Everyone is looking for 'that sound', a softly whispered, wide eyed exclamation of seekers. Until I found these Royd's I was still on that journey. I don't know how many speakers floorstanding and bookshelf I have auditioned, bought, tested and sold on. I am no Roydphile, I do not have expensive Naim or similar kit, but what I have put together gives me the honesty, emotion and energy I need from music of all genres industrial metal tthrough jazz to choral works. The doublets are the most clear, crisp and honest speakers I have had the pleasure of listening to. They go through the frequency range easily, smoothly and with confidence. They do this in a seamless manner, unlike some which have excellent top and middle but poor bass etc, they span the range effortlessly. The imaging is detailed, with colours in the sound and details never heard before. The soundstage is huge for such modest cabinets, they will fill most rooms with ease. The bass, when ports are set to nearest wall, will shock you, believe that they go low, very low. I have owned B&W, Monitor Audio S8i's, PMC 705, Tannoy's, Rogers LS55, etc etc They all had strengths and weaknesses, these Royds are strong in every department. Best accolade I can giive them is truly, I no longer am into the hifi, I am listening to the music. My system - source, Philips DVP 9000S SACD, Digital server Amp - Philips DFR 9000s Digital amp, audioquest interconnects, chord rumour 4 speakers wire, Tacima conditioner, and the wonderful Royd Doublets.
I just bought a set of these speakers. They are amazing. We have a room where they will be ofset from the corners of the room and the bass is tight and strong, not boomy. I have been utilizing A CD by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - Outbound as a test of bass tightness. Track 1 can sound moddy and undefined if the bass is over emphasized. These speakers passed with flying colors - other did not due to the boominess of the bass. They have a very clear tone. We are using an old H-K 795i receiver to drive these speakers and it does with no problems. These speakers are a joy to listen to.
The Royd Doublet (Improved) is one of the best loudspeaker I've ever heard. I drive them with a Rega Mira, Planet, Planar 3 (Dynavector 10x4 MK II).It was (and is) the first speaker after 2 years of searching which is definetly better as my beloved REGA Ela. I've heard models of MISSION, LINN (Keltik, Kaber, Tukan (fine), Kan III (very fine)), NAIM (Intro, Credo, SBL, DBL), CASTLE, ODEON, B&W, CANTON, AUDIO PHYSIC and so on. Only the SHAHINIAN Arc and the NAIM NBL (wow!!!) are really better. But they are far more expensive, too (sigh!). The Doublet is well suited to good (!!!) integrated amplifiers like NAIM Nait, REGA Luna or Mira, several models of Creek. I guess they will sound a little bit agressive with MISSION Cyrus III and with several models of japanese manufactors.
I listened to three different sets of speakers at London Audio (Ontario). I started with the Royd Doublets, as I hadn't had the opportunity to hear them before. I was actually quite impressed for the money. The sonic signature was recognizably "Royd": they had a snappy bass, forward upper-mids, engaging presentation, etc. However, they didn't make it through my "torture tests". Essentially, they sounded too harsh for my ears. (I was sitting there thinking, "My ears hurt.") Remember, though, that I was driving some very extreme material through them. Overall, the Doublet sounds very much like the Albion (vs. the Abbott, which I think is very different). I went from there to Linn Tukans. The harshness disappeared. Unfortunately, the snappy bass and general excitement went too. I will say one thing for them, though: they sounded very smooth. The acoustical balance was quite lovely (warm?), but it was the wrong personality for my current quest. My wife would probably prefer these, though, as she finds my desired sonic expatations to be a little too intense.
At that point I considered listening to the B&W Nautilus 805s. However, I had heard them twice before, and I always felt that the bass response just wasn't there. Since this is common perception of these otherwise excellent speakers, I decided not to waste my time. I will admit, though, that if my library didn't include so much material that required deep bass (i.e. if I listened primarily to jazz and classical), then I would probably go for the 805s. The mids and highs are simply delicious. They have a lots of energy, without the Royd "edge".
After drilling the guy on what other speakers I might consider, we decided the best next step was to listen to the Royd Albions. BTW, the accompanying equipment was as follows: The source was a Naim CD 3.5 (without Hicap), a Naim NAC 72 pre amp (with Hicap), and the NAP 180 for power. As I progressed through my audition script, we ended up swapping the 3.5 for a Naim CDX, which opened up the soundstage, extended the bass support, significantly decreased the harshness, and generally increased the magic.
I won't got into too much depth here regarding the Albions; I'll simply that I'm 80% sure that I'll be purchasing them in the next month or so. They do everything well, with an intense and engaging performance. For those of you who don't want to spend (or can't afford) the extra money for the Albions, the Doublets are very similar. They're definitely worth a listen.