Cyrus Icon X4 £2700

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Robert
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Cyrus Icon X4 £2700

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:52 pm

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The Icon X4 loudspeaker is based around the latest generation NXT flat speaker technology.

The Icon X4 is made from hand crafted English Maple cabinets, aluminium extrusions and superb new flat loudspeaker technology to create a truly stunning modern loudspeaker of outstanding performance.

Using the next generation of the unique DML driver, the Cyrus SurfaceSound? X4 panel, the new 9 element carbon-fibre alloy honeycomb panel features 4 "exciters" that drive the Distributed Mode Panel creating modal energy across the panel. The panel covers 400Hz to 20kHz and the DML technology means the X4 panel is the equivalent of a 46CM dome tweeter! No sweet spot or beaming here. The die-cast chassis of the unit is a direct replacement for the original so upgrading is a synch.

Conventional speakers have a fixed relationship between the high and low drivers, uniquely the X4 Icon allows the useful in-phase output from the rear of the panel to be tuned to balance with the bass performance in the listeners room (not just the shop). This is the only loudspeaker in the world to allow this valuable tuning and it should be noted that the tuning preserves the technical excellence of the design, unlike bunging a bit of foam in the port!
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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Robert
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Cyrus Icon X4 £2700

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:53 pm

Cyrus Icon © T3 August 2001

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Cyrus has gone in for some high-end, high style loudspeakers thanks to NXT's flat-panel knowhow.

These days flat is cool. Just take a look at laptops, mobile phones and plasma TVs. Now the trend has continued into the usually stocky world of loudspeakers. Ex-Mission partner, Cyrus, has launched the world's first high-end application of NXT's flat panel speaker technology (refer back to our NXT feature in issue 59 for more background info), named Icon.

Flatter than a kipper, at £2,500 the Icons aren't cheap, but a lot of research has gone into the product to bring NXT technology into hi-fi for the home. It has already found its way into planes, cars, mobile phones and chapels at Eton, and its manipulative potential means that you can make a curvaceous car dashboard from the stuff, which becomes one giant speaker.

So how does it work in the Icon then? Well, the thin flat panels consist of an aluminium honeycomb core, sandwiched between carbon fibre skins to produce a nine-element laminate. When the panel is driven by an 'exciter', each tiny segment from the honeycomb structure radiates differently to the next, yet when combined all these vibrations make up a coherent sound. Clever stuff indeed, especially as all that randomness means that you lose the directivity associated with conventional speakers which give a stereo 'sweet spot' - a specific place to sit for the best sound. This means that you can sit anywhere you like and still get a convincing stereo image and soundstage. Great if you've got lots of space, friends or a compromising position to stick your speakers.

Cyrus uses NXT's patented 'SurfaceSound' technology and each panel covers a range of frequencies from 400Hz to 22kHz, which basically means you need a conventional bass cone to throw out the low stuff, which the Icons fortunately have in an 8-inch paper style.

<*>So how phat is flat? The Icons' sound is a very detailed one. It achieves this musicality by retaining the timing of the music which is the essence of enjoying your fave tunes. They could do with being a bit more dynamic, though, and you may find yourself upping the volume a lot. A tad more realism and depth wouldn't go a miss too. But hey, if style is your thing and you want to have fun with the latest evolution in speaker design, take a closer look at high-end NXT music.

Verdict: The Cyrus Icon is a bold attempt with great detail and 'anywhere' stereo imaging. Cool, but conventional loudspeakers still offer intense sonic competition
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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Robert
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Cyrus Icon X4 £2700

Postby Robert » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:57 pm

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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