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More Than 30 Years with Sonor Drums

Steve Smith has been playing and endorsing Sonor Drums since 1977.

In 2007, Steve celebrated 30 years with Sonor. In celebration of that milestone, Steve said: “Sonor drums have remained my first and only choice as a high quality instrument for the past 30 years. My sound is the Sonor sound. I can't imagine playing any other drum kit."

In order to celebrate this anniversary, Steve Smith and the Sonor engineers created a true masterpiece in sound, features, design. The idea behind this kit was not only to create a kit that would be sought-after as fan memorabilia, but also a superb instrument for any kind of musical situation.

Steve's Current Setup

Here is what Steve has to say about his current setup:

"Today, I play two main kits. On the West coast, I have a Maple Sonor SQ2 kit finished in Silky Oak with 8x7, 10x9, and 12x11 rack toms and 14x14 and 16x16 floor toms. The bass drum is 20x20. The side snare is 12x5 and made of clear acrylic.

My East coast kit (store in New York City) and my European kit (stored at the Sonor Factory in Germany) is my 30th anniversary signature kit, which is made of 9-ply beech and finished in Birdseye Amber Satin. The kit includes 8x8, 10x8, and 12x8 rack toms, plus 14x14 and 16x16 floor toms, plus a 20x16 bass drum and 12x5 matching beech side-snare.

With all of my kits, I use my 5.5x14 Steve Smith Signature metal snare drum."

Click here to learn about the drum heads Steve uses on these drums!

The 30th Anniversary Tour

In 2008, Steve and Sonor celebrated 30 years together with 50 clinics all over the world.

At the clinics, Steve wowed the audience with an extended solo piece that combined incredible technique, dynamics, and musicality. Playing with mallets, signature Tala Wands and sticks, Steve painted these incredible sounding drums and his array of Zildjian cymbals.

Steve also demonstrated some techniques from the recent Hudson video "Playing with Brushes." He then finished up with his version of "Mr. Hi Hat," always a crowd pleaser!

Only 100 of the 30th anniversary kits were made.

Signature Snare Drum

Steve and the SONOR engineers have created a true masterpiece that is addicted to sound, features, design and most of all, Steve's input.

The 14" x 5.5" Signature Snare Drum is an outstanding instrument, made out of an exclusive, 2.5 mm cast steel shell / 2.5 mm reinforcement rings and two air vents. Vintage Style Phonic lugs with integrated TuneSafe are in place for a vintage look, and die-cast hoops and a REMO fiberskyn 3 batter head in Diplomat thickness add to the overall effect of what Steve is looking for in a snare drum: a crisp, full-bodied instrument with an immediate and effortless playing response.

Besides the Signature Badge, Steve's Signature is engraved on a Re-Issue of the “Hilite Exclusive"¯ badge, adding another “Vintage SONOR" touch. Steve uses this instrument in studio sessions and live on tour with his groups Vital Information and Jazz Legacy.

Technical Information

Product:  SSD 11 1455 STS
Measurements:  14" x 5.5"
Shell:  Cast Steel
Shell Thickness:  2.5 mm with 2.5 mm reinforcement rings
Tension Rods:  2 x 10 pieces
Batter Head:  Fiberskyn 3 Diplomat Made by REMO USA
Resonance Head:  Sonor Clear Resonance Made by REMO USA
Snare Wires:  24 steel wires


Artist Series die-cast Hoops, Phonic Series Re-Issue tuning lugs with TuneSafe, slotted tension rods, throw-off snare action, chrome plated shell hardware, 'Signature' Series Steve Smith Badge, signed Re-Issue of the 1988's Hilite Exclusive Badge.

Click here to learn more on the Sonor site!

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