Cyrus CD6s vs 8se vs Xt se + DAC and PSX-R listening test

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I spent several hours at my local hifi dealer as I wanted to check out the CD8se as a potential purchaese/upgrade and was prepared to shell out the £500 upgrade cost. I had decided to skip part the 6se as the 8se would only be £200 more via the upgrade route from my 6s and having heard the difference between a 6s and 8x I reckoned it was a safe bet that the difference between the 6s and 8x would be worth the £200 premium with the new price difference being £300.

My excellent dealer set up the same speakers as I use (Dynaudio Audience 62s) and laid on a CD6s as a reference to duplicate what I have now and an Xt se + DAC X for additional comaprison for the scheduled 2 hour session.

To cut a long and happy story short here's what I found.

CD6s: Very nice - as I was used to - but lacking something which is why I was there.

CD8se: Immediately a very obvious and noticeable increase in detail, precision and resolution. Wider soundstage and more 3-dimensional. I was happy that an upgrade would be worth while.

CDXt se +DAC X: Quite simply astonishing. Even greater increase in detail and resolution and a far wider soundstage but the biggest surprise was how much more musical it was. The 8se and the 6s sounded quite clinical in comparison. They are still excellent but clearly outclassed by the transport and DAC combo.

We also tried adding a PSX-R to the transport and again there was an immediately noticeable increase in detail and resolution but it went back to being very precise and lost the musicality which the transport on its own had brought so although it was ultimately the highest resolution it wasn't as good to listen to. To give an idea of the difference the PSU made we both remarked that we had heard well defined breath sounds from one of the musicians where we had simply not registered it before.

CD6s +DAC X: Noticeable improvement on the CD6s which made it a viable stepping stone.

After several hours of self indulgent bliss I've decided not to upgrade to the CD8se but to buy the DAC X when funds permit, using the 6s as a transport which I also tested out, and then the next time I'm feeling flush I'll upgrade the 6s to an Xt se. The DAC Xt se isn't just the best sound - it's the sound I want and am prepared to wait until I can afford the upgrade. To me it is the difference between appreciating something and enjoying it.

If you aren't prepared so spend the sort of money on the Xt se + DAC combo then I'd recommend not listening to it. Stick with listening to a CDse or CD8se; but it and enjoy it.

BTW. Disc loading is still a little temperamental if you're not careful but absolutely worth putiing up with for the truly sublime sound.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the review

Im in a similar position. I run a CD8 into a DAC-X and am pondering whether or not to get an XTSE instead. Was there clear differences between using the CD6 and the XTSE as transports?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes. The difference was very significant. Ask your local dealer if you have one to set up a demo of an 8x (I'm sure they'll have stock!) and a Xt se transport. You'll be astonished but be sure to bring decent recordings. I tried a brand new CD which I'd not listened to which had replaced one previously destroyed by children and it sounded awful. Compressed CDs are shown up badly on a system like this. It's as though someone had thrown a blanket over the speakers.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
catalyst:Yes. The difference was very significant. Ask your local dealer if you have one to set up a demo of an 8x (I'm sure they'll have stock!) and a Xt se transport. You'll be astonished but be sure to bring decent recordings. I tried a brand new CD which I'd not listened to which had replaced one previously destroyed by children and it sounded awful. Compressed CDs are shown up badly on a system like this. It's as though someone had thrown a blanket over the speakers.

Thanks mate, I'll definitely look into it,when funds allow

The only awkward bit is the fact that I simply wont be buying from any dealer, I'll go for factory upgrade. I dont mind paying a premium for full dealer support/demo/expertise etc, but this is a significant saving. I doubt the dealer will be too happy having a customer that 100% wont be buying it even if he likes it!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I had the same concern about the upgrade as you and decided that the way I'd do it is to have the dealer take care of the upgrade for me. It'll be the same price but they'll get a bit of commission. I got a couple of hours of use of the demo room plus one of the staff and also got some very good and knowlegable advice which shouldn't be taken for granted.
 

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