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.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring ↩
The beating heart of any sound system is the amplifier. Its invention is attributed to the coming of the first triode123 valve at the turn of the twentieth century to make the first AM radios. Since, the audio amplifier has unassumingly featured in all electronics’ products that are sound making while the limelight has shone on its various appendages. Items which, over the past century or so, have come and gone as often as the weather changes in Blighty 4. Amplifiers along with loudspeakers, in their various forms have been the main stayers in sound systems ever since.
While the loudspeaker is the mouth and larynx delivering the audio message, the amplifier is the heart pump that drives and controls its delivery. This is the same be it in a small transistor radio or a behemoth of a PA system at a Rock festival. The timing, the depth, the essence of the original sound and its recreation is ultimately dictated by the ability of the amplifier to take it from the level of a whisper to one that can excite the cones, horns and cans that tickle our ears and vibrate our floors. So as CD players have come and gone (nearly), Cassette players become specks on a landfill and as surely one day streamers become the ‘reel to reel’ of our children’s past, electron pumping amps and air moving ‘speakers will remain. Luckily the former is what we do, hear at Sonneteer 5.
The dawn of the digital age to riding the hybrid wave.
Despite their ever presence, audio amplifiers have not been static technologically. Here at Sonneteer we design with whatever fits the purpose. Every now and then we may also experiment with new things just to see where it will take us. When digital power amplification became a viable reality for audio products Sonneteer were right at the forefront. The Bronte amplifier for example started as a concept development on behalf of a technology partner which turned into an award winning product. We now, within our designs employ a mixture of electronics technologies, analogue and digital at any particular stage simply because it suits. The ultimate aim is performance. That is our goal. Our current range reneges not on that promise.
Where ever the music comes from we play on.
Music sources are changing and increasing in number almost daily. Gone are the times where one format displaces another completely. A format no longer dies, but becomes a niche. Every now and then there will be a nostalgia for it and it will have a mini revival. As the global population grows the more and more this will happen. Everything and everyone will have a champion or two however small. Accommodating everyone is impossible but since everyone who wants a music system needs an amplifier in it, somewhere, then as long as we can interface with them we are in a good place.
More format ketchup.
In the land of audiophilia the stresses of format accommodation are often acutely felt as the customers strive to be compatible with ever changing present. Obsolescence which is more of an emotion that is realised out of fear than reality is a strong factor in decision making. Finding something that does everything is practically impossible as formats grow in number. PCM16,24,32 96kHz, 192kHz, 384kHz,DXD and so on. Then there’s DSD in its various guises. May be this goes some way to explaining the Vinyl revival. Our amps talk to them too.
- http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/audio.history.timeline.html ↩
- http://www.ehow.com/about_4899502_history-audio-amplifier.html ↩
- http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/physics/transistor/history/ ↩
- http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Blighty ↩
- http://www.sonneteer.co.uk ↩
- http://sonneteer.co.uk/home/magazine/2012/05/23/speaking-volumes/ ↩
Cranage Hall in Crewe this coming weekend hosts an Audio show. For those of you with a taste for the High End or simply love listening to good music played through great music systems, pop along. One of our founders, Remo Casadei will be on hand to answer any questions as will our UK on the road team namely, Anne and Tony of NuNu Distribution. Our participation in the show is part of a preamble to things to come as our twenty first year takes apace. We at Sonneteer hope to see you there.
We wait for shows all year and suddenly they are happening everywhere. Sonneteer have as good as been on a world tour in the last couple of weeks and it looks to be going on through the spring.
The Audio Festa in Nagoya, Japan hosted Sonneteer represented by Allegro and their head man Kyoji Arai. He had the Sonneteer Morpheus Music Centre and Server on show as well as the Sedley phono stage both of which have had recent award success in the land of the rising Sun.
Sonneteer have also recently been exposed or shown off, should we say, at Axpona in Jacksonville Florida. May Audio Marketing of New York state with Nizar Akhrass at its helm have been faithfully preaching the virtues of hi-fi utopia to the masses for more than 30 years now. The Sonneteer gospel has been a strong component of their sermons for many a year now. They too see the Sonneteer Morpheus Music centre and Server as the guiding light on the path to aural paradise for all music lovers.
“Sonneteer director Haider Bahrani showed us the Morpheus, which we imagined would look nice in our living room.” This was the comment Vintage Rock came up with about the Sonneteer Morpheus Server and Music Centre. They were reporting back on the CES show at which they popped into the Sonneteer and Penaudio Suite at the Venetian Hotel.
They saw a number of systems attempting to gain traction in this new age of high fidelity. The Sonneteer Morpheus system to them was, well let’s just let you read what they said: “The Morpheus from Sonneteer was the sleekest and most discreet. It stores three terabytes of tunes, and like the others, will rip your CDs while you “go make a cup of tea.” You can even control it, like most of the other music servers, with your iPhone[or iPod Touch].“ You can see their full report at Vintagerock.com
The one thing they omitted from their report, as they were comparing Ethernet connections, is that the Sonneteer Morpheus is Wi-fi compatible(wireless network) as well as being Ethernet capable(wired network). So if you don’t have your house wired up for Ethernet in every room and your home router is wireless(nearly all are these days) you can be up and away in a matter of minutes.
