ANSWERED Vintage Sonor tom tom ID

lougrassi

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I believe this Sonor 9x13 tom is a Sonor Centenial Phonic from the early to mid 1970's. Can anyone confirm or tell me I've mis identified it? Thanks.
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lougrassi

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Hi Frank,
A lovely thought, but not an answer to my question. Are you sure it went where you intended? Or did someone named Joe intend this for you? I'm pretty new at using drum forum and a bit confused.
Best wishes, Lou
 

JDA

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Hi Frank,
A lovely thought, but not an answer to my question. Are you sure it went where you intended? Or did someone named Joe intend this for you? I'm pretty new at using drum forum and a bit confused.
Best wishes, Lou
I'm "Calling" Frank for you Lou... He's (one of) the "Resident" Sonor experts..
You will know exactly where who how when the circumstances involved in the manufacture..Soon! : ) Hang on : )
 

franke

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Methinks that's a "peeled and oiled" Phonic. Sonor kept the "boat tail" brackets well into the late seventies/early eighties.
 

Frank Godiva

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I believe this Sonor 9x13 tom is a Sonor Centenial Phonic from the early to mid 1970's. Can anyone confirm or tell me I've mis identified it? Thanks. View attachment 488305 View attachment 488306 View attachment 488307 View attachment 488308
Lou welcome to the forum. You got a rare one there.

Up until 83, all Sonor drums were made from beech. The outside of your drum is beech, you can tell by your pic with the badge. See all those numerous vertical brown marks running in the grain? Tell tale sign of Sonor beech.

Ok to franke’s point, has it been stripped and refinished? The numbers would say it was because 9 out of 10 drums that show up as beech have been stripped.

But yours is original. Little known fact, they offered drums in natural beech (NA in the catalog) for Teardrops, Champions and yes... Phonics. These drums are rare because they sold poorly across all the lines which leads many to believe all drums that show up in beech have been stripped.

How can you tell for sure this drum has not been refinished? The badge grommet is the key. Those are proprietary to Sonor. Today you can only get replacements from ST drums in Germany and for decades you could not get them at all. The wrap would have been under the badge. To remove the badge you must remove the grommet. The other way is the color. It should be pale and not amber as it appears in the 1977 catalog. Boat mounts were standard then.

Only 2 veneers were offered in 77, rosewood and beech. Sonor used the 1875 to 1975 badge into the late 70s till they ran out. The 3 digit date code inside the drum will give you a birthday.

All original natural beech centennial Phonic tom

just my opinion

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lougrassi

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Lou welcome to the forum. You got a rare one there.

Up until 83, all Sonor drums were made from beech. The outside of your drum is beech, you can tell by your pic with the badge. See all those numerous vertical brown marks running in the grain? Tell tale sign of Sonor beech.

Ok to franke’s point, has it been stripped and refinished? The numbers would say it was because 9 out of 10 drums that show up as beech have been stripped.

But yours is original. Little known fact, they offered drums in natural beech (NA in the catalog) for Teardrops, Champions and yes... Phonics. These drums are rare because they sold poorly across all the lines which leads many to believe all drums that show up in beech have been stripped.

How can you tell for sure this drum has not been refinished? The badge grommet is the key. Those are proprietary to Sonor. Today you can only get replacements from ST drums in Germany and for decades you could not get them at all. The wrap would have been under the badge. To remove the badge you must remove the grommet. The other way is the color. It should be pale and not amber as it appears in the 1977 catalog. Boat mounts were standard then.

Only 2 veneers were offered in 77, rosewood and beech. Sonor used the 1875 to 1975 badge into the late 70s till they ran out. The 3 digit date code inside the drum will give you a birthday.

All original natural beech centennial Phonic tom

just my opinion

View attachment 488356
Lou welcome to the forum. You got a rare one there.

Up until 83, all Sonor drums were made from beech. The outside of your drum is beech, you can tell by your pic with the badge. See all those numerous vertical brown marks running in the grain? Tell tale sign of Sonor beech.

Ok to franke’s point, has it been stripped and refinished? The numbers would say it was because 9 out of 10 drums that show up as beech have been stripped.

But yours is original. Little known fact, they offered drums in natural beech (NA in the catalog) for Teardrops, Champions and yes... Phonics. These drums are rare because they sold poorly across all the lines which leads many to believe all drums that show up in beech have been stripped.

How can you tell for sure this drum has not been refinished? The badge grommet is the key. Those are proprietary to Sonor. Today you can only get replacements from ST drums in Germany and for decades you could not get them at all. The wrap would have been under the badge. To remove the badge you must remove the grommet. The other way is the color. It should be pale and not amber as it appears in the 1977 catalog. Boat mounts were standard then.

Only 2 veneers were offered in 77, rosewood and beech. Sonor used the 1875 to 1975 badge into the late 70s till they ran out. The 3 digit date code inside the drum will give you a birthday.

All original natural beech centennial Phonic tom

just my opinion

View attachment 488356
Thanks Frank! I'm sure it's original. I've had it from around 1975 or 76.
I play a Champion kit from the same era. 18" BD, 8x12 & 14x14. A larger
Lou welcome to the forum. You got a rare one there.

Up until 83, all Sonor drums were made from beech. The outside of your drum is beech, you can tell by your pic with the badge. See all those numerous vertical brown marks running in the grain? Tell tale sign of Sonor beech.

