Short review of Cirrus Black

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Short review of Cirrus Black
« on: 17 Sep 2019, 05:43 pm »
I've followed the Vapor models for about a decade now. I very much admired the designs, driver quality and owner satisfaction, aside from some startup issues.
When I first saw the Cirrus, I owned Selah Tempestas, another contender in the large stand mount category, and a very fine value.
When I reconfigured things later on and went to floorstanders in my main system, the size of the Selah cabinets didn't work in my smaller systems, so I sadly sold them and tried about 20 slightly smaller speakers in my office, landing on LaHave Melas for the last 4 years, which were very good.
However, the Cirrus interested me, and I bought a used pair of Blacks that was made in the 2010-12 period, I think.

They are attractive in their basic stacked plywood and maple, but as has been reported earlier the fit and finish is ok but not great, unlike later builds. There are areas where the baffle doesn't quite line up, etc., but I can easily live with them as-is.
Newer builds use later, improved AT and Raal drivers, but the ones I own are very good.
RE: the tweeters, I've owned 4 speakers with various RAALs and they all sound great, but they do have a signature sound. My other systems use the legendary Dynaudio Esotar D-330 soft domes and Accuton ceramic tweeters, and they are all great sounding and each has its' "sound". On balance I might prefer the Accuton by a hair, but they are in a 4 way system so it is unfair comparison. It's very close.
Overall, these are very fine standmounts, as good as the best I've owned. VERY flat and smooth, the image dimensionality and natural presentation of all the instruments is really fine. Vocals are spot-on in their timbre and balance. They are brighter and a bit more transparent than my Melas, which have an easier tonality.
Compared to the absolute best I've owned, my 4 way Avalon Opus floorstanders, they do fall a bit short. The Avalons are near perfection in my rig, and the Opus' dynamics, spatial rendering and top to bottom transparency and lack of coloration are superior, in addition to the bottom end extension, which is to be expected. They don't shame the Cirrus, but just disappear more completely. The Opus were 5x the price, which includes a spectacular myrtlewood burl finish.
I wish I could compare them directly to the 3 way Tempesta, which is the only standmount I've owned (out of > 100) that might be on par with these.
I see the current price has about doubled to $8k, with the improved finish and drivers. I think for the quality they were bargains at $3.5-4k in earlier days, and are probably competitive with their sonic peers at current prices.
I can recommend these very highly. They are keepers, at home in top notch systems.

« Last Edit: 18 Sep 2019, 12:28 am by jonbee »


Re: Short review of Cirrus Black
« Reply #1 on: 17 Sep 2019, 11:21 pm »
Thanks for the thoughtful review, jonbee!!! Very glad you like those classics!!!