Cyrus CLS50 £450

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Robert
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Cyrus CLS50 £450

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:12 am

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Compact 2 way reflex speaker system designed to fit into bookshelves or stand mounted. Recommended for amplifiers rated between 40 ? 100 Watts. The speaker is designed for small to medium size rooms. The highly tuned 5 inch woofer features a vented magnet and a specially shaped cone termination for lower cone resonance. The wide dispersion 3/4 inch tweeter is ferrofluid filled for improved high power performance.

black £450, cherry/maple £500
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Cyrus CLS50 £450

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:13 am

Cyrus CLS50 © HiFi Choice August 2001

They're built with a likeable balance and easy-going sound
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Despite this speaker being the second model sporting the CLS prefix from Cyrus, it bears no resemblance to its cosmetically-radical bigger partner, the CLS70, looking as it does more like a traditional two-way. Its mission, if you pardon the historical pun, is to compliment smaller hi-fi systems that demand a small cabinet with big performance. Cyrus even goes on to suggest bookshelf placement (gasp!), something we at Choice would struggle to advocate, particularly when Cyrus has such a tasty matching wood and glass speaker stand on offer.

The dinky 8.5 litre ported enclosure is constructed from good old MDF with a choice of veneers. Claims are made of high linearity from the 25mm silk dome tweeter thanks to its large surround, which is said to act as a major radiating element. The polymer chassis holding the 127mm paper mid/bass cone claims to help control resonance. Build quality is admirable, and the understated simplicity of the design should appeal to hardcore hi-fi fans as well as quality conscious mini-system users.

Considering the loudspeakers are recommended for smaller systems, the 86dB sensitivity seems a little low, and possibly as a result the CLS50s suffered dynamically. Despite the lack of oomph, the speakers were fairly neutral tonally, and had a slightly laid back balance. While the bass was in some respects impressive - smooth and weighty with fair extension for the box size -they lacked the speed and control of some of the similarly priced competition.

Overall the well-mannered, smooth presentation gave us no major niggles. A smidgen of extra resolution with a tighter bass output could put these speakers on the podium in a future group test. Compared to Dynaudio Audience 42s the CLS50s are a little restrained and polite, better suited to acoustic than electric music. This is a nice little speaker nonetheless, it's well built with a likeable balance and easy-going sound.
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Cyrus CLS50 £450

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:14 am

Cyrus CLS50 © HiFi World September 2001

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CLS50 black £450, cherry/maple £500

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Verdict: Nicely smooth and fluid with a big sound from small cabinets. Not the most dynamic performers around and the bass, although deep, can be a tad loose.

Cyrus is well known for its electronics, making mid-priced favourites such as the Cyrus 7 amplifier. Earlier this year, Cyrus produced its first speaker, the CLS 70 followed by the high-end Icon, which utilises NXT flat panel technol­ogy. Here we take a look at their lat­est offering, the compact CLS 50 speaker retailing at £500.

With a volume of only 8.5 litres, the CLS50s really are compact. However, they have a power rating of 100W and two pairs of binding posts at their rear to facilitate bi-wiring/bi­amping. Our sample pair came in an attractive cherry finish with dark grey (almost black) grilles. The 50s looked very handsome, if a little understated, on my grey-finished stands.

All round fit and finish is of high quality. Cyrus is keen to emphasise the amount of technology going into the small 50s. All drive units and crossovers are specified to a close tolerance (5%), which facilitates accurate pair matching. The dual gas flowed reflex port, borrowed from the Icon, is claimed to provide strong and controlled bass, whilst the large surround of the 1? silk dome tweeter is claimed to improve linearity. Finally, the 5? mid-bass unit sports a vented magnet and coil former, which should help to reduce compression and improve resolution.

I began setting up by removing the binding post jumpers from the backs of the 50s, and bi-wiring them to Cyrus?s own ?7? amplifier, using Nordost Red Dawn speaker cable. Perched on a pair of 1m high Atacama stands, the 50s sounded best at 0.5m from the rear wall and just over 1m from the sidewalls. Listening was conducted using a Sony SCD-I as the source with Musical Fidelity?s ?NuVista? interconnects. Music included Whitney Houston?s ?My Love Is Your Love? CD, Steve Davis' ?Quality of Silence? SACD, U2?s ?Joshua Tree? CD (MFSL 24K pressing), Water Lily?s ?Natures Realm? SACD and Tchaikovsky?s ?Romeo and Juliet? on a DG CD.

The first impression of the CLS50s is one of a ?larger than life? sound. They certainly sound bigger than their diminutive size suggests, producing a surprising amount of well-extended bass. With a powerful amplifier, Whitney Houston?s title track is a real speaker killer, even at moderate volume levels. The 50s coped admirably, kicking out the bass line as if their life depended on it. The same was true when playing Steve Davis .... This is an excellent recording (as most DMP recordings are) using Sony?s latest DSD gear. I was surprised that I could discern the low frequency thuds that accompany Steve?s stamping feet whilst playing the drums.

