Wednesday, 19 August 2009

first designs...

We started with an amplifier and soon realised that there is only so much could be done with standard box! To keep things simple, a symmetrical design concept was used to simplify design and future system matching. Instead of spending money to to hide the screws like everyone else was at that time, a simpler way was to turned them it into a design feature (sort of inspired by Cartier watches of that era)! By using contrasting materials natural shines and tones, together with a clever use of colours, this was the first Sonneteer system:

Not bad for a first effort I think. Apart from being not being typical Hi-Fi black, we used a blue LED light for power indicator, and also we used a blue CD display. The amplifier front panel was brushed while the knobs were semi-polished in order to give it the required contrast between the knob and the front panel, otherwise they would have appeared the same since they were made with the same material.

The Byron CD player was a rather more challenging project both technically and aesthetically. I have previously designed a simple single aluminium front panel prototype but that was rejected later because it wasn't we were looking for and did not have enough contrast to match our amplifiers. Also, for the black option, it would simply be too dark (ie dull) if everything was black.

So a mirror polished stainless steel inner panel was used to great effect be it in a Silver or Black system: Anyway, the above systems were developed over 4 years or so and we have enjoyed great success with them internationally. They also formed the basis of the Sonneteer "look" that have carried onto other products in our range, including a couple of amplifiers and a CD Player.

So there you are, a very brief history of Sonneteer in the early years... for now I don't want to elaborate too much as I am sure I will be referring back to some history as this blog moves forward.

Lessons learned:

  • Aluminium is a beautiful material.
  • Use different finishing processes to get the effect you want from the same material.
  • Mirror is NOT silver, it's a chameleon that changes colour with your surroundings.
  • Stainless steel don't rust, so use it!

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