What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 11 Aug 2009, 4:00pm

Cyrus 6XP

Tested at £925
100100
5

Stereo amplifier Product of the Year, Awards 2010. There's not much to get excited about with its looks, but the 6XP's sound will have you clicking your fingers

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For

  • Controlled, robust, revealing sound
  • useful upgrade path

Against

  • Not the most powerful
  • needs a degree of system-matching

Stereo amplifier Product of the Year 2010

 

If you've seen one Cyrus amp, you've seen 'em all. No other manufacturer demonstrates the single (or bloody) mindedness of the British specialist when it comes to dimensions and appearance.

But for its biggish LCD display, this 6XP integrated could be 20 years old.

Something else that doesn't change is Cyrus's determination to offer its customers an upgrade path.

Future upgrade options
Today's 6XP can become tomorrow's 8XP (which adds 30 Watts per channel to the 6XP's 40W, and the option to add a PSX-R power supply), or 8XPD (with digital card offering five digital inputs and a USB socket), or Pre XP (for use as a preamp in conjunction with Cyrus's power amps).

All that's required is your 6XP to visit the Cyrus factory and your wallet to be lightened.

See all our stereo amplifier Best Buys

In the meantime, the 6XP does very nicely in its own right. The signature Cyrus sound – low-fat, rapid and profusely detailed – is to the fore.

An involved song such as Radiohead's Where I End and You Begin is pristine, the leading edge of notes described with at-times startling diligence.

Scale and dynamic ability
There's greater scale and more dynamic ability available than the power rating suggests, plus an openness and transparency that makes the midrange explicit and the top end glisten without aggression.

Low frequencies have greater depth and solidity than Cyrus is generally known for, but not at the expense of momentum or precision.

Downsides are remarkably few. Avoid sources and speakers that are overtly lean or bright, and the 6XP will reward you with a performance of thrillingly impartial musicality right until the moment you upgrade it.

Watch our Awards video of the Cyrus 6 XP