Cyrus Audio was an unfamiliar name to me when I learned, at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, that it was making its return to North America. Veteran audiophiles, however, will no doubt remember the brand's association with the Mission loudspeaker company. Indeed, the company's current technical director, Peter Bartlett, was hired by Mission from his role at NAD in 1983, and six months later Mission/Cyrus was born. Conceived of as a manufacturer of affordable amplifiers to complement Mission's various loudspeaker offerings, the company has evolved quite a bit since then. It parted ways with Mission in the 1990s as it began pushing into the "affordable high-end" of the market. In 2005 Bartlett led a management buyout of the company and assumed his current role.
If we're honest, there is no shortage of electronics manufacturers out there. With all of the fluffy marketing language, tall claims of technical performance, and a sea of folded-metal chassis, it can be tough to distinguish one product from the next. But Cyrus Audio's approach has been both consistent and singular.
Cyrus Audio's factory also recently brought in-house the production for its newest line of products: Lyric. Comprising the Lyric 05 and Lyric 09 models, they are hugely "connective" pieces of hardware. From the outside, the two look identical.
As mentioned previously, Friday afternoons are fodder for the imagination at Cyrus, and their engineers have come up with some interesting stuff. Several years back, one announced, "I want to do a class-D amplifier," while another said, "I want to do a switch-mode power supply." Peter Bartlett duly responded, "Between the two of you, you're going to bankrupt this company's IP!" It turns out that the switch-mode power supply was a more daunting prospect than anticipated, and while there is still hope for it, the company elected to focus its attention on class-D amplification in the hopes that it would bear fruit.
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