AXPONA 2014: Sonist Returns


As you may or may not know, Sonist founder Randy Bankert passed away a bit over a year ago. Given that Randy was a one-man show, this was terrible news for lovers of his work. The all-wood ribbon-tweeter high-sensitivty loudspeakers were something of a legend among those of us interested in low-power amplifiers, and with his passing, I’m sure many were feeling like a light had gone out or that maybe a wall had fallen over in audio’s high-end. Anyway, while Randy may be gone, it turns out that the Sonist brand might not be.

Jonny Wilson of Snake River Audio has agreed to carry the brand forward, under the original name, and even extend the portfolio to some of the designs that never quite made it to light. To wit: here at AXPONA we were treated to the $1,895/pair stand-mounted Recital 2 loudspeakers. Paired here with Randy’s personal pair of deHavilland 50A mono blocks, the sound was dynamic and inviting, fully lit, with a solid bass output.

This makes me very happy.

The Sonist line of speakers has been tweaked, according to Jonny — SRA wire is now being used internally. But other than such upgrades, the loudspeakers are as they were. Fun, good-looking, and sonically inviting furniture. Got your little bitty, flea-powered amps? Time to play!

Kudos to the Sonist. Nice work!




About Scot Hull 1039 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.


  1. I heard these again at AXPONA 2013 AND AXPONA 2014…

    While impressed at “Sound For Value” at 2013…EXTREMELY disappointed at AX 2014.

    Actually drove me OUT of the room.

    Never been a fan of the the aesthetic or sonics …

    Nicely made but obviously not in the same league as the Salk / AVA Room which in my opinion had similarly designed but better integrated component synergy.

    Nice guys BUT…Hope for a better match up with different mfrs next year.


  2. I was never able to make up my mind about these speakers, as whenever I saw them exhibited, they were in rooms that didn’t all for them to be played properly. Interested but unconverted I guess. The specs are interesting but “Fun, good-looking, and sonically inviting furniture” doesn’t sound that good really.

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