Re: Todd Sucherman here!
Thanks for the back up---and the kind words are always appreciated.
It's hard to compare 15 to 30 year old shells to new shells. I really believe they mature as drums (and the wood) gets older. As well, my Pearl kits are custom Masterworks so they are not standard fare. But a strong fundamental tone (a trait of Phonic, Lites & Sigs) was my template for the thicker shelled Masterworks. My current road kit rivals anything I've ever played and is my favorite kit. The 8" through 12" are 8 ply and the 14" through 22" are 10 ply--and with inner and outer plies of bubinga like the old Signature Series by Sonor. In my opinion thicker shells produce a stronger fundamental tone---a stronger defined note if tuned properly. The mic has an easier time reading that information than many thin shelled drums that produce more overtones---then the mic has a harder time deciphering that note. That's when the engineer starts rolling off frequencies in the EQ. With thick shelled drums I've found over the years that most engineers have to do very little (if nothing at all) to get sounds. And then they end up sounding very natural.
I digress I suppose. It's impossible to do comparisons. Each of my Sonor kits from different lines have qualities unique to themselves--as do my Pearl kits. I'm sure the Masterworks will only improve with age. I guess my current kit is the most Sonor-y, but classic Sonor as opposed to modern Sonor. Make sense? I hope so.