Cyrus Audio Classic Amp

Cyrus Audio Classic Amp

Here we go with a review of the Cyrus Audio Classic Amp. With Cyrus Audio moving in a positive direction with the higher-end XR range, Cyrus is taking the opportunity to reimagine the more established ranges whilst taking learning from the clearly excellent work done on the XR range. The Classic Amp is moving into the space previously occupied by the 6 and 8 Series amplifiers and it consolidates the midrange of the amplifier offering by Cyrus at a competitive price point.


The Cyrus Audio Classic Amp is an integrated amplifier claiming 70W/ch into 8 Ohms. It has a slew of inputs that include 4 RCA (analogue) trimmable inputs, an RCA Phono stage for moving magnet turntables as well as 4 digital inputs (2 x digital coaxial & 2 x optical (both 24-bit 192 kHz, there are no DSD options in the digital treatment)). There is no Bluetooth or USB input here, you’ll be looking at the i7-XR or the i9-XR for USB functionality. Additionally, the Cyrus Audio Classic Amp has the Cyrus MC bus system in and out that connects and synchronises other Cyrus products. There is a socket for software updates and a dedicated connector if you have the PSX-R2 external power supply.

Developments to the Classic Amp include new adjustable feet and a new metal base plate to reduce mechanical noise, the 4mm rear speaker terminals have been improved to obviate the previously quirky speaker outputs that Cyrus used to use.  The phono stage is a passive design to RIAA spec from the XR range.  Other improvements are to reduce thermal noise with mechanical relays instead of solid-state ones to switch inputs (which you can hear with satisfaction) and there are newer capacitors to reduce impedance across the unit.

Outputs from the Cyrus Audio Classic Amp are to a single pair of speakers requiring banana plugs, output to a preamplifier, tape recorder (fixed) and also at the rear a 3.5mm headphone jack. Any of the RCA inputs can be programmed for AV use.


No matter what is going on inside, Cyrus always has a reputation for quality and a solid, reassuring build that is going to last. The smooth touch black die-cast finish is a delight to handle and has no fingerprint issues in my experience. Out of the box, the Classic Amp is well protected with all of the peripheral leads in a separate box. There is a high-quality remote control that lights up on a vibration, excellent for darker listening, which we like. The remote is programmable to other remotes which is useful.

Being Cyrus, the form is half-width, so the dimensions are (w x h x d) 215 x 75 x 365mm and the Classic Amp weighs in at 6.7kg.

The Classic Amp is priced at £1,995


Review Equipment

For ease, I’m using the 2Go/2Yu (with mConnect App on the iPad) as this offers a really high stability digital optical output to the Classic Amp. Separately I’ve been using the Chord Electronics Hugo 2 as an analogue source. I’ve also been using a Bluesound Node 2i (with BluOS) as an alternative source using the optical cable. Interestingly, Cyrus has a new XR Streamer coming out soon and this will have BluOS as the operating system which is one of the best.

Turntable-wise, I’m using my trusty Rega RP3 into the MM input on the rear.

The Classic Amp is driving the still amazing Jern 14DS loudspeakers with a REL S/510 subwoofer in concert. I’m using Kudos KS-1 loudspeaker cable for connection ease to the rear of the Classic Amp. I’ve also been playing with my slightly older B&W CM7s.


Cyrus Audio Classic Amp

Cyrus Audio Classic Amp rear

It is always cramped at the back of these Cyrus products but that is just the way it is, once you’re set-up, it doesn’t really matter if we’re honest about it. Having the speaker terminals well out of the way on either side of the chassis does make a considerable difference.

To me, the headphone amplifier at the back makes no sense at all, although I note the transformer is right at the front of the chassis so this is the reason why I guess. But if you have a turntable and an optical input, the headphone socket is very difficult to access.

Jern 14 DS with REL S/510

The Jerns are fantastic loudspeakers, accurate, and very detailed but designed with a subwoofer in mind, I’m using the REL s/510 which is a bit big but lends a superb platform from which the Jerns can operate.

The Classic Amp is expertly delivering vivid detail in the streamed tracks from the 2Go/Hugo 2 combination to the analogue input (the digital assessment is commented below). Vivid is the word I’ve written down most frequently; you could uncharitably say lively but that hints at a lack of control which is not a true statement. What I’m suggesting is that there is plenty of drive coming from the Classic Amp and the bouncy (dynamic) response, for example in the brilliant Miles Kane 2013 foot tapper Don’t Forget Who You Are (Qobuz 16-bit, 44.1kHz), is irresistible.

Musical Interlude

A bouncing indie HF&MS collection

Inevitably, with such a dynamic and fun amplifier I end up on an indie-based Musical Interlude. All of the tracks are unapologetically predictable by artists but you will not be able to keep your feet still I guarantee it, I couldn’t anyway. This playlist must be one of the very best ways of showing off this amplifier in the system I’ve put together with the Jern 14 loudspeakers (& the REL & the Hugo 2).

