Hardware Reviews

Morel Avyra 633: big sound for a small price

Morel Avyra 633 loudspeaker review https://the-ear.net

Morel Avyra 633 loudspeakers

Having enjoyed so much the new Morel two-way Avyra 622 stand-mounts I was very excited at the prospect of trying the larger, three-way Avyra floor-standing loudspeakers. I had heard them in the Editor’s room and was impressed by what they could do on the end of some pretty heavyweight electronics that he had in his system at the time. How would they fare in my much livelier acoustic on relatively real world amplification?

Morel

It’s good to see Morel back in the domestic audio arena, I remember them from my earliest days in hi-fi when they were renowned as a drive unit producer, not least for some pretty high-end in-car loudspeakers made in East Anglia although the marque was always controlled from Israel.

Although it never disappeared, the brand fell into some obscurity in hi-fi circles but is now back with a bang. Formed almost half a century ago (2025 is the company’s golden anniversary) we have the competitively priced Avyra range to celebrate this milestone. Meir Mordechai founded Morel in 1975, inspired by his love of music and motivated by a dream to create the perfect loudspeaker. His life-long quest has resulted in successive generations of speakers and audio drivers that consistently set new standards for high sound quality.

Morel Avyra 633 loudspeaker review https://the-ear.net

With its name derived from the Hebrew word for ‘ambiance’, the four Avyra models are handmade in Israel. The series consists of the Avyra 633 floorstander, Avyra 622 bookshelf, Avyra C5 centre, and Avyra subwoofer, offering a complete solution for both two-channel stereo use and home theatre set-ups. The 633 is the largest model, so far at least, and a compact floorstander which is my preference over goliaths.

Design

Clearly Morel has paid attention to the aesthetics and packed a lot into this US $2,000 Avyra 633 package which stands just under a metre tall. There’s the sculptured plinth, supplied with sturdy floor-spikes, with reflex-ported cabinet above, but no ordinary oblong box. No, we have a wavy finish to the side panels to add not only shape and visible finesse but also improve stiffness to reduce cabinet resonances.

I have already enjoyed the drive units in the two-way, although in this true three-way concept we have dedicated woofer and midrange, rather than one driver trying to do it all. Made by hand in Morel’s own facility, each six-inch (160mm) unit has a one piece cone/dustcap with a double-magnet motor and an unusually long 75mm aluminium voice coil in a long-coil/short-gap arrangement; the inverse of the long-gap (short-coil) motor assembly fashioned, for example, by ATC. We have the same Morel 28mm handcrafted Acuflex soft-dome as worked so well in the 622 standmount, with its aluminium voice coil and hand coating. These are both supplied speaker manufacturers, I am told, and used in designs costing several times as much as the asking price here.

Morel Avyra 633 loudspeaker review https://the-ear.net

Morel has gone for maximum value with the Avyra range in what is a very crowded and competitive marketplace. That said, the build and finish are to a high standard and the single pair of cable connections are sturdy. The design is rated at a lowish four Ohms but offers 90dB sensitivity so should present an easy enough load for most amplifiers.

Generally, I prefer standmount loudspeakers because I am sensitive to midrange reproduction and am no bass junkie. Bookshelf designs, as they are often called (but almost always fare better on decent stands) present fewer standing-wave issues and work well in the nearfield. I was brought up on them in BBC studios and so it’s the type of sound I’ve become accustomed to. That said there are some amazing floorstanding speakers and it does allow, more easily, for a three-way design which is less of a compromise over a two-way where the mid/bass drive unit is being asked to do so much.

Sound quality

In several ways, the Avyra 633s sounded reminiscent of several top-notch bookshelf models that I rate highly, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that I was taken by their sound when in the Editor’s listening room. One of the tracks I heard there was George Ezra’d hit ‘Shotgun’ which sounded impressive on the Morels, powered by his high-end electronics. The bassline raced along, driving the rest of the tune and creating a wholly entertaining result that had our feet tapping and delivering one of the best renditions I had heard.

Morel Avyra 633 loudspeaker review https://the-ear.net

Back in my room, I began with the Avyra 633s connected to some Benchmark electronics from the USA: the DAC HGC pre-amp/DC and their AHB2 power amp in stereo mode which offers 190W/ch of Class AB power. I had the cabinet toed-in just slightly, placed well away from the room’s side walls and about two-feet from the rear walls to accommodate the rear-firing reflex ports.

Sources included an internet tuner (digital coax), an Escape M1 Air streamer (via optical) to access Apple Music, and my satellite receiver via another optical input. The pre and power amps were connected by balanced XLR cables.

