Our sister site, Hi-Fi Hunter has just released a new article covering recommended budget phono preamps. A necessity for those starting out on the vinyl road to aural nirvana. Pop by and check out what’s hot and what’s best value for money.
Royd Apex from my own collection. I’ve had this pair about 5-6 years, they used to be in my main lounge setup, but they’ve been in storage for the last few months. They’re in black and in good working order. Cosmetically however, they’re a little rough. Quite a few scratches and knocks, some of which have been touched up with black paint, so not too noticeable from a distance. The metal frame stands also have some rough paintwork. None of this detracts from their working or sound quality.
The Apex are the twin brothers of the original Rega Ela, a transmission line design with a rear bass port (at the top). They can reach pretty low frequencies, but they’re no bass junkies. The midrange is where they shine, slightly forward, but rich and smooth, albeit not as refined as later Royd’s. The Apex feature an external crossover mounted inside the bases, which can be setup for an active bi-amping configuration (using a Naim Naxo 2-4). They’re relatively easy to drive too.
Taking their cosmetic condition into account, I’m looking for £100. Due to their size, weight and lacking of packing, I will unfortunately have to insist on collection only from East London/Essex Border area. But of course, you’ll be able to demo them, compare against other Royd’s I have and enjoy a decent cup of tea. 🙂 If you’re interested, just get in touch using the contact form on the site.
Royd Minstrels. Steve Edmundson has kindly sent me some scans of original literature that came with his Minstrels. These include the full spec and Royd’s own description that helps put them in context.
Recently ace-reuse-kettering on ebay sold a pair of Minstrel SE’s with the rate steel base. This optional base was studier and gave extra support through a rear vertical brace the Minstrels could rest against.
The Royd Albion’s are insanely rare. They were the top end model, prior to the Revelation Range, very few were sold. However a pair have recently hit the second hand market over in Toronto, Canada. Go check out the advert on Kijiji.
I have added a timeline page to the history section, that lets you scroll through all the Royd Audio Speaker releases in order. It gives a great insight into which models came out when and what they replaced. Unfortunately some of the dates aren’t as accurate as I’d like (e.g. some are based on dates of reviews) and some are still missing. So I’d appreciate any new information or corrections.
Here is a nice pair of Royd Abbot’s on ebay.fr, over in Paris, France. Well worth checking out if you’re local.
Here is an amp worth checking out. Its the Ion System Obelisk 100 integrated amp. Highly regarded back in the ’90s and a favourite of Joe Akroyd. Apparently Joe used one for testing all the Royd’s he built. Its class A/B, with a single rail architecture, rated at 60W output. It was designed by Richard Hay, who started out at Radfords, then later went on to Nytech / Ion Systems and recently helped start Heed Audio in Hungry.
The sound is often likened to that of Naim and Exposure, and should not be dismissed. These amp’s rarely come up, especially this later, higher rated model.
Audio output: 60 watts (8 ohms), 90 watts (4 ohms)
TDH (ref 1 kHz – 10 dB): <0.1% S/N Ratio Line: 90 dBA Line Output: 100 mV 47 k Phono output: 3 mV 47 k Tape output: 100 mV 47 k Inputs: Phono, CD, Aux, Tuner, Tape 1, Tape 2 Outputs: Tape 1, Tape 2 Speaker Outputs: 2 x Mains, 2 x Auxiliary Weight: 7.2 kg Finish: Black