Sonor Designer or DW Collectors?

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
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.


Woe to thee who would be provocateur.

Church is now is session.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
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.
Then I must be in that 1% of people who bought TWO DW kits and didn't like them. It definitely isn't about my not being able to afford it. I really wanted to like them but they always sounded better when somebody else played them, to me ;)
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Then I must be in that 1% of people who bought TWO DW kits and didn't like them. It definitely isn't about my not being able to afford it. I really wanted to like them
See.. this is the perfect example.. Bo is not HATING.. He is TELLING THE TRUTH..

Couple of points.. :

1. THERE ARE MANY MANY MANY DUDES JUST LIKE BO.. MANY !

2. THERE ARE VIRTUALLY ZERO FROM THE SONOR CAMP IN THE SAME SITUATION !
 

singing drums

Senior Member
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?

...the african bubinga used as the outer ply in sonor's designer series was, i believe, an actual ply of bubinga, as opposed to a thin layer of veneer (meaning, the bubinga ply was almost as thick as the maple plies used to construct the shell)...this, combined with the thinner maple shell, provided a pleasing (to some) warm, full, tone with noticeable lower overtones...

...imho, the early 2000s marked a transition point where drum manufacturers have had to deal with a host of macro economic problems (e.g., 2001 dot-com-bust, 2007 sub-prime-bust, soaring natural resource prices triggered by spiking energy prices since 2002, usd-foreign currency exchange issues re offshore manufacturers, etc.) that may have affect the quality of their products, given that manufacturers essentially have had to keep post-2000 prices at pre-2000 levels in order to compete with and retain market share vis-a-vis other manufacturers in a dwindling global market...
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
...the african bubinga used as the outer ply in sonor's designer series was, i believe, an actual ply of bubinga, as opposed to a thin layer of veneer ..
This is correct.. They actually still continue this at present with most of the types they use. The Genuine and Alpi.

There are a handful of other things they do in production that they DO NOT reveal in literature.
 

Power Tom

Senior Member
I went for the Sonor in the end. I just got back and its in my lounge and Im drooling all over it :)

Heres the kit on eBay. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SONOR-DESIGNER-DRUMS-IN-BUBINGA-WITH-24-CARAT-GOLD-PLATED-HARDWARE-BRAND-NEW-/140987020531?nma=true&si=%252FmT9YBdLzIIEEAOe26%252BD42Cb1Rw%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557I declined the snare and deducted the price of it new (Pearl Masterworks) as its not part of the original kit and I have plenty already. I got a full set of Hardcases thrown in (very impressive) and I got a good price on the kit I think.

If I want to be super critical as we are talking extreme high end kits here:

Finish - Wasn't totally floored by the finish as I was expecting. I prefer the old signature finish as it looks deeper and more polished. This is matt and almost bare wood feeling. Anyone got any tips for waxing / polishing?

Im not blown away by gold hardware either and I felt it made the hoops look a tad cheap. Which is ridiculous because when I took them off, they weighed a ton and are heavy duty.

Quality - tomorrow Ill post some pics of the 8" tom. I didn't notice a gap (crack?) in the veneer until I got home, which on closer inspection almost looks like a cut into the wood as you can see a groove when you take the head off. very odd, Id be interested in opinions as to what you guys think it is. A bit of corrosion on the aluminum hoop made me wonder if its been water damaged and it cracked on expansion but the shell interior looks fine. Bearing edges are great. Seam glue is visible in one place, which was also surprising.

The bass drums are the most impressive. The wood grain, finish and fittings seem to work best here. those hand turn knob things on the tuning rods work surprisingly well. And of course they are undrilled. NICE!

The heads are all remo and despite great bass drum heads (power stroke 3's I think, which makes a nice change from the thin nasty resos that come with most kits) the toms have some really thin and bright sounding heads. Why do that on such a high end kit?? They feel / sound like diplomats or something.

