Cyrus 6vs2 Review


Sep 19, 2006
Cyrus 6vs2 Review

  • Precise and balanced sound
  • Attractive looks
  • Modest spec on paper
Reproduces instrumental timbres and acoustic spaces very well indeed, with a real sense of musical involvement


Pretty much the other end of the scale from Cambridge's large and butch 840A, the Cyrus 6vs2 does, however, match it in looking modern and high-tech. That's impressive given the basic case design goes back many years now.

In terms of power, the 6vs2 is modest - 40 watts doesn't sound like very much in these days of 150W-plus integrated amps, but it's worth mentioning that our panel listening test called for less than 20 watts maximum output into one of the least efficient speakers we know of.

Cyrus has assembled the amp using modern surface-mount techniques, enabling a lot of circuit to be contained in a small board area. About half the area inside the unit is taken up with that, the rest being a medium-size mains transformer, control circuits and fresh air. A single pair of output transistors is all that's required for the output, and these are mounted direct to the case.

In addition, integrated circuits look after input selection and volume control. The part Cyrus has used for the former function is able to handle high input levels, so one of the occasional drawbacks of such devices is neatly avoided, and the volume control part is a high-performance component from Wolfson Microelectronics.

It has been configured to give volume control steps of 1dB from full level all the way down to -80dB, which is a few turns of the volume control knob - this takes a little getting used to after traditional single-turn controls but the fine resolution at any position is nice. It's good to use, though the controls don't feel as solid as some of the heftier competition.

Amps like Cyrus' babies definitely benefit from blind listening. It's just too easy to form preconceptions of physically diminutive amps and eyes very easily deceive ears! Our listeners, however, lacked such disruptive stimuli and came to some conclusions that do a lot to vindicate Cyrus' approach.

The unit exhibited a finely judged balance of virtues. From the outset, it delivered good treble extension without brightness or glassiness, well integrated lower registers and good dynamics. It didn't have the 'slam' of one or two of its rival amps, but it did present some energetic and precisely timed percussion, all the while keeping subsidiary lines well in place.

Indeed, placing seems to be a key ability of the 6vs2. Stereo imaging is very good, with instruments and voices precisely distributed around the soundstage. This was pointed out in comments on all kinds of music, and it was felt to have highly beneficial effects in terms of balance.

When different musical lines emanate from different places they are easier to follow individually, and the way this amplifier distinguished vocals from backing, for instance, without divorcing them from each other, made listening to it a highly informative and pleasing experience.

With good rhythmic flow, tunefully extended deep bass and a high listening comfort factor, plus good looks and nice operation, this diminutive model is clearly among the very best in its class.


Cyrus 6vs2 Review
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