Reproduced from a loudspeaker group test in What Hi-Fi?, July 1998. Eight small stand mount speakers priced at around £600 were reviewed.
Royd The Sorcerer £595
The Sorcerers are actually the heaviest speakers in this group of eight, a result not of size (3lx2Ox l9cm) but of their excellent build. But while the cabinets are nicely veneered, the 19mm dome tweeter (complete with grey surround) and rough-looking 12cm mid/bass cone (complete with pointy-hat phase plug – very apt) are a bit of an eyesore for nigh-on 600 quid.
No matter – the sound of the Sorcerers comes much closer to conjuring up a magical performance, though they need a decent run-in. After an intensive 48 hours, upper midrange and treble are delivered with terrific energy and snap, helping to paint a vivid stereo image between their cabinets. Voices, in particular, sound wonderfully alive.
Lower down the frequency range, though, their character is somewhat different. Bass is considerably warmer and less lively, throwing emphasis on the upper registers and giving them at times a rather dry, bright sound. This distinctive balance gives them a set of musical likes and dislikes.
With classical and acoustic discs there’s plenty to praise. Fauré’s Requiem has a wonderfully airy feel, and while there’s not a great deal of bass to give orchestral scale, the focusing of strings, brass and voice is sensational at the price. It’s the same with the Cowboy Junkies disc – lucid, airy and open.
But despite their sense of rhythm up top, the Royds aren’t rockers. Both the Nirvana and Robbie Robertson CDs sound rather thin and reedy – there’s no shortage of energy, but a definite lack of bass clout to match upper frequency performance.
With 8ohm impedance and an 86dB/W/m sensitivity, The Sorcerers are a relatively amiable load for amps. More than ever, though, these are speakers to try before you buy.
“Royd’s Sorceror-weighty boxes but short on bass”