Sonor Designer or DW Collectors?

Artstar

Platinum Member
Believe it or not.. I was actually just like Sun Dog at one point in my life.

Maybe even worse.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Believe it or not.. I was actually just like Sun Dog at one point in my life.

Maybe even worse.
I'll cut the guy some slack. It's ok to be zealous about your favorite brand, just please notice when the conversation goes to things like "what kind of peas do you prefer?" that's when it's apparent that nobody cares ;)

So do you prefer soft mushy peas or cold and crunchy peas?
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
I'll cut the guy some slack. It's ok to be zealous about your favorite brand, ?
Like I was saying.... yes. But at the same time ... I had never owned a German Sonor and stuck it in the same room with my DW's for an extended period of time.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
Sorry, sorry, and thank you for the pardon Bo. Just thought that making it sound like Sonor invented undersized thin maple shells was more than a little silly. I was surprised that none of the watch dogs got off their seats over that. But when i made my comment, well....... I said pick the DWs, its that easy. Rare drums and collectible drums are not the same thing. Plus I'm just plain sick of companies that switch their product lines and names every five to ten years. Yamaha and its fans have been telling everyone for years that the Custom Absolute is the best. Now suddenly its the PHX. And Pearl has changed their top line so many times since the 80's that its impossible to keep track of. Sonor is no different. If you want to tell yourself that they're better than DW, well go ahead, but its a tie at best. Look, we all know that at the highest level all of the big companies and a litany of smaller shops are making great drums. How many of these companies flagship line is the same as it was 15 years ago?
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Sorry, sorry, and thank you for the pardon Bo. Just thought that making it sound like Sonor invented undersized thin maple shells was more than a little silly. I was surprised that none of the watch dogs got off their seats over that. But when i made my comment, well....... I said pick the DWs, its that easy. Rare drums and collectible drums are not the same thing. Plus I'm just plain sick of companies that switch their product lines and names every five to ten years. Yamaha and its fans have been telling everyone for years that the Custom Absolute is the best. Now suddenly its the PHX. And Pearl has changed their top line so many times since the 80's that its impossible to keep track of. Sonor is no different. If you want to tell yourself that they're better than DW, well go ahead, but its a tie at best. Look, we all know that at the highest level all of the big companies and a litany of smaller shops are making great drums. How many of these companies flagship line is the same as it was 15 years ago?
No worries. The way I go, I've played just about every major manufacturer's drums (strangely enough not a Sonor though), and past a certain price point they're all good. You just gotta pick what you like. And I've joked about it (and proven) that I pretty much sound the same on everything I play. Except when I owned two sets of DW's - not sure what happened there. But old DW (early 80s) and Camco, I loved. But all kits sound great.

Except for my new Pearl Reference Pures. Those are really astounding ;)
 

Super Phil

Senior Member
No idea what either kit is worth...and you can't go wrong either way. That being said I'd go with the Sonors simply because you don't see them everywhere.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Where were all the super thin Sonor kits before DW came along?
From before the time DW bought the Camco parts, & many years before DW put the George way turret on their first Keller shell. You may wish to do your homework before shouting.
 

Attachments

Power Tom

Senior Member
Thanks for everyones input so far.

Hopefully Ill get to try out the Sonor Designer kit today.

After some obsessive OCD type research (just ask my wife - once I get on a mission it becomes a bit of an issue lol) I seem to have concluded the following:

- Everyone has respect for Sonor, regardless of whether the finishes / hardware are their bag or not. DW on the other hand, have a lot of critics, whether justified or not.

- The overwhelming majority of comments about Sonors sound is positive. There are a lot of negative comments about DW's sound however. Is it really a one trick pony? Lots of comments around muddy overtones and tuning difficulties. The DW snares seem to be the exception to this (I have one of those and agree as I think it sounds great.)

- Quality. Seems to be an overwhelming win for Sonor, however there are some disturbing comments on recent SQ2 purchases that you would NEVER have expected from Sonor. No so from the earlier ranges, so a Designer will not suffer from any recent glitches. Lots of negative comments about DW quality and lots of claims that earlier examples were better than whats currently coming out.

At the end of the day, they are both exceptional and although Sonors finishes (plies or vaneers?) are outstanding, they are not to everyones taste and it could be argued that DW has an unbeatable range of options and superb finishes. However, that advantage is being whittled away as it seems everyone is now offering custom options of shell construction, materials and finishes.

