Sonor vintage 60's kit....a first for me

Osahead2

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Oh gee, I better "run" out now and buy me a tiny little 18" bop kit before it's too late...

As for me, I always liked some of their earlier styles & kits but, I'm sorry guys it's those big huge ugly heavy overengineered Sonor kits they made after 1970 to present that, I absolutely don't appreciate at all...
 

xsabers

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Fine, more for the rest of us. My 70s and my 80s are brilliant sounding drums. The 70s Ludwig kit I practice on is no comparison in sound, on or off the stands.
 

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Ionic said:
In an effort to keep these kits under the radar...don't share this with the bop people.

LOVE that video! Yes bop all over it!
 
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DuplexTim

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Osahead2 said:
Oh gee, I better "run" out now and buy me a tiny little 18" bop kit before it's too late...
As for me, I always liked some of their earlier styles & kits but, I'm sorry guys it's those big huge ugly heavy overengineered Sonor kits they made after 1970 to present that, I absolutely don't appreciate at all...
I get it... not everyone's cup of tea....and I agree the difference between yhe 60s and 70's is night and day. But my Phonic kit is extremely well built and very versatile and yes....HEAVY. But I like it ;)
 
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wayne

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If you look hard you often see the "chink in the armour" on most vintage drum kits, but i cant find it on Sonor stuff. Honestly, i,ve stopped looking at drum gear now, unless its old Sonor....maybe Mapex if its in good condition. I think all the other contenders offer a very nice product also, but that sound that has grown on me over the years, is a Sonor beech shell be it 3 or 6 ply.
 

rondrums51

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atomicdave said:
Gents, agree to disagree on some grounds, but you all agree on SONOR, right? :) Gloomy and rainy day for outdoor pics, but here's the snare anyhow.
I love that strainer. I used it on several old Sonor snares. The design is deceptively simple. It's hard to explain, but the snare cord at both ends is in a triangular configuration, hanging on a little pendulum thing inside the strainer, so the snares self-align every time you switch it on. I beat those strainers to death on the road, and they never failed.

I've seen a lot of old Sonor snares with the cover missing on the strainer. There was a little set screw holding it on, and I guess guys lost it. I never had that problem, but i always took meticulous care of my Sonors.
 

rondrums51

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Osahead2 said:
Oh gee, I better "run" out now and buy me a tiny little 18" bop kit before it's too late...

As for me, I always liked some of their earlier styles & kits but, I'm sorry guys it's those big huge ugly heavy overengineered Sonor kits they made after 1970 to present that, I absolutely don't appreciate at all...
I'm inclined to agree. I think Sonor wins the prize for over-engineering and really heavy drums, starting in the 1980's. Not knocking them, but I like the old lightweight drums a lot better.

Those big huge metal slab tom mounts on their Designer bass drums are just silly. They must weigh a ton. Look at this freaking thing:

sonor designers.jpg
 

Stixnergard2

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rondrums51 said:
Gents, agree to disagree on some grounds, but you all agree on SONOR, right? :) Gloomy and rainy day for outdoor pics, but here's the snare anyhow.
I love that strainer. I used it on several old Sonor snares. The design is deceptively simple. It's hard to explain, but the snare cord at both ends is in a triangular configuration, hanging on a little pendulum thing inside the strainer, so the snares self-align every time you switch it on. I beat those strainers to death on the road, and they never failed.

I've seen a lot of old Sonor snares with the cover missing on the strainer. There was a little set screw holding it on, and I guess guys lost it. I never had that problem, but i always took meticulous care of my Sonors.
Great Sonor kits everyone is posting! I was lucky with my kit as the strainer cover was intact when I bought the drums. I did find the cover on the floor after a few gigs, so I used a few stabs of clear silicone to secure it. There is no set screw on my strainer to hold the cover in place.
 

atomicdave

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Indeed interesting design on the strainer...but I see no means for a set screw to hold the cover on. Along the way, I see other differences, like the snare stand, particularly the base. I just discovered the spring-loaded legs. Also interesting is how the base post is connected to the base, by means of a screw, and nut inside the slotted end of the post. Mine a bit bent at the base, likely result of missing one of the big ol round tips, maybe to compensate for the angle difference the stand sits. Pretty nifty lightweight hardware designs!
 

