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Sonneteer, British made luxury hi-fi, news blog. Established 1994.

Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Sonneteer Sound Magazine features the Sonnet Ear.

Magazine: The human ear is exceptionally sensitive and so responds to tiniest change in pressure in the airwaves. To give you an idea in numbers, the human ear threshold of hearing is less than one billionth of atmospheric pressure 1. Added to that the huge dynamic range we have it’s difficult to understand when some people say that they can’t hear the difference between one music system and another. Beyond the ear music is ‘listened to’ by our whole body. Deaf people have a more enhanced sense of this and often gain as much fulfilment out a piece of music as  a person with the ability to hear. Albeit from a different perspective 2. I would expect that they too would notice the difference between the reproductions of different sound systems.

Recently, as we have been working on the Mark five CD players and the Mark Three Orton amplifier we have reawakened our awareness of the subtle sensitivity we have to tiny changes in sound. Because of this we find most of our work is done not behind the CAD 3 screen and not gazing at an Oscilloscope on the test bench, but on the sofa in the listening room with a clutch of CDs and with soldering iron and screw driver handy. Our abilities in audio electronics have to be at least matched with our mechanical engineering capabilities and knowledge of the dark arts. Though the latter can often be substituted with common sense. [Go to our magazine to read more]

2012 Sonneteer in reviews Part1: From Russia with Lust.

Sonneteer Orton Close up SilverIt has taken us a little time but as Sonneteer products are received and reviewed more and more outside of the motherland we often have to wait a little for an accurate translation. In Part 1 as we look at reviews published in 2012 we start not too far back, in October when the Russian Edition of What Hi-Fi published a very pleasing review of the Sonneteer Orton amplifier. We picked it up courtesy of Audiomania.

They started off with a reference to the Bronte amplifier that was once so familiar to Russian Audiophiles:

“Our familiarity with Sonneteer amplifiers started with a digital amplifier [the Sonneteer]Bronte, a product not typical of the British company whose amplifiers, since 1994 have followed the traditions of the English mostly analogue school.” They then continued to praise the design, ” The amplifier design is uniquely different “dual mono” with a completely independent power supply for each channel and the control circuit.” and continued with  “[the] Orton’s design combines the elegance, simplicity and thoroughness, typical for the British Hi-Fi.”

It all got a little serious when Bach came into the equation:

“[The] Orton sound can also be called a classic. Main emphasis is on detailed, refined and expressive depth in the midrange charming the audience with the volume of musical information. We have yet to see and amplifier in this price range, which could so precisely and flexibly transfer the interaction of voices of Cantus Colin, performing Bach’s Actus Tragicus. At the same time, even in more complex compositions with greater number of musicians and dynamic range such as “Rite of Spring” by Stravinsky, the amplifier can deliver the frantic energy and changing diversity of every part of it. The dramatic performance is achieved not by a deafening volume, but by the exceptional solidity of the emotional expression- the same as a convincing actor with a well-trained voice and a deep understanding of the script. ”

It ended a little tong in cheek  however mocking that the lovers of modern music  like “Consolers of The Lonely” by the Racounteurs  would not require so much detail with their music and hence perhaps the amplifier is not for them.  Oh I don’t know, I had ‘Hail To The Thief’ by Radiohead and Muses latest offering ‘The 2nd Law’ both blasting through an Orton off a mark 3 Byron earlier. Reminded me of a recent experience at the O2 Arena. Me and 20,000 others. Exceptional.