Cyrus Audio Classic PHONO Preamp

Cyrus Audio continue to celebrate their 40th anniversary with an update of one of their Signature (pun intended) products, which is now duly dubbed the Classic PHONO preamp.

As we noted last fall when we put the spotlight on the company’s TTP turntable, Cyrus Audio is an independent British brand based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in England, and they introduced their original Cyrus One amplifier back in 1984. Cyrus acolytes should also recall the company’s Phono Signature phono preamp from 2016, a rightly acclaimed model that offered four inputs capable of being configured for either moving-magnet (MM) or moving-coil (MC) cartridges.

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Fast-forward to the here and now, and the company’s new, updated version of said Signature phono preamp that’s been dubbed the Classic PHONO. This model allows up to four turntables to be permanently connected, enabling the listener to switch between turntables, tonearms, or cartridges accordingly. Each of the four inputs can be adjusted between MM or MC cart options, gain, resistance, and capacitance, and each setting can be saved to memory for future reference.

Additionally, a switchable warp filter is provided to reduce bass excursion on warped records, and stereo-output level meters working in real time allow “clear and accurate” gain adjustment to optimize the headroom available for each MC cartridge.

The Classic PHONO deploys a high-capacity and very low noise DC power supply that is said to enable the preamp to provide an extremely wide dynamic range to ensure extended signal levels long before clipping.

Other features of the Classic PHONO include passive RIAA filters that use “very high performance” metallized polyester capacitors, a ground lift switch, XLR balanced and RCA outputs, and a port for a potential PSX-R2 power supply upgrade.

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The Classic PHONO’s dimensions are 215 x 75 x 360 mm (8.46 x 2.95 x13.98in, (w/h/d), and it weighs 4.1kg (9lbs),

Finally, the Cyrus Audio Classic PHONO preamp has an SRP of £1,895, or $2,395 U.S., given the current exchange rates at the time of this posting.

For more about Cyrus Audio, go here.
To find an authorized Cyrus Audio dealer, go here, and fill in the “please enter your postcode or nearest town” window accordingly.

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rich d's picture

even the old Mission Cyrus integrated. I have a feeling that mid-size components (Naim Nait anniversary, Heed Elixir etc.) may be making a comeback. Let's hope so.
Latest acqusistions/recommendations/thread hijack:

Heldon / Electronique Guerilla - this album has been accurately described as French hybrid of Tangerine Dream and Fripp & Eno. The new 50th anniversary edition is on very nice blue vinyl.

David Bowie / The Man Who Sold the World - I never had an original UK pressing of this. Now I do. Makes every other version sound like something's wrong. The bass on 'Width of a Circle' made my woofers run down the hall and hide under the bed.

Taste / Live Taste - Failure to like Rory Gallagher would be a character defect in my view. The UK pressing is the best-sounding version, which still doesn't mean it's good. Mind you, this thing rocks, rocks again then rocks a bit more before, finally, rocking.

Glotz's picture

That Taste album will be getting snatched up! Kudos on finding Bowie's 'Man'... I am very jelly.

And I will search out Heldon for sure. Nice finds, Rich.

And that Cyrus phono looks quite the part.

Mike Mettler's picture
Love those recs, Rich! Have the Bowie, have always loved Taste (but don't yet have that one on vinyl), and need to reacquaint myself with the Heldon...

You know, maybe we should serve up, say, a monthly Review Explosion installment from the AP readership file... you guys send me recs with a graf or two about them as Rich has done above, I curate/lightly edit, and then post accordingly... thoughts?

rich d's picture

Thank you both for your kind words and I think Mike's idea is a good one. Incidentally, I picked up the Bowie record stupidly cheap at Running Circle records, a new(ish) place in Nottingham. The same place had the special 2x10" version of Holger Czukay's 'Der Osten ist Rot' for nextanuttin.It's quite good. Also went to the Bristol HiFi show that weekend and a vendor was selling records which command silly premiums on discogs/ebay for five quid each. I'm back home now and the record prices are a bit less kind but what can you do...

volvic's picture

I got one and I do love it. Especially the idea of being able to adjust settings with a remote rather than dip switches underneath, why don’t others offer this flexibility? The ability to adjust from your chair and evaluate which setting is best is a great bonus. The other bonus is the four inputs, I’ve got three tables plugged in and love the flexibility it offers. Sound wise I find it very neutral, I say that because I had a Linn Linto to compare and found that to be sweeter and nicer to listen to, I preferred the Linto to the neutral Cyrus, but the Linn doesn’t have the flexibility the Cyrus offers. Both offered great inner detail. I am hard pressed to see what improvements they’ve offered from the one I own, I don’t think there’s been any radical overhaul. I really love it and rate it very highly.

volvic's picture

The extra power supply beefs up the sound and instruments, so to me it was an essential purchase. Wouldn’t buy the preamp without the PSX-R2

Viggen's picture

I would echo Volvic's appraisal (below) of the Cyrus phono. I have owned the original 'Signature' version with the PSXR2 supplementary power supply since 2017.
I value its neutrality highly, although others may prefer a phonostage that 'adds something' of its own character. However, I prefer to have a neutral platform and can then rely upon the characteristics of the phono cartridge(s) to add charm or sweetness, or not. Mine is paired with an SME20/2 and Musical Fidelity M1 turntables. Operationally, the Cyrus is a delight to use.
When Michael Fremer reviewed the 'Signature' version, he commented upon its neutrality but perhaps this was 'damning with faint praise', since he considered it to be of 'Class B' standard. In his defence, when I wrote to Michael, genuinely to ask him what characteristics the Cyrus was lacking that I might find in a 'Class A' phonostage, he responded that 'not everything can be Class A', which left me little the wiser, but perhaps offered me some insight into the dilemmas of a seasoned hifi equipment reviewer.
My experience with highly 'neutral' components (and which is an observation regularly made about the SME turntable) is that they can initially seem somewhat 'underwhelming' until one later comes to realise that it is the very absence of colourations and 'false' dynamics that gives this impression: psychologically, it is notable that we all initially tend to prefer (and judge as accurate) a sound balance to which we are already accustomed over an unenhanced/neutral presentation.
Equally, we each have our own 'tastes': it would not do if we all liked the same thing?
Hence, I regret that my children consider my Graham LS5/5s to be distinctly 'dull', and much prefer the 'boom & tizz' of their own accustomed loudspeakers. Consequently, I do sometimes berate myself that I have failed fundamentally in one of my primary tasks as a parent, that is, the task of educating my offspring to appreciate the accurate reproduction of music. Perhaps I am not alone in that sentiment?

madera2's picture

One notable feature of the Cyrus Audio Classic PHONO Preamp is its adjustable gain settings, which allow you to optimize the preamp's performance based on your specific cartridge and system setup poppy playtime chapter 3. This flexibility ensures that you can achieve the best possible sound quality from your vinyl collection.