Reproduced from a review in Hi-Fi Choice, issue 139, February 1995.
Pros: Extremely musical and communicative speaker that’s fun to listen to.
Cons: Front grille not the last word in aesthetics.
An almost total absence of press activity surrounded the £595 Sorcerer launch, and it seems that many reviewers – and potential customers too, presumably – are still unaware of the speaker’s existence. The Sorcerer is a seven-litre bookshelf speaker. Traditionally, such small Royd enclosures were all infinite baffle (sealed box) designs; the Sorcerer breaks this mould with the addition of a front port.
The port goes some way toward extending the bass down to a claimed 35Hz, while still maintaining an easy eight-Ohm impedance and a suggested sensitivity of 86dB. The Sorcerers need a lengthy run-in and, according to Royd, will only perform at their best above 15°C. Once they settle in, the bass fills out and they sound more musical and alive. They are designed to work close to a rear wall, so holographic sound- staging and image depth are not priorities. Instead, you’re blessed with a vivid, up-tempo performance that never sounds small. though best suited to average-sized rooms, the Sorcerers have enough energy to fill out larger rooms at a pinch.
They have a slightly rich, warm tonal balance, coupled with a slight zing to the upper frequencies. The Sorcerers don’t have the sort of ‘highend’ smooth detail of a ProAc Response One ‘S’, but they are consummately musical, underpinning any hi-fi niceties with a wicked sense of rhythm. It’s also possible to use the Sorcerers in the near field, placing the speakers along the base of an imaginary isosceles triangle. This dramatically improves the imagery, but to get balanced bass weight, the speakers need to be about three feet from your ears, which is hardly practical in most listening-rooms.
In fact, my only criticism regards the Sorcerer’s inability play music at very high volume levels. Yes, they’ll play loud, but if you want those moments of head-banging, you may have to look elsewhere.
Then again, if you want quality, compatibility and the ability mount your speakers close to a wall, I can’t think of a better design than the Royd Sorcerer. Although I believe that the speaker is so-called because of its pointy hat-like phase plug in the bass driver, perhaps it’s because they sound magical.
Royd Loudspeaker Company Ltd, Unit B2, Stafford Park 15, Telford, Shropshire TF3 3BB. Tel (O1952) 290700
A few words of apology are due to the folk at Royd. Though we had two opportunities to redress the balance, we still failed to mention that the Minstrel, tested in issue 135, was actually awarded a Best Buy rather than just a Recommendation.
Review by Alan Sircom of Hi-Fi Choice.