New system advice - DAC and Amplification only - Budget £5K

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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Having been through 3 pairs of Cyrus Mono X300 amps in as many months, (all faulty as per my other post), I have decided to end my long standing relationship with Cyrus completely and move on. I have been loyal to them for twenty years so this is a really big step for me, but I think they have lost the plot when it comes to QA over the last few years. A dodgy CD8SE two years ago combined with my current Mono X300's issue has pushed me over the edge I'm afraid!

Once I have sold the DAC XP+/PSX-R combo and got a refund for the faulty monos, my budget will be £5k for a DAC and amplification. I will be using whatever new kit I get with my existing Squeezebox Touch, KEF R700's, and Chord Signature speaker cables.

I really like the Cyrus sound so suspect that Naim just isn't going to be for me. Any suggestions for what I should be auditioning? Chord and Byston are on my list but having been faithful to one manufacturer for two decades has left me clueless I'm afraid!

Also will I be able to match or even better the quality that I was getting from my DAC XP+ and Mono X300's combo within my £5K budget?
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Gazzip said:
Also will I be able to match or even better the quality that I was getting from my DAC XP+ and Mono X300's combo within my £5K budget?
I doubt it. The X300's are worthy adversaries for Bryston's 4Bsst2 power amp (although the Bryston would come out top), and the DACxp Plus is as good as any other pre-amplifier this side of something like a Classe CP800 or Bryston BP26.
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Gazzip said:
Also will I be able to match or even better the quality that I was getting from my DAC XP+ and Mono X300's combo within my £5K budget?
I doubt it. The X300's are worthy adversaries for Bryston's 4Bsst2 power amp (although the Bryston would come out top), and the DACxp Plus is as good as any other pre-amplifier this side of something like a Classe CP800 or Bryston BP26.
Okay. So if I swallow my pride and keep the DACXP+ and PSX-R is there anything I could go for instead on the mono X300's with which I have lost all confidence? Is the 4bsst2 a good match for the Cyrus Preamp do you think as there is an ex-display model within my price range? Or would you persevere with the Cyrus monoblocks?
 

Frank Harvey

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With how good the X300's are, I would be tempted to give Cyrus one more chance to sort things out. Be clear with Cyrus and your retailer that this is a final chance too, so that no one is under any doubt of what you'll be demanding if things down turn out well.
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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Thanks David.

I was wondering whether you could do me a favour? Next time you are near a pair of your Mono X300's could you switch them in to balanced XLR mode and then switch them off on to standby? If you put your ear close to the case once you have done this, do they make a noise a bit like a very quiet central heating boiler? I need to establish whether this is a fault with my amps, or an idiosyncrasy that I will just have to live with.....

Thanks again.
 

Frank Harvey

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I don't recall anything from ours, although I wouldn't normally get that close to them. I'll be a little busy tomorrow, but if I remember, I'll check them out :)
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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MUSICRAFT said:
Hi Gazzip

Other then demo/display components would also consider(dare i ask ;) ) used/discontinued components?

Btw, 4BSST any day :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
Hi Rick, I would go for used or discontinued but not fleabay stuff. It would have to be from a dealer if I went down either of those routes.
 

jockey.wilson

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I listened to my old Cyrus Pre XP on the end of a Chord SPM 650 once - sound fast and very similar to the Cyrus amps, only grippier. Might be worth a look? I almost bought the Chord power amp but ended up selling all my Cyrus stuff for not dissimilar reasons...
 

AlmaataKZ

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Jan 7, 2009
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Have you tried actives?

The most important part of the system is the speakers. In actives you have less crossover distrtion and amps are optimised for drivers so perform better. so get a nice streamer - dac/pre-amp - and some modern actives.

you have a very good budget and my advice is - before you spend consider and compare the fundamental options for your new system - not just straightforward change of a box or two but changing the concept behind the system. Try, you may like the option that you did not consider yet.

Why would oyu spend a lot of money without trying all options first?
 

Electro

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Mar 30, 2011
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I would like to suggest something a little different from the usual recommendations :)

How about you keep the DAC XP+/PSX-R and add an Electrocompaniet AW250 R power amp .

www.electrocompaniet.no/products/classic/poweramp/aw250r.html

It is one of the very few amps that makes the superb Bryston 4B SST sound a little weak and small and will power you KEF R700' s in a way you will find hard to believe and is built like a brick outhouse .

It combines the sort of delicacy you expect from a valve amp with unimaginable power and slam when required, plus it has a unique effortless quality that is hard to explain.

Electrocompaniet amplifiers were used in the development of the KEF reference series and the Kef Blade so there should be no problems with synergy .

I very much doubt you will have any problems with reliability either :) .

http://www.audiodestination.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_17_20&products_id=1118

It is worth trying something a little different and it would definitely be worth the effort IMHO .
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Your system reads like it would be quite bright (for my ears) and detailed - I'm not sure if this is on purpose?

I run plinius amplification which I find well balanced and fast.

I like the Arcam wireless rDac which would mean you don't need the Squeezebox (lossless from ipad, ipod or laptop) and could upgrade to a better DAC like the NAIM dac which is very good or even the Arcam big DAC.
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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Thanks for all of the suggestions.

In the end I have parted company with all of my Cyrus gear. Don't get me wrong, I love the sound, but their stuff is far too unreliable and badly made for their price point IMHO. I have opted instead for a Bryston pre/DAC/power combo, BP26DA and 4B SST2. Fingers crossed!
 

Gazzip

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2011
88
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18,540
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Nice. You'll certainly be hearing the R700's at their very best! :)
The R700's are sounding particularily awesome I have to agree! Cliche it may be, but it is "like a veil has been lifted".

I am very impressed with the Bryston kit. Having been a loyal Cyrus customer for many years it took a couple of hours listening to really get my head around the Bryston sound. It just seems so much more three dimensional and musical. Difficult to put my finger on why it is. It just is.

This is a real step up in level from where I was with the Cyrus setupnwhich has genuinely taken me by surprise. Very happy indeed!
 

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