Wow, I can't believe how time has flown since my last post, so I guess I'd better blog an update before this year is over!
At Sonneteer, we recently have been on an update spree in the past several months, starting from the Mk.V CD player, followed by the Orton and a couple more on work in progress too! Even the website has been updated (well I guess it's kinda easy to stay in and work with such rubbish weather!)
News is both the Mk.V Bronte and the Byron CD players were received with great enthusiasm, and the baby Bronte CD player has also picked up an award in Japan too... so all very happy.
Most of the updates were done under the skin: a completely new chassis, power supply, CD mechanism and remote... but crucially we kept the same DAC as before which gave our players their legendary sound quality! Several tweaks made to the chassis have also provided significant improvement to the overall sound quality of the CD players too, which can't be bad! Looks wise only a very small visual update on the front panel buttons, now in stainless steel instead of black plastic... just a little sparkle of "bling" so we can tell the Mk.V from the Mk.IV, Mk.III...
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
As we are about to re-launch the CD players, I got a bit of a deja vous feeling and found myself reminiscing the initial Sonneteer journey while I was talking to a chap about the business.
Haider was making an amplifier for his university project... I was working on a satellite receiver project for my placement company. Although we were both really into music I remember I was far more into Hi Fi then him, and my friends were into it too and so were my colleagues and so on... you get the picture.
Anyway, I remember back then Haider often came to my place with his black box project of an amplifier with a bag of bits and try things out. It usually happens after him blowing it up at his place so let's just say he was changing and updating components quite often! Back then, we used any bits available so long as the values were fulfilled and he started to notice those changes of component often changed the way the amplifier sounded! So quite often he comes over to my place and say, "tell me I'm not losing it, but if I do this the thing sounds different!!!". Quite often I agreed and it wasn't long until the sound we got out of that ugly black box with a hand written "h" on it was out performing my own system.
After the degree was over, Haider decided to take a holiday in the USA to cool his heels and left his pride and joy of an amp in his room. I really don't know what got over me but one day I decided to go to his place, rang the door bell and told his mum I needed to "borrow" something from Haider's room... and I ran off with the little amplifier.
I took it to my place and gave it a good listening to and found it wiped the floor with my system... I then took it to a friend's house who had a far superior Hi Fi system than mine, and that little amp did the same to his system... he looked at me and said nothing, but that look was enough for me.
Last thing I remember was I rushed back to Haiders room and put the amp back exactly where it was as if it never left... a few days later Haider came back and I went there and said: "Let's start a business making amplifiers..."
Thursday, 7 July 2011
After being burnt with 3 touch screen phones running Windows Mobile 3 and 6, with all of them being retired as paperweight, an assault weapon or as an emergency phone within months... I was sure that I would not go down the touch screen route again... not even the iPhone tempted me enough to ditch the old buttoned phone!
Until one day I walked in the Carephone Wearhouse wondering if there are something worth me looking at, and this kid showed me a HTC Desired Z for about 5 minutes and I found myself Googling it that night. I got it the very next day and have never looked back! (perhaps that is why the CD project has been delayed recently!)
Honestly thou, it does show when a product ticks so many boxes as the Desire Z, even a sceptic like me can be turned... and I've just heard my colleague as well as my girlfriend is eyeing the same phone...
Here's to more blogging on the go!!!
News is that I have two latest Sonneteer CD players (Mr Byron and a Miss Bronte!) on my bench ready to go thru the last bit of testing... it has been a long time coming and what kept the passion going? I guess I kept thinking: all good things comes to those who wait.. (they better good after all this time!)... More updates next week of Mr. Byron and Miss. Bronte!
Now how do I get this on my HTC Desire Z?? (by the way what a bloody good phone!)
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Yep... didn't realise it is already April! Last time I was just coming back from CES Las Vegas, landed in London Gatwick, went home to cool my heels and then off to the ISE show in Holland (Check out our website news page or Facebook page!).
Not long after I found myself in Magliz... Bulgaria! Just for a short break... and it was amazing to be in somewhere so different from what I am used to... great food too... so when I got back I bought a bike! Went to a wedding (thankfully not mine) and with Mike as the DJ we had nothing to worry about... :D (I know he might be reading this lol)
Anyway, back to the buiz of designing stuff....so what happened so far? Well quite simply put, working on a few projects right now... The next generations of our CD players will soon be ready... here is a pic to show the beast I am dealing with...
Yes CD player, for some reason unknown to me, there seems to be a surge in demand of the 'ol silver disc spinner and hence a lot of priority is put on to getting this prototype to production, which I hope it will be in about 8 weeks time, so I can disappear for the summer break! lol...
What else? Amplifiers too are getting a bit of a push too... I thank my friends in forums who kept singing their praises, thank you, thank you! If you are into audio, have a browse in http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
So what the hell was I on about??? Well, just before CES2011 I realised that it has been like 3 years since designing the Morpheus music centre and perhaps it would be cool to have a different way to present the Morpheus at the forth coming shows. Something for the life-style concious customers that we seem to be getting more and more each day...
From the original concept, the Morpheus can be placed or mounted in three ways:
Then I remembered that I have had an old design of a stand that I wanted to make for 2008 but due to other pending projects it was temporarily shelved (like 3 years lol). For 2011 I thought, perhaps good time to bring it back! (Well, there was little else we could show physically since the other début was the internal BlueTooth streaming module!)
Because of the show schedules, time was the essence and for some reason it seems to bring up the simpliest and, to me at least, the most elegant solution... and this was the actual concept mock up: (Yes, I took a paper tube and cut it!)
Being so well balanced I could actually take a Morpheus unit and plonked it on the tube and the whole thing would remain stable without toppling over and I haven't even made a base for the stand yet!
Maybe it is because I watched too many Kung-Fu movies in my youth or the fact that in my earlier years I lived next to a bamboo forest in Hong Kong. A fountain my father created long ago perhaps? Fact is I always liked showing the thickness of the materials used as I have with the Morpheus and tube housing of the Morpheus Server too... to me it is always important to show the products are made off!
Anyway, the final prototype was created and worked a treat too, I will add more pictures later on as we are packing the stand for the ISE show... but here's one of them:
Also, for the production version, I will be introducing a few tweaks to make the stand more versatile and user friendly, and hopefully show them in different colours too, so stay tuned :)
Oh! I forgot about the base and some rather good ideas for spikes... but that would be too geeky wouldn't it?