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Sonor Performer Plus drum kit



OPINION



Another issue, another budget kit. This time it's Sonor who are trying to catch the eye of the first time buyer with their new Performer Plus kit, a development of the Performer series which wins the Reviewers' Delight award for the simplicity of its conception.

Clutching your inheritance/paper round money you march purposefully into your local music shop and with the prerequisite cry of "Oi! Nobby!" and ask the assistant for a £980 drum kit. The Performer Plus consists solely of the items listed above and nothing else. More dedicated ravers can avail themselves of two more toms (10x9 and 14x12) and a stand, but otherwise that's your lot.

The shells are beautifully finished inside and out, perfectly round and resplendent in the currently fashionable lacquered finish (which is more delicate than a plastic wrap but which does less damage to resonance). Straight out of the box they sound fine, with a bright, clear fundamental tone and few annoying harmonics. In this respect the choice of heads seems perfect. Hoops, nut boxes and tom holding mechanism are all the same as those used on higher grade Sonor drums and are hard to fault.

Dotted throughout the Performer Plus kit are small cosmetic alterations designed to make it look different to its brother kits. But why the bass drum tuning rod holder found on other Sonor drums should here be replaced with an old fashioned, Cuban-styled claw, I can't understand.

Nor can I offer a logical explanation for the replacement of all the wing nuts on the hardware (derived essentially from the Phonic range) with primitive-looking alternatives. If Sonor are actually trying to make the Performer Plus LOOK cheaper intentionally, they have succeeded.

The bass drum pedal is a belter in all respects, although buyers might be advised to get a wooden beater and a click pad unless they intend a career in hotel lobbies or Working Mens' Clubs, for which the supplied felt beater is ideally suited. It's tremendously sturdy and well balanced with variable angle adjustment for both footplate and beater, strong nylon strap and good hoop gripping mechanism.

Like the bass drum pedal the hi-hat looks like the Phonic version with a replacement, grey footplate. Again it's strong and creep free, the non-adjustable spring set at a fair-to-tight tension. No memory lock here (or elsewhere) but the twisting bottom cymbal tilter is a beaut and the top cymbal clutch a clever inverted design.

SPEC

SONOR PERFORMER PLUS KIT
PRICE £980
SHELLS Beech/Birch combination, 9 ply
SNARE 14x6½, Ferro-Manganese Steel
SIZES 12x10, 13x11, 16x16, 22x14 BD
HEADS Clear Remo Ambassadors on toms & BD, Brushed Remo Ambassador Snare batter, clear Ambassador snare
HARDWARE Performer Plus range; hi-hat, snare stand, double tom holder, BD pedal & 2 straight cymbal stands
FINISHES Lacquered black and red

No obvious flaws in the snare drum stand either which is another simple, functional device. The 6/2 metal snare is seamed (unlike the higher grade Sonor versions) but still produces volume aplenty. If you want a sound like Al Jackson used to get on those old Al Green records you might be in trouble with this drum, but for the modern sonic attack of, say, Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer it's ideal. Thumbs up, too, for the two bits of string snare straining method. It works and it's easy to fix.

DECISION



If you want to start playing and want a safe buy which will encourage good habits (the pedals), good sound (the drums), and last the pace (good stands) this kit will do nicely. Certainly as good as the Pearl World Series kit in all departments with the exception of the name plate which is horrible but hardly a handicap. Fabulous.



Previous Article in this issue

The Glass Bead Game

Next article in this issue

Guild jazz guitar


Making Music - Copyright: Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

 

Making Music - Jul 1986

Gear in this article:

Drums (Acoustic) > Sonor > Performer Plus

Review by Andy Duncan

Previous article in this issue:

> The Glass Bead Game

Next article in this issue:

> Guild jazz guitar


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