Sonor or DW Maple Set ?

DomD

Junior Member
Hi everyone !

I play at the moment a Sonor Force 1007 Basswood Drum-set.
I am considering to upgrading to a Sonor Prolite Maple set. My reason for choosing maple is the balanced sound and its flexibility (I play Rock music at the moment, but who knows what the future brings ;) )
I have heard good stuff for DW drums, but I don't know which line of DW would be equivalent to the sonor prolite.
Do you have any suggestions?
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Try them both if you can. DW Collectors maple would be the comparo to the Prolites. What you're thinking of buying is a pretty big commitment. If you're buying new you're talking $3000-4500 depending on configuration and finish. Both are at the tip of the spear quality wise for production drums. There are a lot of things to consider between the two. I'm not going to get into why I think one is better than the other in this thread. You need to do your research and decide which is best for you. If you'd like more info on the Prolites drop me PM in here.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Sonor Prolites 1000%. Sonor drums just sound better IMHO. They have a clean, pure tone that you can use for anything.

DW drums, as good as they are, seem to have a "muddy" tone to them. It's hard to explain, but you can hear it if you listen closely.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Both the DW Collectors Maple and the Sonor Prolite are done drums . You really can’t go wrong with either . Many forum boards have members that have a real hate on for DW which I don’t understand and I think is unfounded.

I have owned a DW Collectors with Finishply ( wrap) and it was a good kit for someone playing gigs regularly . The finishply is very durable and of something gets spilled on it you can simply wipe it off . DW makes beautiful lacquer finishes and there is a huge selection of finishes to choose from .

I have a Sonor Vintage kit currently and I am so impressed with the build quality . Bearing edges are incredibly smooth . Sure they are not Prolites. I have played Prolite kits a few times and they are some of the best sounding maple kits made today IMHO.

My personal preference leans towards the Sonor Prolite , this is no slight against DW which are excellent as well . This is a fun decision - ultimately you should listen to advice but the decision is yours to make . Make your own choice , be true to yourself and get the kit that you love the sound of , love the look of and what will work for you .
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I pulled a couple of my DW toms out just to hear them after not playing them for years.

Muddy is not the term I would use from what I heard. Lots of high end overtones is what I heard. (clear 10 mil over 10 mil smooth white) I attribute that to the fact that the DW is a ply shell. I've been playing solid shells for the last few years, and they don't have the abundance of extra overtones that my DW's make. Not bad sounding overtones, but high pitched, and in abundance.

For all the weight of the lugs on the DW shells...they resonate a long time. It's counter-intuitive
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
For all the weight of the lugs on the DW shells...they resonate a long time. It's counter-intuitive
Inertia possibly? An object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by another force. So a heavier drum is less affected by gravity and tom mount resistance than a lighter drum of equal proportions allowing it to resonate more. I don't know, just a thought.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
BASICALLY EVERYBODY MAKES GREAT DRUMS. Plain and simple. If you want DW, buy DW! If you like Yamaha, etc. It doesn't matter. We all have favorites and brands we don't like. Do they look good to you, sound good to you? I understand advice. But in the end, if you take someone ELSE'S advice and are disappointed, that would suck.

🤷‍♂️ No offense to IBitePrettyHard, but he seems he just doesn't like DW much. Just sayin' man. :sneaky:
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
BASICALLY EVERYBODY MAKES GREAT DRUMS. Plain and simple. If you want DW, buy DW! If you like Yamaha, etc. It doesn't matter. We all have favorites and brands we don't like. Do they look good to you, sound good to you? I understand advice. But in the end, if you take someone ELSE'S advice and are disappointed, that would suck.
I agree, Mr. Cans, that the sophisticated tendency to attempt to base brand and series selections exclusively upon substantive factors is mostly a delusion. The truth is that emotion is just as prevalent (and in some cases more so) as reason in the equation. We like what we like because we choose to like it, not because it's objectively superior to alternatives. One opinion matters: the buyer's. At the end of the purchase, he or she (no one else) bears the burden of the decision.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Many forum boards have members that have a real hate on for DW which I don’t understand and I think is unfounded.
I think a lot of it has to do with how John Good has a tendency to overhype nearly every aspect of their drums. From the tuning rods to the snare butt plate, they want you to think that every single component on every drum is a "game changer". But that's hardly the case, and frankly it turns off a lot of people (especially because of point #2 below, which I'll make in a second). Of course I'm sure his hype probably attracts as many people as it turns off, which is why they sell a lot of drums. But it's also why you get a lot of hate on drummer boards.

