Cyrus One HD vs Cyrus ‘Classic’

robexley

Novice Member
I’m looking to setup a new system in my office and have been deciding between a Cyrus One HD and a used Cyrus ’Classic’ integrated amp, likely a Cyrus 8vs2. Has anyone on the forums experience of comparing the sound quality between the Cyrus 8 classic amps and the newer Cyrus One HD. The One HD is about 2x the price of a used 8vs2 but given that the primary input source is going to be digital, initially USB from Mac, the 8vs2 would also involve the purchase of a separate DAC, something like a Topping D30.

As I’m a bit old school, I may add a CD Player or Transport in the future as I do like my CDs still. Visually the classic amps are a better match to the CDi and CDt. The alternative is to add any CD player to my main system and keep this office system as purely streaming…. this is future thinking.

What is the general perceived wisdom of those who have heard both? Does the One HD hold its own (or better) the SQ of the 8vs2?

A new One HD would also come with 2-yrs warranty whereas a S/H 8vs2 would likely have no warranty but if the sound and build quality of the classic amps is head and shoulders above the One, then that also needs to be considered.

Initially, the primary mode of listening will be through headphones until a later point when speakers will be added, possibly Neat Motive SX3, KEF LS50 or something else from KEF or B&W.

Any advice gratefully received,
 
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Cribbster

Active Member
I have listened to both but not next to each other to do a direct comparison. Personally I do love the Cyrus sound an both options have their advantages. Depends how old the 8 is bit I would say that will be the better sound quality and you always have the option of having it services by Cyrus to freshen it up. From my experience though, I would steer well clear of pairing any Cyrus amp with the LS50s. That combination (it was a Cyrus 8 and LS50 speakers) was utterly unlistenable to - far too bright and harsh. However, other KEF speakers worked really well with the Cyrus amps. I have found most of the KEF speakers to be quite passive in nature and need something strong a lively to make them sing. Cyrus can do that but it does mean careful matching is required to avoid unwanted harshness.
 
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robexley

Novice Member
Thank you @Cribbster. How would you characterise the sound of both options and what would make you choose one over the other? I've yet to come across anything that does a direct comparison and how the SQ of each differs.

For the purpose of this comparison, disregarding speakers as I will need to buy some when I get to that point. Initially I will be using my Sennheiser HD-600 headphones as this is an home office-based system.

If I went down the 8vs2 route, I would likely add an external DAC immediately such as the Topping E30 and feed that via USB from my Mac and then using the RCA connection into the amp.

The choice of the One HD would mean everything is in one box and feed Mac directly into the USB connection of the amp.

8vs2 is about 9 years old but if the sound quality is better ultimately then that is to be taken into account; however, by the time you've paid for a service from Cyrus you're probably at the same overall financial impact that the One HD is initially.
 
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Cribbster

Active Member
Ha ha - they're great questions. And that, surely, encapsulates the whole dilemma of this life for us. Am I making the "right" decision? Which one sounds better? For someone like me these are questions I spend an inordinate amount of time mulling over and end up being paralysed by indecision. And it often feels easier to tell other people what to do because you don't have to live with the consequences if it doesn't quite sound as good as you imagine. And I don't change my equipment very often at all so it feels as though there is added pressure to make sure that when I do buy my next amp, or speakers, that I am buying "the one". I currently have a very respectable sounding Rotel amp. Do I really need something to replace it? No, not really. So what that it is probably nearly 30 years old. I did a sound test with it a few years ago vs an Arcam A19. Hardly could tell the difference between them. First time I heard the Cyrus One I thought "that's it. That's my next amp". But the longer it goes before I actually buy one the more I get riven by doubts over whether it really is as good as I imagine it to be or want it to be. Am I setting unrealistic expectations of what the sound should be like and how much better and deeper and richer and clearer it will be than my current amp. I suspect, deep down, I am trying to find the unattainable. Every amp I listen to I am hearing those small, sonic imperfections that don't quite live up to my nirvana. And it leaves me in a world of indecision. In truth, I would probably find an improvement in sound from a new Rotel A11 Tribute and it will probably sound just that little bit more familiar and safe than the Audiolab 6000 that I loved for a while. Or the Cyrus One. Or maybe a Marantz. Or perhaps a Naim Nait 5Si (although I haven't generally been a fan of Naim) or in dreamland a Lyngdorf. And before I know it I am looking at amps costing seriously big bucks. yet would I really, I mean really, notice a significant enough difference in sound quality in the listening environment I have at home? Being brutally truthful, probably not.

So, going back to the very reasonable question that started this. If the choice is simply between an older 8 or a brand new One then I would probably go for the One. Has all the modern features you need, a great sound that tends not to be quite as harsh as the 8 (if paired with brighter speakers) and has a few more guarantees regarding warranty. IMHO the One is a really good amp and in it's initial release was superb value at £699. Perhaps the newer One Cast or One HD feel less value when compared to the first of the recent One's but still offer a great sound. I do expect though that you will need to reasonably careful when looking for new speakers as brighter sounding speakers will almost certainly sound harsh.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Initially I will be using my Sennheiser HD-600 headphones
The headphone jack has a direct connection to the main amp on the One HD. I was being nosey in my local AudioT and tried a pair of Focal Elegia connected to it. Pretty good, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Plenty of energy for your Senns. Often the headphone section of amps can be more of an after though but not here.
 
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robexley

Novice Member
@Cribbster - I think Hi-Fi obsession is about the whole array of senses: How does it sound? How does it feel in operation? How does it look? and How does it make me feel? A piece of equipment can deliver on some of these (e.g. SQ) but then be let down by other (e.g. ugly buttons of flimsy controls). It is the whole package that can deliver delight or disappointment in equal measures.

@gibbsy - thank you. The headphone socket on the front also makes it more accessible - although I'm sure the 8vs2 with the rear-panel socket can be left connected and controlled via the headphone button control on the fascia. I've heard good things about the headphone section on the One and as it's an office-based system, I suspect using headphones will make up a large portion of its usage.
 
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