Sonor replaced its 400 series stands with its 4000 series in 2014. Updating the foot pedals has taken somewhat longer.
We have here the brand new (2017) 4000 series pedal, but we don’t have the 4000 hi-hat, although it is now available. The 4000 is a professional set of quality hardware, positioned centrally in Sonor’s three ranges, tidily labelled 2000, 4000 and 6000.
With a comprehensive overhaul of the previous 400 series, there are new designs for the wing screws, rubber feet, tom arms, etc. Sonor offers stands/pedals individually or as a 4000 series set, which comprises hi-hat, single kick pedal, snare stand and two mini-boom stands. For review, though, we’ve been sent the snare drum stand, single tom stand, mini-boom cymbal stand and double bass drum pedal.
The 4000 pedal is the most recently updated and you can see why we have had to wait so long as it is completely revamped, even more so than the stands. Design and construction elements have been passed down from Sonor’s top-range Giant Step pedals. And where the 2000 series pedals feature a single die-cast frame the 4000 has independent pillars connected by an additional horizontal strut. This is all best described in action.
Double bass pedals can be a trial to set up. Not this one. It’s user-friendly from the off, with the hoop clamp jaws’ cushioning rubber grips tightened via an easy-to-reach side-positioned wing screw.
Sonor says the ‘geometry’ of the pedal has been changed so that the beater axle is closer to the bass drum batter head. This means the beater shaft is truly vertical when the beater strikes the drum head. It works, too. Both beaters slap the head flat on for maximum impact.
Another feature that has come down from the Giant Step is the frame. Rather
than a single casting (as with the 2000 pedal), the frame has two independent pillars, which are conjoined by a horizontal strut positioned near the top.
This leaves the actual horizontal drive rod above free and ensures there is no restriction or stress on the drive mechanism. It looks a bit over-complicated and in truth is not that pretty, but structurally and functionally Sonor thinks it is worth it. Certainly, the pedals feel absolutely smooth and easy.
Straight out of the included (padded black nylon) carrying bag the pedals are balanced and ready to go. Setting up takes no time at all. Left and right feel the same and the action is precise.
Other than that the operation is of a typical modern dual-chain drive pedal with circular, direct cam action, infinitely variable stroke angle and beater length and familiar side spring tension. Bearings in the heel plate and beater drive rods ensure an efficient stroke, which is silent and smooth.
All the stands are double-braced, with strong, 3mm thick chromed steel legs folding out smoothly on nylon rollers. Rubber feet are 4.1cm in diameter, the circular profile ensuring that the legs make minimal floor contact, but remain stable, even when on irregular surfaces.
Section housings mean business with massive clamps and Sonor’s big half-moon wing screw. Stability is supplemented on the tom stand with a memory clamp for the top section. The hexagonal section ‘L’ tom arm itself is free to slide in and out of the ball clamp and can be swapped around so the longer section is either horizontal or vertical. The latter brings the tom remarkably close to the stand - less likely to topple we suppose, but with virtually no horizontal reach.
The snare stand has a large, gearless tilter, allowing the basket to move from horizontal through 90° to vertical - ie: way more than you’re ever likely to need. And the big lever is easy and quick to operate.
Finally, there’s the cymbal boom stand. It reaches an impressive maximum height of around 152cm, while the boom arm extends to around 35cm. A design modification to the cymbal wing screw stands out.
Handling the wing screw that secures your cymbal on its stand can be a frustrating task - it often takes forever to unscrew and then you drop it on the floor and can’t find it. No such problem here; it’s replaced by a nylon nut screw that has a quick release button so that you just slip it on and off in a jiffy.
The tilter has infinite adjustment. Take it apart and you find a large nylon boss inside that cushions the action while ensuring the grip is rock solid and the angle can’t move. The large lever can be shifted independently so as not to collide with the cymbal.