There's also another component at play here, which is my point #2. Since DW and the Guitar Center HQ are located very close to each other, they seem to have a very close relationship. Hence, GC stocks a lot of DW kits. Way moreso than any other high-end kit. In fact, it's difficult to go into a GC drum dept. without seeing a DW kit set up and ready to play. And that's where problem #2 is, because most of those showroom kits are tuned like absolute crap and beat to hell. So they usually sound bad. Often very bad.

So when you combine John Good hyping the crap out some very expensive drums that most people will only get to play at a GC (where they usually sound terrible), that's your recipe for all the online hate. At least that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

Does all that make them bad drums? Actually, no. But those clear/coated DW tom batters certainly don't help, as I don't think I've ever heard a kit with those heads sound good. Fortunately, it looks like they've phased those heads out, as I don't really see them anymore. Regardless, I have played DWs with coated Emperors or Ambassadors, and they sounded very good.
 

GCRoberts

Well-known member
But those clear/coated DW tom batters certainly don't help, as I don't think I've ever heard a kit with those heads sound good. Fortunately, it looks like they've phased those heads out, as I don't really see them anymore.
I agree with the analysis by TK-421. I'm assuming he's talking about these heads (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DRDHCC10--dw-coated-clear-drumhead-10-inch). I just purchased a DW Performance kit from Sweetwater about 6 weeks ago and it came with those heads. They had just received this kit (or at least parts of it from DW) as it had been out of stock for a few months. This head was on the 22" bass, and all of the toms (10"/12"/14"/16"/18"). The only drum that didn't have this head was the snare which has a DW branded Remo head that looks similar to a Remo Controlled Sound snare head. I'll be receiving the backordered 8" tom from them tomorrow that I know they just got in from DW this weekend. I'll be very surprised if that doesn't still have the clear/coated DW heads as well. TK-421, have you heard that DW has phased these out all together, or just on certain series? For the record, I knew of this criticism, but didn't let it change my decision to choose DW Performance. It's only a matter of time before you have to switch out the heads anyways. I'm still a new enough drummer that these less desirable heads will be fine for the short term. My plan has always been to swap out to Emperors or Ambassadors as soon as these heads need replacing....maybe even a little earlier.

The clear/coated heads was the only truly negative point I could find against choosing DW Performance. I filtered out most of the DW haters, especially the ones that complained about the price. This might sound goofy to some, but one of the things that I really liked about DW kits (especially Performance series) is it was the only kit I could go onto a resellers site and find everything I wanted. For example, I could go onto sweetwater and create a 2up/1down, or 2up/2down, or 3up/3down, etc.. kit with little effort. I was open to numerous manufacturers (DW, Pearl, Ludwig, Gretsch, Yamaha, Sonor) back in the Spring when I was making my decision. In the end, I decided I wanted a 3up/3down kit. Try going on sweetwater and building a matching 3up/3down kit for any brand other than DW. You can call your sweetwater rep, and he can get back to you with prices. But you can't just "build" it yourself.
 
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dirtyclinic

Member
I have a set of DW Collector's and I wouldn't call them muddy. I think they sound great. Over the years I have owned a few different sets and I have played other peoples' sets and I think DW sounds as good or better than all of them. This is my opinion and it is probably different than yours.
 
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