What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 1 Apr 2011, 3:20pm

Cyrus DAC XP+

Tested at £2550
80100
4

Massive ability in a small box. It could do with a little more exuberance, though

Write your own review

For

  • Excellent DAC performance
  • stunning insight and precision
  • easy to use

Against

  • Puts control ahead of excitement
  • no USB input
  • limited analogue inputs

Cyrus has a problem at the top end of the market. 

As individual and unusual as the company’s long-running die-cast chassis is, it’s also small, light and plain – none of which appeal to a typical high-end buyer. 

It’s understandable: you want to feel like you’ve got your money’s worth, and the best way of doing this is to make it big, heavy and expensively finished.

Using similar casework makes sense for brand and cost reasons, but it means the build of this £2550 DAC seems no better than that of Cyrus’s £925 6XP integrated amp. Listen to it, though, and you’re in for a treat.

The front end is an upgraded version of the company’s DAC XP. Think of it as a top-quality DAC but with limited analogue inputs and a volume control. 

The DAC XP+ is a fully balanced dual mono design all the way through its digital and analogue circuits, and the recent upgrade to ‘+’ status matches the performance of the CD XT SE+ transport.

A good fettling
The upgrades amount to fettling the power supply circuits, but are enough to make this an even more transparent performer than we remember the original being. 

This Cyrus has four coaxial digital inputs and two optical.

When it comes to precision and stability, the DAC XP+ impressive. Play music as varied as Erik Satie’s Gnossiennes No.1 and Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and this unit delivers a consistent and informative performance.

Yet for all that, we respect the DAC XP+ rather than love it.

If control and composure suit your tastes, great, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Tested with Cyrus Mono X 300

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