Cyrus Audio, introduces its new XR series. The XR series is positioned towards discerning audio enthusiasts and, at its launch will include six new products, including two integrated amplifiers with DACs (the i7-XR and i9-XR), a preamp (Pre-XR), two CD players (the CDt-XR transport and the integrated CDi-XR) and an external power supply (the PSU-XR). Building upon cumulative research and development, the XR series places Cyrus products into a ‘whole new level of sophistication and performance’.
Whilst Cyrus pursues an improvement philosophy for its products, many of its deeper engineering advances can only be applied in a ‘ground-up’ design. A change in design approach for XR series has been possible due to an understanding of DAC technologies and power supply designs, combined with Cyrus’s recently updated manufacturing processes and the availability of higher-grade components.
XR series, provides sound quality benefits and increased dynamic range. Cyrus hopes that ‘the clarity and detail of the XR series will keep the listener wanting to go back and listen to tracks heard a thousand times before’.
For the XR series, Cyrus’ engineers selected components based on efficiency and performance, without consideration of cost. In designing these products from the ground up, the engineers were able to create a low noise
platform, through power supply design, DAC optimization, component choice and circuit topology.
One of the principles behind the design of the XR series has been noise reduction. Efforts were made to isolate the signal path from potential sources of noise. Another area of focus was power supply design. XR delivers high quality power to the circuitry to ensure optimal performance. Lastly is the DAC that reconstructs analogue signals with accuracy.
The XR series also features a new aesthetic. All products in the new XR series are wrapped in a new “Phantom Black” paint finish. The colour is sympathetic to both the existing core and signature range. The XR series user interface is also new, incorporating capacitive touch buttons with audible feedback. The new UI also features a high resolution LCD screen and a weighty solid metal rotary encoder.
The newly designed i7-XR and i9-XR amplifiers are built with relay input
switches and Schottky diodes. The improvements generate a greater burst power capacity, enhancing the amplifier’s ability to track the music signal, leading to lower levels of distortion. A new feature Cyrus has introduced for the XR series amps is user-selectable DAC filters. These filters can be changed on the front of the product, or via the remote.
The i7-XR produces 2 x 52 watts per channel and has a range of 101 dB. The i9-XR has more grunt at 2 x 91 watts per channel, with a range of 104 dB. Both amps are fully integrated with four analogue and five digital inputs (two optical, two Coax, one USB), a new software update port, and pre and fixed level outputs, as well as dual speaker outputs on the back panel. To cater for vinyl, both amps feature a built-in moving magnet phono stage.
The Pre-XR uses an all-new power supply design with reservoir capacitors making it stiff and robust. The transformer is also a new custom design. The net result of this is a range performance of 110dB. The Pre-XR represents an improvement over Cyrus’s existing high-end preamp, the DAC XP signature. The Pre-XR offers increased dynamic range and a broader bandwidth capable of handling files up to 32-bit/768k as well as DSD files. It also features a built-in phono stage.
Both new XR series CD players, the CDt-XR and the CDi-XR, feature a new power supply design and transformers designed specifically for the new CD players, making their class-leading SE CD engine quieter than before. Both the CDt-XR and CDi-XR use twin microprocessors. One chip handles all the user interface and housekeeping, while the second is dedicated to running the SE engine. This prevents timing information from being interrupted by the processor being asked to do other things. The physical loader is also new, giving better performance than the previous model. There is a re-clocking circuit to reduce jitter too. In terms of board layout, flow and return principles have been applied to the DAC section and the signal path throughout the entire player. Other improvements include new filter stages and a 2nd Generation QXR DAC specifically optimized to 16bit 44.1kHz. Finally, both players can be upgraded with the addition of the PSUXR.
The PSU-XR takes outboard power supply design to a new level. It is a power supply with its own on-board microprocessor. It is also flexible, adding sound quality benefits. The microprocessor communicates with the host product to gather its exact power requirements. The PSU-XR can supply up to three separate circuits on each host product with clean power, at any of 256 digitally controlled voltage levels, to ensure matching. This makes it flexible and ‘future proof’.
As in all the XR series products, relay switched ‘stiff’ power supplies ensure voltage stability ‘even under extreme loads’. The power supply itself in the PSU-XR is as isolated as possible from noise. There is no common ground inside the PSU-XR, grounds only meet inside the host products, and even here at places where current flow is minimal. This prevents the power circuits from infecting the musical signal. The PSU-XR can deliver 60% more power than the PSX-R2 and, due to its design, it is 50% more efficient. This audiophile power supply provides ‘smooth and stable’ DC feeds. Through this, the PSU-XR helps the partnered components ‘achieve their potential’.
“XR series represents the state-of-the-art in audio engineering in so many
different ways.” says Simon Freely, Managing Director of Cyrus. “Our unique approach to power, coupled with the many innovations in DAC design, circuit topology and a whole new user interface, catapult Cyrus into a whole new level of performance and quality.”