Trying to decide which of these kits is best

Which would you say is best for the price?


  • Total voters
    40

RichFaulk

Active Member
Some would say they're Mapex shells with Sonor hardware bolted on...
From what I understand they're manufactured at the same facility but that's about all they have in common. I assume the AQ2s are built on the same tooling as the discontinued Force series which was sent from Germany to China as well as technicians to train the craftsmen.

In any case the AQ2's sound, feel and look amazing for their price. (Sonor rep reading the thread please dm me for my address to send the check to.)
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
You won't find a better set of drums for the price than Stage Customs. Great hardware, great finishes and easy to obtain add-on drums.

I would definitely consider the Tama if the budget allows. I have no experience with them but they're well liked around here.
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I don't think so from what I no mapex use different plys and different thickness in shells so I don't no were you got that from.

The shell specs on the AQ2 match both the old Sonor Force 3007 and the Mapex Meridian Maple; three inner plies of Chinese maple with two outer and two inner plies of North American maple coming in at 5.8mm thick.

I don't say any of that as a slight against Sonor, but if a drum has a shell made in China in the same KHS factory as a Mapex drum, using the same materials, same ply layup, and to the exact same thickness, well, I just think it is what it is. The same shell prior to paint and hardware.

The notion of the Chinese-made Sonor drums having anything in common with Mapex seems to make a lot of Sonor fans nervous, which leads to all the stories about separate production lines and German engineers and all that, but I just can't believe that the factory people tasked with making THAT one specific shell recipe weren't simply making shells for whatever end product was going to use them.
 
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RichFaulk

Active Member
The shell specs on the AQ2 match both the old Sonor Force 3007 and the Mapex Meridian Maple; three inner plies of Chinese maple with two outer and two inner plies of North American maple coming in at 5.8mm thick.

I don't say any of that as a slight against Sonor, but if a drum has a shell made in China in the same KHS factory as a Mapex drum, using the same materials, same play layup, and to the exact same thickness, well, I just think it is what it is. The same shell prior to paint and hardware.

The notion of the Chinese-made Sonor drums having anything in common with Mapex seems to make a lot of Sonor fans nervous, which leads to all the stories about separate production lines and German engineers and all that, but I just can't believe that the factory people tasked with making THAT one specific shell recipe weren't simply making shells for whatever end product was going to use them.
That's interesting, I didn't realize they were that similar. After looking up the Meridian I did notice the shell sizes are not the same as the AQ2 (the Meridians tend to be 1 inch deeper all around), but same thickness. I'd like to feel the bearing edge on the Meridian to see if its the same as the Sonors.

In any case, even if they are the exact same drums, built on the same equipment by the same hands all that tells me is Meridians are probably very high quality drums for the money.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
That's interesting, I didn't realize they were that similar. After looking up the Meridian I did notice the shell sizes are not the same as the AQ2 (the Meridians tend to be 1 inch deeper all around), but same thickness. I'd like to feel the bearing edge on the Meridian to see if its the same as the Sonors.

In any case, even if they are the exact same drums, built on the same equipment by the same hands all that tells me is Meridians are probably very high quality drums for the money.

The Meridian line was really high quality, I think by that time (2009-ish) Mapex was really killing it. I think the shell depths on the Meridian were a product of their time, since most makers were still using the FAST sizes back then, which is what the Force 3007 had too. The pendulum has swung back to traditional depths, which is why that's what most makers are using today.

I sold my Meridians a number of years ago, so I'm not 100% sure what the edge profile was. I think they had a fairly sharp single 45* but they might have had a double 45.
 

fobz

Active Member
Buy used if you can. You can save quite a bit of money OR buy a better set used for the same money.
This. Always this. At that price range you can buy something really good used. Or just buy something decent for half the money and have more left for cymbals and hardware...
 

RK1

Active Member
You say thats not the Aq2s it just says Sonor I totally disagree what are they then man?
The AQ2 is Chinese Sonor. They don’t build the shells vertically nor undersize them. Only German Sonor does. Huge difference.
 

RichFaulk

Active Member
The AQ2 is Chinese Sonor. They don’t build the shells vertically nor undersize them. Only German Sonor does. Huge difference.
I am still waiting for a good comparison video that takes an AQ2 and an SQ2 built to the same specs (thin maple shells in the same dimensions, same heads, etc.) and puts them side by side.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I am still waiting for a good comparison video that takes an AQ2 and an SQ2 built to the same specs (thin maple shells in the same dimensions, same heads, etc.) and puts them side by side.
I would like to see something similar comparing the Gretsch Brooklyn and Renown RN2 sets. My hunch is that the difference between them isn't big at all.
 
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