What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Sat, 13 Sep 2003, 2:00pm

Cyrus Mono X

Tested at £1250
100100
5

Another winner from Cyrus. The Mono X has been around a good while, but it’s still good enough to worry the class leaders

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For

  • Breathtaking speed and detail resolution

Against

  • Lacks the physical presence of similarly priced competition
  • preamp doesn’t have balanced outputs

The Mono X may have the footprint of a shoebox, but as the company's flagship power amp it's capable of serious power, and can kick out seismic bass with the best. As the name suggests, it's a monobloc amp, with a rated power output of 150w into 8ohms, rising as impedance drops so that it can give 240w into a 4ohm speaker load.

And with burst peak power capability of 1500w – the power the amp can deliver for a split second – this compact monoblocs can comfortably drive almost any speakers to high levels.

We tried a selection, from Epos's budget ELS 3s to Wilson Benesch Discoverys and PMC IB2s, and none stressed the Mono X amps unduly. Sure, the amplifier gets warm, but a clever temperature and signal-sensing fan ensures it never gets too hot.

Muscle combined with finesse
So we know it has muscle, but does it have finesse? The answer is a resounding yes. Spin Bonnie Prince Billie's Master and Everyone and the Xs produce an impressively transparent and subtle performance.

This album is beautifully recorded, with a convincing sense of weight and refinement: the Cyruses don't hold back in either respect. They reveal a remarkable amount of detail – not far short of our £15,000 Krell reference combination – but never sound overly analytical. The detail is used to make the sound more believable rather than to impress in its own right.

Add speed, terrifically focused stereo imaging and fluid presentation to the list of plus-points and this combination emerges as a red-hot proposition at this
price point.

 

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