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atomicdave said:
Indeed interesting design on the strainer...but I see no means for a set screw to hold the cover on. Along the way, I see other differences, like the snare stand, particularly the base. I just discovered the spring-loaded legs. Also interesting is how the base post is connected to the base, by means of a screw, and nut inside the slotted end of the post. Mine a bit bent at the base, likely result of missing one of the big ol round tips, maybe to compensate for the angle difference the stand sits. Pretty nifty lightweight hardware designs!
Maybe Sonor added the set screw later. My snares were circa 1971-72, before they changed to the square lugs.
 

psalty

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rondrums51 said:
I
Those big huge metal slab tom mounts on their Designer bass drums are just silly. They must weigh a ton. Look at this freaking thing:

sonor designers.jpg
Extruded aluminum track, as is the hollow post. Not really very heavy in itself. I can understand not liking it - I didn't until I used it - but it is a fantastic piece of hardware. And, if you don't want it, there's no penalty for removing it.
 

xsabers

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psalty said:
I
Those big huge metal slab tom mounts on their Designer bass drums are just silly. They must weigh a ton. Look at this freaking thing:

sonor designers.jpg
Extruded aluminum track, as is the hollow post. Not really very heavy in itself. I can understand not liking it - I didn't until I used it - but it is a fantastic piece of hardware. And, if you don't want it, there's no penalty for removing it.
It looks to provide a layer of adjustability not seen on too many kits as well. The lack of front to back adjustment is where I find the most challenges in getting a comfortable set up, although I've never owned one of these.
 

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I'm sure the throw works great if all there, but mine has a broken housing and someone removed the triangle thingy on the butt. Mine is not that great.
 

atomicdave

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OK, what say ye on this: The 13 is stamped 602 in red, the 16 stamped 501 in black. Do those numbers correlate to anything? More surprising (for this, but not for US brands) is that the floor tom has re-rings, whereas the other 3 drums do not. Anyone had a kit with mix like this? What years do the shells seem to be? when did the changes in shell plys/rings take place? thanks in advance.
 

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Cauldronics

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psalty said:
Thicker shells produced drier tones, and it was a case of the tail wagging the dog (I think that is the accurate term). Drums suddenly needed to sound like recordings. It was a very controllable sound, not given to harmonics. Add pinstripes, and you could get away with a minimum of tuning, and sounded good close-mked - even if they sounded as dry as yesterdays oatmeal by themselves.
This is contrary enough what I hear form my Phonics that I'll comment. Maybe I'm confusing harmonics with overtones, but the toms are actually kind of a bitch to tune due to their open tone when unmuffled heads are used. Clear CS dot batters do little to dry up the ringing, though I'm sure pinstripes from the same era as these drums would've required less tuning. Pins today are a different animal.

Under mics they're clear and well-defined, and the same without mics, while readily cutting through any hard rock outfit I've backed. They sound great to me in that context. With some careful attention to finding out how they'd sustain and resonate longer, over the years I've used various isolation methods to keep the shells off their original mounting hardware. Not that the design of the original hardware is lacking, but with care, more tone is available. The result is a longer, more open tone with all the clarity and cut mentioned above, and that beech tone I don't hear from other wood types: a full spectrum of balanced frequencies. Not tending toward mid-low mud like maple can, and not mid-scooped like birch.

In my experience, Phonics aren't dry unless you make them dry, which was the trend for the music produced at the time. While not as 'warm' or naturally resonant compared to their 6 and 3 ply brethren, I don't hear them sounding contained and short, exactly.

All of this mentioned to point out that right now I'm playing a modern Tama kit with shells less than 1/4" thick. It too, works well for rock, albeit a very different design than the Sonors.
 

