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Faqs

FAQ.

– Frequently asked questions
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Definitely. This more important than the running period. All Sonneteer products will operate best at an optimal temperature. This is usually achieved about 15 minutes after switch on in normal conditions.

Interconnect:
We would start out looking for a low capacitance cable, usually measured in pF/m. The lower the less it will affect the signal. Then look at the metal composition and you can’t go far wrong with the purest copper you can afford (higher percentage)) and most would have the OFC logo meaning Oxygen Free Copper.
What to generally look for in an interconnect specification: High % copper, Low the rest: Capacitance, Inductance, and Resistance. We would not normally recommend silver Interconnects as we have not had good results with them, that’s about it really.

However, the most important think of all is to listen to them! Take your time and have a listen because they can sound different! Ask your local retailer to give you a demonstration.

Speaker Cables:
Similar rule applies to speaker cables too, in particular having low resistance and capacitance are very important. This is because in order to drive a speaker, a much higher current is required and a high resistance cable will waste a lot of power. A high capacitance cable can cause certain amplifier to go unstable and could possible lead to irreversible damage to the amplifier and/or the speakers.
Material wise, experience means we would still recommend high purity copper over silver, and generally avoid flat copper plate cables, with Nordost Flatline cable being the only exception.
As always, talk to your dealers and have a listen, you will be surprised!

Digital interconnect:
Digital cable is a more recent addition to the interconnect category as more and more front end sources are digital. As this is a more recent introduction to HiFi, this sector changes rapidly so the best advice we can give you is speak to your dealer, and try them at home.

Mains Power Cord:
All Sonneteer products are supplied with an approved Mains Power cord which meets our standard requirement. We would recommend normally leaving the mains cord to the last when upgrading. A mains cable performs differently depending on system environment.
Remember: For best results always try to listen to any HiFi components or upgrades at home if not in a good listening environment. Lables and specifications seldom tell the whole story! Experiment is the key and part of the enjoyment so go and have some fun!


Always check that all connections are correct prior to connecting power to each component. When switching on your HiFi system, we recommend that the amplifier should always be the component LAST ON, and FRIST OFF (LOFO).

In most cases yes! All Sonneteer amplifiers are designed to have wide operating parameters so suit most loudspeakers.

About speaker/amplifier matching:
With any speaker there are usually 3 main parameters that manufacturers would publish to aid amplifier selection: Power in Watts (RMS), Impedance in Ohms, and Sensitivity in dB/W. But what do these parameters mean?

Watts (RMS): This figure represents the power handling capability of the speakers and not how loud it will go. This figure is important as it will tell you how much power your speakers can handle without running the risk of being damaged. For example: If your speakers are rated at 60Watts RMS and you have a 150W amplifier, at high volume levels you will run the risk of damaging your speakers although low volume levels you will be fine.

Impedance (Ohms): Generally this ranges between 4 to 8 Ohms. This figure represents how easy or difficult it will be for your amplifier to power your speakers, where the higher the number the easier, the lower the harder. Some speaker can even go down to 2 Ohms, so you need to make sure that your amplifier can drive such a “difficult” speaker. Amplifier can sound light or strained, and in extreme cases damaged, if they are made to power lower then specified speaker impedance.
Sensitivity dB/W: I have left this to last and yes this is the figure that tells us actually how loud the speaker is! The range can be anywhere between 80 to 120 db/W. For a given simplifier volume setting, the higher the speaker sensitivity is, the louder the speaker will play and vice versa.

Choosing a loudspeaker to go with any Sonneteer amplifiers is actually a rather simple affair. You only have to make sure your speaker’s wattage is higher than the amplifier’s wattage and follow our guidelines for recommended speaker sensitivity for each of our amplifier model: For the Orton we would normally recommend a minimum of 85dB/W, and for the Alabaster a minimum of 82dB/W
Oh, and don’t worry too much about speaker impedance requirement as all Sonneteer amplifiers are designed to drive very low impedance speakers, and 2 Ohms (which is a heavy load in loudspeaker terms) is certainly not a problem.


No, we like to consider the environmental and safety issues particularly when electrical items are not attended. Sonneteer products reach optimum performance within a very short period of time after switch on so it is not necessary.

At Sonneteer we try to test our products with as varied range of cables as possible. As many less expensive cables have been found worthy of their function as expensive ones. In our experience brands like, but not exclusively, The Chord Company, Ortofon and QED have all produce cables that are very much up to the job. Our favoured cables are the Ortofon 7N interconnects and the QED qudos copper standard from the last century(when they used to make them in the UK). These are plugged in in our listening room and are our first point of reference. Recently we have also liked the Van Damme 4mm speaker cable which is a very reasonable inexpensive yet very neutral and transparent performer.
If you have a taste for the exotic then Gutwire are a very good high end brand who take a lot of care with their cable products.

All Sonneteer products would have been put through their paces for a minimum period of time prior leaving the factory. However, customer feedback tells us a further noticeable improvement in performance can be achieved after about 100 hours of running.

Yes, when the amplifier is in use, it will warm up. In particular with the Alabaster it will feel hot to the touch and uncomfortable to hold. However in component terms, this is completely normal, and the actual running temperature of the Alabaster is no more than a hot cup of tea or coffee in reality.

Yes, however, it is a good practice to have HiFi components on separate shelves to avoid any possible interference between them.

The Alabaster is a purist amplifier from our classic range. It has 5 inputs, 55 Watt per channel at 8 Ohms, 100W per channel at 4 Ohms, and no remote control.
The Orton is our more recent flag ship amplifier is dual mono design, with 6 inputs, 33W per channel at 8 Ohms, 66W per channel at 4 Ohms, and a fully featured machined Aluminium and stainless steel, remote control.