Sonor SQ2 - Birch, Beech, or Maple?

Steech

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From what your telling us here, not a hard hitter, home studio, max tone, resonance, warmth.......... I'd either get the SQ2 medium beech w/ the thin floor tom ...........OR a Prolite and put the extra $3K back in your pocket. All the requirements you describe scream Prolite to me. But, as you said, you'd like to try something other than maple.

Bottom line from me anyway, is if you want an SQ2 kit, I'd just get beech medium all around and you'll be happy as a pig in doo doo. Don't overthink it.
These are great points. One thing to consider is ease of resale (which might be blasphemy to some Sonor worshippers), meaning an all medium beech SQ2 will sell in about 17 seconds whereas a thin beech might take 2-3 minutes and anything with a combo of woods/thicknesses may take a few weeks or so. YMMV.
 

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I have recently entered the world of Sonor. Pandemic project, I picked up this Ascent kit for a bit over $1K and restored them. These are German Beech shells assembled by KHS Taiwan. Some of the fittings (e.g. - tom holders) are identical to Mapex Saturns. My understanding was that these were the heavy/medium shells used on flagship beech lines, but after reading this thread that may not be the case. I thought these were in fact undersized as the Remo coated emps I put on them seem to float and spin really easily. The snare is a real sleeper btw. Tuning is a breeze and I got this kit dialed in pretty quickly. The kit has a lot of "headroom" and plays "bigger" than sizes -- meaning although it is 20/10/12/14/16 -- it sounds and feels like a 22/12/13/16 under my hands. I have not tried it with jazz tunings.

Agree with the preponderance of opinions here -- if you are shelling out for an SQ2 medium beech would be my choice. Any incremental difference to your ear on the maple or birch are going to be small compared to Pro-Lite and SQ1 (although your finish options are limited with those stock lines).

Also -- if anyone at Sonor is reading this -- please bring back the hi-gloss ruby red finish in the Pro-Lite maple line. I would be first in line!
Sonor2.jpg
 

Steech

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I have recently entered the world of Sonor. Pandemic project, I picked up this Ascent kit for a bit over $1K and restored them. These are German Beech shells assembled by KHS Taiwan. Some of the fittings (e.g. - tom holders) are identical to Mapex Saturns. My understanding was that these were the heavy/medium shells used on flagship beech lines, but after reading this thread that may not be the case. I thought these were in fact undersized as the Remo coated emps I put on them seem to float and spin really easily. The snare is a real sleeper btw. Tuning is a breeze and I got this kit dialed in pretty quickly. The kit has a lot of "headroom" and plays "bigger" than sizes -- meaning although it is 20/10/12/14/16 -- it sounds and feels like a 22/12/13/16 under my hands. I have not tried it with jazz tunings.

Agree with the preponderance of opinions here -- if you are shelling out for an SQ2 medium beech would be my choice. Any incremental difference to your ear on the maple or birch are going to be small compared to Pro-Lite and SQ1 (although your finish options are limited with those stock lines).

Also -- if anyone at Sonor is reading this -- please bring back the hi-gloss ruby red finish in the Pro-Lite maple line. I would be first in line!
View attachment 532026
Where did you get these beauties? I love Ascents, even with that lug splay issue.
 

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Drummer's Collective in NYC. They were turning over some of their equipment during the pandemic and I picked this one up. It was a nice score.
 

peter

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These are great points. One thing to consider is ease of resale (which might be blasphemy to some Sonor worshippers), meaning an all medium beech SQ2 will sell in about 17 seconds whereas a thin beech might take 2-3 minutes and anything with a combo of woods/thicknesses may take a few weeks or so. YMMV.
Haha... It's a great point; re-sale is always an important consideration. Even if one has no intention of selling an expensive kit when placing the order (which is usually the case), you never know if future circumstances may dictate an unloading later on.

That said, I'm down to debating medium with thin floor tom, versus all thin. Even more difficult to decide is whether to go with white sparkle, or an RAL white... And whether to get the interiors black lacquered (would like to have a poll on that).
 

Steech

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Haha... It's a great point; re-sale is always an important consideration. Even if one has no intention of selling an expensive kit when placing the order (which is usually the case), you never know if future circumstances may dictate an unloading later on.

That said, I'm down to debating medium with thin floor tom, versus all thin. Even more difficult to decide is whether to go with white sparkle, or an RAL white... And whether to get the interiors black lacquered (would like to have a poll on that).
OK, so here is my take as a 3rd-time SQ2 owner. The first one was heavy beech toms and floor tom plus heavy maple kick. I felt these were too heavy/punchy for me so I took them to a well known store and put them up on consignment. They sold a few weeks later at close to new price. The second one is now at the same store (thin beech toms medium beech floor tom and bass drum) and we are putting it up for sale at close to full price. Think about it: mint condition (always kept in bags, still fairly new) custom kit with no waiting time, which is a huge plus right now given the shipping delays, and the holiday season is upon us.