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atomicdave said:
OK, what say ye on this: The 13 is stamped 602 in red, the 16 stamped 501 in black. Do those numbers correlate to anything? More surprising (for this, but not for US brands) is that the floor tom has re-rings, whereas the other 3 drums do not. Anyone had a kit with mix like this? What years do the shells seem to be? when did the changes in shell plys/rings take place? thanks in advance.
The 13" 602 indicates 1966 2nd month February
The 16" 501 indicates 1965 1st month January
 

psalty

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Cauldronics said:
Thicker shells produced drier tones, and it was a case of the tail wagging the dog (I think that is the accurate term). Drums suddenly needed to sound like recordings. It was a very controllable sound, not given to harmonics. Add pinstripes, and you could get away with a minimum of tuning, and sounded good close-mked - even if they sounded as dry as yesterdays oatmeal by themselves.
This is contrary enough what I hear form my Phonics that I'll comment. Maybe I'm confusing harmonics with overtones, but the toms are actually kind of a bitch to tune due to their open tone when unmuffled heads are used. Clear CS dot batters do little to dry up the ringing, though I'm sure pinstripes from the same era as these drums would've required less tuning. Pins today are a different animal.

Under mics they're clear and well-defined, and the same without mics, while readily cutting through any hard rock outfit I've backed. They sound great to me in that context. With some careful attention to finding out how they'd sustain and resonate longer, over the years I've used various isolation methods to keep the shells off their original mounting hardware. Not that the design of the original hardware is lacking, but with care, more tone is available. The result is a longer, more open tone with all the clarity and cut mentioned above, and that beech tone I don't hear from other wood types: a full spectrum of balanced frequencies. Not tending toward mid-low mud like maple can, and not mid-scooped like birch.

In my experience, Phonics aren't dry unless you make them dry, which was the trend for the music produced at the time. While not as 'warm' or naturally resonant compared to their 6 and 3 ply brethren, I don't hear them sounding contained and short, exactly.

All of this mentioned to point out that right now I'm playing a modern Tama kit with shells less than 1/4" thick. It too, works well for rock, albeit a very different design than the Sonors.
Cauldronics- I didn't say they were "short," by which I assume you mean short sustain. As I understand Sonor's intentions, a thicker shell was intended to project the fundamental tone. Thus, they ended up with shells that sound drier. To quote Oliver Link:

"The shell must not vibrate, in order not to deprive vibration energy of the drumhead by its own vibration. The shell must have a high flectional resistance; the higher the flectional resistance, the less chance of the shell producing its own vibrations. The shell must have a great mass, thus making the decay of the drum sound to a large extent independent from the way it is fixed to holders or stands. Furthermore it favors an efficient projection of the fundamental tone." So a drumshell shouldn't vibrate, but once free of vibrations, the thickness of the shell can still affect the sound of the drum. According to Oliver, "The basic frequency will be more muffled when the shell has a thin wall, so that the upper frequencies emerge. The sound seems to be more brilliant and sustaining. Shells with thicker walls and equipped with the same type of heads have the same spectrum of overtones as thin shells. However, the projection of the fundamental tone is better. The sound seems softer and fuller."
The net effect is as stated. Since many people did not want that sound, they also made Lites - and thin Signature shells.
 

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Not sure if I should start a new thread. Hopefully this isn't hijacking atomicdave's post too much.

I've been disassembling my newly acquired Teardrop kit and find the parts and construction fascinating. I do have some questions about materials.

1. Are the tom hoops COB? A magnet does not stick to them.

2. My kit came with what looks to be a D 444 snare drum. A magnet DOES stick to the hoops on the snare and these hoops have a different look to them than the tom hoops. However, a magnet does NOT stick to the drum shell. The 1969 Sonor USA catalog describes the D-444 shell as "steel" (I believe my drum to be around 1966). Wouldn't a magnet stick to steel even if chrome plated? Anyone know the shell material of a D 444?

3. The strainer is a little rough on this snare. It looks like there are two non factory Philips head screws installed on the strainer casing. I believe it was mentioned the cover can pop off and perhaps this was a fix.


As for drum keys...I bought the one in the photo below to use with a Sonor Hilite snare I own. It works with the older tension rods on the Teardrop kit. A couple seem a little snug, but I can safely use it.
 

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atomicdave

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red66charger said:
Not sure if I should start a new thread. Hopefully this isn't hijacking atomicdave's post too much.
6 pages of replies, prob not even 1 page of stuff here from me :icon_lol: But I'm glad there is enthusiasm as well as good discussion.

The hoops on mine are all steel.

So, according to stamps, my foor tom is 1965 (and has re-rings) and the 13 (and likey snare and bass) 1966 and have no re-rings. About what year did the shell composition(s) and constructure change?
 


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