TAF2023: Cyrus, Spendor, Atlas Cables

TAF2023: Cyrus, Spendor, Atlas Cables


Prices listed in CA$.

One of the demoes hosted by distributor Erikson Consumers was displaying something I hadn’t seen in any other demo at the show but that on first sight warmed the cockles of my heart in a place overrun with streaming: a dedicated CD player. This is no knock on streaming; I get it — it’s convenient and has been sounding increasingly better. It’s just not physical. A CD I can hold, a stream I can’t.

The CD player in question was English company Cyrus’s flagship model, the CDi-XR player ($4400) (two models — the CDi and CDt — exist below it), which employs a 32-bit 2nd Gen QXR DAC. The rest of the system included a 91Wpc (into 6ohms) Cyrus Atlas i9-XR integrated amplifier ($6300) and a pair of Spendor Classic 2/3 standmounts ($7500/pair, add $2500 for matching stands), whose sensitivity is rated at 88dB and frequency range at 35Hz – 25kHz. Atlas Cables were used throughout.

This was another of those systems I felt offered standout sound for not an absurd amount of money. I didn’t hear “digital”. I heard instruments and sounds with lifelike presence, authentic tone, explicit texture, and a level of touch and transient response that made the notes from a plucked guitar sound as if they were jutting out of the speaker, 3D-like. The sound from this combination of gear was captivating.

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