What comes to your mind when you think about Sonor? For many people, it’s high-end and professional products.
The Sonor S Class series is another professionally designed line of drums that offers an excellent solution for every drummer. I have been very keen on every drum that Sonor brings on the market, and this got my full attention. Even before writing this review, I had already felt like it would be an excellent product.
The drums are designed for semi-professional and mid-range drummers. However, a professional drummer will also find it pretty interesting.
In this review, I will be introducing you to this extraordinary series of drums.
Sonor S Class review
For this review, I got a Sonor First-generation S-Class 6-piece Drum Set made in Germany. If you have never used these drums, it could be a good time to consider getting one.
As stated above, there is a first-class generation of the S-Class drums even though they were created originally in 1980 before the shells started coming from China in the 1990s.
They are the only drums in the Sonor S-Class that have a line of shells from Germany. Also, the rest of the parts comes from here and not from Asia, as you will see from the later classes.
The S-Class Maple used the same components as the S-Class. However, their shells were mass-produced from an Asian origin, as you will find from the S-Class Pro series.
The first generation of this series was marketed as a higher-end mid-level kit from the start. Compare these with the Tama Starclassics or Pearl’s Masters drums, and you will understand the real quality of these drums.
The fact that everything is engineered in Germany should already tell you they are really good. Germans tend to “over-engineer” everything they make. They focus on delivering the best standards for every user.
As such, these are professional sets altogether. It is a very progressive sounding kit, made to be together.
It was not until later that the 8-inch and the 10-inch tom drums were added. From a technical point of view, every drum comes in an Azure finish. However, the addition of these toms created a different path for the company. Their shade comes with a half-step lighter than the other 12, 14, 16- and 22-inch drums.
Sonor is one of those companies you can rely on for high-end drum sets. These S-Classic drums are designed to deliver this quality.
Consider that the drum shells are made in China according to Sonor’s specs, but the others are German. However, the rest of the kits are assembled in Germany.
I had to upgrade mine with second-generation materials, which is the most incredible hardware I have ever used. They come with very impressive high standard features.
My configuration comes with an 8 by 8-inch, 10 by 9-inch, and 14 by 12-inch mounted toms, 16 by 16-inch inch floor tom on legs, 14 by 5-inch snare, and a 22 by 16-inch bass drums. It is not easy to get this configuration today.
Every component is built from high-level material, making them sturdy and highly effective. Once you have the mounting gear, everything else falls into place quite easily.
They may not be the easiest drum to set and tune, well, since they don’t have modern hardware, but they sound really great. And perhaps that is all that matters for most people.
Whether you get the one with China-made shells or these drums made by Germans, they offer the same standard of sound. The toms come with the new SSL mounting, with solid suspension and spurs on the bass drum.
I find the drums to be pretty temperamental, even if some users have said otherwise. Besides, sound is a very subject matter, which means it depends on what you prefer. I am always very specific about my tuning.
Recently, I tried using the Remo Emperor heads on the toms, and they work perfectly. These heads can make the kit rival any mid-to-higher end kits.
The maple snare is quite powerful. The maple kit with a birch snare is even more powerful. And if you are not careful, it can easily overpower a large club.
Even though this series was discontinued in 2005, it is still a great deal of standard. I am not even in a rush to replace them, especially with the sound they give.
What others were saying
Before reviewing these sets, I went online to look at what others are talking about the kit. Here is what some users think.
“Any thoughts on this? Saw one for sale, looked very well, perhaps even overengineered hardware and lugs… where do they fall in Sonor series of drums?” This came from drumforum.org.
Just like I said above, these drums fall into the professional lines. They are made by German engineers, and many who have bought them have found them on the higher tier market.
Another user from commends about these drums on drummerworld.com, saying, … “I got a used S Class Pro in Emerald in an 8, 10, 12, 14, 20 configurations a couple of months ago, and I could not be happier. The hardware is absolutely solid. I have not yet changed the heads, and yet it still tunes easily to very high or very low and sounds FANTASTIC. With the right tuning, the 20-inch is as heart-pounding as any 22-inch I’ve played on…”
With this description, there is nothing much to add. The Sonor S drums deliver a perfect solution for modern drummers.
From the wood to the construction, to the design, everything has been well thought and created. Also, it comes with different finishes, which means you can choose according to your needs.