Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Review

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Review

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Having reviewed the Sonor AQX Stage drum set, I can confidently say the build quality is immaculate, and it’s a classic feature of all Sonor kits. Premium hardware and shell parts are what hold this kit together, and it’s great that Sonor gives you this in one of their more affordable kit options. 

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set

Key Features

  • Poplar shells
  • TuneSafe lugs
  • DTH 2000 tom holder
  • Sparkle finish options
  • Sonor 1000 Series hardware
  • B8 bronze cymbals

90/100

The Sonor AQX drum kits are Sonor’s entry-level line. They’re modernized versions of previous entry-level Sonor kits, receiving the additions of professional hardware options, sleek finishes, and richer tones. 

While there are a few variations of the AQX set, we’ll be looking at the Sonor AQX Stage drum set. This version of the set has a 22” bass drum along with standard snare and tom sizes. It’s a full package, meaning it comes with everything you need to start playing, except for a drum throne. 

The shells are made from poplar, which is a commonly used wood for economical drum kits. The snare drum is a standout part of the kit, sounding far better than you’d expect it to. 

The Sonor AQX Stage Kit is one of Sonor’s latest drum kit additions to their product lineup. It puts the highly regarded quality of Sonor kits into an affordable package, and it comes with cymbals and hardware to get you set up immediately. 

There are several great entry-level sets that compete with this one, so we’re going to see how it stands and help you decide whether it’s worth buying. 

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Ratings

Sounds

Build Quality

Playability

Value

Finishes

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Sound Quality 

The toms on this kit tend to sound the best when tuned medium to high. You get minimal overtones in these tunings, allowing you to get the purest sound out of the drums. 

I’d say the sound is quite pleasant with a bit of sustain, but you may need to add a bit of muffling to stop the overtones that are too harsh. 

Compared to other popular kits, these drums sound a bit richer. There’s something about Sonor drum kits that make them all sound so warm and musical, and you get that same experience here. 

If you tune the drums low, you’ll just need to apply a bit more muffling than usual to combat the overtones. Once you’ve done that, you’ll get massively punchy sounds which are fantastic. 

The standout drum is the snare drum. It has a sharp crack that heavily supports rimshot sounds, and it’s surprisingly responsive for a poplar snare. 

The stock drumheads don’t perform too well with the poplar shells, so you’ll get the best sounds when replacing those with better ones. I suggest using two-ply heads, as those control the overtones from poplar shells a lot better than single-ply heads. 

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Build Quality 

The Sonor AQX Stage feels incredibly solid to play on. The shell construction is evidently good, and all the drums feel like they will last decades of playing. The two notable features are Sonor’s TuneSafe lugs and the DTH Double 2000 tom holder. 

Sonor uses the TuneSafe lugs on their highest-quality kits, making it a highly enticing feature to have here. These lugs are known to be very durable, and they’ll hold your tuning settings for long periods. Many entry-level kits have weaker lugs that cause the screws to loosen over time. You won’t get that with this kit. 

The DTH Double 2000 tom holder holds the rack toms connected on ball-and-socket mounts. These allow you to position the rack toms at multiple angles very easily. 

Something else to note is that the kit comes with a pre-muffled bass drumhead. It’s a better-quality head than the ones on the other shells. So, you don’t need to replace it from the get-go as you should with the others to get the best sounds out of the drums. 

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Finishes 

The kit has three finish options. These are called Black Midnight Sparkle, Blue Ocean Sparkle, and Red Moon Sparkle. 

The AQX Stage with Black Midnight Sparkle finish is the most neutral out of the three, so it’s the color that would appeal to most drummers. 

The red and blue sparkle finishes are very vibrant, so they’d look great on a stage with a full lighting rig. No finish looks better than the other, so it comes down to personal preference here over which one you should choose. 

Entry-level drum sets from other brands that come with hardware and cymbals mostly come with more finish options, but the colors here look a bit richer thanks to the sparkling touch. 

