Sonor SQ1 (brand new kit) problems

cbphoto

Gold Member
Sonor believes it might be the sound sustainer system causing the issue and are shipping me a free replacement.
Ex-Sonor player here. So, to clarify, there’s a piece of hardware that’s prohibiting your 10” tom from resonating? Can you post a pic of it? I’m over here on the sidelines in a state of bewilderment.
 
I've only ever heard about issues with a dead sounding bass drum tree mounted 12" tom. Not the 10. Not the13. Not the 12 as the high tom like in a 4 piece. Just the 12 in the 2nd position.

Happened to me too. Below isn't a popular opinion but it's the only thing that seems plausible to me.

Try this just for fun. Mount it, sit behind the kit and hit it. It should be dead right, the reason for the thread. Now move your head closer to the drum and hit it. Now move your head a little further from where you normally keep your head and hit the 12" drum. Now move your head back to how you normally keep it and hit it. Did you hear a difference? I do, bigtime. When I move my head closer to the 12" tom, it regains it's fullness. When I move it farther away from normal, it regains it's fullness. When I keep my head where I normally keep it, it sounds hollow.

My theory, and I don't know if it's right, is that my ears, where I normally keep them while playing, are sitting smack at the bottom of the trough in the soundwave. When I move my head anywhere else but normal, there's no problem. Try this, walk out in front of the kit and hit the 12" tom. Does it sound dead from out there? If it doesn't sound dead from the front of the kit...it's not. The only place where it sounded dead to me was from the throne with my head kept where I normally keep it. I think of it like a bad place to put a mic. Also no one but me is perceiving it.. I contend that the 12" tom is just the right size, and makes just the right wavelength, for this phenomena to occur.

If you are not suspension mounted, that could also do it. I'm a big fan of suspension mounts because I like sustain. The combination of the 2 could be your issue.

The other "problem" could very well be an ear placement issue. That's my theory. Until actual facts explain what's happening, I'm sticking with this.


I get where you're coming from with this. But...there's always been myself and another person in the room. So I'm at the kit...the other person is on the other side of the kit. We're hearing the same thing. I've also moved it to another part of the room. I've also moved it to other rooms. As long as its mounted using the sound sustainer...there's no tone. By that, I mean...not a slight loss of tone...dead. No tone. The sound is only the attack of the stick on the batter head. It sounds something like hitting the top of a cardboard box with a drumstick. (I also changed the reso thinking it might be dead. Sounded good in my hand, but dead when mounted again. Not the reso.)

But when I hold it in my hand...it resonates fully and has a ton of tone and long sustain. If I get another person to hold (by the hoop) the tom flat...again it resonates and has a long sustain. I tried putting it in a snare basket...my least favourite way to mount a tom because it usually cuts some of the sustain...and it resonated with sustain. Slightly shorter, but that was expected from a snare basket. Still sounded pretty good.

Everything does seem to indicate Sonor is right about the Sound Sustainer being the source of the issue. It looks like when its mounted from the sound sustainer its just not freely resonating the way it should. The first time I played an SQ1 (around the time they first came out) I was impressed with the openness of the shells. So I know how these should sound...and it's just a little unfortunate that there's an issue with this one. But I'm sure Sonor will do whatever it takes to resolve the issue.
 
Ex-Sonor player here. So, to clarify, there’s a piece of hardware that’s prohibiting your 10” tom from resonating? Can you post a pic of it? I’m over here on the sidelines in a state of bewilderment.

No, I don't have a 10. It's a 12. Its the sound sustainer system thats attached to the shell...or at least everything seems to point to that being the source of the problem.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Hadn't actually thought of that. Might try that. Thanks.

Another thing I would add... you might have this covered already...... but I would make sure the L-rod arm has plenty of slack on the bottom...... meaning don't push it up far into the bracket....... Like this photo below has it with plenty of slack so it's not pushed all the way toward the bottom of the l-rod curvature...... It's clampled further toward the TOP of the rod :

SONOR_Drumkit_4_820x.jpg
 
Another thing I would add... you might have this covered already...... but I would make sure the L-rod arm has plenty of slack on the bottom...... meaning don't push it up far into the bracket....... Like this photo below has it with plenty of slack so it's not pushed all the way toward the bottom of the l-rod curvature...... It's clampled further toward the TOP of the rod :

SONOR_Drumkit_4_820x.jpg


Yeah, that's the way I have it. I've tried it a bunch of ways and nothing changed the results I was getting.
 
So the plot thickens. I'm now having the same issue on the 14 floor tom. It looks like the sound sustainer has failed on that too. With the floor tom tuned to be open and resonant...when mounted on the legs all the tone is gone. Low end disappears. Looks like it has to be the sound sustainers.

The one drum that doesn't depend on the sound sustainer system - the bass drum - is the only shell now that hasn't had issues. Don't know if it could be due to a faulty batch or what.

It's a very unfortunate start with this kit. Still talking with the dealer and Sonor to see how we deal with this now.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
I hate to ask but what is “sound sustainer?” The mounting hardware? On a floor tom? And why not tune the drum “mounted?” You just tweak the rods at that point.
 
Here's a video that shows what the sound sustainer is. They also have them on the floor toms and its what the legs go into. The mounting hardware for the 12 tom is a 4000 series tom cymbal stand.

