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Silverline Audio Technology Sonatina
17 Reviews
rating  4.41 of 5
MSRP  3495.00
Description: High-End 3-way Full-Range Loudspeakers


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Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ConcordJohn a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 26, 2005

Bottom Line:   
This is a review of the Sonatina II. I recently purchased a Manley Stingray and that move brought out some deficiencies in my B&W 602's. Which is not to say that the 602's are poor speakers. On the contrary, in their price range ($600 new, $350 used), they are excellent performers. However, I was looking for a speaker that would allow the Stingray to perform at full capacity. Since my room is fairly small (11X16) and I have an M&K MX100 sub, my initial thought was to acquire some better monitors. Reading through AudioReview, AudioAsylum and other sources, I thought that ProAc SC's, Merlin TSM's, Totem Signature 1's or Tyler Reference Monitors might be the ticket. However, I then starting thinking about floorstanders; ProAc 1.5's, B&W 804's, Totem Hawk's & others and I read & learned about Silverline's...manufactured in my own home town. Already owning a California made amp and a California made sub, I thought it would be cool to go with a California tri-fecta. The topper was that the Sonatina's were extremely highly reviewed and sounded like very tube-friendly speakers. Now that I have had them for a while, I am extremely happy with my choice. The sonic match with the Stingray and the M&K sub are spot on! I have no doubt that there are better speakers out there, and to someone else, something else would sound better, however I don't think you can go wrong with the Sonatina's. Especially if you are getting into tubes. They are solid, look great and provide an excellent soundstage throughout the high, mid and low tonal range. The low's are more than acceptable (I just like the sub "oomph"), the high's are excellent and the mid's are superior (creamy smooth). And with this combo (and my Arcam 8se, a good, but not superior cd player), 40+ year old recordings of Ray Charles & Ella Fitzgerald sound great. New HDCD recordings, Chesky and Mapleshade & other better recordings sound....incredible. As for tubes not rocking...the Manley Stingray (and these speakers) cranks! Not in a 250 watt per channel solid state way, but in a smooth, listen all night and not feel like you have lobsters crawling out of your ears way. It's a revelation.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by drb a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I have a pair of the MKII that have been factory modified. For several months I was very happy with the Sonatina IIs. Liquid highs and mids with a decent low end. But as the initial wow wore off I found the SEAS mid-bass & bass drivers to be slow and out classed by the LPG dome mid & tweeter. Alan Yun was happy to work with me and we settled on replacing the SEAS drivers with the Dynaudio 6.5" drivers he uses in the SR17. So four drivers, some crossover changes, and $900 later I had a setup that sounds like a single transducer, seamless. What a difference as the dynaudio drivers are lightling fast. As I bonus I got a deeper bottom end. I can listen to these speakers all day long and at any volume. I still use my sub-woofer below 40Hz to give me that low end rumble. Only so much you can ask from a small cabinet and a 6.5" woofer.

My Silverlines are feed by the following.
Arcam CD72 cd player
deHavilland UltraVerve pre
Belles 350A amp
MIT Terminator Bi-Wire cables