Ok to franke’s point, has it been stripped and refinished? The numbers would say it was because 9 out of 10 drums that show up as beech have been stripped.

But yours is original. Little known fact, they offered drums in natural beech (NA in the catalog) for Teardrops, Champions and yes... Phonics. These drums are rare because they sold poorly across all the lines which leads many to believe all drums that show up in beech have been stripped.

How can you tell for sure this drum has not been refinished? The badge grommet is the key. Those are proprietary to Sonor. Today you can only get replacements from ST drums in Germany and for decades you could not get them at all. The wrap would have been under the badge. To remove the badge you must remove the grommet. The other way is the color. It should be pale and not amber as it appears in the 1977 catalog. Boat mounts were standard then.

Only 2 veneers were offered in 77, rosewood and beech. Sonor used the 1875 to 1975 badge into the late 70s till they ran out. The 3 digit date code inside the drum will give you a birthday.

All original natural beech centennial Phonic tom

just my opinion

View attachment 488356
Thanks Frank! I'm sure it's original. I've had it from around 1975 or 76.
I play a Champion kit from the same era. 18" BD, 8x12 & 14x14. A larger Phonic set came to me shortly after I got the cChamions at a great price and i bought them thinking I might want them. Never really used them and sold most of them to a student about 10 years ago. This was an extra tom and i kept it in case i ever wanted or need two mounted toms. Never did. I've accumulated a lot of gear in the last 55 years or so and for several years have been parting with things i never use. I'm down to my 1 drumset, several snares and some miscellaneous drums, a lot of cymbals and some odds and ends hardware. I've tried to avoid selling that involved shipping, but at this point it seems unavoidable. If I wanted to price it for an easy sale without cheating myself too much, would you be willing to venture a good asking price?
The three digit code inside is 011. Not sure what it means. Thanks again for your expertise and helpfulness! Lou
 

Frank Godiva

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I take it you are in the EU. As an American it is hard for me to judge the market over there, plus not many folks have a natural beech kit. Sorry no help there.


011 would be Nov 1980. Not out of the realm of possibility but that 0 might be a 9 or an 8. The first number is year. 1978 or 1979 would make more sense.

GLWS
 

lougrassi

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I take it you are in the EU. As an American it is hard for me to judge the market over there, plus not many folks have a natural beech kit. Sorry no help there.


011 would be Nov 1980. Not out of the realm of possibility but that 0 might be a 9 or an 8. The first number is year. 1978 or 1979 would make more sense.

GLWS
No, I'm in Manhattan. I'm quite sure I got these drums well before 1980. Could it be 1970? In any case, thanks for your time & trouble.
 

Frank Godiva

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Oh no trouble. Could not be 1970, the badge is at least 75. The numbers can be hard to read.

sent you a pm on my opinion on price
 

Sonorholic

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I thought the anniversary badge was only for 1975 but don't know for sure. My first set of Sonor were in the beech finish and I'd say that tom is exactly that Phonic from mid- late 70's. If you ever want to sell it...
 

lougrassi

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I thought the anniversary badge was only for 1975 but don't know for sure. My first set of Sonor were in the beech finish and I'd say that tom is exactly that Phonic from mid- late 70's. If you ever want to sell it...
I agree. I'm sure I acquired it around 75 or 76. It was preowened, but nearly new. I posted it for sale earlier today and I believe it's sold. If anything goes wrong I'll let you know.
 

ThomasL

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I thought the anniversary badge was only for 1975 but don't know for sure. My first set of Sonor were in the beech finish and I'd say that tom is exactly that Phonic from mid- late 70's. If you ever want to sell it...
I would assume Sonor used all the badges they had before switching. That's how they usually did with parts in those days. Also, the kits in the centennial catalog have early 70s badges, whereas those in a later 70s catalog have centennial badges. This was also common back in the days (for example the 71 Gretsch catalog has a mixture of RB and SSB).

My rosewood Phonics had centennial badges, but the kits with rosewood inside don't have (visible?) date stamps, so it's hard to tell.
 

Frank Godiva

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Love to see pics of those rosewood phonics

I posted the question on the centennial badges to a larger group, will post the results

the Sonor museum list the centennial badge from 75 to 77 plus

 

Frank Godiva

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Ok. So early feedback includes former Sonor factory workers.

“the centennial badge was used well into 77 and possibly 78”
 

ThomasL

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Love to see pics of those rosewood phonics
I have to correct myself: the kit had a mixture of centennial and black/gold "Since 1875" badges, even though I have no reason to believe it was not an original factory kit:

14x18 "Since 1875" #5612
8x12 "Since 1875" #5686
14x14 centennial #4985
5x14 snare (D500?) centennial #04149, date stamp 712(!)

This indicates that (at least the snare version of) the centennial badge was used at least until the end of 1977.

I no longer own this kit, but I sold them to a guy who's a very good player and who has since built up a big shell bank of rosewood Phonics, so they are in good hands.

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royal ace

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Original 'Natural Beech' 18,12,14, circa 1980, purchased on consignment in 1984. the immaculate 13x9 tom was acquired in 2012 on Ebay at a price I couldn't resist.
The Phonic reissue D-516, 6.5x14 Mahogany snare, reissued in 2001, was acquired later.


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