The Force 3007 is an upgrade on the previous 3005 range of drums and sits under the umbrella of the Force series, which is split into four distinct lines - 507, 1007, 2007 and 3007. Though Sonor is a famously German brand of drums, all of the Force kits are a product of the company's Chinese operations.
That's not to say that the new Force 3007 is lacking any of Sonor's individual touches. The new kit spec features upgraded shells and shorter toms along with hardware improvements.
While individual Force 3007 drums from 8" through to 24" diameter can be bought and assembled into a kit, Sonor is marketing five 'preconfigured' kits. Four of these kits are a variation on a five-drum set-up.
The review kit, known as Stage One, consists of a 22"x17½" bass drum, 14"x5½" snare drum, 12"x9" and 13"x10" toms and a 16"x16" floor tom. Stage Two and Stage Three kits feature different groupings of toms and floor tom with the same bass drum and snare.
The next kit - Studio One - is again a five-piece set up, but the 22" bass drum is swapped for a 20"x17½" model. The fifth preconfigured kit option is a Jungle version. Sonor's shrunken Jungle kit concept for dance/jazz/experimental applications has been so successful that it should be familiar to many. If not, a glance at the dimensions should put you in the picture - 16"x16" bass drum and 10"x8" and 14"x12" toms.
Unlike the four Stage/Studio kits, the Jungle kit is not supplied with a snare or hardware pack and, as such, is priced a good deal lower.
The previous 3-series kit (3005) made the jump to all-maple shells. The 3007 drums take things a step further by actually specifying the source of the maple. The old drums were made entirely from Chinese maple. The new models are a sandwich of Chinese and Canadian maple, with the Canadian maple clearly perceived as being a superior wood.
The shells are formed from a central three plies of Chinese maple with either two or three plies of Canadian maple above and below, where they will have maximum effect on the sound. Bass drums are 7.2mm thick and are made up of a total of nine plies (three Canadian, three Chinese, three Canadian). Snare drums and toms, meanwhile, are all 5.8mm thick as a result of having two less plies (two Canadian, three Chinese, two Canadian).
The fact that Sonor have managed to source a more expensive raw material and transport it further to the factory, yet still produce a kit only £50 more expensive than the one it replaces is a vivid example of just how competitive things are out there.
The revised shells are available in a choice of nine different lacquered finishes. Among the options is a pair of new sparkles. The Blue Sparkle which adorns the review kit is exceptionally light-catching. The shade of blue - more a lighter, Royal blue than say, Navy, allows the metallic filling to shimmer away. Other sparkle options are Red (again, new) and White. There is one other new finish - Midnight Fade, which is a blue to black fade.
The drums are dressed in characteristically Sonor shell hardware, with the lugs taking the form of beaters, and Sonor's logo (a pair of beaters) also stamped on each one. There is a maximum distribution of lugs per drum, with the snare and bass drum both sporting 10 per head (the 10 snare lugs are double-ended). Sonor's TuneSafe tension rods are fitted to all the drums. These rods feature fine pitch threads, making them more resistant to detuning through playing.
More Sonor design idiosyncrasies are to be found throughout the kit. The swing-out bass drum spurs are as elegant as they are practical. All of the wingnuts are a distinctive semi-circular shape that makes them impossible to confuse with other manufacturers'.
The TAR tom mounts are also uniquely Sonor. Like many mounts, the toms are hung from a curved rail that attaches to two of the drum's tension rods. Unlike other mounts, the TAR versions also feature a third stabilising arm, which is actually fixed to the shell. The contents of the hardware pack - two mini-boom cymbal stands, snare stand, hi-hat stand and bass drum pedal - are solid, well engineered and user-friendly.
May the Force be with you
Other than the kick, the drums are all equipped with 2.3mm PowerHoops (the bass drum has matching wood hoops). Remo heads are fitted across the kit, with the two bass drum heads containing dampening rings. These rings proved to be very efficient, giving the bass drum a controlled, slightly dryish sound.
It is loud and forceful when required, but without being uncouth. While being capable of producing a low, rumbling note, it doesn't disappear into impenetrable depths. There remains a focused, defined presence to it that suggests a very versatile drum.
The rack toms are all an inch shorter than the Force 3005 models and are all the better for it. The reduced depth facilitates snappy, clean responses with virtually no overtones present. The sandwich of Canadian and Chinese maple ensures you get a good deal of rounded warmth.
We found the snare drum to be a little more lively than the toms or bass drum and some dampening was required in order for it to show its refined side. Once administered, it soon performed sweetly in mid to high tunings. It is very sensitive across the head, so response was quick and faithful. We couldn't get as big a sound from it as from the other drums, so although it did well in its favoured tunings, ultimately it's not quite as adaptable as the rest of the kit.
If the selection of preconfigured kits doesn't tickle your fancy, a limited edition Force 3007 kit (24" bass drum, single rack tom and two floor toms) is also available.