Sonor Vintage vs SQ2 Thin/Medium Beech

Steech

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Hi Folks!

I’m brand new to this forum so please be kind :).

I have recently become a complete Sonorholic. I’m on my second set of SQ2s, with thin beech Toms and medium beech FT and BD.

I have a potential deal on a Sonor Vintage bop kit in that amazing California Blue.

Question for you: is it worth it?

What would I be getting out of those vintage beech shells that I couldn’t crank out of my SQ2s with maybe different heads and tunings?

i love the crystal clear and open tone from my SQ2s and have loved my true vintage kits in the past so I’m just wondering if the overall tonal palette is sooooo vastly different in the SVs that I would be a fool to pass up what seems like a pretty good deal without needing to wait X months for another custom kit.
 

Frank Godiva

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Welcome to DFO. You should not have to ask folks to be kind just because you favor high end Sonor; but I feel your pain.

A few other lucky folks on the board have had both. Let’s hear from first hand experience which shall be along shortly.

Sonor is a company that can look back into its history and bring forward old things. This finish was offered on the Swinger line in the early 70s.

Welcome,

Frank



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Radio King

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What would I be getting out of those vintage beech shells that I couldn’t crank out of my SQ2s with maybe different heads and tunings?
The biggest difference between your medium beech SQ2 shells and the Vintage Series shells is the 45 degree vs. roundover bearing edges. Is it enough of a difference to justify adding the Vintages to your arsenal? Personally, I don't think it is, assuming you have similar sizes already. BUT, if you don't already have a bop-sized set in your SQ2 sets, I would let that be my deciding factor. Plus, a California Blue Vintage Series bop set is just cool.
 

zenghost

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Just to make sure there is no confusion, the Sonor Vintage Series drums are a different beast from the Vintage-shell design available in the SQ2 line.

I've owned SQ2 medium beech, fine drums overall and probably my first choice in the Sonor line-up for the size and finish selection.

I've also owned the Vintage Series line. Limited, but decent selection of reasonable sizes (bass drum depths in particular). The shells are medium beech with a round-over bearing edge unique to the Vintage Series line. Finishes are predominately wraps, but I believe they are now offering an Alpi Rosewood replica finish.

Best to check them out in person - personally, I found the Vintage Series drums with the medium beech shells to be rounder and woodier-sounding, but a bit less lively and open than say the medium beech SQ2. The bearing edges and hoops likely contribute to that, but I also think the wrap finishes are a tad more constrained also compared to the wood finishes.

Both are fine drum lines, but the Vintage Series is bit more dialed into "a sound" from the outset. I'm not saying it's a bad sound at all. Be aware Sonor does not necessarily give the Vintage Series line the same level of attention to detail and QC as they do the SQ2, at least that is what they told me. You'll probably be fine though - Sonor did a nice job on the Vintage Series design work.
 

Steech

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Thanks for the super quick and helpful feedback, everyone, and thanks Frank for the warm welcome to this awesome forum!

You have all given me a lot to think about. I’m going to try and see exactly how good of a deal I can negotiate before making my decision.
 

Steech

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Oops sorry for posting the same pic 4x
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I have done the Uber high end thing now and got it out of my system . The Sonor Vintage series are my preferred kit in the Sonor line . I love how warm and full sounding they are . I like the tear drop Repro lugs and the engraved superprofil hoops as well . They really got it right with these drums IMHO.

The SQ2 are wonderful drums and your current selection sounds like a winner . Sonor does beech so well snd you really can’t go wrong with an SQ2 or Vintage series .
 
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Rhyma Hop

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I like the tear drop Repro lugs and the engraved superprofil hoops as well . They really got it right with these drums IMHO.

Yes the parts were just incredibly done IMO.. The tom holder mount base that is attached to the kick also was just so nicely designed IMO..... Even the brackets on the toms and floors are nice reproductions.
 

Cauldronics

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I own a 1980 Phonic kit and even the heavy beech shells are more than up to the task of making a great sounding set of drums.

Would I trade thicker shells for medium or thin? It seemed like a good idea, so I found a set of medium-shell Performers and put all the Phonic hardware on them (they match directly).

I did not find the magic I expected to find. Maybe because the bearing edges are rounded on the Performer and the shells are thinner, the result was less projection and clarity than I had a use for. The overall shell build doesn’t seem that different with the Vintage series, but I’d expect these newer kits to sound better than the Performers I had. From what I’ve heard they do indeed sound better than that.

However, I would not make a point of getting a Vintage series kit. It seems like a horizontal move with little to gain if a high quality set of beech Sonor is already in the mix.

