Something of a personal favourite, the Royd Doublet is my idea of a thoroughly well balanced loudspeaker.
It costs from just £485, offers exceptional clarity, superb timing ability, unfettered dynamics, extremely good bass extension, fine imaging and a high level of involvement.
And it’s fun!
In addition, it can be upgraded (via a £60 Something Solid stand) and really has the ability to mix in some pretty high end company. Unlike some other Royd products it is pretty even handed about the types of music it will play. Despite its 6 ohm impedance – a result of two bass / midrange drivers running in parallel – it has not proved difficult to partner although, in common with virtually all Royd products, it is not really suited to valve amplification. It is a little too “thirsty” for the Sugden A21a with which it can sound aggressive but works exceedingly well with Densen Beat (and above), John Shearne Phase 2, all non class A Sugdens, Naim, Exposure, the more powerful NVA’s, Audiolab, Arcam etc. etc.
In terms of placement it is easy going, working well in both free space and boundary situations.
Internal construction is very solid indeed with the two bass drivers occupying separate (ported) enclosures. It has sufficient shielding to allow AV use close to TV monitors. Indeed the bass extension coupled with intelligibility makes it very well suited to this. Aesthetically things have improved recently with the arrival of natural cherry veneer as an option. See prices. There is a matching centre speaker (black only) in the shape of the Royd AV77.
Along with the Minstrel I can vividly remember the very first time I hooked up the Doublets – it’s all a little sad really! – and how extraordinarily well they compared to the rather more expensive loudspeakers that moved aside – £1500 Audiovector 3’s, in fact. I also recall a very successful system of Audiomeca Mephisto / Trichord DAC / ATC SCA2 preamp / Michell Alecto power and a pair of Royd Doublets sitting on Something Solid Minstrel (lean back) stands. It was really rather awesome. Russell Kauffman (Densen / Morel / Hi-Fi Choice panellist) was quite genuinely amazed. How much are they ? he asked on at least four occasions during the listen.
This might be a budget loudspeaker but it is one that can see its owner through to some pretty exalted electronics (should the bug bite) without the need for change. There are better loudspeakers out there but, providing you like what the Doublet does, they all cost considerably more.