December 12, 2013 — Article
Cyrus, renowned for 30 years of award winning technology, has announced that they are changing their CD player line-up, with the release of a new integrated CD player, named CDi, to replace their two existing integrated CD players – the CD 6 SE₂ and CD 8 SE₂. The price point will sit between the two former models, but in terms of performance it looks to be the best CD player they have ever produced to date, as it will use a specially updated version of their proprietary Servo Evolution disc reading system in addition to having an advanced 32 bit DAC and a fully regulated power supply.
The CDi uses many of the same components as the flagship CD transport, CD Xt Signature, including a latest generation LED disc loader. A PSX-R port allows you to further upgrade the sound of the unit by connecting one of the company’s expert external power supplies.
Quality of construction is clearly a key factor but what we feel really makes the Cyrus CD players a stand out is their award winning Servo Evolution CD “brain” that simply extracts more information from the disc, more accurately, than ever before with a new updated version, so let’s try to understand better just why that is so important.
A CD ROM drive is optimized for high speed data retrieval, but not for reading a CD audio disc in high definition. So where a majority of CD players on the market today use standard or slightly modified CD ROM drivers, Cyrus took the unique move of creating their own disc reading technology, Servo Evolution.
Effectively, there is a widespread misconception that CD data retrieval is all digital and always perfect so that you can simply take the data from a CD, feed it to a DAC and expect to get exceptional sound replication. Despite the quality of the original recording (another whole topic) and the intermediary components (DAC, cables…), there are several critical steps that need to be achieved in the the early stages of the data retrieval process at the highest quality levels if you really want the ultimate in audio performance.
Technically, the laser light reflected from the CD surface is converted into an electrical signal, which is, in fact, analogue. The quality of this analogue signal is directly linked to the number of errors in the later digitizing process. A good analogue light signal is completely dependent upon the ability of the servo systems to control the focus of the laser light spot, providing smooth tracking of the data stamped onto the disc.
The Cyrus-designed system is optimised for audio data retrieval and now all their players benefit from a second generation Servo Evolution software which they claim:
In terms of style, just as recognizable as their “half-size” case design is the high quality, die-cast casing, a feature of Cyrus products since the late ’80s. This very high quality casing is nice looking but more importantly has significant sonic benefits as the dense casing provides a non-resonant nature, minimizing micro-phonic effects. The non-ferrous composition also provides superior shielding against various electrical interferences, such as RF disturbance.
Finally, despite the quality of CDi alone, Cyrus offers some additional refinements that can even further improve the sound reproduction qualities. By adding Cyrus’s famous PSX-R power supply, the CDi benefits from a more generous supply, helping to bring about a number of improvements. Firstly, with the supply located in a separate casing, noise that could affect the delicate electronics is greatly reduced. Secondly, the larger power supply is more highly regulated for a cleaner and purer supply. The resulting sound has extra detail and a more expansive sound-stage. The CDi can be connected to an amplifier like the Cyrus 8a, and to Stream Xa to add streaming capabilities.
Recognizing fundamental changes to the way in which people listen to music, the Cyrus CDi was specifically designed as a high-end CD player to allow more people to experience the joy of hearing their music in the greatest detail, yet with easy set up and control.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the fact that Cyrus equipment is designed and manufactured in the UK. They feel, despite the cost compared to some other far away locations, this allows them be in close working relationships with specialist subcontractors, closer to their factory, which they feel better suits the quality standards they aim to achieve.
Note to existing Cyrus customers: an upgrade to the CD Xt Signature will be launched in January, and made available for most historical CD models.