Maybe the question could be: what use would I have for a vintage sounding set, and if needed, can I approximate that with head choices on what I already have?
 

Steech

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Hi @Cauldronics yes, that was exactly my question as well. Having spent some time on my new thin/med beech SQ2s I’m not 100% sure that getting yet another pricey Sonor Beech kit - even if it’s a beautiful California blue Vintage bop kit - is worth it.

I had a nice little Ascent bop kit about a year ago and (very) stupidly sold it. If another Ascent bop kit came along I’d get it ASAP as it’s not going to be anywhere near as expensive as a Vintage bop. Also, I already know for sure that those thick Toms and thinner kick drum would give me a completely different vibe and sound than I can get from my SQ2s.
 

Butch1970

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If you’re planning on gigging them, a wrapped kit like the VS (or the Ascent) might be a bit more durable than those SQ2 beauts!

I wouldn’t be surprised if a new 14x18 in your SQ2 configuration wasn’t that far off in price from this VS kit deal you might be able to grab. Good luck
 

Steech

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Great points @Butch1970! I could just get a bop kick to go with my SQ2s for probably a whole lot less than the VS bop kit. Something to consider….even if it means no California Blue :)
 

Butch1970

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Great points @Butch1970! I could just get a bop kick to go with my SQ2s for probably a whole lot less than the VS bop kit. Something to consider….even if it means no California Blue :)
I completely understand….especially after becoming a recent Sonor junkie myself! I started with an SQ2 bop kit and now I’m exploring Phonics and VS’s
 

BBIC_Strait

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Good morning! I saw this posted a while ago about the differences between the SQ2 vs Vintage line and wanted to see if I could delve in a bit further. I have a 10/13/16/22 vintage series and have an offer for a 12/16/22 SQ2 in med beech w/ 45 degree bearing edges. It’d be a straight trade. I’m mainly playing in a contemporary worship and jazz setting. I’m seriously torn…I know the SQ2 line is amazing, and I’ve really liked the Vintage as well. If I decided to get the SQ2 I’d get a 10 to go with it, and if I decide to stay with the vintage, I’m going to sell the 13 and get a 12. Thoughts?
 

Steech

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Good morning! I saw this posted a while ago about the differences between the SQ2 vs Vintage line and wanted to see if I could delve in a bit further. I have a 10/13/16/22 vintage series and have an offer for a 12/16/22 SQ2 in med beech w/ 45 degree bearing edges. It’d be a straight trade. I’m mainly playing in a contemporary worship and jazz setting. I’m seriously torn…I know the SQ2 line is amazing, and I’ve really liked the Vintage as well. If I decided to get the SQ2 I’d get a 10 to go with it, and if I decide to stay with the vintage, I’m going to sell the 13 and get a 12. Thoughts?
The Vintage is a bit warmer and old school sounding than the SQ2. The SQ2 will give you more clarity and articulation and a more modern sound. Adding pieces to the SQ2 could take several months as those are hand made to order in Germany and the current supply chain issues could mean you’ll be waiting close to a year for that 10” tom whereas you may be able to find a matching 12” Vintage Series tom pretty easily on Reverb. I like both kits and they each have a different vibe. I’d say the VS (for me at least) has more of a jazz, blues, classic rock feel and the SQ2 is more for busier type playing, recording, prog, fusion, etc. Medium beech is THE best shell configuration in the entire SQ2 line, so if you can get a kit as an even trade for any other kit, then I would go for it.
 

storsav

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Good morning! I saw this posted a while ago about the differences between the SQ2 vs Vintage line and wanted to see if I could delve in a bit further. I have a 10/13/16/22 vintage series and have an offer for a 12/16/22 SQ2 in med beech w/ 45 degree bearing edges. It’d be a straight trade. I’m mainly playing in a contemporary worship and jazz setting. I’m seriously torn…I know the SQ2 line is amazing, and I’ve really liked the Vintage as well. If I decided to get the SQ2 I’d get a 10 to go with it, and if I decide to stay with the vintage, I’m going to sell the 13 and get a 12. Thoughts?
The bass drums will sound different too, as the 22 Vintage has 8 lugs per side and is 14 deep. The SQ2 will have 10 lugs and depth ??? I loved the Vintage bd sound with a coated Ambassador on front and felt and a Powerstroke batter at NAMM. Classic old school sound. Now will that suit your sound better than an SQ2? A 10" SQ2 is also about $700 and a 6-10 month wait right? Good luck!
 

Cauldronics

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I’d go with the SQ2 trade as you can always dial in the tone for other sounds (to a degree), but with a VS, it’ll be tougher to make it sound modern.

It depends on what you need from the kit.
 


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