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Sonor’s AQ2 Martini is one of the smallest adult-sized drum kits available. It’s a great option for drummers who need something seriously compact to fit into the tightest spots.
While it’s tiny, it has powerful character in its sounds, with a surprisingly wide tonal range. The small size also makes it an excellent high-quality drum kit option for small children.
- 7-ply maple shells
- Steel snare drum
- SmartMount tom mount
- Die-cast lugs
- Very compact size
- Cymbal arm bass drum mount
Sonor Martini Gallery
The AQ2 line is Sonor’s intermediate range of drum kits. While there are a few full-sized AQ2 sets, most of them have compact shell sizes.
The compact AQ2 kits are called the Martini, Bop, and Safari, and the Martini is the smallest of the three.
This kit is a definite eye-turner with its 14-inch bass drum. That’s the smallest bass drum size that you could possibly get, and it’s not one that is very common. The benefit is that it makes the kit really small, which is a great feature to have in many settings.
If you’re in the market for a compact kit, read on. I’ll explain all the finer details of the Martini, and we’ll see how it squares up regarding sound quality, build quality, versatility, and overall value.
The build quality is one of the most impressive things about this Sonor Martini kit. As a brand, Sonor is known for making high-end drum sets. It’s still a great surprise to see something so small being made so well.
When you have a small kit like this, you’re most likely planning to play dozens of gigs with it. The hardware and shell quality are made to withstand heavy use in those kinds of environments.
The kit has die-cast lugs, which keep the drums in tune for extended periods. They also make tuning a bit easier than on many other compact kits.
All the rims, floor tom legs,mounts, and bass drum hoop are fantastic as well, making the kit feel solid when you play.
There’s a bass drum riser for a kick pedal, allowing the beater to strike it in the center.
This kit has excellent sound quality, and it’s thanks to the 7-ply maple shells. The snare drum is made from steel, giving you a bit of variety between the snare and toms.
The one area that people may worry about is the small bass drum. With a size of only 14”, the bass drum lacks a lot of low-end oomph. You don’t feel the sound in your chest as you do with larger kick drums.
With that being said, you can tune the kick low enough for it to make a good impact. It has more attack than it does resonance, but that’s often a quality drummers look for in kits like this.
If you’re someone who likes to tune your bass drum high, then you’ll have no issue with the bass drum on the Sonor Martini kit.
The 12” steel snare drum is a little firecracker. It has a tight sound that is seriously punchy. The higher you tune it, the better it will sound. It just doesn’t sound too good when tuned low, which is common for snare drums of this size.
As I said earlier, this is one of the smallest drum kits on the market. It’s one of the best options you have available if you’re looking for a kit that can fit anywhere.
The benefit is that it looks and sounds fantastic, whereas other kits this small tend to fall very flat with their sound and build quality.
One design feature that makes it even better is the cymbal arm that comes included. It mounts to the bass drum, allowing you to place a ride cymbal next to the rack tom.
The tom/cymbal mount can hold most 22” ride cymbals. You may just have a few issues if you try to mount a very heavy cymbal on there. In that case, it would be better to put a lighter cymbal on the kick drum and then place your heavier cymbal on its own stand.
The smaller shells mean that you can’t tune this kit to sound deep and bellowing. This lowers the overall versatility.
It also doesn’t have as much volume as a larger kit, so it won’t be as effective in a large band environment.
Essentially, the kit will only work very well for small jazz clubs, restaurants, or bars. You’ll want to use something bigger and louder for larger venues.
I’ve also found this kit to be one of the best drum sets that kids can play. Most kids’ drum sets are poorly made and don’t last long. If your young child is passionate about drumming, getting them a high-quality kit like this will give them something durable and long-lasting.
The Sonor AQ2 has five finishes to choose from:
- Brown Fade
- Aqua Silver Burst
- White Pearl
- Titanium Quartz
- Transparent Stain Black
These finishes are diverse enough for most drummers to have a favorite option. The Aqua Silver Burst is the most extravagant and vibrant, while the other finishes are all darker and calmer.
The AQ2 Martini kit has a fairly high price tag. It costs just under $1000, making it the same price as most full-sized intermediate shell packs.
This is the biggest factor that will chase people away from buying this set. With most drummers getting compact kits as secondary options, they may not be too excited to pay so much, especially since the small bass drum stops the kit from being versatile.
However, this is the best-sounding drum kit I’ve heard with shells of this size. So, if you want the best 14” bass drum tone available, it’s worth spending the money.
This kit also has excellent build quality, ensuring that it will last a very long time without degrading much.
Sonor has another line of compact sets called the AQX line. Those kits are similar to the AQ2 ones, but they have cheaper parts and inferior sound quality. The equivalent kit to the Martini in that range is called the Sonor AQX Micro.
That kit looks very similar, but it doesn’t perform nearly as well. It’s an option worth considering, though.
The Sonor AQ2 Martini is an excellent kit, and I think most drummers would be surprised at how good it can sound when tuned well.
It doesn’t have the best stock drumheads, so equipping better ones will dramatically boost the sound quality.
If you want a very small drum kit that has many high-end parts and features, you’ll be more than happy with this one.
It’s not a great option for everyone, though. It’s very expensive compared to other compact kits that are larger and more versatile. If you want something that can cover a wider range, it would be better to get a kit with a 16” or 18” bass drum.
What Comes In The Sonor Martini Box?
- 12” x 5” snare drum
- 8” x 7” rack tom
- 13” x 12” floor tom
- 14” x 13” bass drum
- Tom/cymbal holder
Sonor Martini At A Glance
- This compact drum kit can fit into tighter spaces than most others, making it great for cramped stages
- It’s a breeze to transport
- The sound quality is surprisingly rich for such a small set
- Ideal kit for styles like jazz and hip hop
- Pristine build quality
- The price is quite high, considering how small it is
- The small bass drum isn’t versatile, as it can’t be tuned very low