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Playability

While the Sonor AQX Stage has a great sound, it’s best suited for beginner or intermediate drummers. The poplar shells don’t have the needed tonal depth for professional settings. 

It’s a great kit to use at certain gigs, but it wouldn’t be passable in a recording studio or a live show for TV. If you wanted to use the kit in those settings, you’d have to swap out the heads, use better cymbals, and a better snare drum. 

This is an ideal kit for beginners, and it’s arguably the best beginner kit on the market, thanks to the premium feel that the shells have. The 22” kick drum gives the kit plenty of oomph, and the toms respond quite well to each other as you play drum fills. The drums are fairly easy to tune, so getting a great overall drum kit sound won’t take very long. 

Hardware

The added value of this set is the fact that it comes with a full set of hardware and a set of cymbals. You get the Sonor 1000 Series stands. These are Sonor’s entry-level drum and cymbal stands that have double-braced legs and firmly hold everything together. 

While they’re not the heaviest and most durable stands out there, they’re more than capable of holding everything in place securely with the AQX Stage. They also all have oversized rubber feet, stopping any potential movement from happening when you play. 

Just note that this kit doesn’t come with a drum throne. That’s one thing that you’ll need to buy separately in order to play after unboxing, along with a pair of drumsticks. 

Cymbals

You get B8 cast bronze cymbals with the kit. They’re not from any major brand, so they’re very inexpensive cymbal options. 

Many entry-level kits come with brass cymbals, which are the worst-sounding cymbals you get. These sound a lot better, thanks to the B8 alloy that they’re made from. They’re very bright, and they sing wonderfully when you hit them. 

They’re just not too responsive when you hit them gently, as their full tones don’t come out. For beginners, these cymbals are perfect. If you’re more experienced, you’ll find yourself wanting to replace them quite quickly. 

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Value

The Sonor AQX Stage is a drum kit packed with plenty of value. However, is it worth the price tag that is north of $1000? I’d say that it depends on who’s buying it. It’s arguably the highest-quality full drum set package that you can buy that comes with both hardware and cymbals.

If you’re a beginner drummer and you want a premium new drum set, this is one of your best entry-level options. The Sonor build quality is well worth the price that you’re paying. 

However, there are other entry-level kits on the market, such as the Tama Imperialstar and Pearl Roadshow, that cost far less and offer most of the same. The drum shells from those kits don’t sound as good, but you can easily tune them up with high-quality drumheads to get optimal tones. 

Overall, I’d suggest getting the AQX if you can afford it, as it’s the better kit. Otherwise, there are other more affordable options to consider. 

Verdict

To summarize, the Sonor AQX is an amazing kit that offers premium quality in many areas that you don’t usually find with entry-level kits. The snare drum is incredible, and the TuneSafe lugs are a fantastic feature that you’ll find on all of Sonor’s professional kits as well. 

Compared to other complete entry-level drum sets like the Pearl Roadshow or Mapex Venus drum kits, the Sonor AQX is more expensive at around $1000. 

I’d argue the price is justified considering the build quality of the set. You’ll just need to replace the cymbals in the long run. 

You can also opt to buy the Studio version of the set, which has a smaller bass drum and a slightly lower price tag. 

What Comes In The Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set Box?

  • 22” x 16” kick
  • 14” x 5.5” snare
  • 10” x 7” tom
  • 12” x 8” tom
  • 16” x 15” tom
  • B8 bronze cymbals
  • Boom cymbal stand
  • Straight cymbal stand
  • Hi-hat stand
  • Snare drum stand
  • Kick pedal
  • Double tom holder

Sonor AQX Stage Drum Set At A Glance

Pros

  • Impressive build quality
  • Surprisingly good snare drum
  • The included cymbals are superior to most that come with entry-level kits
  • Sonor 1000 Series stands are very sturdy
  • Premium first drum kit option

Cons

  • One of the most expensive full drum kit packages available
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