So a phono stage is a ‘fit and forget’ box is it? Not according to the vinyl playing engineers at British hi-fi specialist Cyrus, who for their latest phono stage launch have come at the concept from a radically different perspective: “Our prime engineering aim is to satisfy the most demanding hi-fi fan, so clearly sound quality was our dominant goal. However, with the addition of remote control memory functions, we have enabled audiophiles not only to match their cartridge perfectly but also to interact with and correct frustrating tonal limitations in real time. Vinyl fans know all records sound different, some being better mastered/pressed than others.”
Many believe that vinyl offers the most emotionally involving medium for recorded music. A perfect new record will sound wonderful. However records in a collection will vary in mastering and pressing qualities and will therefore benefit from subtle tweaks made to the phono stage settings that can brighten or calm an imperfect disc. The Phono Signature allows this fine adjustment from both the front panel and from the listening position via the remote control.
Cyrus has enjoyed a long history with vinyl, launching their first audiophile phono stage (aEQ7) back in 1998 to add a premium vinyl solution to the Cyrus family of components. Now for 2016 Cyrus is releasing possibly the most exceptional design ever, offering potentially the most advanced phono pre amplifier available anywhere in the world today.
Technically the Phono Signature has been designed to exceed the expectations of serious vinyl audiophiles, particularly in areas such as; dynamic performance, accurate cartridge matching and flexibility of use. By adding IR remote control of cartridge matching we can for the first time ever, provide invaluable tonal control to rebalance imperfect discs.
Designed to appeal to the most advanced vinyl enthusiasts who enjoy multiple cartridges, turntables or arms, each of the four inputs can be accurately matched to the exact specification of the cartridge, and now, the acoustic preference of the user. Adjustment is provided for MC cartridges in gain, resistance and capacitance facilitating a huge 160 possible combinations. In addition a switchable warp filter is provided to maximise amplifier performance.
This state-of-the-art phono amplifier allows real time adjustment of capacitance, resistance, gain and more, thereby providing invaluable tonal adjustment from the listening position. The inclusion of warp filter and Cyrus system volume adjustment completes a suite of remote control functionality that provides unequalled user involvement with vinyl.
Superb technical engineering
Phono Signature enjoys a high capacity and very low noise DC power supply that enables the pre amplifier to provide an extremely wide dynamic range ensuring extended signal levels long before clipping. Attention to circuit layout and component placement ensures a very low noise floor to further expand musical dynamics.
The RIAA passive de-emphasis filter uses very high performance metallised polyester capacitors for ultimate sonic performance.
Additional performance will be gained by connecting the optional external PSX-R2 power supply. This provides highly regulated DC power for the signal amplification.
Stereo level meters working in real time allow clear and accurate level adjustment between inputs.
4 inputs – Up to 4 turntables / arms can be connected and individual parameters stored for each.
MM or MC cartridges – All inputs compatible with both MM and MC cartridges
Individual cartridge adjust – Adjustable gain, resistance and capacitance for each input
Level meters – Stereo output level meters with peak hold to optimise MC gain setting.
Input memory – Stored or adjust during the performance for different records or tracks.
Short signal path – Audio circuitry switched with relays to preserve the highest signal quality.
Audiophile RIAA – Circuitry uses a passive RIAA network in between two high quality low noise gain elements.
Remote controllable – Adjust sound parameters and Cyrus system volume from listening position.
XLR & RCA – RCA unbalanced and XLR balanced outputs for matching to all types of amplifier.
Warp filter – To maximise amplifier headroom and prevent excessive loudspeaker LF unit excursions.
Ground lift switch – To help eliminate system ground hum problems.
PSX-R upgrade port – Attach a PSX-R power supply for ultimate performance.
MC BUS – Auto on/off in a Cyrus system
Green credentials – Less than 0.5 watt standby power usage, long and useful product life.