Doublet Review, Audio & Video, March 1996

Reproduced from a review in “Audio & Video” by Oeivind Ruud published in March 1996

The Doublet

The Doublet is a kind of ‘big-brother’ to the Minstrel. It has a higher sensitivity, greater power handling and a deeper bass response. The tweeter is mounted between the two bass/mid drivers, each driver having its own reflex enclosure. Although the drivers look similar to those in the Minstrel, the bass units have been modified to obtain a higher impedance, and there is a bi-wire option on the terminals on the back.

The tonal balance is light rather than thunderous, although the bass does go very deep. This could be for many reasons. One is the well built cabinets that won’t be provoked to resonate. Much of the ‘fat’ bass we hear from speakers stems from resonance in the cabinets and not from the drive units. In the Doublet both midrange and tweeter are fully alive and contribute to the fresh, revealing and open character of the speaker. This speaker will tell you if you have a problem in your front end or amplifier. There are no hiding places for errors in the chain.

The Doublet has a capability of separating different tonal structures that is quite remarkable. Such dynamic contrast and musicality are not something you experience every day (unless you own a pair of Doublets of course) from a pair of dynamic speakers. The lack of coloration and resonance makes the soundstage get entirely ‘out of the box’. The perspectives are very open and clear. The soundstage seems like an abyss, and goes straight through the walls into the neighbour’s living room. I only hope he doesn’t hear as much as I do! The three dimensional perspective appears high over the cabinets, adding to the incredible sense of space and 3D experience. The width of the soundstage extends far beyond the physical width between the speakers. The soundstage created by the doublet is more airy and spacious than the one from the Minstrels, the musicians simply get a bigger stage to perform on. We just love the almost unlimited sense of space and unhindered definition of both weak and powerful dynamics that the Doublet gives us. Reactions are super quick but vanish again with just as much speed.

These speakers weren’t designed for monster bass and deep frequency slam as a high priority. If you really want to hear what your records contain in terms of information you are in for quite a few shocking experiences, even from recordings you thought you knew as well as your own pocket, as long as you partner this speaker with a high quality front end. A journey of discovery through your existing record collection perhaps?

These Royds challenged us in many ways. With their enlightened and open way of playing, we were kept sitting back with a wider and wider smile as we searched for the ultimate front end and speaker combination. Was there a better D/A converter available? Did we use the right cables all the way? The Doublet really inspired us to try out as many combinations as we could during the testing period and with these speakers it wasn’t hard to tell the differences. This gives buyers of this speaker with a limited budget a very bright future. Here it is possible to start out with a set of ‘pure-blooded’ enthusiast speakers in a modest system and to upgrade the rest of the components all the way to HiFi heaven.

It’s night and time has flown by. I have had the pleasure of being in good musical moods thanks to these Doublets from Royd. Now there is just one more record I’ve got to hear before going to bed. Is it really true that sound improves at night when the power is less polluted by other consumers? It already sounds incredibly good. In the meantime the world has gone silent. The silence gives micro details more space to unfold and I experience that every nuance is presented in such a musical way that it is truly captivating without it being necessary to whack up the volume to be wrapped around in a ‘soundscape’. The music is simply given a bigger room to unfold before it is stopped by its own barriers.

I was very excited about the small floorstanding Minstrel that proved to be a very versatile performer and entertainer. The Doublet proved to be even more attractive for ‘poor’ audiophiles and music lovers. With this speaker, Royd has designed a speaker with a transient response, tonal differentiating capabilities and soundstaging that really shouldn’t be possible at this price. The Doublet is a ‘pure-blooded’ enthusiast speaker at a ‘hot dog’ price. I could not bring myself to live without these speakers and therefore bought them!

By Oeivind Ruud, “Audio & Video” March 1996

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