On our older news pages we wrote a review of the eventful 2012. The Orton Amplifier had just been upgraded to mark three and What Hi-Fi in Russia got their hands on and…Well here is the year in review below:

2012 Sonneteer in reviews Part1: From Russia with Lust.
It 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 mid-range 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 f or 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 of f a mark 3 Byron earlier. Reminded me of a recent experience at the O2 Arena. Me and 20,000 others. Exceptional.

2012 in reviews Part 2: Bronte, silver discs and the land of the rising sun.
In Part 2 of our review of 2012 we head of f to land of the rising sun, Japan. Our (Sonneteer) products enjoyed the poetry of Japanese reviewer on more than one occasion this year. In the Spring Audio Basic magazine wrote about the Campion amplifier and Bronte CD player stating that, “..these machines are the objects of craft work Comparable to drinking single malt whisky, straight. You can enjoy the high quality sound without colouration”. We wrote about it here in our May 2012 posting. The next episode came in the Autumn issue of Audio Accesory. This time the Bronte CD player on its own. Below are some translated extracts from the review which also spends some time praising our whole line up as well as the United Kingdom as country of Audio Aficionados.

The review starts by asking [on behalf of the reader] “who are Sonneteer?”. They went on to give a little history by stating that Sonneteer [that’s us] produce realistically priced products that are accessible to the true music lover”…” Established in 1994 they are a relatively new company in the Audio Kingdom [The UK], but their products are designed in the traditional British [They said English, but I am Welsh!] way. Sonneteer products are not made exclusively f or the very rich but accessible to all music lover who like to buy something a little expensive f or themselves.” They then went on to describe the transitional British sound by saying, ” They [The British] don’t make their sound too loud in volume but like nuances and sensitive dynamics to be pronounced more than us [The Japanese]. The British manufactures produce high resolution audio products that maintain their resolution even at low sound volumes. We who live in cities in Japan cannot play music at loud volumes so we are very grateful to have Sonneteer products.”

Beyond the history lesson the Bronte CD player was being reviewed here and they certainly liked it. ” The music was full of energy…clearly expressive with a very good perception of detail and rhythm.The playback Sound is Faithful to the principles [of the music] … The sound reproduction is not in the true ‘high end’ style, so allowing the true music lover to concentrate the music.” Having started the year as a winner of the Visual Grand Prix Award the Bronte CD/SACD player ends 2012 with high praise from Japan’s leading audio magazine. If we are an audio Kingdom then they certainly qualify as an audio Empire.

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