“Shaken, not stirred,” is the phrase that best describes the Sonor Martini Drum kit.
Well, it’s s term you would not easily find with drums kits. But Sonor found meaning with it in this compact drum kit. And I guess you are wondering if the kit is really as good as they say. No one wants to waste their money, and we all know this.
Value for Money
- Good sound overall
- Looks amazing
- Bass drum riser works well
- This kit fits almost anywhere
- Focused and musical pro maple shells
- Ideal for jazz trios
Authoritative tom sound
- Bass drum not for everyone
Therefore, it is normal that you may be having some doubts about the sound and potential of this kit. Well, you have come to the right place. It is not easy to get a drum set with not wider than 14-inches on the drums. Also, the price tag kind of seems to give it away.
And so, I will be reviewing the kit to clear your doubts. It is all about making an informed decision, and you have come to the right place.
Sonor Martini Top Review 2023
The Sonor Martini has been discontinued, and it’s not widely sold anymore. So, if you want a compact drum set as soon as possible, you can try out something like this kit.
Nevertheless, you can still find the Martini from several sources online, like this one. Otherwise, there is nothing much to look forward to in terms of updates, except for what I will be discussing here.
The drum set was introduced in the last quarter of 2013. Originally, it was only available in Turquoise Galaxy Sparkle, but today there are two other finishes.
Sonor is one of the best drum manufacturers on the market today. And therefore, it does not come as a surprise that the Martini could easily be the winner in the 14-inch class; there are no contenders anyway.
Also, the price tag on this piece can make anyone want any drummer to want to have one. At $350, anyone in for a small bop kit will be more than happy to own one.
I owned its elder brother, the Safari, for several years until it was sold recently, and it was another great kit. And they are even priced at the same range.
Sonor has a wide range of fans in the ‘micro-bop’ category because of its portability. Anyone looking for a compact can never go wrong on these ones.
Let’s see. What does shake, not stirred mean? Sonor Martini comes with great features at this value-price, but not enough to put it in the best lines.
It does not have some of the features you find in pricier items. It comes with 1.6mm rims, Remo entry-level UX heads, poplar shells, no isolation gasket, light lugs, single-sided grommets, and a simple snare trainer.
Perhaps the only notable feature is the in brackets, the mounts, and the tune-safe lug. This is the same feature you will find on Sonar’s higher-priced kits, making it worth consideration. Also, you can replace the heads whenever you see fit. Poplar is not a bad material for a beginner set either.
The wraps come with a decent quality, which is more than what is have seen in some beginner kits. They have a nice glossy luster that looks amazing even from a distance.
When I ordered this kit, I was not sure they would deliver everything I ordered. But I was glad it all came safely, and not of the components had even a simple scratch.
Ordering drum sets online can be tricky. Sometimes it takes too long to arrive, and it may have some issues. But this kit from Sonor did not have any of those.
I ordered a Sonor Martin 4-Pc shell pack, which came with a 14 by 12-inch kick drum with maple hoops, an 8 by 8-inch mounted tom, a 13 by 10-inch floor tom, and a 12 by 4-inch steel snare. All the shells are made from poplar.
The package also included a bass drum mount and floor tom lugs, and a pack of Remo’s heads. The box looked great and heavy from the ground, and you could tell it carried something great.
Apart from these components, the box also had a drum riser, a ball and socket tom holder for full flexibility, and Sonor’s TuneSafe technology. This prevents tension rods from loosening during your performance. As you can see, it comes with most of the items you will need to start playing. And the sizes are extremely compact for easy setup and use.
Who is the Sonor Martini for?
The world of bop kits has been swelling with users over the past few years. It is not only for jazz anymore, as more and more people realize how useful the kits are.
The Sonor Martini is made for someone who has a small car, a small stage, or a small apartment. Sonor says this is ‘a tiny kit it big a big sound attitude.’
This may be true, depending on your experience and what you get from it. And because of this, there is so much more you can get from the kit.
If you are a hard hitter (metal and hard rock), this kit should be appropriate. It is a perfect solution for small drummers of any kind, especially those in jazz, fusion, or pop industry.
This kit will mostly be very useful for a beginner who wants to join the drumming community with a nice-sounding drum. Most beginner sets are not very good, and therefore, this could be your biggest step into the world of big quality drums.
Note also that Sonor is a top-end drum brand. And this Martini kit does not come any less good. Fortunately, it is one of the most affordable kits you can ever get.
But you will need to buy hardware, cymbals, kick pedal, and drum throne, and other accessories. This kit comes as a shell pack only, which is why it does not have everything.
The Sonor Martine comes in turquoise Galaxy Sparkle and Champagne Galaxy Sparkle.
In terms of build, the shells come as the company’s cheapest line, and therefore you should not expect too much. Their shells are 9-ply poplar 7.2mm thick, which is still better than many other products at this price range.
The white poplar wood comes with a beautiful finish. The insides are slightly rough, with Sonor’s inner vertical ply tradition. Being an entry-level, however, do not expect it to have the best quality wood.
Also, they are 45-degree on the edges, which is another feature to appreciate the price. The shells deliver a great round and smooth feeling.
No matter how good or bad a drum set looks visually, it all comes down to its sound. And this Martini kit is not different.
However, it is very hard to discuss a drum kit’s sound since it’s a subjective matter. It depends on personal preferences and how you set up your kit.
Apart from this, you cannot expect a 14-inch kick drum to deliver a thunderous sound like you would in a full weight 22-inch.
Nevertheless, this kit delivers great tonal features at its level. I liked the snare more as it offers loud sounds after tuning it loud. It gave out a distinct attack with a good measure of sustain, which was not too ‘tinny.’ Like is said, such sound is subject to personal preferences. Some people do not like it, while others find it pleasing.
Moving on to the rack tom, they sounded best when tuned high too. They gave out a short sustain and a ting that sound almost like a timbale. The floor tom had a short sustain, which complemented the rest of the kit nicely.
The Bass is a bit thin. However, it still delivered great depth when tuned low. You can also tune it higher than the usual range, and you will still enjoy the tone.
The Martini line comes with several sub-series that give unique functions too. Hence, if you are looking for versatility, I would suggest you consider the following too.
The Martini 4-piece shell pack Champaign comes with Sonor Martini’s SE shells. It is a great kit that lets you get into smaller venues for your jazz grooves without issues. They feature cross-laminated 9-ply poplar shells that deliver a punchy tone and resonance. The configurations are similar to any other Martini.
If you are looking for a more expensive Sonor Martini with better features, the Sonor AQ2 Martini should be your perfect solution. The AQ2 series is a new line of products from Sonor that is extremely versatile, with an all-maple drum system made with a 7-ply shell.
You get a 14 by a 13-inch kick, 8 by 7-inch tom, 13 by 12-inch floor tom, and a 12 by 5-inch steel snare. It is also a Sonor Martini shell set, although it comes with improved features.
Sonor Martini Vs. Ludwig Breakbeats
Ludwig was one of the first companies to introduce these bop drum sets. And their Breakbeat set has been widely acknowledged as the best in this category. Even though they look better, the Sonor Martini has all the best features to compete favorably. Also, Sonor is much smaller.
My first impression of the Sonor Martini was not very positive. But after trying it out, I quickly fell in love. For light rock and jazz, this a kit worth considering.