> > > BeatIt Vintage Test: Sonor Designer drum kit

Last summer, we took a trip to the headquarters of the MW-Vintage company, which is known to quite a number of drummers in Poland and Europe not only from beatit.tv publications and can boast an increasingly growing range of drum kits of a slightly older date. On a beautiful and sunny day, company owner, Mateusz Wysocki, opened his show room for us to set up several vintage sets “tap” on. Once again, Max Psuja, agreed to be the ’lab tester’. Max is an utter vintage drum maniac, a former employee of a drum shop, and a great drummer, who has collaborated with a host of popular acts in Poland, such as Kumka Olik, Holak, Lilly Hates Roses or Yoachim.

We’re testing a Sonor Designer drum kit

1. Product

Sonor Designer is a line of drum sets considered by many Sonor brand experts and followers to be the company’s best product of all time. Drums from this series are characterized by excellent workmanship and sound. The Designer laid the foundations for the SQ2 series when it comes to the selection of wood types, colors, finishes, shell depth, etc. These were high-end drums that only few could afford. This is a drum kit that can be included in the Modern Vintage category. In the case of this particular set, the 12″ tom was ordered some time after the purchase hence a slightly darker finish shade and single point rather than tube lugs.

2. Basic specs:

  • Producer: Sonor
  • Model: Designer
  • Configuration: 8″ x 8″, 10” x 9”, 12″ x 10″, 14″ x 14″, 20″ x 18″
  • Material: North American Maple
  • Shells: Maple Light (9 plies on the toms, 12 plies on the bass drum)
  • Heads: Evans EC2/Remo Emperor Clear (batter heads on the toms), WS Classic Clear (resonant heads on the toms), Remo Powerstroke 3 (batter head on the bass drum), Aquarian Studio X (resonant head on the bass drum), Remo Ambassador X (on the snare)
  • Finish: Stain Blue
  • Estimated year of production: 1995
  • Hardware: STARS tom holder + bass drum plate for 10″ and 12″ toms, DSS Rims suspension system for the 14″ floor tom, Sonor T.A.R. mounting system for the 14″ floor tom, tom holder Sonor 600 for the 8″ tom

3. Test and sound

When testing the Sonor Designer drum kit, we also used a Tama Seamless Steel PL 106 snare drum as well as Impression Cymbals: prototype 14″ hats (unavailable in the market as yet, used by three drummers in Poland including Max), a 19″ Smooth Crash and a 22″ Leon Collection Ride.

Max kicked off by presenting the sound of the bass drum, then, played each of the toms at different levels of dynamics, only to finish of with a few rhythmic patterns using the entire kit.

The Sonor Designer set tested here is a perfect instrument for all those who are in love with the Sonor sound, however, do not want to incur expenses in excess of five thousand Euros for an SQ2 set, because here the cost will be much lower. The bass drum has a characteristic, punchy (even pointy) sound, but combined with a warm and rich low tone. The sound of the toms also displays a lot of warmth, rich overtones and depth, which are married with a clear stick definition. All the drums respond wonderfully at all levels of dynamics. A dream kit not only for Sonor fans, but for everyone who is into that slightly “newer” vintage sound straight from the 90s.

This is what Max Psuja had to say about this kit: “The drums have a strong, bright attack and very good projection. The sound is characteristic of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The kit in this configuration may work out great in many musical situations such as pop, fusion or rock.”

The drum set is available for purchase at MW-Vinage Internet store under the following link: https://mw-vintage.pl/sonor-perkusja-designer-light-maple-20-8-10-12-14/

Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put the 20″, 10″, 12″, 14″ Sonor Designer drum kit to the most important test of all, i. e. the en.beatit.tv viewers’ test! Exclusively for you, we give you Max Psuja!