I [Haider] was sitting in our unit, a 3m x 4m sublet downstairs from our friends’ Satellite dish and set top box distribution business, not in great mood staring and sometimes fiddling with this new amp we were working on. It looked a lot like the Campion but the toroidal transformer was much larger and the trained eye would notice much of the componentry were different. We had promised the hifi dealers and the press that a new amp that would surpass the Campion would be available soon. I was grumpy because, to my ears Nirvana had not been reached and though cleaner and bolder than the Campion already, within these sloping wall (part of the office was under a staircase) I was not getting that I have finished this project feeling.
As the soldering iron and solder fumes warmed and kippered my face as I gazed over the amp changing components and then listening, then measuring and twiddling with bias levels and listening, changing to another disc and listening more, there was a knock on the door. It was the freelance reviewer Eric Braithwait one of the said press mentioned before.
We sat there, in front of the amp and speakers, with cups of tea as we waxed lyrical about my efforts. We played some music and waxed some more. Eric then walked up to the new amplifier, had a sniff then turned to me and said just one word, ‘stop!’. He then told me to get this ready for production and send it to him and to tweak no more. In truth there was a small amount of work and testing to be done, but in a matter of a couple of weeks we were now ready. The Sonneteer Alabaster was born.
…this is one of the best amplifiers f or voice around. Any damn fool can just play a tune and get it over with, but the best like the Alabaster, does more than that…it’s a ballet dancer that can’t be fazed by anything… Loved the new Alabaster, it’s to die for.
Hi-Fi News, May ’97.
And another wondrous review could be simply summed up with one sentence,
I suddenly remembered I was supposed to be reviewing the amp rather than sitting there transfixed.
Hi-Fi World, October ’97.
Mood much improved.