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Darren Mathiassen - Sonor

Posted by on 1 December 2010

Darren Mathiassen currently plays for Hollie Smith, Bella Kalolo, The Nok and Iva Lamkum, he also played for Trinity Roots. He is one of the country’s most in demand session and live players, being one New Zealand’s finest talents behind the kit.

He took the time to jot down some ideas on the setup he uses, and how he blends traditional acoustic drums of Sonor, the cymbals of Sabian, with some of the latest electric drum kit offerings from Roland.

:: Sonor ::

Darren's priced Earth Snare


Sonor’s Artist Series Earth Snare AS1305 is one stonking piece of engineering. It’s like Hummer meets Bugatti. It hits like a freight train, and yet, is super responsive to head selection.

The 27 ply shell enables me to take the tension through the roof, or send it through the floor if I need to.

The Earth Snare is my main touring snare drum and is guaranteed to cut through any live mix! With the stunning 24 carat gold plated plated hardware and gloss Earth finish, it really stands out on stage!


The Sonor S-Classix Series ... Most of the shows and recordings I do these days demand a certain retro flavor.. This beautiful kit is the perfect balance between old school and new school. Sonor has hit my sweet spot with this one.

With its 5mm 9ply birch shells, and all German construction, It has an open full-spectrum sound that will punch an effervescent Jazz tone, or rain thunder on the parade.

S-Classix will never bottom-out with low tuning because Sonor includes their ‘Tune-Safe‘ technology, which turns out to be no minor detail.

The tension bolts will not back off in the studio or on the live show. Sonor’s skill and reputation with drum finishes and veneers spearheads the industry. The stunning satin veneers and wraps available in the S-Classix series definitely stand out from the crowd.

And as my daily driver, the thin shell construction is also indispensable for a light weight load out after the gig!

Left : Darren on his Sonor S-Classix kit finished in the colour option, Walnut Roots


The Sonor Jungle Kit seriously has the biggest bang for such a little buck! It’s no toy with its 9-ply Maple shells. A little killer for Jazz and Breakbeats especially. The 10” jingle snare really pops as a main snare for snappy beats, and the kick always punches in any situation. An indispensable swiss army knife from Sonor!

Bass Drum - 16" x 16"
Tom Tom - 10" x 8"
Floor Tom - 14" x 12"
Jungle 'Jingle' Snare - 10" x 2" (also known as 'snare-bourine')
Sonor Series 200 hardware

Left : Picture taken from Sonor catalogue and shows demonstration hardware, kick and throne