Sonor Vintage Series Kit
Retro is cool. Looking back at the past and updating classic designs is something that many companies are doing a lot of these days, and not just in the musical instrument industry. However, in the case of drums, does updating an old design making it better?
In celebration of its 140th year in 2015, Sonor has released its new Vintage Series line, which recreates a look and sound the company’s drums had from the 1950s to the early 1970s.
The review kit we received was made up of a 22x14” kick, 12x8” rack tom, 14x12” and 16x14” floor toms and a 14x5.75” snare in a white marine pearl finish, but the drums are available in a select number of finishes to match the vintage design. The 14” floor tom wasn’t used in the video.
The drums feature 9ply 6mm cross laminated German Beech shells with rounded bearing edges. The toms and snare have 2.3mm steel hoops with a rounded top edge (or ‘classic shape’ as Sonor puts it), while the bass drum hoops are wood with an inlay. All of the drums have a ‘teardrop’ lug design and the bass drum also had rather nice looking T-claw hooks. The badges were pretty cool too.
This particular kit was sent over for a Jojo Mayer performance so it was a little different to the standard configurations on offer. Usually, the kits come fitted with Remo heads, but as Jojo is an Evans endorser, the review kit was fitted with these instead.
My first impression was that the drums looked great. White marine pearl is a classic finish and suited the vibe of these drums perfectly. The build quality was excellent, as I would expect from Sonor. The shells were well made and the fittings were very sturdy.
To play, the drums had great tone and projection. Despite being set up for – arguably – a more jazz orientated context, they worked equally as well with my ska band, the kick drum providing a nice punch when played with a hard plastic beater.
During the week I had the kit, and thinking back about it now, I couldn’t find anything that I didn’t really like about it. The drums were a little physically heavier than I expected they would be, but they did also feel more robust in that respect and so I would expect them to last if being carted around and gigged a lot. I also wouldn’t be scared to hit them hard in that respect.
Overall, I liked the look of the kit, the feel it had and the sound it produced; all the hallmarks of a quality design. The vintage look and feel of the drums is spot on but it has the modern design traits and solidity which seem to make it very workable for the gigging and recording drummer. I guess in that respect, updating the old design has worked well.
The Vintage Series is available in two shell pack configurations or as individual pieces. For more info including detailed specs - http://www.sonor.com/news/product-news-2015-sonor-vintage-series/
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