Here’s the Cyrus Classic Amp Musical Interlude Playlist in Qobuz, or Tidal.


With the slightly old-fashioned CM7s, surely my pair is over 10 years old, I have a general feeling of a slight lack of energy and fizz as I plug them in, as opposed to that heard fairly easily in the Jern 14 DSs. Sure enough, they’re nowhere near as snappy and effervescent as the Jerns but the Classic Amp does a decent job of driving them along with gusto. The point of using the CM7s is to hear the bass response driven by the Classic and there is enough here to be happy with, I do not have the REL connected of course.  The resolution in the higher end is excellent at moderate volume, it’s just not quite as energetic as the Jerns. The CM7s are averagely sensitive and they also go low and most of that response is there, of course, it is difficult to tell the bass response with the Jerns and the REL subwoofer so the exercise is a good one.  However, I think I have just retired the CM7s for review purposes and I’m taking reasonable offers if you want them in cherry red, they’ll do you well!


Cyrus Audio Classic Amp

Cyrus Audio Classic Amp internals

With the Meze 109 Pro headphones, that thankfully have a longer 3m cable, the headphone output is really very acceptable indeed. I just sincerely wish the headphone output was at the front of the unit because it is as good as you would want it to be, in performance terms.

The headphone output cuts the speaker output in my default mode but the ‘Phones’ button at the front can be used to toggle the speaker output on or off and thus you could, in theory, leave your headphones permanently plugged in, obviating the rear jack problem if your headphones cable is long enough. If you had a pair of Focal Radiance (lovely by the way) headphones, you would need a new cable as it is pitifully short.

Digital input

Cyrus Audio Classic Amp

Cyrus Audio Classic Amp with a networked Chord Electronics Hugo 2 as analogue input

The digital conversion by the Classic Amp from the Chord Electronics 2Go/2Yu combination is fine. I really do like the transport simplicity of the 2Go/2Yu, it is such a functional and excellent piece of equipment. The Cyrus DAC treatment is probably not the last word in DAC design, but it is acceptable indeed. The same is true with the Node 2i optical output which sounds fairly similar.

As I am fortunate to have a Chord Electronics Hugo 2 on the review bench, I have centred on that as one of the analogue inputs as the main source for the review. A nice new Cyrus XR Streamer would presumably be the order of the day here.

MM Phono Stage

…this phono stage is at least as clean and low noise as the Rega Fono stage I have swapped out, that’s impressive…

The MM phono stage is actually above average I would suggest. I’m minded to feel this phono stage is at least as clean and low noise as the Rega Fono stage I have swapped out, that’s impressive, it certainly offers the same resolution and general presentation. Ryan Adams’ Gold (Pax Americana Recording Company) now takes centre stage as the amplifier bounds along to New York, New York, then ably tones itself down to deliver the heartfelt Sylvia Plath.


…this Classic Amp deserves a concerted listen, particularly if you do not already have a dedicated DAC or a phono stage

I genuinely can’t recall the i9-XR being this vibrant which is surprising because I had the absolutely breath-taking Cyrus CDt-XR transport that won a Best of 2022 award, though I was mainly using the Moor Amps for transparency. Nonetheless, I’m sure I would want to revisit the i9-XR when the new PSU-XR review cycle comes around.

I said, in the review of the i9-XR:

it is clearly an accurate, agile, and punchy little thing and it is driving the speakers along with gusto.

Maybe I just was in the wrong frame of mind to believe how good it was. Notwithstanding this, this Classic Amp is terrific and the price tag is a further factor. Indeed, this price tag is placed just below a very competitive price point near two thousand pounds plus. With Exposure’s newest 3510 here with a DAC on board or a MM phono stage and Rega’s Elicit that, like the Classic Amp, has both DAC and phono stages this is a jam-packed price point. One may argue the no-fuss pure analogue Moon 250i, at £1,690, offers a strong challenge to the Classic Amp.

As always these decisions require a friendly local HiFi dealer to help you, as well as a decent pair of speakers. If this is your decision space, this Classic Amp deserves a concerted listen, particularly if you do not already have a dedicated DAC or a phono stage.

Separately, do look out for a companion piece to this Cyrus Audio Classic Amp review on a PSX-R2 upgrade to the amplifier.


At this competitive price point, the Cyrus Audio Classic Amp is the one to listen to,  particularly if you do not have a DAC or phono stage already.  Look out for Cyrus Audio, they are on the right trajectory and delivering consistently good separates in a competitive market space. Don’t forget the ‘Best of 2022’ Cyrus CDt-XR which is a real winner too.

copyright HF&MS Ltd 2022

Dynamic Output

Comprehensive inputs
Compact form factor
MM input
The headphone output is strong

Headphone output at the front


Full details are on the company’s site.

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