Selecting one of the very few decent recordings featuring Gerry Rafferty, I began with The Right Moment from his Sleepwalking album which begins rather slowly and relies on a lot of 80s synths. There are some fine moments in the music that allow the performer’s depth and artistry to come through given the right equipment, and the Morels certainly showed that they were up for the task. This track can sound really dirge-like, morose even, but the Avyra 633s create such a full-bodied sound and bring recordings to life that I not only survived it, I enjoyed it.

Keeping to the same era, Simon and Garfunkel’s Baby Driver (Bridge Over Troubled Waters) might be an old analogue recording but one that really came to life via the Morels. Involuntary foot-tapping confirmed the timing ability and the overall presentation was spot-on in so many respects that it would be easy to think that these were loudspeakers costing several-time more than they do. The presentation was fluent and presented across a vivid soundstage; performers evident both tonally and spatially in an easy-to-believe presentation that brought the performance close. Not an unnatural, unpleasant ‘in your lap’ close, just vividly so; an at arms’ length presentation that appears natural, even down to the vocal twang. The final engine sound effect had such an amazing stereo image that it made the hairs on the back of my neck tingle.

Morel Avyra 633 loudspeaker review https://the-ear.net

Switching to Hegel’s H190 streaming integrated, I moved the speakers out by another foot and reduced the toe-in to increase their speed and improve the dynamics. The Avyra 633 is one of those speakers where you can draw the frequency response without having to measure it. This is anything but a modern ‘boom-and-tizz’ design; instead it does its utmost to reproduce what the recording engineer has laid down. For me that’s the epitome of a fine loudspeaker.

So it was that I wallowed in the sheer depth the Morels brought to Mahler’s 8th (Solti and the CSO) on a 1971 Decca recording. The gloriously wide frequency response of the Avyra 633s is a joy to behold. The sound is wide and the imaging top-rate with amazing detail in a delicate treble reproduction. We are spared audible cabinet coloration, the sonics are clear, clean and extremely articulate. The recorded balance here allows the vocal soloists to make such a decisive impact although it’s one that is lost on many a lesser loudspeaker.

One feature of note is how well the Avyra 633s handle material known to be rather bright and which, on lesser loudspeakers can be painful to endure. Thus, the likes of Laura Branigan’s Gloria and Tony Christie blasting out Way to Amarillo reveal a clean and gently rising treble response all the way to 10kHz, and which does not start to drop-off until 15kHz and remains clean all the way.

Morel Avyra 633 loudspeaker review https://the-ear.net

Before being forced to part company with loudspeakers that I would happily live with, I managed to enjoy them either side of my TV for some speech-based material, often the Achilles heel for a poorly-designed transducer. Proving just how unfazed they are by whatever material they are asked to reproduce, the Avyra 633s didn’t put a foot wrong through drama, news, current affairs and even a Will Hay film. All were re-created with accuracy and neutrality which was a delight to enjoy. In one programme there was solo piano, and how lifelike that sounded; so few loudspeaker’s manage to reproduce the instrument with any realism.

Conclusion

In the Avyra 633s we have an example of a well-designed and well-built loudspeaker which should work in a wide variety of settings. This is a proper three-way design, not the two-and-a-half-way fudge that so many manufacturers seem keen on nowadays.

These Morels have tremendous depth, power and dynamic handling which rates them as a good floorstander; but then they add many of the best qualities of a good standmount, with fine detail, excellent definition, superb transparency and a well-balanced output from decent bass to detailed and delicate treble, not to mention a natural midrange.

Morel Avyra 633 loudspeaker review https://the-ear.net

If Morel are going to treat us with more gems like the Avyra 633, and the glorious 622 standmount, other manufacturers had better watch out. Not only is this serious competition for the well-established brands but comes at what can only be called a bargain price. It surely can’t be long before someone snaps up UK distribution, and the sooner the better for the sake of British audiophiles who seek not only sound engineering but also value-for-money.

They deliver so much for the money that, even at three or four-times the price they would deserve a five-star review. As it is, they are also worthy of Best Buy status. That’ll mess up the Editor’s awarding system!

Specifications:

Type: horn loaded 3-way floorstanding loudspeaker
Crossover frequency: 650Hz, 5.2kHz
Drive units:
Bass: 160mm one piece cone/dustcap
Midrange: 160mm one piece cone/dustcap
Tweeter: 28mm Acuflex soft-dome
Nominal frequency response: 45Hz – 18kHz (+/- 2dB)
Nominal impedance: 4 Ohms
Connectors: single-wire binding posts
Sensitivity: 90dB @ 2.83v/1m
Dimensions HxWxD: 982 x 310 x 326mm
Weight: 22kg
Finishes: natural light walnut, natural oak wood, black, white
Warranty: 5 years

Price when tested:
US $2,000
Manufacturer Details:

Morel (I.L.) Ltd.
T +972-8-9301161
http://www.morelhifi.com

Type:

floorstanding loudspeakers

Author:

Trevor Butler

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