With its new Sonata series, just available in summer 2019, the French manufacturer Actinote presents a new generation of high-performance cables, well designed to cope with today’s highly polluted electromagnetic environment.

Without making a fuss but with a solid conviction, Actinote conti-nues to exercise his priesthood in terms of excellence in sound reproduction. The French tend towards neutrality and naturalness more than towards rhinestones and sequins. And it seems that he has rallied a good number of devotees, because his influence is gradually spreading. When technical solutions are lacking, Actinote innovates! To produce its products, Actinote takes into account all the electrical and mechanical parameters involved in a cable.  The success of its Mezzo Evo lines and especially Aria Evo is not denied, but in each designer, a competitor is asleep, and the idea of doing better is present in his mind. 

Sonata has already been present for a few years as a capsule collection, but this time at the dawn of the 2019 season, the complete range is released, with analog (modulation and loudspeaker), digital (AES/EBU and S/PDIF) and mains links. For this first draft, we tested digital and analog RCA interconnections. Where the Aria have an immaculate white livery, the Sonatas are all black. But not a black «Mezzo» in synthetic braid, but the very deep black that the new natural cotton sheath offers, and which, in addition to its elegance, provides a good vibration damping. The link of recognition is made by the catches. Excellent, they haven’t changed a bit! For digital and modulation cables, proprietary RCA connectors are designed to specifications. The wooden barrel is non-resonant. The conductive body is made of pure 24-carat gold-plated copper, the contact resistance is extremely low and the residual capacity is very low thanks to a balance of the metal masses between hot and cold point.

These new cables consist of several cotton sheaths and a large number of series of copper wires with a cross-section of 0.125 mm assembled in an unconventional manner. This is what makes Sonata so special. Actinote started from the observation that the «classic» twisted structure of a rope, in the form of a strand, produces a salt effect that sometimes produces undesirable effects. He has therefore devised a specific assembly that prevents this salt effect. But we won’t know any more, because like most independent cable manufacturers, Actinote protects its trade secrets… What we have learned is that the conductors have been cryogenically processed, and that the main characteristic of these cables is their low resistance. In addition, the assembly time is much longer than for an Aria, and requires proven dexterity.

Manufacturers may say that they are all moving towards neutrality, but we all, including them, have different ears and perceptions, and as a result the proposed results are all different. But where it becomes extremely interesting is in these various proposals for neutrality. And we must say that this new Sonata line has seduced us with a very successful degree of sound fluidity. That was the manufacturer’s stated goal, and we can confirm that he has succeeded! Indeed, rarely has a cable as much as this one can intersperse between the rest of the system and our ear. He seems almost absent. On the other hand, it allows a maximum of information to pass through, very well coordinated, with a very clear feeling of energy. In addition to its very good resolution level, Sonata has the ability to reduce background noise. The sound spectrum reproduced is superior to that of the Aria, with a deeper and more readable bass and a bright high-pitched note, and very well persistent. The tonal balance is very elegant, realistic, quite fruity, not at all matt, and without any artificial coloring. The stereophonic image is more accurate, and better distributed. 

Actinote has never made no secret of its primary desire to let the system express itself. These Sonatas work wonders with any recording. The overall result is characterized by almost no background noise and no fatigue even on very long listening periods.


Sonata Evo digit RCA 83 : € 685
Sonata Evo RCA 83 : € 1.370
Sonata Evo RCA 130 : € 1.510