Sonor SQ2: birch or maple? Shell thickness? Seriously need advice!

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
Well, the branding thing.... Sonor has the logo not only displayed on the bassdrum resohead and the shells of the toms but also in every single lug of toms, bassdrum and snare. That's just too much for me. No other company afaik is so keen on placing its logo this prominently everywhere. Even the base of their cymbals stands and the pedals are shaped like their logo. Some people like it, I don't like it that much. But to each his own. ;)

About the Hyprid-X, if I remember well, it was marketed as an upper-midclass set, somewhere between the Ascent and the Select Force series. Thus, they were expected to be decent drums. But of course not on par with a ProLite.

Most people want one sound, like the "maple" sound or the "beech" sound.
I guess this is absolutely correct. And it's the reason why such hybrid-kits like the Sonor are rarely produced.
 
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drumming sort of person

Guest
I bet that there are a few songs out there that you like - and that were recorded with an RC. Those drums were just too popular in studios. :D
Actually, you're incorrect. Gretsch have always been much more popular with studios and cartage companies. Plenty of Yamaha endorsers recorded with Gretsch.

It was possible to get the Recording Custom bass drum to sound good, but not as good as other drums. I had a cheap Yamaha stage custom bass drum that sounded much better. My Maple Custom Absolute bass drum sounded much better too, but my Gretsch bass drums sound much better.

I played a really deep Sonor SQ2 bass drum at NAMM that sounded amazing (and I usually hate deep bass drums).
 
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drumming sort of person

Guest
As a matter of fact - this will interest you, drumming sort of person - but the original Recording Custom kits had maple kick drums. You must have bought one of the new RC kits that have birch kick drums? But all classic recordings you hear of Steve Gadd, for example, he was playing a maple kick with birch toms.
Pretty sure that you're completely wrong. Yamaha didn't make ANY maple shelled drums until the Maple Custom line. Gadd did prefer a maple bass drum for his drums, but when he was playing the Recording Customs, they were all birch.

I owned a big (two bass drums) Recording Custom kit that I purchased in the mid 80s, and then another newer kit with an 18" bass drum (with YESS mounts) about five years ago. Something about those high tension lugs dampened the bass drum too much I guess.

I actually spoke to someone at Yamaha about getting a maple bass drum with those high tension lugs and they said "No way!". Apparently they did it for an endorser once and the results were horrible.
 

jmcleanmoffat

Junior Member
Pretty sure that you're completely wrong.
Haha, okay. I thought I had read that he used a maple kick drum with the 9000 series drums back in the day, but I could definitely be COMPLETELY WRONG. Another way you could say it would be, "I don't think that's true" or even, "I think you're wrong." But I guess you are PRETTY sure that I'm COMPLETELY wrong, so we'll leave it at that. :)
 

jmcleanmoffat

Junior Member
Yes! Artstar, this a commemorative kit. Their wording is: The Steve Gadd signature drum set is identical to the kit he has used on countless recordings and world tours with many of today’s top artists.

To me that implies that he did, indeed, use a maple kick on so many of those recordings (and tours as they mention). I heard him in an interview talking about how he used the maple kick before but Yamaha reduced the ply thickness on the new ones and he liked the birch kick now instead of the maple. I am now PRETTY sure that I'm NOT completely wrong.
 

spelman

Senior Member
Yes! Artstar, this a commemorative kit. Their wording is: The Steve Gadd signature drum set is identical to the kit he has used on countless recordings and world tours with many of today’s top artists.

To me that implies that he did, indeed, use a maple kick on so many of those recordings (and tours as they mention). I heard him in an interview talking about how he used the maple kick before but Yamaha reduced the ply thickness on the new ones and he liked the birch kick now instead of the maple. I am now PRETTY sure that I'm NOT completely wrong.
Of course Gadd used a maple kick, but, as drumming sort of person already mentioned, not before 1990, when Yamaha introduced the Maple customs.

The commemorative kit was introduced in 2006. The "countless recordings and world tours" that Yamaha refer to is from the 15+ years since 1990.

The Maple Custom Absolute came out in about 2002, the bass drum was now 7 mm thick versus 10 mm for the original Maple Custom.
 

jmcleanmoffat

Junior Member
I admit defeat, I guess Gadd was playing a birch kick in all those classic recordings. Even more of a reason for me to go medium birch on my SQ2 :)

As much as I love the mixed wood idea (and maybe someday I'll do that) it is true that I - and most other engineers I know - do really love working with birch kits in the studio. And this will primarily be a studio kit. I am pretty sure that's what I'm gonna go with...
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I admit defeat, I guess Gadd was playing a birch kick in all those classic recordings.
Actually, no, he most likely WAS playing a maple bass drum on those old recordings. It wasn't a Yamaha bass drum, that's all. Either a Gretsch or a Rogers.
 

jmcleanmoffat

Junior Member
I'm sure everybody has moved on from this thread, but I just wanted to post an update that I've put a deposit on a slightly used medium birch kit and I will be receiving it within the next couple weeks. Everybody's advice and opinions were very valuable and I appreciate the help! The end story is actually pretty cool: I decided I WAS going to go with medium birch shells, but I made the decision to do smaller shell sizes (partially because I want to be able to transport this kit to more upscale venues in a smaller vehicle, partially because I just love 20" kicks and even though 22" is the standard, I'm paying for this damn kit and I should get what I want!)

Well, I sent my SQ2 specs to a local shop to hear back from them on final order costs, wait time, what have you. They said 6 months and $4100 for a 20x16, 12x8 and 14x14 with a 14x6 snare. I told them I'd be getting them the payment as soon as I could this week, in full. THE NEXT DAY I found a listing for these rare shells/sizes for $3750! Medium birch - 20x15, 12x8, 14x14 and a 14x5.5 snare... with an additional 10x7 tom! I was going to order in vintage onyx, and these ones are Scandinavian birch finish. Which, although a bit flashier than I would normally choose, are beautiful and I'm sure they're even more gorgeous up close. I'm going to post a photo of the kit here from the site it was listed on, maybe one of you knows who the original owner was? If so, let them know I said THANK YOU!
 
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