If you get a medium beech all around and store it in your studio then it will still be like new if and when you ever decide to sell it. You’ll get around 80-90% of new cost. That is a win-win in my opinion.

I added interior finishes for all 3 kits. Well worth the extra few hundred dollars.
 

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We’ve gotten too smart for ourselves ,
Back in my day we just picked a color .


That’s what Ringo did …….
 

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usually when spending this amount of money you know what you want
if you don't it might not be time for the purchase

I mean (at these dollars) you just have to be burning knowing what you want..

or just buy this with the extra 10..
 
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peter

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OK, so here is my take as a 3rd-time SQ2 owner. The first one was heavy beech toms and floor tom plus heavy maple kick. I felt these were too heavy/punchy for me so I took them to a well known store and put them up on consignment. They sold a few weeks later at close to new price. The second one is now at the same store (thin beech toms medium beech floor tom and bass drum) and we are putting it up for sale at close to full price. Think about it: mint condition (always kept in bags, still fairly new) custom kit with no waiting time, which is a huge plus right now given the shipping delays, and the holiday season is upon us.

If you get a medium beech all around and store it in your studio then it will still be like new if and when you ever decide to sell it. You’ll get around 80-90% of new cost. That is a win-win in my opinion.

I added interior finishes for all 3 kits. Well worth the extra few hundred dollars.
Sounds good. Yes I'm leaning towards medium with only FT thin... Actually, Sonor's "medium" (6 mm toms) is really pretty thin. I think Gretsch USA's, which are generally considered thin, are 7 mm / 6-ply. Or is it 6 mm / 7-ply? Can't remember...

Just a note: There is actually no up-charge for black interior shell finish - it is only extra $ to get a veneer on the interiors.
 

Steech

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Sounds good. Yes I'm leaning towards medium with only FT thin... Actually, Sonor's "medium" (6 mm toms) is really pretty thin. I think Gretsch USA's, which are generally considered thin, are 7 mm / 6-ply. Or is it 6 mm / 7-ply? Can't remember...

Just a note: There is actually no up-charge for black interior shell finish - it is only extra $ to get a veneer on the interiors.
Yes I got the 3rd SQ2 with the standard black interior, which looks great and is free.
 

peter

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All the choices are very confusing ……
Mmmm I would say settling on options is more frustrating (in a good way), than confusing. Once you look at and understand what the options are, it's pretty intuitive. Especially if you've played a lot of drums, ordered custom kits before and know what you like vs. don't like.

All in all, I feel there's a more confusing array of choices between all the regular production kits from all the various brands out there... compared to assembling one custom kit made to your specs.
 

Steech

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Sounds good. Yes I'm leaning towards medium with only FT thin... Actually, Sonor's "medium" (6 mm toms) is really pretty thin. I think Gretsch USA's, which are generally considered thin, are 7 mm / 6-ply. Or is it 6 mm / 7-ply? Can't remember...

Just a note: There is actually no up-charge for black interior shell finish - it is only extra $ to get a veneer on the interiors.
I’d actually go with the medium beech on the floor tom as well. That’s what I did and was super happy. Are you doing medium beech on the bass drum?
 

peter

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Yes, they only do bass drums in medium and heavy (and I don't want heavy - bass drums are heavy enough already!)

I think "vintage" shell bass drums are mediums, with re-rings added.

I think you mentioned already, but your 3rd SQ2, which I assume is the 'keeper', is ALL medium beech?
 

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Mmmm I would say settling on options is more frustrating (in a good way), than confusing. Once you look at and understand what the options are, it's pretty intuitive. Especially if you've played a lot of drums, ordered custom kits before and know what you like vs. don't like.

All in all, I feel there's a more confusing array of choices between all the regular production kits from all the various brands out there... compared to assembling one custom kit made to your specs.
And like the post above someone questions / gives advice on lay up . When in my opinion how can they really know what another another fella needs ??

Just make a kit put it in the store and I’ll buy it …I’ll not second guess whether I should had that inner ply scandi birch or Australian maple …..
 

Steech

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Yes, they only do bass drums in medium and heavy (and I don't want heavy - bass drums are heavy enough already!)

I think "vintage" shell bass drums are mediums, with re-rings added.

I think you mentioned already, but your 3rd SQ2, which I assume is the 'keeper', is ALL medium beech?
Third one is gonna be a keeper. All medium beech except for the bass drum, which is heavy maple. It’s a 20” bass drum and since I’m getting 5 toms I wanted to make sure it was going to be loud and “bassy” enough so I went with heavy for volume and maple for bottom end.

Do NOT get a vintage shell bass drum.
 


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