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

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Wall of Sound Sonneteer Sedley Review

WallOfSound “There was a simple clarity in what was coming from my speakers that was worth paying attention to, but I was also simply forgetting myself and enjoying the music more and more.” Jon Eben Field of Wall of Sound reviews the Sonneteer SedleyUSB phono stage and we think he kind of likes it. To really get a grasp of Jon’s poetry you will need to read the article in full, but to give you an idea, and in his words, “What I loved about the Sedley is how its creation of a vibrant soundstage, articulated sense of instrumentation, and attentiveness to the vocal midrange allowed me to just groove to the music; when something like this happens, reviewing really becomes fun.”

This truly warms our hearts as it really is just all about the music. It sounds like we have woken parts of tunes that have been asleep for a while, “On the truly wonderful Soul Brothers, that has Ray Charles and Milt Jackson teaming up for some blues and soul influenced jazz styling, the Sedley brought the quintet into incredibly detailed focus. I was especially amazed at the sound of Jackson’s vibraphone presence in the recordings. But I focused on “How Long Blues” because I heard something that I had missed on previous listening sessions with the album.”

We also know that a lot of dealers own Sonneteer in their own home and here is one reviewer who seems more than tempted too, “the Sedley is a versatile unit that is well worth its asking price. If I had more discretionary funds at the time of this review, it would not have left my abode. Let it be said of the Sedley, “thy record never can be missed.” “. The Bard be praised.

New spin on an old romance: Latest Sonneteer creation lets you print your own records in your own home!

Latest stereolithography 3D printer technology lets music lovers to recreate their favourite LPs. The LP Creation Software available for free, but you still have to buy the music!

We are back to the old with the latest 3-D printing technology created by the amazing chaps at Sonneteer allowing you to produce your own records at home. You can 3D print anything from the Beatle’s 1st Album to your own version of “Now that’s what I called…” compilation LPs to your heart’s content.

vinyl comeback

Vinyl’s coming back, but not as we know it!

Sonneteer, writing on their website said: ‘We recently revisited our old record collection and sadly we have found that some of the older LPs were in a bit of a bad state! With LP’s there are no ways to repair them, and with so many of them being out of print there are no ways to replace them ether!… Or is there? We wondered. “We could use a laser cutting machine to…” but apart from Sonneteer’s (ever so slightly eccentric) co-founder Remo Casadei, who else would be dreaming of having such a machine in their own home? We then looked at some other manufacturing processes available and thought, why not just print it?

We had long considered using 3D printing technology in the past to create some of our products like the Bard Wireless audio system, whereby the technology requires the cases to be made in polymer to allow wireless transmission. However, all the earlier “3D” AM (Additive Manufacturing) machines weren’t actually true 3D, they were in fact 2-D printing machines, capable of printing one layer on top of another and the results were refined enough. So we set out in search of a better way to achieve the results we wanted.

 

laser cut vinyl

Once formed, the second laser “cuts” the music “grooves” and you can then play it on your record player like a normal record – via the Sonneteer Sedley phono stage of course!

Insert: 3DDS in action (note twin laser tubes)

After spending several months discussing with 3-D printer makers around the world, we pinned down a two-tier process called “3-D-D Stereolithography”, or “Three-Double-D”. This new twin laser process would basically construct the main object body via the first guided laser beams to quickly solidify the liquid polymer into the basic shape (i.e. the record body), and then use the second ultra-fine laser beam to create the details (i.e. the sound tracks grooves) at a precision far greater than any gas-laser cutter can ever achieve. Also, as all the shaping and cutting are done at room temperature the final object will not suffer from temperature related distortion issues, and for the same reason, no annealing process is required to prevent future crazing either.

What about the software? Well, it is surprisingly simple as the open-sourced free software basically loads a music file just like any computer music player but with a difference: You also get a PRINT button! So now not only can you press PLAY to listen or preview your creation, you can also press PRINT which sends the file to the printer to, literally, print yourself a hard copy! The free to download software accepts most popular audio formats such as MP3, WMA etc., and the Pro version accepts high resolution formats such as WAV, DVD-A, DSD etc. Being open source means any developer can also incorporate their own ideas offering additional features for the future too!

One thing most curious, even though the files are digital, the output grooves are actually analogue as they are carved by a continuously moving single laser beam, and then mechanically low-pass filtered in the solidifying polymer. After hundreds of hours of listening by our panel of judges, they all agreed that the playback sounded distinctively analogue too!

So, are the printed records black in colour too? Sadly not yet as the highest resolution polymer currently comes only in indigo, but who says the technology will stop here? This is the only beginning and Sonneteer believe apart from printing black LPs, we will soon be printing picture discs too!

 

3DDs software in operation. You can set different LP thickness too… 180g Vinyl here we come!

3DDs software in operation. You can set different LP thickness too… 180g Vinyl here we come!

We’d like to thank Remo Casadei, Technical Director and one of the Sonneteer founders for help with this article.

Going phono with the Alabaster

Sonneteer Alabaster in SilverPicking up the baton from the much loved Campion amplifier, we have decided that the Alabaster, as well as carrying the spirit of the Campion, will inherit its phono stage too. Like a shy yet gifted child the little circuit huddled up amongst the line stages on the pre-amp printed circuit board has delighted those who have gotten to know it well. Perhaps too long in the shadow of our outboard Sedley phono stage, it has maybe been given too little time in the limelight by us. That said, its followers are many and their voices have been heard. Some end users have benefited from a retrofit recently and others have asked if the Campion phono stage could be included. We have gracefully obliged on all accounts.

The phono stage which takes over the Line 2 slot in the pre-amplifier section of the Alabaster will be dedicated to Moving Magnate phono cartridges or high output Moving Coil only. The standard settings are, for those with a technical penchant, are 47K? input resistance with a 47pF capacitive load. An earth stud is also added to the rear panel to accommodate your turntable connections. Vinyl not included.

For more on phono stages, amplifiers and thoughts for ears please visit our magazine.

Montreal heat wave as Sonneteer comes to town

Sonneteer will be showing at the Son & Image show in Montreal March 25th to 28th. BA strikes allowing Sonneteer’s Haider Bahrani will be on hand to talk about the Sonneteer Morpheus system which now comprises of the Music Centre and the Server which was previewed at the CES show in Las Vegas in January.

The production model will have its full début at the Canadian show at which Sonneteer will be hosted by their Canadian representatives Liberty Trading and their glorious leader, Nabil Akhrass.

For the second time this month Sonneteer will be on show with Penaudio loudspeakers. Penaudio will be introducing their Series 2 Ambient lineto Canada as well as the New Sara  which, in the words of Sami Penttila, is a ‘baby Serenade’. Oh and we love the Serenade. We have already heard great things about this speaker from Riverside Audio in the Netherlands. More on the Netherlands show soon.

The Sonneteer Morpheus Server is shipping now and is available in a range of colours. The word from the Sonneteer stables is that Ruby Red is slowly becoming a favourite as the orders pile up and also that at least one has been ordered in the colours of a local London football team!  As you can see from the sneak peek photo we got our hands on, the Server logo and markings are hand engraved onto the aluminium before bright colour anodised.

The Sonneteer Classics will also be on show with the Sedley USB  headlining on the second main performance stage at this festival of sound.

We promise you more as the show progresses