Sonor is one of my best drum manufacturers today. I have used their drums on many occasions, and they have never been disappointed.
In this review, I will be looking at the Sonor SQ1, which is one of their best products. It is a good quality drum set that I think every drummer should try out today.
When anyone asks how they can choose the best drum set, I always begin by telling them to consider the brand. And Sonor is one manufacturer you can trust to deliver the best quality.
Before I started playing drums (which I have done for more than 20 years now), I met one of my mentors born in the 60s and has been playing drums since he was 12. He says his interest in drums began while working at a local drum store where he sold different brands. But he was always amused by the quality of Sonor Drums.
The drums come with flawless chrome hardware, which is what every drummer looks for. Besides, they come with a smooth folding operation of their legs.
Apart from the drums, their cymbals and tom stands are quite beautiful. The company has left nothing to chance in ensuring every user has been well satisfied. Their finishes are like a mirror, and the drum hoops and snare strainers are easily unbeatable.
Sonor has continued to improve on their contraction, developing the best solution for the modern drummer. Although their drums may not be everywhere in the world, you can get them online with ease.
Many drummers agree that that Sonor Drums are made from noticeably high-quality standards than many other drums out there. And this quality has never changed over the years. From the entry-level to the professional options, Sonor has everything for everyone.
The quality and sturdiness of Sonor drums and other products are remarkable. And I am not saying this just because I love the brand, but because I know a good company today when I see one.
Where Are Sonor Drums Made?
Sonor is a German-based company that deals in the manufacture of musical instruments. The company was established in 1875 and had been growing stronger ever since. It is among the oldest and most experienced percussion companies across the globe.
The company does not only manufacture drums but other different percussion instruments a well. Some of their products include frame drums, bongo drums, tambourines, maracas, and mallets, among many others.
In the 1980s, Sonor used the tagline “The Rolls of drums,” which became of the main identifying features. Their drums were very thick (13 mm), with heavy shells made from beech wood.
Later, Sonor invented the contemporary screw thread drum-construction and the metal snare drum, which became very popular in the early 20th century. This idea was adopted by many other experts who took it to a global market.
From the 1980s, Sonor started abandoning heavy drums and creating more portable solutions. And today, they offer several designs, including undersized shells.
Sonor drums have continued to find great importance and use it with top drummers. It is their quality and the reputation of the brand that keeps them high.
About Sonor SQ1 Drums
In 2010, I was lucky to review the Sonor SQ2 drum kit. They were then one of my favorite drums, and I loved them very much.
I had never played high-end Sonor drum kits before, and the SQ2 performed beyond my expectation. The line came with a definite sound that could not be heard anywhere else. And for many years that followed, it was all I wanted to hear.
So, when Sonor introduced the SQ1 series in 2017, I was overly excited to try them out. Manufactured by Sonor company in Germany, the birch shells on this drum seemed better than its predecessor’s bespoke format in terms of price. And hence, the SQ1 came as a more affordable option, apart from being versatile.
Their shells are made from Sonor’s CLTF Cross Lamination Tension Free Process, and they have an Optimum Shell Measurement (OSM). This means they have a slightly narrow outer measurement and 45-degree bearing edges, which ensure optimized shell contact.
Detailed Sonor SQ1 Review
The Sonor SQ1 is a very affordable, yet high-quality drummer that every drummer will enjoy using. It comes from one of the best brands in the world, and hence, you can expect to get the best performance for your needs.
You can find this line in four finishes: Cruiser Blue with Natural Walnut hoops, Hot Rod Red with Natural Beech hoops, Roadster and GT Black with Natural Walnut and Natural Beech hoops, respectively.
The line’s full range of drums are toms; 8 by 7, 10 by 7, 12 by 8, 13 by 9, 14 by 13, 16 by 15, and 18 by 17 (inches). The bass drums include 20 by 16, 22 by 17.5, and 24 by 14 (inches). They are inspired by 14 by 6.5-inches snares.
For my review, the configuration I received includes a 14 by 6.5 snare, 10 by 7-inches, and 12 by 8-inches mounted toms, 16 by 15-inches floor tomes, and a 22 by 17.5-inches Kickdrum.
Every kit comes with high-quality hardware, which is very useful. The drums themselves are quite heavy, which is popular with Sonor drums.
But the drums are to tune, compared to other drums. This is a great feature that any drummer would like to have. The German-made SQ1 series comes as a mix of thin, slightly undersized birch shells and razor-sharp bearing edges. Apart from this, they carry Sound Sustainer isolation brackets on all toms, and floor toms give them a great look.
This gives them a punchy, direct, and focused tone. There warmness and sustain are typically nothing you may have ever heard on birch shells.
Besides, they bear a host of range-topping SQ2 features, delivering a genuine, exclusive sounding of a Sonor kit at an affordable price.
Visually,this drum will blow away your audience or sound engineers. Although I am not a big fan of their natural colored hoops, they still make a good point for those who care. Besides, they still have a fairly classic look. The flat black through the chrome hardware looks wonderful. It has been offset beautifully against the black shell.
Sonor has been improving their products over the years, making every product fit for the modern drummer. And since they come in different finishes, you can always pick whatever you make feel comfortable.
Each shell is made from 100% European Birch. The bass drum shell feature a 10-ply 10mm head, while the toms have 7ply 7mm heads.
This makes them quite heavy. They feature a Tunesafe system that offers maximum tuning stability. This also means you can tune the drums with great ease and sustain the tone throughout your performance.
Sonor CLTF tension-free shell forming process is applied to create strong and reliable drums. As stated above, the OSM is slightly narrowed outside on the sell measurements. This makes them appear as though leaning forward.
Sound Sustainer mounting system on all toms, 45-degree in bearing edges, and floor tom leg brackets are among the features that make this kit easy to set up.
Besides this, the Dual Glide strainer mechanisms are another feature to note. It gives the set a beautiful look and develops an easy setup scenario.
All the bass drums come without amount. Perhaps this is one of the main limitations I have seen on this kit. Nevertheless, it does did not stop me from enjoying the sound.
Remo USA Ambassador Coater batter heads are quite responsive. On the other hand, the Ambassador Clear resonant heads on the snares, toms, and floor toms ensure a better tone with fewer overtones.
Also, it features Remo USA Powerstroke P3 Clear batter head and Powerstroke P3 Fiberskyn resonant head. This is one of the features that sets Sonor SQ1 drums apart from other drums.
Setting up my Sonor SQ1 one was very easy. The kit comes with a high-end hardware setup that makes everything seem straightforward.
You can check out this video to see how the drums perform generally.
The snare and the toms’ sound are more than what I was hoping to get at this price range. They are all clear and full. The bass drum features a full front face, which caused it to lack clarity under microphones. But they still delivered plenty of low-end and thick tones.
Also, the drums are easy to tune and will keep the tuning during your performance. Every tuning produces a different but beautiful sound, depending on your preference. The tomes and snare come unmuffled while the bass drum featured a Protection Racket pillow inside.
The hardware does not disappoint either. The tom mounts ensure a drummer receives full resonant. I was able to get the full sound from each drum after setting them an incorrect position.
If you are looking for a high-quality drum kit from Sonor at an affordable price, the SQ1 should be a good start. It costs less than the SQ2, yet with wonderful features.