The Art of the Artisan

Before there was Sonneteer, the founders, as young students were busy tuning up recording equipment, mixing desks and microphones so that the music recordings they were making and working on sounded just right. In fact the roots of the first amplifier as well as being a final year degree project was an amplifier made to monitor music recordings as “I really wasn’t happy with the rubbish I was using” said Haider Bahrani[Sonneteer founder]. Remo Casadei [the other Sonneteer founder] spent a lot of his student days sitting behind mixing desks and fiddling with the electronics as Haider and his band were making enough noise to disturb the neighbourhood.

Ultimately they were obsessed with making things sound how they wanted it and it didn’t matter what they used or how they did it. The fact is, the music was far more important to them than the equipment or how it was kept. Even today if you ask them and despite their huge efforts to make their products fit seamlessly in your living space it’s more important that the music you love is giving you goose pimples as you are sitting down with your cup of coffee and reading a magazine.

In the days [pre-children] when I had time to play with my guitars and do a little recording, to be honest, I didn’t really look after my guitars that well. When I had my fingers on the frets and plectrum on the strings I was at one with the machine, but beyond that the guitar itself wasn’t important to me. I didn’t really care of the body was scratched or anything as long as it sang when I played it. I mean every few years I do out a duster to them. My three year old daughter has complained recently that they are a bit dirty!

One time, back in about 1990, I was jamming with the band I was in at the time and Remo pointed out that there was some spray coming from my hand as I was strumming. I hadn’t particularly noticed, but it was blood from my fingers rubbing on the strings. I think there are some red stains still on that guitar. It was my Marlin Strat copy if remember right. It’s all I could afford back then. It is a bit rough and ready and has a very raw sound. It’s very charming in its own way.

Haider, 2013.

Today, all Sonneteer products are assembled by hand with one person taking responsibility for each unit made. Not one single Sonneteer music playing product leaves the workshop without being listened to by one of the founders. It is said that they can tell if a Campion has a wrong component in it simply by listening to the first note of a melody played through it.

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