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $3600.00

Purchased At:   Factory Direct



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I love these speakers. The Silverline Sonatina Mk2's offer a superb combination of musicality and physical elegance. I have 5 audio systems and currently have, or have recently owned, Dunlavy Alethas and SC-3's, Tyler acoustics Linbrook monitors paired with an ACI Titan 2 sub, Tag McLaren Calliopes, PBS minis and Epos M12's. The Sonatinas have an extremely slim footprint and only take up as much room as my stand-mounted monitors, but they deliver a much more full-bodied and compelling sound. The finish and seams on the rosewood veneer are absolutely flawless, and these speakers are just plain gorgeous to look at. I purchased the Sonatinas without ever auditioning them based on the rave reviews alone. They serve as the front speakers in my home theater system and are paired with a Denon AVR 4802 amp, Rel Storm sub, PSB C5 center, Boston Acoustics micro 90X surrounds, Pioneer DV656A DVD/CD player and Cardas Cross biwired speaker cables. From the first moment I hit "Play", I was blown away by their musicality. The standout is a lush, smooth, "authentic" midrange that imbues female vocals, strings and wind instruments with absolute magic. High frequencies are clear and entirely unfatiguing. The lower frequencies have excellent drive, speed and visceral impact. When using my home theater for stereo listening, primarily classical and jazz, the lack of a large bass driver is noticeable only with occasional triple forte orchestral passages, and in those cases the Rel sub nicely fills in the gaps. The Rel is more indispensible with LFE for movie soundtracks. I was so impressed I tried the Sonatinas in my main system in place of my Dunlavy Alethas. My associated equipment is: Pass Labs X250 amp, X1 and X-ono pre/phono, Cary CD 303/200, Rega P25 turntable with a Benz L2 Glider MC cartridge, MIT 350 and Nordost Red Dawn XLR IC's and Cardas Golden Cross biwired speaker cables. The result? Music that made the components disappear. You could have convinced me that Renee Fleming was singing in my living room. Although deep bass is missing, by no stretch of the imagination is the bass lightweight on these speakers. They do a great job with Rock and driving Jazz as well, all the while delivering an extremely musical balance. These are without a doubt the biggest bang for the buck speakers I have heard. Bottom line: The Sonatinas are back in my home theater system and I am considering replacing my Alethas with another pair of Alun Yun's splendid speakers. Don't hesitate if you are considering Sonatina's for your system unless you restrict your listening to headbanging music, or you are willing to spend much more. The Mk3's just came out, so the Mk2's are likely to drop substantially in price.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by futalau a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 11, 2002

Bottom Line:   
As soon as I've connected these speakers to my Belles 150A and I turned to one of my favorites vinyls: Eagles-Hotel California, I knew what I was missing all these years....Suddenly it was like a new world that I was discovering behind a wall of unheard notes on a newly, heavenly, magically and misterious musical elements. My ears could not believe that a song well known for so many ears, could sound with that much revealind detail and focus. The highs were stratospherical, the mids smoother than the finest velvet and the lows deeper than the Marianes abys.
I don't think that anybody could find any similar sounding speakers below 6K. The cabinets, especially in briarwood finish are extremelly attractive and could enhance any living room or "music room".

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   local dealer-demo



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Don a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I've listened to the above speakers at length, and to various more expensive speakers (Talon Khorus, Wilson Watt) at stores. The Thiel 2.2s were dry and, in my room, slightly bright. They were also not very dynamic. The Aerials lacked the resolution and detail of the Silverlines, and sounded rather dull. The sonic signature of the Totem Forests was not altogether unlike that of the Sonatinas, but the Silverlines clearly bested the Totems in linearity and overall balance. The Sonatinas are also more efficient. All of the speakers I auditioned had certain strong qualities, but only the Sonatinas lacked weaknesses.

I've heard the Sonatinas in several settings, ranging from a cramped carpeted room to a large, concrete-floored warehouse, and in all cases they have impressed me with their clarity and detail. I have also heard them with all types of amplification, ranging from inexpensive tube integrated amps to absurdly expensive solid-state amps.

Soundstaging and imaging are good, although Silverline's monitors are arguably even better in these respects. Definition and low-level detail are exceptional, better than any other speaker I've heard near this price. Overall tonal accuracy is outstanding--vocals and instruments sound just as they should. The crucial midrange is immediate and palpable, wonderfully natural and open.

Overall, these are by far the best speakers I've heard in their class. They share many sonic characteristics with the the larger and more expensive Silverline speakers (Sonata, La Folia), and may be the ideal choice for a medium-sized room (my listening room is about 15'x16'). They sound especially magical with tube amplification.

My system includes:
Linn LP12 w/Syrinx PU-2 arm and Benz Micro Gold cartridge
Linn Karik/Numerik transport/DAC
Magnum Dynalab FT-101 tuner
Linn Kairn preamp
Rogue 88 power amp
Kimber PBJ and Silver Sonic BL1 interconnects
Kimber 8TC speaker cable

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1650.00

Purchased At:   used




Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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