> > > Radek Owczarz tests a Sonor Prolite drum kit

Radek Owczarz is known to all Polish drum maniacs as one of the best studio and touring drummers in Poland. He has collaborated with some of the platitum-selling acts on the Polish scene, such as Kasia Kowalska, Pilichowski Band, Edyta Bartosiewicz, Patrycja Markowska, Jan Borysewicz or OCN. beatit.tv viewers are no strangers to radek as he has appeared on our channel in the past testing some gear.

This time round, he came over to our new studio to test some more equipment and talk about the most important stuff in life, i.e. drums and drummers… 😉

We started with the Zildjian Reflexx Conditioning Pads, and today are getting our hands on the Sonor Prolite Series drum kit.

We’re testing a Sonor ProLite drum kit

Sonor ProLite Solid Lite Grey

1. Testu

We conducted the test in our new studio, i.e. in an acoustically adapted room. The kit comprises two rack toms, two floor toms and a bass drum, which the factory put Remo heads on. During the test, we used two snare drums (Fat Flying Drums: 14″ x 6.5″ Aluminium and 14″ x 6.5″ Brass), as well as a Zildjian S Dark cymbal set consisting of: 14″ hats, a 16″ crash, an 18″ crash and a 20″ ride

Radek presented the sound in a few grooves back to back, each of which begins with an interesting fill, giving us an idea of what the rack toms and floor toms sound like.

2. Basic drum kit specs:

  • Manufacturer: Sonor
  • Model: ProLite
  • Kit elements: 10″ x 7″ and 12″ x 8″ rack toms, 14″ X 14″ floor tom, 16″ X 16″ floor tom, 22″ x 17.5″ bass drum
  • Finish: Solid Lite Grey
  • Material: Maple
  • Shells: Based on the SQ2 series – 12-ply, 6mm (bass drum), 9-ply, 4mm (rack toms and floor toms) + two 2mm reinforcement rings per shell
  • Bearing edges: 45°
  • OSM (Optimum Shell Measurement) – slightly narrow outside shell measurement
  • Hoops: Power Hoops 2,3mm
  • Hardware: Chrome-plated
  • Tom mounts: T.A.R. (Total Acoustic Resonance Mounting System) + double DHT 4000 tom holder
  • Heads: Remo
  • TuneSafe System
  • Character: pronounced stick definition, strong attack, warm and meaty low end

3. Product and sound

The drums make a very good impression already at first glance. The attention to detail is striking, and the Solid Lite Grey finish looks very nice. It is inspired by a very popular paint color used by Audi in the production of their sports cars. A very nice touch is the aesthetic plate with the company logo and the name of the model. The edges of the shells seem impeccable, which was confirmed when tuning of the toms. The proces did not cause the slightest problem. Literally, one turn of a drum key on each tuning rod and the drums were playable. In addition, the tuning did not change a bit throughout our recording session, which should be attributed to the TuneSafe system. It is based on the fact that the lugs have an internal protection that prevents the tuning screws from loosening. We do not know what kind of tuning was used by Radek, because he tuned all the drums by ear, according to the “preset sound” that exists in his head, which we do not have access to (yet 😉 ). We should also mention the OSM (Optimum Shell Measurement) system, which means the diameter of each drum is slightly reduced. This is supposed to make the head resonate better – a bit like a timpani does. You can judge the result yourself, but in our opinion the theory worked in practice. The tom mounting system, called T.A.R. (short for Total Acoustic Resonance Mounting System), uses two upper and two lower lugs on each of the toms and in our opinion gives a good balance between stiff and free suspension without leaning towards either option.

Radek Owczarz is an experienced studio and live musician. This means that the drums (even though tuned by ear) sounded excellent. After all, these are shells taken from the SQ2 line. This really is no joke and we are talking a high-end instrument. Sonor ProLite drums sound mighty. A great amount of low frequencies will surely satisfy fans of this type of sound. The sound of each of the toms that make up this set is characterized by clear, focused stick definition and a strong attack on impact, followed by beautiful, warm, balanced and quite open (though not excessively long) decay. The bass drum has pronounced attack with a lot of definition and a powerful low end. With the tuning applied by Radek, the meaty characteristics of these drums brought to mind the power of John Bonham’s sound. It should also be noted that this is not just an acoustic impression we had when playing. All these characteristics are transferred by microphones, therefore it is an instrument that sound wonderful when recorded.

The Sonor ProLite limited drum kit tested here is available only in the aforementioned Solid Lite Grey finish, however, line-produced kits can be purchased in the following colours: Nussbaum, Ebony White Stripes, Chocolate Burl, Fiery Red, Snow Tiger and Elder Tree.

For the record, it must be noted that the set being played on the video does not include a snare drum, while the ProLite line in general actually does include instruments of this type.

Radek Owczarz: “Sonor instruments have been with me for many years. Right now, my weapon of choice is the Prolite. They are versatile, immaculately crafted and reliable drums. Their sound is just great and easy to shape, which makes it quite effortless to achieve the desired sonic effect in the studio. I like this kit a lot…”

Although Sonor ProLite are not cheap drums, we can whole-heartedly recommend them to all drummers with a slightly larger budget at their disposal. There are no compromises here – neither in terms of sound, build, materials nor appearance. This is a top-shelf product.

Here’s the score achieved by the Sonor ProLite Solid Lite Grey drum kit:

Appearance: 10

Sound: 10

Innovation: 10

Price: Well…

Quality: 10


Disadvantages – None


In-between: None

Advantages – Great craftsmanship, excellent look, excellent sound

The total score is: 5 TOP

We invite you to watch the test video in which you will hear and see a Sonor ProLite Solid Lite Grey drum kit.