Sonor AQ2 Bop vs. Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz

Sal

Member
Good morning all.

I'm considering buying either a Sonor AQ2 Bop shell set or a Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz (both four-piece with 18 inch bass drum configuration).

To me they seem comparable and probably differ in tone.

Is there any reason to choose one over the other, i.e. quality control, resale value, other factors, etc.?

Thank you.

Sal
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
To me they seem comparable and probably differ in tone.

The comparable Gretsch would be something like Renown . .. The AQ2 kit is N.A. Maple combined with Asian Maple just as the Renown is.

Catalina Club Jazz is luan.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
,,,,, Sonor AQ2 Bop shell set or a Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz .....

To me they seem comparable and probably differ in tone.
Sonor has a 45 degree bearing edge and maple shells ..... and is gonna give you a little more attach & sustain. A slightly more moderns sound.

Gretsch has a 30 degree bearing and Philippine Mahogany shells, so you'll get a slightly more "vintage" tone.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
FWIW, the Sonor AQ2 is better built, I think. It has the Sonor Tune-Safe lugs and has sturdier materials (it costs much more than the Catalina). Both should sound well in jazz tuning, from what I have heard online, but like Harry says, the Sonor tone will be different because of the sharp 45 degree edges. But plenty of professional jazzers use high-end Sonor with those same 45 edges.
 

Griener

Member
I looked at just these exact two sets and decided on the Sonor.
I didn't want it for myself, but to rent it to a jazz club as a house set, including maintenance from my end.
I know the Gretsch quite well, because that's what most clubs bought as a house set when it came out, but it didn't take long for drummers to play it to smithereens (and we're talking about very skilled jazz drummers here, not brutal rockers).
The Gretsch sounds nice, but all the wear parts were not made to be used often. The threads on all the screws (except the tuning screws) break quickly, as does the tom mount.
That's why I chose the Sonor and it lasts much longer, although the "colleagues" don't handle it any better. What's wrong with most drummers? When I play on a rental drum kit, it's usually in better shape afterwards than before because I usually leave felts, etc. there.
But unfortunately most of them don't do that.
I've already had to buy a couple of hihat clutches because someone "accidentally" put them in their cymbal bag.
 

Griener

Member
I think the Sonor is the better value for money.
In terms of resale value, there are a lot fewer AQ2s for sale than Catalinas. So I think that also speaks for the Sonor.
The Catalinas sound nice, but of course nothing exceptional.
Depending on what music you want to play, the Sonor is more sonically flexible.
 

n1ck

Member
The Catalinas are great drums, and you can make them sound even better with good heads and tuning, but the hardware is piss-poor awful. That's largely how they keep the price low. Your mileage may vary!
 

LarryJ

Active Member
My experience with the Gretsch Catalina Jazz has been different. I got mine in 2011 and for the first eight years it was moved, set up and torn down at least twice a week, also serving as the "house" kit at jam sessions. It is now my personal at home practice kit. I have not had a single problem with it and all hardware is working as it did when new.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Just from looking at pics and specs, I like the claws, hoops, lugs, spurs, bearing edge, and the badges of the Gretsch better.

In the pic of the AQ2 I looked at, it looks like the tom holder has an extra hole that you can attach a shaft to hold a ride cymbal.
That might come in handy, if you want to eliminate an extra stand.

Overall though, if I planned on keeping the set for a while, I'd much rather look at the Gretsch.
While I haven't owned either one, I think I'd like the sound of the Gretsch better too.

I don't gig though, so it wouldn't be getting set up and torn down all the time.
If it's true that the Gretsch hardware isn't up to snuff, and you plan on gigging with it,
that could be a major factor.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Artstar - which part of my post (#10) did you find particularly funny?


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I don't especially like the tom mount on either one.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
In the pic of the AQ2 I looked at, it looks like the tom holder has an extra hole that you can attach a shaft to hold a ride cymbal.
The Gretsch tom holder does that also.
 

KenDoken

Junior Member
I looked at just these exact two sets and decided on the Sonor.
I didn't want it for myself, but to rent it to a jazz club as a house set, including maintenance from my end.
I know the Gretsch quite well, because that's what most clubs bought as a house set when it came out, but it didn't take long for drummers to play it to smithereens (and we're talking about very skilled jazz drummers here, not brutal rockers).
The Gretsch sounds nice, but all the wear parts were not made to be used often. The threads on all the screws (except the tuning screws) break quickly, as does the tom mount.
That's why I chose the Sonor and it lasts much longer, although the "colleagues" don't handle it any better. What's wrong with most drummers? When I play on a rental drum kit, it's usually in better shape afterwards than before because I usually leave felts, etc. there.
But unfortunately most of them don't do that.
I've already had to buy a couple of hihat clutches because someone "accidentally" put them in their cymbal bag.
Missing cymbal furniture is a pita. Try coloured felts and a bit of bright spray paint/nail varnish on the clutch. This should stop confusion of ownership or at least point out to others that the new owner is a scoundrel
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've already given a Sonor bop kit a chance (granted it was made of basswood). I'd go with the Gretsch.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
IDK anything about this kit, but it looks pretty cool (I have no affiliation with the seller or brand). Looks to be in your price range too.

 
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