Most Importantly - The Sound. Only really had time to check bearing edges and quick tune up (8 shells!) but I was extremely impressed. Even the poorly seated, unplayed, nasty thin bright heads didn't give out any unwanted overtones. Even when out of tune and with wrinkles - no distorted harmonics, vibration or wobble. Just a clean 'ring' from the shell. These things are going to sound awesome with some thicker heads.

The 10 and 12 were ridiculously low and low despite being crazy shallow sizes. I wanted that so I could get them low over the bass drums a bit like Danny Careys roto toms :)

Initial conclusion - I can't see any huge win for Sonor over DW in quality at this point. My collectors snare is equally as good and both do insane finishes. I can however, see more versatility in sound from the Sonors already. I bet Ill get as much bottom end as the deedubs, particularly from the bass drums and smaller toms, well have to see about the floors when I get some proper heads on them. Which overall, is pretty much what you all said anyway isn't it?
 

Power Tom

Senior Member
Shells are 2005 I believe. Stamps inside say 0504 Unplayed, kept in storage.

Yes, Ill make a vid. Need to get some single pedals, re-head all the toms and a new rack or tom mounting system.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
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.
Did I say that Sonor invented it? No. Premier has been doing it that way forever too.

As for DW, I've played many, many DW kits, and they all sounded HORRIBLE, without exception. I wouldn't take a DW drum for free.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
This is matt and almost bare wood feeling. Anyone got any tips for waxing / polishing?
So, you're in the UK?

As for getting a better lustre on your finish, just apply a couple of coats of Briwax (clear) to the shells. Wait about 10 minutes for the wax to nearly dry before buffing to a shine on the initial coat, then apply again, but wait about 30 minutes before final buffing. Continually turn the buffing cloth (soft cotton/toweling) to present a clean surface to the wax. Buff to final shine with a clean cloth in the same manner. This takes a bit of effort, & best done with the hardware off the shell.
 

Power Tom

Senior Member
So, you're in the UK?

As for getting a better lustre on your finish, just apply a couple of coats of Briwax (clear) to the shells. Wait about 10 minutes for the wax to nearly dry before buffing to a shine on the initial coat, then apply again, but wait about 30 minutes before final buffing. Continually turn the buffing cloth (soft cotton/toweling) to present a clean surface to the wax. Buff to final shine with a clean cloth in the same manner. This takes a bit of effort, & best done with the hardware off the shell.
Thanks. Yes, Im in the South East.

Do you mean best with heads & hoops removed or all hardware?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks. Yes, Im in the South East.

Do you mean best with heads & hoops removed or all hardware?
Removing all the hardware is best. It's not essential, but it does make the job a lot easier. Additionally, if you have a bare shell to work with, it's easier to get an even shine without wax getting caught up around gaskets & other trap points.

Ok, it's a bit of work, but it's a risk free solution, protects your drums really well, & brings out the best in the veneer. You could always do a half job with off the shelf furniture polish, but the results aren't as satisfying. Briwax really is the best product out there. We go through 5 litre cans like they're going out of fashion!!! Not cheap stuff, but the best never is :)
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Make sure you go over your drums good.. It sounds like you did not spend too much time where they were located ??

Cool tom sizes for sure.. Finish is so-so hue.. Maybe it's the gold making it so-so in my mind........... hehe
 

Power Tom

Senior Member
Make sure you go over your drums good.. It sounds like you did not spend too much time where they were located ??

Cool tom sizes for sure.. Finish is so-so hue.. Maybe it's the gold making it so-so in my mind........... hehe
No, I was there a long time. I spent most of the time checking the bearing edges rather than inspecting the finish. There's eight shells, that took a bit of time:) What do you mean by "so so hue?"
 

Power Tom

Senior Member
That guys pics.. The finish looks "o.k".. I remember seeing that finish little bit more vibrant I think.. and yours probably are if I was in the room looking at them.
I think I know what you mean. The finish is not 'bling' its dull. You can see the grain more as a result, but they are matt. A clear lacquer would have looked better IMO.

Is this finish common?
 
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