I have tried tuning them mounted. It's not a minor loss of sustain. All the sound is gone out of the drum. Not the sound of a German made Sonor kit....more like a cardboard box. I've owned birch sonor kits and snares. I know the sound. Never had anything this bad from them. Guess its one of those rare things because no one else seems to have had the same issue. But I'm now considering avoiding the SQ1 and the Sound Sustainer system and maybe go Prolite instead. We'll see how it pans out.

 

s1212z

Well-known member
That's still a direct shell mount system.

Here is the BDC I was mentioning that had a dead tom (12" I believe). They even address it (otherwise kit sounds and looks great). One would think they tried all possibilities for some UK pride, haha.

 
Have you tried letting someone else tune them?

I'm in a lockdown at the moment. I did try contacting some people to have a look at it. But they're not allowed to with current restrictions. Also, I'm very familiar with tuning Sonor drums having played their gear for more than a decade. Also, I'm not doing just random tuning. I'm actually tuning to pitches. Again, when the shells aren't mounted they are sounding as they should. But when mounted...using the SS system...thats when the issues occur. I believe the kit had been in stock for quite some time. So its not like its brand new stock. I've gone into much more detail with the dealer and Sonor ... and Sonor accepts there is a fault that lies with them. I thought at first it might be a tuning issue. I got all fresh Evans heads and took the time to tune them and really make sure it wasn't just tuning. I got both shells into a sweet spot...was feeling optimistic...until they were mounted.

Now its just a matter of figuring out the next step.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I've fought with Yamaha YESS mounts for the same reason and have learned a couple of things. One: tune the drums wide-open (identical pitch both heads) and Two: make sure that the tom tree/kick drum is perfectly vertical and level - no leaning in any direction whatsoever.

Watching this thread with interest because I'm thinking about buying a Vintage Series kit this year. I have no idea if they use the same mounting system though. It might be a moot point.
 
That's still a direct shell mount system.

Here is the BDC I was mentioning that had a dead tom (12" I believe). They even address it (otherwise kit sounds and looks great). One would think they tried all possibilities for some UK pride, haha.


I watched it. It was the 10 I think he said. Anyway, in that video its not a very noticeable thing. What I'm dealing with here is a much more severe case. You'd have to hear it to fully understand the seriousness of it. BUT...I don't want to put recordings out there because I don't think that would be fair to Sonor. Because I've never had a problem like this with their gear...I feel this is a rare case...and it would be a bit unfair to put it out there because I don't think it represents their high standards.
 
I've fought with Yamaha YESS mounts for the same reason and have learned a couple of things. One: tune the drums wide-open (identical pitch both heads) and Two: make sure that the tom tree/kick drum is perfectly vertical and level - no leaning in any direction whatsoever.

Watching this thread with interest because I'm thinking about buying a Vintage Series kit this year. I have no idea if they use the same mounting system though. It might be a moot point.

Yeah, I normally do tune for a wide open sound. The reso is only a tiny bit higher than the batter. I did try tuning them to the same pitch. It didn't make any difference once mounted. Sonor believes its the mounting system because I have tried just about everything you can think of and it all points to the SS system. Particularly now since the problem is also occurring on the floor tom...and the one drum that doesn't have that system hasn't had any issues - the bass drum.

All of Sonor's series use different mounting systems. So the Vintage Series is a very different system to the SQ1. I wouldn't let this worry anyone too much if you're thinking about buying Sonor. I actually think this is one of those freak accidents really. And it may have more to do with how the kit was handled when with the dealer...but I shouldn't go into that aspect of things.

Hopefully it'll all turn out well in the end.
 

Teed

New member
I ran into this with my Yamaha on a suspended 14". I took the mounting bracket off of the tom and flipped it upside down and re-attached it. Then I put it back on the tom mount and it sang like never before. This changed the "center of gravity" of the attach point. I'm not familiar with the SQ1 (yet) and flipping the bracket upside-down looks like it wouldn't do anything. But can you try mounting the tom upside-down, put a batter head on the bottom and see if you get the same results? That would tell you if the "attach point" of the tom is causing the problem. Have you tried swapping the sound sustainer yet?
 
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In this DCP demo, the tom gives more of a thump than an open sound. Is your drum’s sound similar?


I wouldn't say that DCP video gives you an accurate idea of the sound. The Drummers Review that someone else post gives you a much better idea of the sound. Also, this is not the first SQ1 I've played. I've played them at my local dealer and they always sounded open. Below is a video of the same sizes I have. This is what it should sound like. And I need to make it clear...it does sound open...just not when its mounted. The tone loss is NOT minor. It seems like the sound is being choked out of the drum to the point where it doesn't even sound like a drum.

 
I ran into this with my Yamaha on a suspended 14". I took the mounting bracket off of the tom and flipped it upside down and re-attached it. Then I put it back on the tom mount and it sang like never before. This changed the "center of gravity" of the attach point. I'm not familiar with the SQ1 (yet) and flipping the bracket upside-down looks like it wouldn't do anything. But can you try mounting the tom upside-down, put a batter head on the bottom and see if you get the same results? That would tell you if the "attach point" of the tom is causing the problem. Have you tried swapping the sound sustainer yet?

I've tried mounted it every way possible. Nothing changes it. Now the 14 is suffering too. Clearly these sound sustainers have just failed. I might have to just return the whole kit.

The sustainer Sonor is sending hasn't arrived yet. I'd expect it early next week hopefully.
 
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