What is the most expensive percussion instrument of all time? Although percussion instruments are not the most expensive usually, they can still be tagged at a hefty price for most of us that cannot afford them. Here are some of the percussion instruments that would surely break your bank:
Ringo Starr’s Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl Drum Kit
Owned by the one and only Beatles’ legendary drummer Ringo Starr, his Ludwig Oyster Black is considered to be the most expensive drum kit of all time. Sold at an auction held in California, USA, in December 2015, the drum kit got sold at a whopping $2,100,000 price tag. This drum kit has been a big part of music history, as it is said to be used for at least 200 performances by Ringo Starr since he bought it in 1962.
If you are born in the 50s or 60s, you may have seen the drum kit on television shows, including Thank Your Lucky Stars, Ready, Steady, Go!, Sunday Night At The London Palladium, and many more. The drum kit was also used in more than 160 songs that were broadcasted on different BBC Radio shows, such as From Us To You, Saturday Club, and Pop Go To The Beatles.
The first song that Ringo recorded with the Beatles was Matchbox in June 1964. It was also his workhorse set from 1964 until 1968, when he decided to go for a Ludwig Hollywood Maple kit. Performing in one of the most famous concerts of all time, All You Need Is Love, in June 1967, Ringo used this drum kit as he performed for more than 350 million people watching the event live and on their televisions.
For its tom-tom, it comes with a 12×8 inch size made of a 3-ply Mahogany, Poplar, and Mahogany shell, while having a white coat in its interior. It also uses the legendary Ludwig Mini Classic lugs and Weather Master drum heads. The floor tom and bass drum are also made of the same shell material but in 14×14-inch and 20×14-inch sizes, respectively.
For its tom-tom, it comes with a 12×8 inch size made of a 3-ply Mahogany, Poplar, and Mahogany shell, while having a white coat in its interior. It also uses the legendary Ludwig Mini Classic lugs and Weather Master drum heads. The floor tom and bass drum are also made of the same shell material but in 14×14-inch and 20×14-inch sizes, respectively. Ringo also uses a 14-inch Zildjian A hi-hat, an 18-inch Zildjian A crash, and a 20-inch Ajax ride cymbal.
Although it is really expensive, the price tag is also understandable, as it has a place in the history of music and drums, so the one who won the auction for this drum kit was really a lucky guy.
Neil Peart’s Rush Drum Kit
Another drum set owned by a legendary drummer on our list, Neil Peart’s Rush Drum Kit, was sold in December 2020 as a part of Bonhams’ Music Memorabilia auction. As the drummer of one of the most famous metal bands, Rush, Neil Peart was also known for using his iconic chrome Slingerland drum set. The kit was sold for more than half a million dollars, so it was really that expensive, thanks to the fact that it is owned by a hall-of-fame drummer.
The kit was bought by Neil at Long & McQuade music store in Toronto in 1974 after he joined Rush and became the band’s full-time drummer. The drum kit was first used in August 1974 while performing with the band, and its last use was in 1977 before he used a new set for his main gear.
Many Rush albums were recorded using the drum kit, including Fly By Night, Caress Of Steel, and 2112. It was also used in the band’s first live album, All The World’s A Stage. Nicknamed Chromey, the drum kit was largely used in the tours that were done to support the albums mentioned. After the live album, the drum kit was also retired soon after, and a decade later, the drum kit was donated for a Modern Drummer Giveaway.
As Neil is known for using gigantic drum kit setups, his iconic drum kit comes with 3-ply shells composed of Maple, Poplar, and Mahogany. All in all, his setup consists of four concert toms, three tom-toms, one floor tom, one snare drum, and two bass drums. He also uses four crash cymbals, two splash cymbals, a ride cymbal, a hi-hat cymbal, and a pang cymbal, all made by Zildjian.
If you are a drummer and a die-hard fan of the band Rush, this drum kit may be a dream of yours to have. Even with its hefty price tag, the kit still comes with lots of legendary memories and history, making it worth its price.
Bergault Grand Professional Series Timpani Set
As we go to other percussion instruments aside from a drum kit, timpanis can also be very expensive and maybe more costly compared to many flagship drum kits available in the market today. The Bergerault Grand Professional Series Timpani Set may be the most expensive of them all, as its price tag can go up to $30,000
As it is a set, each timpani is made of a single piece of copper that is hammered by hand and is spun to its unique shape, resulting in delivering a premium sound and making it very easy to tune while having an accurate pitch.
It also comes with heavy-duty locking casters, a balanced-action pedal mechanism, great spring tension adjustment, and hex-head tuning bolts, making them the first choice for percussionists who are looking to use premium gear when performing on stage or in recording studios.
10-Piece DW Collector’s Maple SSC Teal Glass Drum Set
Back to drum kits, the one we have included in the list to be one of the most expensive percussion instruments in the market can be easily bought either online or in local music stores, unlike the two drum kits that were mentioned above. The 10-Piece DW Collector’s Maple SSC Teal Glass Drum Set can cost you up to more than $15,000, so it is also not that easy to purchase too.
As we all know, the DW Collectors Series drum kits is the flagship line of the company, so you can expect that they are of high quality and can also be very expensive, especially since they have one of the best reputations for a drum manufacturer in the music industry. With shells made of 9-ply North American Maple wood, a 45-degree bearing edge, and true pitch tension rods, you surely get the premium DW sound that drummers are longing for.
So, if you can afford one, you are surely not making any mistakes, even with its hefty price tag, as most drummers would dream of playing one or maybe even owning one.
So, what is the most expensive percussion instrument? The most expensive percussion instrument ever sold was Ringo Starr’s Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl Drum Kit, priced at more than two million dollars when it was bought at an auction. Although the figure is astronomical, it can be reasonable as it is owned by one of the most famous drummers of all time.