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


Sonneteer at Sound and Vision Bristol 2015

Sonneteer Orton Mark 4 Silver with  handsetFebruary 20th to 22nd  2015 at the Marriott City Centre Hotel, Bristol Sonneteer, hosted by our partner NuNu Distribution will be on Display in in Rooms 217 and 218 on the second floor at the Sound And Vision Show. The highlight of the show this year will be the Sonneteer Orton Mark Four amplifier showing off its subtly new look and beautifully crafted new remote control handset. The handset, as well as aesthetic beauty, boasts an internal rechargeable battery and an LED torch light for that little extra help when trying to wire up the rear of the amplifier.

The amplifier inside has had a tweak too. In the words of one of our founders, Haider  Bahrani, “As difficult as ever as it is to improve on a much loved design we at Sonneteer are always looking to push the envelope. Thus the MK IV Orton was born. Taking the MK III Orton to a new more refined level of performance. The control system power supply (the Orton has three power supplies) has been improved with careful revisions and in conjunction with design changes to the circuit board mountings, all culminating to deliver pleasing improvements to an already highly regarded amplifier. In essence the ‘pin dropping’ is just that much more real.”

So why not come along and have a poke and take a listen. We look forward to seeing you.



Under the Wigwam with Sonneteer

HiFi WigwamAvid readers of the HiFi Wigwam will have noticed Sonneteer featuring a little recently. Via one of our notable dealers, Purite North they got their hands on some of our kit. We were more than happy for them to have done so as it seems they were quite taken by it.

Sonneteer Orton Close up SilverThe first review came in June with the audition of the Sonneteer Orton integrated amplifier. Here’s a snippet:

“The build, fit and finish is exceptional. It’s quite Germanic in this respect, I really can’t see this thing letting anyone down for 20 years to come. Fit and forget? Nope, you’ll be having too much fun playing air guitar to ever forget it. This is an amp that manages a rare trick: you get oodles of pace rhythm and timing, but without it ever sounding in-yer-face or shouty. My first day with the Orton was spent re-visiting my extensive collection of Rock and Electronica, it was huge fun with dynamism and pace in spades….

Tonally the Orton is very neutral, I get an honest reproduction without colour. It inspires confidence.

Do you get the impression I like this amp? I’ll tell you how much I like it: I’m now feeling a bit of a fool for gushing so much over previous amplifiers I’ve reviewed. I didn’t leave myself enough headroom for weekends like this when I am properly amazed.” Read the whole review here.

I know we are blushing a little too.

Sonneteer Byron with OrtonIf you thought they liked that then what a follow up in August when they put the Sonneteer Byron CD player through its paces. Again let the Wigwam do the talking: “All the technical details can wait. Eleanor Rigby from the Beatles’ Love album has just started and we need to talk about the sound – Now! Anyone familiar with George Martin’s re-engineering of the classics will know that this is a beautiful sounding album. But the 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. The bass goes deep, the mids have warmth, the treble doesn’t tish or splash –  it’s an enjoyable easy sound…..This kit sounds good dammit and people deserve to know.” Read the full review here.


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.