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Testing! Testing! AQ1…AQ2

Today we’re deep-diving into the AQ1 & AQ2 series from Sonor and why if you’re thinking of dipping your toe in the water, these might just push you over the edge…

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The AQ1 series are the entry level definition of Sonor’s sound. The shells are made from 100 percent birch so they’ll give a lovely sharp, focused tone with plenty of punch and great projection. You really don’t need to dig too hard into these drums for them to sing. The AQ1 comes in two different configurations. The “Stage” set features a 22”x17.5” bass drum, 10”x7” and 12”x8” rack toms, a 16”x15” floor tom and a 14”6” snare drum. The “Studio” set features the same sized rack toms and snare but with a 20”x16” bass drum and 14”13” floor tom. Both configurations are available in two finishes – Piano Black and Piano White.
Let’s talk specifications…

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The drums come fitted with curved chrome Sonor lugs, 10 lug snare, 16 lug bass & floor tom and 12 for the rack toms giving them all a rounded tuning range instead of a precise “sweet spot” in the centre of the drum. While we’re talking rack toms, they feature the Sonor SmartMount system. The SmartMount system avoids any shell contact by attaching around two lugs. The rubber grommets on the mounting plate make for a stable position for the drum with plenty resonance. The toms are mounted via a tom-mounting bracket on the bass drum. As if that wasn’t enough, Sonor went the extra mile with the AQ1…

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Each AQ1 kit comes with a complete Sonor 2000 series hardware set with everything you’ll need. We’re talking hi-hat stand, snare drum stand, two mini-boom stands, a 2000 model bass drum pedal AND it makes you a cup of coffee as well…okay, maybe not that last one. No reason why you couldn’t drink a coffee while unboxing it though. The tom arms have a hexagonal mounting pole that can be re-positioned to any angle you’d like with the plastic ball-joint.

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The AQ1 is a FANTASTIC entry-level for anyone looking for a reliable and solid first kit. It contains features Sonor use on all their higher-end kits so there’s absolutely no build quality lost and the addition of a hardware set is the icing on the cake. You’d be hard pushed to find a kit of better build quality and features for the price point. However if you’ve been playing for a while and would like an upgrade with familiar features, the AQ2 might be your jam…

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The AQ2, aka the big brother of the AQ1 is a perfect bridge gap if you’re moving up from beginner to intermediate. They feature all MAPLE shells. Unlike the birch drums, the 7-ply maple shells offer slightly more warmth. The AQ2 also has more options when it comes to configurations as well, offering FIVE each with a different sized bass drum. You can choose from the 14” Martini, 16” Safari, 18” Bebop, 20” Studio and 22” Stage with the choice of five different finishes. So why all these configuration options? Well…

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Sonor AQ2’s are designed to meet the mold of any musical situation they’re required for. The smallest option, the Martini, features a 14”x13” bass drum coupled with a 8”x7” rack tom, 13”x12” floor tom and a 12”x5” snare. As the name suggests it’s the ideal tiny kit for smaller stages such as piano bars or stages with very little room that still delivers in sound quality. Some folks even use it for a practice due to it’s unobtrusive nature. Moving up from there is the Safari, which features a 16”x15” bass drum, 10”x7” rack, 13”x12”floor and a 13”x6” snare. The bigger bass drum offers more punch and low end so it’s the ideal set up for small clubs or if you’re rocking the wedding scene. The Bebop is an increase again with the 18” bass drum and is definitely one of the more popular choices, while anything after that is the standard Stage/Studio configurations carried over from the AQ1.

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AQ2 features the option of four high-gloss lacquers, Transparent Stain Black, Brown Fade, Aqua Silver Burst and Titanium Quartz. Also available is the classic White Marine Pearl wrap. It also features the same SmartMount system for the rack toms but a newer features is the CTH 4000 cymbal and tom holding combination which is also customizable which means you could have an additional tom added on there if you really want. That’s right, Sonor offer additional add-on drums for ALL their AQ2 configurations…*mic drop*.

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The AQ1 & AQ2 series by Sonor are the perfect blend of affordability meets great sound. The AQ1 may have less configuration options but the addition of a hardware pack is a great touch, while the AQ2 is intended for the drummer ready to take their kit to the next level with more configuration variety and the option to have as many (or little) drums as you’d like. Currently we have BOTH in stock so come on down and take a gander!

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