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

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Vinyl CD Sunset

Byron door crop BLK-webWe knew the time would come, but we were not quite sure when. In the end the parts suppliers called the day. CD players are slowly heading into the sunset. We wont say demise as some of these last few being made over the next few weeks will be playing CDs for the better part of the next decade. If our history serves as a guide then many will go on far beyond. CD collections are not going away in a hurry and many lucky offspring will inherit their parents’ collections. I personally am busy putting up some CD wall racks in my new home sound room/office. My 3 year old knows how to use my CD player and often dictates what I listen to. Mummy’s  Divine Comedy CD seems to be number one at the moment.

Over the years we have had two models of CD player, The Byron and the Bronte. The latter was discontinued officially a year or so ago although we continued to ship 100V models to Japan. So both will come to a complete end in 2014. The last Bronte CD players ever were shipped last week to Tokyo.

The Byron, affectionately known as the Vinyl CD player due to its vinyl like sound, has been a Sonneteer staple for 15 years. It has had a few iterations due to CD mechanisms becoming obsolete, but retained the same DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) throughout. The same DAC also enjoyed some success on its own as the gut that drove the original Sonneteer Dryden.

As a Sonneteer product the Byron will be leaving us on a high and will remain the reference point for all Sonneteer digital players of any kind in the near and distance future I am sure. So this is certainly a reluctant sunset as a recent review in HiFi Wigwam demonstrates that despite its age it was still right up there with and ahead of many of the best, “Byron is revealing layers of detail I’d not tuned into before. And it’s doing this without sounding bright or cold…..The detail and insight are really remarkable and yet there is no price to pay for this.”