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

What Hi-Fi

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.