Sonor has been on the top of the list of the best drum manufacturers. And the Sonor AQ2 drum set takes the place of their discontinued Force and SSE Special Edition Sets. This intermediate line carries the extremely popular Martini and Safari kits.

I have used each of these kits in the AQ2 series for a trial. They are all wonderful kits that have the best test and top-end tones. One of the main reasons Sonor has become a strong competitor in the market is its experience and reputation.

And will be reviewing these kits.


The world of compact drum sets has become very popular. They have taken the market for over 10 years, which is why Sonor has been changing the world.

Yamaha was the first company to introduce these kits with their Manu Katche Hip-Gig Jr. Kit. Sonor has become a complete game-changer.

Sonor was most popular for its heavy drums. They followed with their Safari set. They have created this portable, decently-made drum for a small price.

They opened a door for other manufacturers to follow. Ludwig came out with their Ludwig Breakbeats kit. And then Pearl added their Midtown kit before Tama delivered their Club Jam.

Today, the market is filled with different options below $400, all of which give a great feel. And as you may have expected, more people soon joined the industry.

At first, the compact kits were left for jazz music. But new developments have soon created a world of versatile kits that can be used for any music style.

Many gigging drummers bought many of these kits, not only because of their price but also because they are compact. The only limitation is their sound is not very desirable. Most of them are made from softer wood to reduce the price, which does not feel or respond like you would from a higher-quality wood.

Sonor AQ2 drum sets have a better reputation. Compared to all the rest, Sonor has tried its best to improve sound and features, creating more versatile sounds. They deliver a wonderful balance between affordability, portability, and build quality.

Improved Drums

I have been looking at the Sonor Martini and the Sonor Safari kit, which are among the top players in this market. They sport 100% 7-ply maple shells from the best suppliers in the world.

Their interior plies come with softer Asian maple, while the outer surface has a harder North American maple. The result is a thin 5.8mm shell park with a great response. It is a similar setup found on Yamaha’s new Tour Custom line.

I came across a Sonor Martini set with a White Marine Pearl Wrap that gave a great performance. This four-piece compact set is designed for absolute portability.  

All the drums are smaller. The rack toms measure 8 by 7-inch, the floor toms are 13-inch by 12-inch, and the kick is 14-inch by 13-inch. It also features a 12 by 5-inch snare with flanged hoops.

The Safari kit I have received before comes with a Delmar WMP finish, which makes them look very beautiful. It is a bit larger and hence, great for a drummer who wants something bigger. The kick is 16 inches, while the snare is 13 inches.

Better Hardware

I have used many compact kits from several manufacturers, and they all seem to have hardware issues. Perhaps many manufacturers don’t mind much about hardware, which creates the right environment for drummers. Without good hardware, everything you do will not be good.

And this is why Sonor continues to top the list of best manufacturers. You can tell this from the quality of hardware they place on this kit.

The bass drum mount is heavy-duty and very easy to adjust. Besides, the new Smart mount on the tom rack is quite functional and low-profile. It connects to the two upper lug brackets.

Changing the heads can be very easy, and it features thick rubber gaskets that offer isolation. The lugs are all newly designed and cast with moulds designed in Germany. They create a perfect atmosphere for high-quality sound delivery.

I tried tuning both low and high kits for the demo to understand how far the range stretches. From the starting point, each kit delivered a bright tone. I did not think of changing the UT Remo heads because they would only create a bad sound for me.

This is something that I have experienced from other drums, like the QC on the new Sonor’s all-maple shell.

The bearing edges were more than I expected, and the shells were well-rounded. This is the reason you can be sure of a clean and clear tone. The drums are easy to tune, and they will stay in tune due to the TuneSafe lug design.

The bass drums on the Sonor AQ2 come with heavy-duty mounting hardware and highly durable hoops. Every drum is made for a perfect performance in various genres.

Sonor AQ2 Safari Review

If you need a little drum kit for gigging, consider the Sonor AQ2 Maple Safari kit. This four-piece maple shell pack comes with the best features you can expect in any drum set. Besides, it is one of the most versatile solutions out there, perfect for funk, hip-hop, and swing setups. You can always count on Sonar for the sound for those who play on quieter stages.

The shells come from rich, broadband maple and are topped with a set of beautiful wraps. They make the kit look like a professional piece – well, it is.

When I unpacked my kit, the hardware made me feel like I had made the best decision. They all looked nice, and I could not wait to set them in place and start playing. Coming from Sonor’s SmartMount tom mounting system, you can be sure of the best quality. This hardware reduces metal-one-shell contact, ensuring better resonance and sustain.

The re-designed die-cast lugs are tour safe and make it easy to tune your drums to the desired sounds. You will enjoy the compatibility of these drums.

The Sonor AQ2 Safari is a natural choice for jazz to hip-hop. The kits can deliver just the right club-sized promise, coming with a well-defined backbeat and catchy rimshots.

Tom tones on this kit will hold to your ribs, as a punchy kick gives in all the best. Both gigging drummers and stage performers will find these kits most useful.

The shells are made from 7-ply maple featuring four Canadian maple plies and three plies of Chinese maple.

This means the shell has everything you need to enjoy playing. Shell sizes include 10 by 7-inch toms, 13 by 12-inch floor toms, 16 by 15-inch bass drums, and 13 by 6-inch snare drums.

Sonor AQ2 Martini

The Sonor AQ 2 Martini is part of the new line of AQ2 compact drum kits from Sonor. A small drum set defines any Sonor AQ2 bop drum kit. And the Martini could see everything you need for jazz, dance, travel, and much more.

Its compact size makes it great fun to play. It comes with a 14-inch kick that is incredibly round and resonant. The toms are tight and responsive, while the stare delivers a crisp drum tone. This kit has everything thanks to their 7-ply maple construction and more than 140 years of experience.

Another highly welcome addition to the AQ2 series is the SmartMount tom-mounting system. It’s made easy, avoiding the necessity of drilling. It also comes with metal-to-shell contact that leads to better resonance and sustains.

The lugs are die-cast and tour-safe with tuning sound. All the shells are maple, made for a more focused sound.

I loved the bass more, as it seemed to know its place. Apart from being portable, the kick won’t get in the way of the bass player. This means you can easily play in an organ trio or a small combo. 14-inches is all you need to get all these features and more.

My configurations include an 8 by 7-inch tom, a 13 by 12-inch floor tom, a 14 by 13-inch bass drum, and a 12 by 5-inch snare. It is a wonderfully versatile drum set that will not disappoint you. 

Frequently asked questions

Where Are Sonor AQ2 Drums Made?

Sonor drums come as some of the best products on the market. They are amazing kits that come at an affordable price. The drums are made by the Sonor Germany factory and their hardware. Only the shell is made in China. Every drum they make comes with the highest-quality services.

Who Plays Sonor Drums?

Sonor has been on the market for more than 140 years. And therefore, they have the best experience, with a great reputation. There is a long list of drummers who play the Sonor drums. The top ones include Aaron Spears, Benny Greb, Chris Coleman, Danny Carey, Gavin Harrison, and Glenn Kotche.

What Is A Bop Drum Kit?

Pdp Concept Maple Classic Wood Hoop Bop Drum Kit

A bop drum is just a kit with a small bass drum. Normal kicks measure 20 to 22 inches, but a bop kit has 12 to 14-inch bass drums. Also, they produce a focused thump instead of a ‘boom.’


The Sonor AQ2 drum kit can easily be the market standard for compact kits. Different manufacturers offer various solutions as the market surges, and Sonor is at the top. Therefore, this kit can recommend.

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