Ill post some pics if I end up coming back with a nice kit in the back of the car:)
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Tom....... There are no quality issues with DW whatsover that I know of..

probably better QC than many others.

The problem is when you have people going on and on like dw is a ferrari.. and they have no idea what they are talking about for the most part.. and have ZERO KNOWLEDGE of what the other company is truly about or what their best products sound like. Because if they really did.. they would never open their mouth.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Tom....... There are no quality issues with DW whatsover that I know of..
Agreed. Good drums, well made, strong company. Even with the best of intentions, every company can catch a cold on something from time to time. It's how they react when things do happen that gives you an insight into the morals, priorities, & depth of the organisation - large or small.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
DW has been doing that forever. This is a Sonor Lite correct? Where were all the super thin Sonor kits before DW came along? They used to swear up and down that thick beech shells were the best. Now their top kits are thin maple too. Sonor over DW? Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.
IIRC, DW stole that idea from Premier, who undersized shells by 3mm the same way they did timpini to create a purer sound. And they also copied the edge snare from cadeson drums.... Its like they say in writing, steal from the best. Thats all DW do, they just go around.... and stealng or copying. They started out by buying out then copying camco (heck the DW500 series were pretty much the camco sprocket pedal unchanged for a long time), and have done most of the same until today. Oh and before you say: "Yeah look at there cherry shells or there eco-x bamboo experiment kits", look up other companies first. Usually they did it, find out it wasn't really that great and dropped it. DW then add layers of false advertisement such as "FAR SUPERIOR DRUMS BECAUSE WE ARE UBER EXPENSIVE" and people buy into the hype. Just how they work. This is coming from a previous DW kit and snare owner.
 

mpthomson

Senior Member
DW has been doing that forever. This is a Sonor Lite correct? Where were all the super thin Sonor kits before DW came along? They used to swear up and down that thick beech shells were the best. Now their top kits are thin maple too. Sonor over DW? Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.
He's looking at a Designer. DW haven't existed 'forever' and Sonor are roughly 100 years older.... Sonor did the undersized shell thing before DW even existed, as did Premier, who were the real innovators in this area using their expertise in making timpani. Sonorlites were thin shelled birch drums, again before DW existed. Sonor HiLites are relatively thin shelled maple kits from the mid 80's, around the time DW were coming to the fore.

Sonor's top end drums (SQ2) can be thick, medium or thin beech, maple or birch as one prefers, so they are still sticking by the wood that got them their original credit.

To the OP, I think at that time the bubinga was still real veneer. The veneer they use now for everything except the Scandinavian Birch is now Alpi veneer, which is created. Is this the kit in the UK by any chance?
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
- Everyone has respect for Sonor, regardless of whether the finishes / hardware are their bag or not. DW on the other hand, have a lot of critics, whether justified or not.

- The overwhelming majority of comments about Sonors sound is positive. There are a lot of negative comments about DW's sound however. Is it really a one trick pony? Lots of comments around muddy overtones and tuning difficulties. The DW snares seem to be the exception to this (I have one of those and agree as I think it sounds great.)

- Quality. Seems to be an overwhelming win for Sonor, however there are some disturbing comments on recent SQ2 purchases that you would NEVER have expected from Sonor. No so from the earlier ranges, so a Designer will not suffer from any recent glitches. Lots of negative comments about DW quality and lots of claims that earlier examples were better than whats currently coming out.
Sonor (& Yamaha) somehow have this flawless online reputation and seem to attract brand elitists who go around promoting and defending the brands (and attacking others), so you're not really researching if you're looking at forums.

There was a guy on the sonor forum who was really obsessed (like a lite version of Glen the Saturn guy) and it cured me, made me realize some of these guys are a bit crazy, some can't actually play and the brand of a drum isn't something you worship. One guy on here owned an sq2 and an ascent and he admitted he didn't know why the sq2 was better.

A sonor designer is like a holy grail type kit in my mind but most of the guys I've known working in drum stores tried everything and were dw guys. I might suggest things online but if it was me buying either kit from this guy I would want to hear them both.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
A sonor designer is like a holy grail type kit in my mind but most of the guys I've known working in drum stores tried everything and were dw guys. I might suggest things online but if it was me buying either kit from this guy I would want to hear them both.
I echo the advice to hear both if at all possible. I've played both, multiple times, & in a variety of settings. I personally prefer the Sonor, & by some margin, but that's me. There's one thing for sure, they sound different to each other.

