‘Freed from the century’ the Manic Street Preachers sang at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff and live to the world via TV as we sang with them (Haider and his troop were there) with little fear of the Y2K bug and lots of hope for the naughties to come. That year was the year we officially took the silver disc to our hearts. Our first CD player, the Byron, was announced to the world. Over the next 15 years it was to bread a cult of its own as it became know as ‘the vinyl CD player’, but without the crackle and pop. The pros and cons of such exclamation can be left to the aficionado debates in the HiFi fora, but fundamentally it was a compliment intended of highest order as digital sound was still an ugly term to many.

The most fun, and very hard work, part of the year 2000 was the Live 2000 show at legendary Earls Court in London. It was our biggest show to date at one of the biggest, open to the public, Consumer electronics shows of the era. All our products were on display including the Byron as well as a few of ‘test’ prototypes, not all of which saw the light of day. We had developed a DVD player, Pre-amplifier and a DAC, none of which were on loud display (though we may have shown a film or two having paid our performance rights fee). Those of you who own or have owned a Dryden DAC  will be aware of which one made it to the shops.

Enjoythemusic.com, an early player on the online scene reported us as below, but the interesting bit is what they wrote just underneath. Whatever happened to that there interweb? Oh and check those prices. Can’t make them for that these days!

Sonneteer were showing their, from top to bottom, Byron 18-bit DAC(£795), all new Campion 30 watts stereo amplifier(£599), and Sedley phono stage (£399). The Byron employs separate power supplies for the DAC and CD mechanism to reduce any interference. Single-bit Delta-sigma are mated with multi-bit interpolation to take advantage of each technologies benefits. The Campion amplifier runs in “Class A/B” using Bi-Polar Junction Transistors to produce 30 watts per channel (two channels). Five stereo inputs and one stereo output are offered. Lastly, the Sedley phono stage can handle both moving coil (MC) and Moving Magnetic (MM) cartridges. The loading impedance and capacitance are adjustable.

Here at Live 2000 were a staggering amount of internet companies. from AOL to Freeserve, World Online, the net and others. There was an amazing amount of diverse internet companies offering show goers software and web services. The internet has really taken hold here in the UK. i recall only a few years back how very few people were web savvy. Today it seems almost old hand.

Towards the end of the year the press got word of new things being made worthy of some ‘Wuthering’ heights.