Often I find that small speakers sound too boxy and edgy, especially in the mid-range. Mid-range purity is so important, as this is where much of the musical emotion resides in my opinion. I?m glad to report that the 50s were beautifully smooth in the mid-range, which is rare given their size and price.

Playing U2?s ?In God?s Country? track, Bono?s vocals were liquid smooth, as too were The Edge?s guitars. I felt the full emotion of this track flowing out from the 50s, which is no mean feat.

Although mid and high-range focus and depth are generally good, it seems Cyrus may have made the 50s overly laid back in an attempt to make them sound larger than life and smooth. The bass, though well extended, could sound flabby and a little two-dimensional. The 50s sounded particularly laid back with the U2 CD. In my experience, all MFSL recordings require high resolution and dynamic systems to get the most out of them. The opening drums and harmonica on ?Trip Through Your Wires? were more subdued than I am accustomed to, the 50s missing the attack required here.

The same was true with classical music. I found it difficult to resolve individual instruments on the ?Nature?s Realm? SACD, which is pretty dry sounding, even in the best systems. Similarly, the Deutsche Grammophon recording of ?Romeo and Juliet? sounded a little thick and mushy and lacked the attack that I know the music to have.

Things improved when I switched over to my reference Pass Aleph P14 pre/power amplifiers, about as transparent as amplifiers get. I immediately noticed a marked improvement in resolution and bass tautness. The U2 CD sounded less hazy and more detailed, while Whitney?s bass line suddenly tightened up. The improvements, whilst not dramatic, were welcome. Then again, the Pass amps are well above the fairly humble price tag of the 50s and the Cyrus 7. Dynamics still remained a little suppressed though.

So, overall how do the CLS50s? rank? Pretty well actually, when their £500 price tag is taken into consid­eration. I, for one, would far rather have a laid back but musical sound as opposed to a harsh, in your face type sound. If you like your music easy going and fluid and are particularly space-constrained, you should certainly consider auditioning the CLS50s. They will impress you, and any visitors you may have, with their larger-than-life and smooth sound but don?t expect them to provide the last word on resolution and dynamics.
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Cyrus CLS50 £450

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:15 am

Cyrus CLS50 stands © HiFi Choice Issue 220

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It's an impressive looking stand, combining a number of different materials to striking effect

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The Cyrus brand owes its success to a cunning blend of style and performance, so you'd expect there to be a dose of both in any speaker stand the company produces. In fact produces is not the right word for the £200/pr CLS50. Stands Unique is the reputable stand-maker behind this unusual looking design, which Cyrus is marketing alongside its own range of speakers.

It's an impressive looking stand, combining a number of different materials to striking effect. The top and base are thick glass, while the support pillar is formed by two slim steel metallic grey tubes flanking a chunky solid wood fillet. Another key Stands Unique ingredient is carbon fibre, which is formed into washers placed between the spikes and the glass base, and between the rods and top-plate. Three carbon fibre studs support the speaker itself.

Perhaps it's down to this carbon fibre, or maybe the glass, but this Cyrus stand does have its own distinctive character. First impression is that it's a little understated, but the sound is actually very clean and subtle, with an impressive ability to reproduce information across a wide dynamic range and bandwidth, while adding very little coloration of its own to the sound.

Most impressive perhaps is its clarity through the bass region. The sound is dry, but largely because it's exceptionally clean and free from congestion here, yet its powers of analysis are formidable.

The CLS50 stand is a definite contender for the right aesthetic and sonic environment, with an unusual combination of style and performance at a realistic price.

FEATURES

Made from glass, metallic tubes, carbon fibre and wood
home office: Dell laptop running JRriver MC22 / Meridian Explorer / AKG 550's
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Cyrus CLS50 £450

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:14 pm

Cyrus AV55 a/v speaker package £1250

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Package consists of 2 pairs of CLS50's plus 1 CLS50c Centre speaker.

in black, £1250

in cherry / maple, £1350
home office: Dell laptop running JRriver MC22 / Meridian Explorer / AKG 550's
music room: PC transport running JRiver MC22 / Naim DAC-V1 / Naim Supernait 2 / Neat Motive SX2
kitchen: Naim Unitiqute 2 / Naim NAP100 / Totem Dreamcatchers

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Cyrus CLS50 £450

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:14 pm

Cyrus AV53 a/v speaker package £800

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Package consists of 1 pair of CLS50's plus 1 CLS50c Centre speaker.

in black, £800
in cherry / maple, £850
home office: Dell laptop running JRriver MC22 / Meridian Explorer / AKG 550's
music room: PC transport running JRiver MC22 / Naim DAC-V1 / Naim Supernait 2 / Neat Motive SX2
kitchen: Naim Unitiqute 2 / Naim NAP100 / Totem Dreamcatchers