PHI Audio | Bespoke High End





The Cyclops was PHI's first commercial loudspeaker. It came about after a lengthy search for drivers for a tapered quarterwave pipe, itself intended to display the virtues of the Sonic Impact T-Amp. We found that this little amplifier simply couldn't drive the ported boxes we had at hand and the intention was to build a pair of high-efficiency loudspeakers with small fullrange drivers. An almost impossible feat, we realised.

The initial Cyclops was a spare-no-expense solution to building a loudspeaker around these 75mm Kevlar drivers, able to outperform commercial loudspeakers priced up to ten times higher than our intended sale price. It was a tall order, but we pulled it off. Measuring 91dB/Watt at 1m, the efficiency couldn't exactly be called high. But it was high enough to do the T-Amp justice and it was just about as much as one could coax out of a 3 inch driver without using a impractically large horn. The initial Cyclops had a concrete base with cavities filled with lead shot. The enclosure was entirely hand-made from a sandwich of MDF and solid Sapele mahogany; the filter box from beech, Panga-panga and glass. This elaborate filter and crossover box sported a custom designed adjustable MOSFET pre-amplifier as well as high quality passive crossover components. Interconnects were custom designed; NOS vintage components were used. At one point we counted four rare earth metals in the design. It was, in short, a lot of hard, expensive work.

Reviews were flattering to the extent that the Cyclops is still in production. The original was a tough act to follow. We created the downPHI® from the original Cyclops – a bit taller and sleeker and in some ways better. We went back to the original but amended the filter unit, housing many of the components inside the boxes as one has come to expect. We adapted the aesthetic to our current two-tone design feel. The present incarnation of this loudspeaker is much less elaborate than the original and, predictably, sounds a bit better. But it was by no means easy.



The Sonic Impact T-Amp

The downPHI®



Dick Olsher's Black Dahlia Website, June 2010

"I thought to slip in the Cyclops II here, a bi-pole tapered pipe, by PHI Hi-Fi Innovation as it happens to be one of the best full-range designs I have ever heard
Jonathan Noble

"...the PHI 58.40b Cyclops is a remarkable speaker in many respects. Its application is limited, and it requires careful matching of ancillary equipment. But in the right electronic company, with music suited to its particular talents, these speakers deliver a world-class performance."
Deon Schoeman
[Bubinga] Suggested retail price R19 771- /pair
Prices for speakers made in other wood types will be made available on request.
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