Cyrus 6A Amplifier

Here's another amplifier that's evolved from an early eighties antecedent. The first Mission Cyrus amplifiers introduced the winning formula of excellent sound in a small carton, and also the mid-nineties Cyrus 3 refined the package with the lovely alloy casework. Several generations further on, the 6a is a swish package indeed.

Let's be honest here, it is defined by its size. That means that inside, the amp is more crammed to the Olympic park on Men's 100m final day than a tube. Cooling is done courtesy of the side-mounted heatsinks, and yet the Cyrus' modest 40W get 's very hot. At normal listening levels this amp runs not cool, but at party volumes you'll need to keep it well ventilated.

The upsides are its wonderful looks, partner-friendliness and the fact that it makes your listening room appear quite bigger than if you had the Yamaha sitting in the same place! Certainly there's no tradeoff in regard to facilities, with six user-configurable analogue inputs and bi-wirable speaker outlets; those enclosed loudspeaker sockets are a pain though; most users will need to re-terminate their speaker cables with Cyrus-specific plugs. According to firm convention, the amp may be returned to base for various DAC and power amp upgrades.

Sound quality

This was an interesting performer, obviously an able one but which didn't resoundingly impress at first. Whereas the NAD started to win friends and influence people the moment it was switched on, the Cyrus demonstrated a more subtle joy.

Beginning using the Vivaldi piece, along with the panelists all felt it an enjoyable listen. The music sauntered along with lots occurring and the general sense that it had a beginning, a middle and an ending, at a pace that was fair. Tonal quality was very great, being decently powerful in the bass guitar - albeit somewhat lighter compared to NAD C356BEE and Yamaha A-S500, for example - and nicely smooth in the midband without seeming recessed. Generally a slight emphasis on the upper midband proved much more even here, although there was it, if we are being extremely picky.

The backing band flowed very nicely, without serving up anything remarkable. "Tons of detail, as well as a nice listen", opined one panelist. But still most believed it had an extremely natural tonal balance.

Indeed, it made the somewhat challenging VCMG bit very listenable, capturing the urgency without attacking the listener. It didn't rock the house as the NAD had, but still the Cyrus really got into the musical swing of things. It demonstrated detailed on the Jim White track, serving up a contemplative disposition whereas others made him sound processed and signposting the rain sound effect perfectly. With only a little more delicacy compared to NAD and less bombast, it established a real star.

Cyrus 6A Amplifier photo