almost silently.
Q. What do I need to do to use my Cyrus Power in mono mode?
A. The Power can be used in mono mode with some simple re-wiring of the connections (see user manual for full details), but this model is unique is that mono mode also requires a PSX-R to be added to the unit. This model requires an internal modification to be used with a PSX-R.
Q. Is my vintage Cyrus 1 or 2 still serviceable?
A. Yes. We still service these models in our factory and they can be fully restored to their former electronic condition. We no longer stock cosmetic parts such as casings, fascias, or control knobs though, so cosmetics repairs cannot be made.
Non Cyrus Products
Q. Which speakers/cables should I use with my system?
A. Speaker and cables are a very subjective choice, and we find that user experience varies widely dependent upon personal taste. Although it is tempting to ask for recommendations for speakers and cables, we find that best results are obtained through an audition process. It can take some time to listen to various options but this is by far the best way to ensure that you find the right choice for you.
It’s worth noting that some Cyrus products utilise our unique Speaker Impedance Detection (SID) system. This measures the characteristics of the speaker and adjusts the amplifier automatically, ensuring perfect synergy between speaker and amp.
Q. Can I mix Cyrus products with non-Cyrus products?
A. Absolutely. All Cyrus products conform to traditional hi-fi standards as far as inputs and outputs go, so different brands can be mixed together to personal taste. We design our products to sound at their best when matched to other Cyrus products though. All Cyrus power amplifiers are gain-matched so that they can be mixed and matched in vertical bi-amping systems to great effect.