The aggressively priced Cyclone 1.2 is a good-looking device, pleasant to the touch and adequately specified. There are plenty of inputs, though no phono stage, and a remote control to make up for the lack of switching for a second pair of speakers. The absence of tone controls indicates plenty of confidence in the sound.
Play something as upfront as Love for You by Calvin Harris, and the Cyclone initially sounds bouncy and fun-packed. The bottom end is chunky, there's no shortage of attack through the midrange and the treble's no shrinking violet either. The Talk musters a decent soundstage too. At first, we thought the Cyclone might evolve into our ‘enthusiastic and attacking' amplifier of choice.
But after the initial rush of excitement, the Cyclone reveals itself to be a little brutish and uncouth. There's not as much detail retrieved from recordings as we'd like, and it can't tie rhythms together as effectively as it might.
Full throttle at all timesThe forceful presentation actually impairs dynamics, as every recording starts at full throttle, and the Talk just keeps its foot down through-out. Subtlety is not on the agenda. What's more, those over-confident high frequencies rapidly become brash and tiring.
There's always a place for an aggressive sound, but unless the word ‘bludgeon' has only positive connotations for you, you'll want something a bit more adaptable than the aptly named Cyclone.