Hi Cfenning! It’s nice to hear from another Sonor fan! Before 2005 when I got my DW Collector’s Maples, my Sonor Designer Series 8 pc. kit was my trusty instrument! I have the Maple Light Shells in a beautiful Cherry Stain finish! I bought it in 2002 brand spankin’ new & still love & play it to this day! Matching 12 x 5 & 14 x 6.5 Snares, a 22 x 16 Kick, 8 x 8, 10 x 9, 12 x 10 rack toms, 14 x 16 & 16 x 18 floors make up the kit. I believe that Sonor is the only Co. to offer 14” & 16” Floor toms w/ those depths (I might be mistaken). All 600 Series hardware (the hardest piece to find was the XH644 X-Hat w/ MC 626 Multi-Clamp) & a Giant Step double pedal complete the setup. The band that I was in from 2001 to 2006 said that out of all of their previous drummers (& there were a few!!!), none had played Sonor. As a matter of fact, the guitarist (who, believe it or not, had actually been around some), never even HEARD of the German Drum Co. who, in 2001, celebrated it’s 125th year!!!
I DO envy the fact that you have the Signature Series! Hang onto them, for goodness sake! Steve Smith used them for most (if not all) of his tenure w/ ‘Journey’, Phil Rudd has recorded & toured w/ them, & the great Danny Carey recorded ‘TOOL’s “Opiate”, “Undertow”, & “/enima” w/ them, as well! Speaking of whom, I just purchased his 14 x 8 bronze shell Sonor Signature Snare Drum last year & am loving it!
Oh & BTW, how do you like the Ocheltree Tree Bronze drum? I havn’t yet given it a ‘test drive’, & would love to hear your opinion as an owner of said drum!
If you want to read a brief but detailed & accurate history of the Sonor Signature Series, dig through your back issues of “DRUM!” to Vol. 11, #8-Dec’02-Jan’03!
On pg. 128, in the “Classic” column, there’s a teriffic article by Robert Henrit!
I actually sold my Designer Bop kit to add onto my Signature kit. I have owned a Bubinga Signature kit for the past 5 or 6 years now. 8,10,12,13,14,16,18,24. It was only until last January when I sold my Designers to buy my Signature bop kit. Now my plan/dream is complete!
It’s funny you mention Steve Smith and Danny Carey. I am good friends with Jeff Ocheltree and both Steve and Danny were very influential in my choice for the Sonor sound. I will never sell any of my Sonor Signatures. At this point, I have a 13pc kit. I never plan on setting the entire kit up at one time but it is a kick to know that I could!
The modern Sonor Danny Carey snare is nothing like the real deal. I own a HLD590 and a few Ocheltree Drums (2 Bronze and 2 Steel) and that thin-walled Bronze shell that Sonor is selling now sounds nothing like them. Not to say that it sounds bad, just nothing like a real cast shell.