Steve Smith’s Journey 1980 Sonor Phonic 11 Piece Set. Departure Tour! Captured, Frontiers, Escape Albums! Vital Information! Platinum Album! MORE!! Authenticated! $103,593.00
Steve Smith first used this Sonor Phonic set on Journey’s 1980 Departure tour. He ordered the set in a wide array of sizes to accommodate his constantly evolving style. The 9 ply beechwood shells are finished in a veneer of natural oak.
The set’s truly superior sound inspired him to record Journey’s next 3 albums; Dream After Dream 1980, Escape 1981, and Frontiers 1982. Escape and Frontiers included many of the group’s biggest hits including “Don’t Stop Believin,’” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Open Arms,” “Separate Ways” and “Send Her My Love.” It is extraordinary that so many of Journey’s most significant recordings were recorded with this specific set.
Steve used this kit to record the first three Vital Information albums: Vital Information in 1983, Orion in 1984 and Global Beat in 1987. He also recorded albums with artists including Tom Coster (T.C. and Ivory Expeditions), Tony MacAlpine (Edge of Insanity), Jeff Berlin (Champion and Players), Scott Henderson and Victor Wooten (VitalTechTones), Frank Gambale and Stu Hamm (Show Me What You Can Do). The truly exceptional sound of this drum set is well documented on all of these recordings.
The kit includes a total of eleven drums. Three 24” x 14” bass drums and one 20” x 14” bass drum. 8”x 8,” 10”x 8,” 12”x 8” and 13”x 8,” rack toms and 14”x 14,” 16”x 16” and 18”x 16” floor toms. All drum mounting hardware is included plus 2x cymbal arms that attach to the tom mounts. Cymbals, snare and stands seen in the live shots are not included.
With Journey, Steve initially played two 24” bass drums, 12” and 13” rack toms with 16” and 18” floor toms, eventually adding the additional two rack toms.
The configuration Steve preferred for jazz and jazz-rock and was generally a single 20” bass drum, with 8,” 10” and 12” rack toms, 14” and 16” floor toms, however there were other variations over the years he played the set.
After 1986, Steve retired the Oak Veneer kit until 1997 when he used it on a series of jazz-rock albums for the Tone Center label. By 2005 the kit was back in storage until 2015 when Steve set up the kit in his home studio to prepare for touring with Journey from 2016-2019. You can see the set in his Steve Smith From The Practice Room, YouTube videos filmed during Covid lock-down in 2020-2021.
The set remains in excellent condition, however does show some signs of wear after years of touring the world. Most notably, there is some lifting, bubbling in the oak veneer finish on the 8″ and 10″ toms. Badges on the 8″, 10″ and 12″ toms show some scratches. There’s some visible but fairly minor snare rash on the 12″ tom. All of the internal mufflers have been removed and two of the 24″ bass drums have been drilled for internal mic mounts. Any notable flaws can be seen in the photos below. More photo are available on request.
To help mark this set’s significant history, Steve has included several items from his personal collection.
-RIAA 6X Platinum Record Award for Journey’s Frontiers album.
-Collection of signed Journey and Vital Information albums and CDs.
-Collection of custom “Steve Smith” logo bass drum heads.
-Signed and framed Journey era headshot photo.
-Pair of Steve Smith signature Journey 2016 tour sticks.
The collection also includes a COA signed by Steve Smith.
This 1980 Sonor Oak Veneer kit played a pivotal role in helping Steve Smith, one of the greatest drummers of our time, define his sound and record some of his most enduring performances. Be sure to check out the feature article about this set in the June, 2023 issue of Modern Drummer Magazine.
Ships from Seattle, WA. We will ship internationally.
PRICE: $99,995.00. Serious offers considered.