Sonneteer (plural Sonneteers)
A writer of sonnets.
Sonneteer came to life in 1994, but it all started a little earlier than that.
While at University in the late 80’s and early 90’s Haider Bahrani and Remo Casadei started a business to organise gigs or concerts and recordings for small bands. Haider had a band so it was mainly a vehicle for this although it did branch out to a number of other student bands. As Electronics Engineering Design students Haider and Remo, not content with some of the sound equipment they had to hand, they modified it and often built their own. In fact Remo was known to rarely travel without a soldering iron and a multi-meter in the back of his car.
In his final year, Haider designed a hi-fi amplifier. Other than the requirements of his degree, he also wanted a good amplifier to monitor his personal music recording. Remo, a true hi-fi enthusiast, had other ideas. So taken with the original design, when Haider decided to go on a month’s holiday after graduating, Remo popped round to Haider’s parents house and ‘borrowed’ said amplifier to show off to a few hi-fi aficionado and dealer friends. They loved it and by the time Haider had come back from holiday Remo, a highly skilled product engineer, was already cooking up a production version of this amplifier. All products to date are co designed by the two gentlemen.
The original business at University was called Fine Thang Musico. The small amount of money they had left from this was used to start up an incorporated Fine Thang Musico to be known as FTM Marketing ltd the current mother company of Sonneteer.
Why Sonneteer? Well Haider has a passion for writing and wanted to name products after writers and poets. The first amplifier was to become the Sonneteer Campion, after Thomas Campion. The rest of the separates range followed suit and the Bard range, in name, was barely a departure from that. Only the Morpheus, an early digital audio streaming product by Sonneteer was not named after a writer or poet.
However, Morpheus, the Greek God of dreams and is coincidentally referred to in Thomas Campion’s ‘The cypress curtain of the night’ from the Books of Ayres. The Campion being Sonneteer’s first ever product, as mentioned earlier, of course.
Should we anticipate, a Dylan Thomas, a Wordsworth, or even a William Shakespeare one day? Who knows. Haider’s Welsh roots may lean in a certain direction, but there’s a lot more prose and verse to be read before any such decisions can be made.
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 an Alabaster has a wrong component in it simply by listening to the first note of a melody played through it.
Classic high fidelity
Sonneteer was born of an age when High Fidelity separates components were considered the epitome of audio reproduction equipment for the home. From the very first outing of the first prototype amplifier which was to become the Campion integrated amplifier, Sonneteer have proven that they are the epitome of a manufacturer of the ilk. The age was also still one that was synonymous with high readership numbers for magazines like Electronics World, HiFi News and HiFi World. Some might even remember Sonneteer’s own Haider Bahrani’s scribblings in the latter. It is also said that Remo Casadei (the other Sonneteer founder) managed to sneak in an article or two in the technical pages while Haider was sunning himself somewhere hot with the [now] mother of his child.
Although this was already the age of computers, home entertainment was still defined by the home central music system and at the higher quality end or luxury end of this was the British hifi separates system.Vinyl records, which have enjoyed a mini revival lately were still competing on a level with CDs (Compact Dics) for sales and compact cassettes were still the dominant audio recording medium. The year was 1994.
Now is 2016 and Sonneteer sounds stronger than ever! In the avalanche of new products it is a beacon of ever solid engineering and most amazing, musical sound.
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