Sonor Force 3005 Kit review

All-maple nine-ply shells, lacquered finish and solid hardware make a strong combination for your money

  • £855
  • $1599
Get your ear drums ready. The Force 3005 sounds like a powerhouse

MusicRadar Verdict

The latest incarnation of the top-of-the-range Sonor Force set-up offers an extremely well-equipped package at a very competitive price. The all-maple nine-ply shells, lacquered finish and solid hardware make a strong combination, and the longish toms combine well with the thickness of the ply to dispense withering amounts of power.


  • +

    High-quality all-maple kit. Distinguishing looks and a big sound.


  • -

    Surprising lack of shorter depth options for toms.

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Sonor has been making state-of-the-art drum kits since 1875, with its reputation for individual design and fastidious quality winning it many fans and no shortage of endorsees. The company's popular Force Series was introduced in 1999 with the budget-conscious buyer in mind, but continues the same trademark aura of quality.

A number of notable upgrades have been made to the Force series since its launch, with each line gaining a few extra digits each year to mark the revamp. The 3005 Force kit on review here has had loads of top upgrades and tweaks, yet it bears a near identical price tag to that of the kit it replaces. Great stuff!

Of all the changes made to the 3005 kit, the most important concerns the shells. Previously, these were formed from a sandwich of six plies of maple surrounding three central layers of unspecified hardwood. The new shells keep their nine-ply construction, but are now made up solely of maple layers. These shells are 6mm deep on the snare and toms, while the bass drum clocks in at a brawny 8mm.

As well as the improved shells, the 3005 kits now come in a choice of three new lacquer finishes, on top of the five existing lacquer finishes already available - Sunburst High Gloss, Natural Maple and Autumn Fade. Sonor has discontinued one finish, Purple Caribic, perhaps in the interests of balance, but this still gives the 3005 Series two more finishes than the old range.

The Autumn Fade finish, as shown here, looks cool and classy, melting from a rich, burnt orange into a warm ivory that continues over the wooden hoops of the bass drum.

3005: a drum odyssey

The 3005 Series is now available in four shell packs (as opposed to three). There are two versions of the ubiquitous fusion set-up, differing only in the size of the bass drum (20" or 22"), and two variations of the customary rock kit blueprint.

Stage One (our kit), is comprised of 12"x10" and 13"x11" toms, a 16"x16" floor tom, 22"x171/2" bass drum and 14"x51/2" snare drum. The intriguing Stage Two set-up features the same bass drum, snare and floor tom combined with the 10" and 12" toms found on the fusion kits. Extra drums are available individually, and alternative bass drums in the form of 18" and 24" models can also be added.

Typically Sonor-like lugs (rectangular with a central round bulge) encircle the drums, and both the snare and bass are equipped with a generous complement of 10 lugs. As the two most important drums in any conventional kit set-up, this pro-spec makes sense, and perhaps more mid-level makers should follow suit.

Substantial Power Hoops cap the drums, and the toms are hung from a pair of ball and socket holders. Meanwhile, Sonor's Total Acoustic Resonance mounts keep the toms free from intrusion. The hardware pack supplied with the kit includes two boom stands, a snare stand, hi-hat stand and bass drum pedal. They are all solidly engineered and, like the drums, are littered with Sonor design features that make them impossible to confuse with anything else out there.

Force of nature

Considering the number of plies and the sizes of the drums involved, it should come as no surprise that this kit is loud and extremely powerful. The bass drum gives the sort of shudderingly dark response that only maple is capable of. When tuned low, a sharp 'blat' of attack arrives first, making a counterpoint to the huge note that follows.

As you tune the drum, the attack diminishes, leaving a dry yet still intensely dark note. This is a drum that you feel as much as hear.

The snare responds with a no-nonsense woody crack that's balanced by the maple warmth. Tuned down it retains its crispness as the note gets fatter, assuming Roger Taylor-like proportions. Cranked up, it really bites, and rimshots positively hurt. The toms are equally authoritative, delivering strong fundamental tones that take command of the mid and lower frequencies.

These are also pretty 'uninhibited', with the floor tom being particularly strident.

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