Sonneteer, already popular with the Dutch is now in the good hands of Riverside Audio for the Benelux market. A marketing campaign followed by reviews kicked off early in the new year and new dealers are already taking on stock and demonstrating products. The people behind Riverside have been long standing fans of Sonneteer and welcome the chance to take it to a broader audience whilst maintaining and bettering the standards of service Sonneteer customers have come to expect. The Sonneteer guys will be popping over from time to time to lend support, pick up some cheese(Haider is partial to a bit of Guada) and enjoy the great hospitality always extended to them when over there.
We will be bringing you translations and originals of all the reviews as they are made available to us. The grape vines are twittering that The Morpheus Music Centre has been well received by one of their better hi-fi publications. More soon.
To contact River side please go to their website: http://www.riversideaudio.nl/
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…
We’ve reported back ourselves and our guy’s blogs will soon be buzzing with more (once over the jet lag) so here is a moment to see what some of the rest are saying about Sonneteer:
The Stereophile have long been great supporters and always good for a conversation or two have published a fulland detailed CES show report as usual and the bit that interests us can be found here:
Oh and more from them in multi colour:
ecoustics.com have clearly been reading our news pages. Happy to have you on board ladies and gents:
Elite Choice, but of course:
Audio Video Revolution:
These guys popped into the show room and we had a good natter. We, at S-news and Sonneteer, think their vision of where the home entertainment electronics industry is going is akin with ours and will be following their bulletins avidly. Recommended reading, shall we say.
And Phile web from Japan: Fans of ours for a while.
http://www.phileweb.com/news/audio/201001/10/9658.html in Japanese
http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.phileweb.com/news/audio/201001/10/9658.html&ei=tWZPS6npHo6I0wSGpKGwCg&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDYQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3DSonneteer%2B%2Bces%2Bphileweb%2BCES%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1C1GGLS_en-GB___GB316%26sa%3DG%26tbo%3D1 google translated into English.
I4U. This one has been linked to from all over the web:
And for lots of show pictures:
We are also twittering:
CES: Las Vegas – The morning of the 11th of January, Las Vegas hosted late breakfast and check out times for 10s of thousands of Engineers, sales reps and marketing folk as the 2010 CES show flies off in to the distant sun.
CES this year was dominated by news of 3DTV and ebook readers whilst nearly every journalist jumped on to these band wagons the rest of the show’s exhibits were lost or should I say hidden by the fog of it all. The best of the show is generally away from the ‘flash in the pan’ media frenzy and often a better guide to what will change our lives over the next few years.
What caught my eye, were things like the Adidas miCoach, a device to aide runners and joggers to measure their performance, and the prevelance of internet connected devices. Internet radio going in to cars, as announced by Ford, could be the sounding of the last bell for DAB for instance.
Of course the high end audio area, at the Venetian Towers is of Particular interest to us and, as we have already reported, Sonneteer, the British luxury music systems maker, were true to form in bringing new ideas to the show with their ultra quiet Morpheus Server, to match their Morpheus Music Centre. Also showing off that their products will be available in a wide range of colours to special order. The server was shown both in black and a sumptuous Burgundy, red.
Needless to say, Sonneteer, though at the luxury end of the home entertainment electronics market have been internet connected for quite sometime now.
Penaudio, the high end luxury loudspeaker manufacturer from Finland were accompanying Sonneteer this year with the launch of their Ambient range of speakers in its Series 2 form. As one enters the show suite, one finds it laid out as a typical home with a dining room area in the upper level and a living room area below over looking the Las Vegas Strip. Two systems were on display both being served by a Sonneteer Morpheus server and a music Centre driving a pair of Serenades from The Penaudio Classic range in the living area and a pair of Red Chronos from the Ambient in the dining area. The Penaudio Ambient range, as mentioned, has been tweaked up market by using better drive units and a dusting of Sami Pentilla (their chief designer and founder) magic. These will be available in three standard colour, but much like the Sonneteer range, the customer can request other colours which will be available at a premium to the standard price.
Not neglecting their analogue roots, Sonneteer were also demonstrating the Sedley Phono stage which was on show in one of their USA distributor, May Audio‘s eight show rooms at CES where is was singing merrily to the tune of a Roksan Turntable and a London Decca Cartridge and using Gut Wire cables. The Sedley, now globally renowned for its musical abilities and unmatched flexibility is also available with a USB connection. We have linked to a couple of recent reviews in our pages in the past from UHF and Audio Audition.
Back home and catching up on sleep, we look forward to 2010 with optimism. Roll on CES 2011.
Sonneteer, while at CES, the worlds largest Consumer Electronics Show, have been showing off how their Morpheus music centre can be controlled using an iPod Touch or an iPhone. As mentioned when we brought you the news about the Morpheus server, the Plug Player App’ can be downloaded for just under £3. It will see any number of Music Centres and Morpheus servers you have on your network and allow you to choose and play back your music through the Morpheus Music Centre you have selected.