Drum Set Reviews
The Sonor SQ2 is Sonor's top-of-the-range drum set and replaces the previous Designer Series. Like the Designer Series, you can design your own custom kit including everything from sizes and materials, to hardware and finishes. The choices are immense!
To order the SQ2 you can go to Sonor's website and use their online software to pick every last detail, then order it with a Sonor dealer.
The set i'm reviewing here has a 22"x18" bass drum, 12"x10", 14"x14", and 16"x16" toms, with a 14"x5" snare. Top-end sets are always trying to offer something special, so does Sonor's huge range of options make the SQ2 a real contender...
Ok, let's start with a brief look at the options available. The choice of build materials for the SQ2 include maple, birch, beech, and x-ray acrylic.
Once you've decided, you can then choose how thick you want the shells to be - thin (5mm), mediuum (6mm), heavy (8mm), or vintage (toms and snare 4mm with 2mm reinforcing rings, and bass drum 6mm with 2mm rings).
Next, you'll need to pick the shell hardware you want. You can have the lugs, metal fittings, and hoops in either plain chrome, black chrome, or gold. Then last of all, it's time to choose the finish you want, but we'll talk about those a little later
The set I have here is made from birch and has thin 5mm tom and snare shells with a medium 6mm bass drum. And believe me, these shells are really well put together with no flaws and perfect bearing edges.
The shell hardware is in a class of it's own too. On the toms and snare are some tiny, low-mass, beater shaped lugs that have minimal contact with the shells. But, it's a different story on the bass drum. Here Sonor have put on large tension rods with 30mm rubber grip discs that you turn by hand to tune the drum. They do look kinda over the top, but are very cool too.
The rest of the bass drum features are just as impressive including the curved bass drum spurs with large rubber feet, and the fact that the shell has been left undrilled. This means that the rack tom is mounted using an arm that clamps to a cymbal stand.
The arm then has a suspension system that attaches to two of the toms lugs, allowing it to vbrate. One last detail worth noting is that all the lugs and fittings on the set have been lined with rubber to prevent them from scracthing the shells. Spiffing!
Ok, let's go over the finishes. You can get this kit in 7 different categories of finish including high-glosses in a variety of sparkles, fades, stains, hardwood veneers, and single colours. But, Sonor then go one step further and will also match any colour you give them! Heck, you can even get the insides of the shells in a premium venner too if you want! But, it'll cost 'ya.
To say the high-gloss black and silver sparkle on the review set is superb would be an understatement. The quailty is is excellent and it gives the whole set a look that says "I mean business".
Like I mentioned earlier, this particular set has been made from 100% birch and that has given it a solid attacking sound, but with the depth, warmth, and resonance you'd expect at this high level.
The bass drum definately has all of those qualities and more. Thanks to the thicker shell, it's louder and more powerful than the other drums and gives a great, dark thud! With a little tweaking and some dampening, I was really happy with the sound I got.
Just as good are the toms, especially the floor toms that have a rich, deep sound and nice sustain. Fast notes and rolls sound clear and bright when your moving around them, and the quality of the birch sound that they produce is undeniably good.
Last of all, the snare drum has a sexy, fat sound when you hit it in the center, while the edges are bright and sensitive. Playing rim shots will give you a decent crack!, and cross sticks sound pretty sweet too. A very good drum.
The Sonor SQ2 offers an almost insane amount of choices from the shells to the finishes and more. And, as you'd expect for a top-end set, it isn't cheap. But, Sonor have really excelled themselves here, and if you really wanted to go to town and spend a packet on your next kit - the SQ2 options make it very tempting.
If the review set is anything to go by, anyone who orders a custom SQ2 set isn't gonna be disapointed. It's up there challenging other top-end sets by manufacturers like Pearl, Yamaha, and Tama for sure. The finishes are beautiful, the build quality is excellent, and the shell hardware is distinctly Sonor.
Any downsides? The only mild problem I had with the set was that the snare strainer tension knobs were a bit awkward to use. Oh yeah, and that there aren't any metal snare drum options available to choose from. But, i guess you can always pick from the rest of the Sonor range or look elsewhere.
What about the price? Warning! The Sonor SQ2 is not a cheap set. The price gonna vary a lot depending on what materials, shells, finishes and hardware you want, so be prepared. Where's the cheapest place to buy? You'll need to go to the Sonor website and use their SQ2 configurator, then contact a Sonor dealer.
The final word: a vast array of options, geat build quality, amazing finshes, cool hardware, and a pro sound put this up there with the big boys. You'll pay a premium for it, but the SQ2 is a fab set!