Drum kits became popular around the late 19th century when musicians started to use the instruments to create their unique sounds. The introduction of the bass drum pedal added to the kits’ popularity as it allowed the drummer to use the cymbals, bass and snare all at once. Drum sets went on to gain even more traction during the early 20th century with the addition of new accessories such as high-hat cymbals, which changed the music scene once again.
Now that we’ve given you a quick intro to the history of the drum kit let’s talk about what a standard set includes. When you purchase a standard drum kit, you get a snare drum, a bass drum, various kinds of cymbals and also tom-toms. If you’re a true professional, you can purchase specific add-ons like cowbells, electronic instruments and woodblocks to enhance the experience. The best drum kits are the most customized ones.
Speaking of the best drum kits out there, we’re going to introduce you to some that are really expensive and luxurious. You might think all you need to buy a new set of drums is $800, but wait till you find out how much some of the kits on our list cost!
Here are the top 5 most expensive drum sets in the world.
#5 The Roland TD-30KV V-Pro Series – $7,499
If you’re a drummer, you must have heard of Roland. The company is known for crafting meticulous electronic drum kits that produce exquisite sound. This particular kit comes with a hefty price tag, ranking fifth in the list of the most expensive drum sets, but also offers the best of their sound engine and 100 different kit options.
Many drummers can be divided over electronic drums, but if you do use these, you won’t have much, if anything, to complain about. The drum set is finished with chrome and features a transparent cabling system that adds to its overall aesthetic. The drums themselves are not smaller than traditional drums, as is the case with many electronic drum kits.
What’s more, you can use these with headphones so if you ever feel like having a private jam session, this kit is your best option. They also carry gigantic sound banks that have an almost unending amount of drum kit sounds out there.
#4 The Sonor JF-SSE-11-Newport Beech Matte Walnut Veneer 4-Piece Shell Pack – $7537
Ranked fourth in the list of the most expensive drum sets are products manufactured by SONOR. This is a well finished and well thought out drum set that also hits the mark on aesthetics. These drum sets are coated in polished and shiny plastic and boast a particularly strong frame. The kit boasts a layered beech shell which is polished with a smooth finish and also offers resistance to decay and mold.
The kit features a Total Acoustic Resonance mounting system which lends itself to pure tones and also offers nearly infinite ranges for tuning. What’s more, you’ll know this is an exclusive kit because only 50 of these have ever been made. Each one was produced in Germany and is touted as being a limited edition.
#3 The DW Timeless Timber Romanian River Oak Kit – $8,285
The third most expensive drum sets in the world is the DW Timeless Timber! Drum Workshop has been one of the forefront companies that has helped propel drum hardware and custom drum manufacturing. This unique drum kit can easily be made into an heirloom piece and left for future generations to use. What makes this kit special is that its shells are made from a special kind of oak which is harvested from the Olt River in Romania. What’s more, the oak used to craft these drums is over 1500 years old, making it an antique.
The drum kits are all handcrafted and have antique bronze hardware and accents. They’re also incredibly exclusive as only about a hundred of these were ever made.
#2 The Who/Keith Moon’s Drum Kit – $252,487
Here’s another expensive addition to the list. The kit belonged to Keith Moon, who is often called the greatest rock’n’roll drummer of all time and was a highly customized set. This unique kit was auctioned off in 2004 by Christie’s London and is deemed one of the most expensive drum sets in the world.
Keith Moon used his personalized drum kit to create a new style of drumming, literally marching to the beat of his own drum.
#1 Ringo Starr’s drum kit – $2.2 million
A drum set that belonged to Ringo Starr was sold at an auction hosted by Julien’s Auctions for $2.2 million in 2015. There is no doubt that it is the most expensive drum set in the world.
Ringo Starr used his customized Ludwig kit in over 200 performances after buying it in 1963. He used it to play some of The Beatles’ top hits. Beatles’ fans won’t be able to resist humming some of these; they included songs like ‘Can’t Buy My Love’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ among others.
The Ludwig kit was bought by music aficionado and collector, Jim Irsay, who paid top dollar for the pearl oyster set.
The drum kit truly represents a historic era in the music industry.