I regard myself as a fairly objective person in a subjective world. In our R&D activities, we try many drums. Especially a while ago, we tried a lot of existing constructions by others to separate (according to our ears) the things that make a difference, from the things that don't. Most specifically, the things that, in combination, produce a certain set of characteristics. There's many examples of claims that are inflated so far beyond the results that it's almost untrue, & there's examples of claims that actually bear out in the real world. Cutting through that mud, especially when some of it is supported by significant marketing weight, is a tough ask for the averagely informed drummer who's simply trying to get close to a sound in his/her head.

When comparing drums, the biggest downside faced by those wishing to try a selection, is that they're invariably trying them in different rooms. That's a deal breaker in terms of really coming to an informed decision. Taking at least one of your own drums with you when trying stuff out, is a really good thing to do.
 

ncc

Silver Member
I echo the advice to hear both if at all possible. I've played both, multiple times, & in a variety of settings.
I agree if at all possible. I too prefer Sonor and have used Sonor Drums for than more than 35 years. A lot has been said about DW, good and bad, but I'm sure when you get to the upper end of the scale it becomes a personal preference, as both companies produce very good drums. You are not going to go wrong with either.

In the USA, you can walk into almost any music store (i.e. Guitar Center) and see (or play) DW, even at the high end. It is unfortunate that you cannot do that with Sonor high end drums, as there seem to be a limited number of high end Sonor dealers in the USA. This makes Sonor not as common I suppose if that matters.

Just some added info to what others have said, the newest Sonor high end lines are still made in Germany. The SQ2 series is all about customization. You can select everything from screw types to wood type -- and you do pay for that privilege of customizing. The ProLite are vintage maple and are the exact same vintage maple shells used for the SQ2 vintage maple drums. The Prolites are just pre-configured with limited finishes and only available in vintage maple.

Please let everyone know which you buy as I'm sure someone this forum would love to get the other set. ;-)
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Hi all, I have my eye on a couple of kits and would appreciate your opinions as to which you would choose and what you think the value would be.

Sonor Designer Maple Lite Bubinga, Gold Hardware. 8 shells never played, brand new from 2005

DW Collectors exotic, maple candy burst. 7 shells, mint condition, gold badge, bit older I think. Original heads, never been out of the house

Cheers

If you and the drums live in Europe get the DDubs, if in the USA get the SONORS.

When you eventually tire of the chosen set the value for each respective to their location will be greater and an easier sell, you'll be able to get more for the SONORS in the USA and vice versa with the dubs in europe just because both are more common on the continents of their birth.
 

joshvibert

Senior Member
If you and the drums live in Europe get the DDubs, if in the USA get the SONORS.

When you eventually tire of the chosen set the value for each respective to their location will be greater and an easier sell, you'll be able to get more for the SONORS in the USA and vice versa with the dubs in europe just because both are more common on the continents of their birth.
Haha, yep!

As far as sound, that's a personal preference thing. As far as quality, nothing there but fanboy-ism from both sides.

I would say most, if not all, of the DW hate you read is jealousy. I can't afford it, therefore, I'll hate it and call it overpriced, no better than, ugly hardware, on and on and on. The fact still remains that DW makes some of the best drums in the world right along with Yamaha, Sonor, etc.

Same thing happens with most other high-end brands. The DW sound is low, warm, and fat. If you crank a DW it will not project as clearly as a thicker-shelled straight-wall drum like a Yamaha Maple Custom, for instance. However, the Yamaha will not get anywhere near as low as the DW and still project. Drums are sort of a 3-way spectrum. The horizonal spectrum is a pitch/volume tradeoff that happens with the design of the shell. The vertical spectrum is a tone/volume tradeoff. Mahogany is probably at the warmest end of the spectrum and Birch or Oak would be at the colder end of the spectrum. Maple seems to fall in the middle as being fairly warm, but still being able to project more volume than Birch or Mahogany.

You just have to decide what you want to sound like and then pick the kit that fits that sound. At the high-end, it's no longer about good or bad drums, just different.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Haha, yep!

As far as sound, that's a personal preference thing. As far as quality, nothing there but fanboy-ism from both sides.

I would say most, if not all, of the DW hate you read is jealousy. I can't afford it, therefore, I'll hate it and call it overpriced, no better than, ugly hardware, on and on and on. The fact still remains that DW makes some of the best drums in the world right along with Yamaha, Sonor, etc.
.
Eh.. not really accurate IMO.

Nobody's hating..

It's just important to make alot of points clear.

You guys that keep bringing up "hating" are the ones creating the issue.
 
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