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


Project Heartbeat: The Rat’s Nest.

Sonneteer Project Heart Beat Rats Nest

Rumours have been circulating for a while that we have been working on something. If you’ve been a reader of Audiocircle or Audiokarma for example then you may have joined in the speculation. Things have certainly been moving forward quite quickly here at Sonneteer Labs in recent weeks.  So we thought we’d give a sneak peek of some of the work via a snapshot. A snap shot in the literal sense of the word in the form of  the image opposite. This was taken recently. It’s what we call a rats nest. For those in the know, in the image, there are clues and red herrings 1.

The process started a while back with a lot thought and research put in. Some of the consultation took place on the above mentioned fora and others like Pink Fish Media and HiFi Wigwam as well as a few of the Audio Groups on LinkedIn. We spoke to dealers, technology partners, end users of Sonneteer and other brands to try to get a wider understanding of not just what people would like from us but also how they would like to listen to their music and the kind of product they envisage from us.

The process is on going but our development work is fast growing to maturity. The beating heart that will pump Sonneteer’s music magic is ever nearer. More previews of project Heartbeat to come. Enjoy the festive season. We will be taking a very short break to recharge the grey matter. Our coming of age year is nearly done. Yes, soon we will be 21.


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]

Haiderway and diSegno Blog on the Server: We take a peek.

The news pages and blogs have all had their say. Even we’ve had a word or two. Time to see what the boys behind the products have been spilling from their minds. You can access their blogs from the column opposite.
Haiderway on having the Morpheus Server round for Christmas:

“When we got back,[from Christmas in North Yorkshire] Vicky bought me a copy of Tori Amos’ Midwinter Graces CD……
…Got home, switched the server on and popped the CD in. Oh, I have to say the server is so quiet, it makes my Buffalo Linkstation sound like a vacuum cleaner!Where was I? Oh yes; as the CD was being consumed by the server, I popped down stairs and switched on my Morpheus music centre and then My iPod Touch which has the Plug Player installed (about £3 from Apps store). All this took about 3 to 4 minutes.

As you can see in the picture, by the music centre was switched on in our living room I was able to start playing the (ripped and stored) CD from the Server.
The Morpheus music centre was  singing through my loudspeakers and I had full control via the iPod Touch. Oh I made cup of tea at the same time  and my other hand was holding it!  yes, I hear some of you shouting, I should have left it brew for longer to get that fuller flavour.” More Haiderway

A little bit technical, as Remo often likes to be [from diSegno]:

“Now you hear it! has been our slogan for the longest time but not this time for this bad boy! This unit has to be ultra quiet itself and also vibration free so it would not cause noise to its surroundings. So the first thing was to get rid of the need of fans in the unit. All the main components, power supply unit etc. must also be fanless versions so they can operate indefinitely without needing a fan to cool it… sounds simple until you realise that they are like hen’s teeth to find! Only the latest generations of components are thinking along that way to save power and be silent!

Vibration elimination was a bit more complicated! We have 2 fast hard disk drives inside which whirls, crackles, clicks and vibrates like hell, so the way they are mounted has to be carefully looked into. Having been into cars and our office situated not far from a Lexus dealer, I have looked into ways cars have used to reduce vibration, centrifugal or torque issues when mounting their engines! After some experimentation, the hard drives inside the Morpheus are now mounted on 8 rubber damper mountings, selected by sampling several shores and numbers used before deciding on the best combination. The drives themselves are coupled in a way that their individual vibrations cancels each other, inspired by silent shafts used in car engines, and the final result was rather spectacular!” Oh he does get excited talking about cars. Oh please don’t start him off sir!  More diSegno…