Sonor AQ2 Safari
Most of the major drum manufacturers are producing their own mini ‘bop’ kits for smaller venues, band practice or anyone who wants a drum kit with a really small footprint.
We’ve tried a number of these kits – Tama Club Jam, Gretsch Catalina Club, Pearl Midtown, Ludwig Breakbeats – and have come to the conclusion that you only need bother with choosing between the Ludwig (reviewed on this site) and the Sonor Safari as the others are a little under par.
The Sonor Safari is comprised of a 16x5-inch bass drum with integral drum riser, 10x7-inch rack tom, 13x12-inch floor tom and a 13x6-inch snare. The first thing you notice with this all-maple kit is the build quality which is so typical of vintage German brand Sonor. The shells are immaculate even if they have been constructed in China and the hardware is superb. The kit even comes with a cymbal arm that attaches to the included tom mount.
Sound quality is excellent and they’re really easy to tune. Granted, the Ludwig Breakbeats’s toms (especially the floor tom) have a more appealingly deep tone straight out of the box but the build quality is nowhere near the high standard of the Safari. And where the Ludwig’s bass drum riser is a fiddly affair that is appallingly designed, the Sonor’s works perfectly.
Available in four finishes, the Sonor Safari is our top choice for small drum kits. It sounds amazing when tuned low and there’s evidence everywhere of Sonor’s fine attention to detail. Yes, they're more expensive than the Ludwig Breakbeats but once tuned these little drums sing.