Alessandro Bianchini's Peart kit replicas

Alessandro sent me these pictures of not one but three Neil Peart drum kit replicas. All I had to say to him was, "Wow!" Once you take a look, I think you'll agree. Thanks for sending these, Alessandro.

Updated: 1/2/2012 (added 3 more pictures of HYF kit)

Ludwig Hold Your Fire replica

I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year and wish to share with you some pictures of my Ludwig Hold Your Fire replica kit. I built the drumset studying every details of pictures and videos drumset. All the drums but the snare drums have been vibrafied, I hope you like it.

alessandro_ludwig1 Alessandro_Ludwig2 Alessandro_Ludwig3

Added 12/26/07

New pictures of Alessandro's refinished Slingerland kit

Alessandro's note about the refinished drums:

"I want to share with you my latest kit. Actually, it's not totally new; it's my chrome'o'wood Slingerland which has been rewrapped with black chrome plastic material. This way it looks as good as new and is a correct example of Neil's drum set used for A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres albums and tours.

"The set has the correct Slingerland brass timbales and red Starman bass drum logo bass drum heads which have been hand painted by me from the inside to give that mirror effect (any sticker applied over the head doesn't give the same effect).

"Sizes are: 6"-8"-10"-12" concert toms; 12"-13"-15" toms; 18" floor tom and two 24" bass drums; the snare is the same copper'o'wood Slingerland Artist I use with the Tama kit."

Added 7/4/07

New pictures of the Tama Superstar in concert with Alessandro's Rush tribute band Starman.

Alessandro with Rush Tribute Band "Starman" Alessandro with Rush Tribute band "Starman"

To see more pics, go to

Alessandro's Neil Peart replicas

Tama replica Tama replica (hi-res) Ludwig replica Slingerland replica Alessandro playing Tamas

Building Replicas of Neil Peart's Kits

by Alessandro Bianchini

Slingerland chrome'o'wood
This the first of my replicas. It's a Slingerland from the '70s with chrome�wood finish (actually Neil had a chromed Slingerland with two 22" bass drums but mine has two 24"; later he had a Slingerland in black chrome with two 24" bass drums). I started from a five piece set then I added another bass drum, concert toms, and another closed tom. The final setup is:

  • 5,5x6-5,5x8-7x10-8x12 melodic toms
  • 8x12-9x13-10x15 toms
  • 16x18 floor tom
  • two 14x24 bass drums
  • 1973 5,5x14 Slingerland Artist Copper over Wood
  • Cymbals all "A" Zildjian except where noted:
    • 13" hi-hat
    • 8"-10" splashes
    • two 16" crashes
    • 18" and 20" crashes
    • 22" ping ride
    • 18" Wuhan china

Ludwig SuperClassic white

This set is a 1989 Ludwig SuperClassic. It has 4-ply maple-poplar shells, I ordered this set as it is, I didn't assembly it from different pieces. Obviously it has the same exact sizes as the Ludwig set that Neil used for "Hold Your Fire" and the following world tour, and you can see and hear it in "A Show of Hands."

Living in Italy I remember seeing Rush for the first time in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1988 during the "Hold Your Fire" tour. It's interesting to know that when Neil switched to Ludwig, he gave up for the first time the melodic toms and started using three power-depth closed toms. I customized the set having the lugs and rims gold plated. Also I added sparkles to the white finish to match the look of Neil's set. Finally, I added a 5x5x14 Slingerland Artist snare drum, and a Tama gong bass drum―both refinished like the whole set.

The hi-hat pedal is a Tama Titan while the bass drums pedals are Camco.

  • The toms sizes are:
    • 9x6-9x8-9x10 power toms
    • 8x12-9x13-12x15 toms
    • 16x18 floor tom
    • Two 14x24 bass drums
  • Cymbals all "A" Zildjian except where noted:
    • 13" hi-hat
    • 8"and 10" splashes
    • Two 16" crashes
    • 18" and 20" crashes
    • 22" ping ride
    • 18" Pang
    • 20" Wuhan china

Tama Superstar Mahogany/Rosewood

Surely this is the hardest and most difficult job I have ever been involved in my drum collecting life. This drum kit is a replica of the mahogany rosewood Tama Neil played between 1979 and 1981 for the recording of "Permanent Waves", "Moving Pictures" and "Exit...Stage Left"; it's the set I dreamt of when I was 18 years old.

This set is very complicated because it includes a wide array of percussion instruments. This set represents the period of maximum expansion for the acoustic set. After this set, that Neil began experimenting with electronic instruments like pads, trigger pedals, and electronic marimba, which replaced the acoustic sounds.

So the hardest thing for me was to find the exact instruments used for the actual set. This was complicated by the fact that most of them are not available in Italy, so Ebay has been of great help for me. Also it has to be understood that often those instruments were customized to Neil's specifications.

I studied all the pictures, video clips, and books I own to better understand the "secrets" of the set. Let's start from the drums: I used a '80's Tama Superstar. I know that Neil's drum set has shells with reinforcing rings, but I couldn't find them so I used standard Tama Superstar shells, I tried to match the exact color studying the pictures and all the rims. Lugs and tom mounts have been gold plated and currently all the hardware is in the process of being gold plated.

The setup:

  • 5,5x6-5,5x8-7x10-8x12 melodic toms
  • 8x12-9x13-12x15 toms
  • 16x18 floor tom
  • Two 14x24 bass drums
  • 6,5x13-6,5x14 wooden timbales
  • 14x20-14x22 gong bass drums
  • The snare drum is the only drum which wasn�t refinished like the other toms, it is a hard-to-find 1973 5,5x14 Slingerland Artist Copper over Wood.
  • The hardware was the first type of Tama titan series, the hi-hat pedal was Slingerland while the bass drum pedals were Ludwig Speed King.
  • I built myself two sides rack used to hang up the acoustic percussions; here's a list of the instruments involved:
    • glockenspiel, Deagan orchestral bells, tubular bells, wind chimes, Taiwan wood blocks, melodic cowbells, two triangles, Pakistan bell tree, one octave of Zildjian low-crotales, Zildjian Burma bell, one single crotale.
  • The cymbals are all Avedis Zildjian except where noted:
    • 13" New Beat hi-hat
    • 8" and 10" splashes
    • two 16" crashes
    • 18" and 20" crashes
    • 22" ping ride
    • 18" pang
    • 20" swish (no rivets)
    • 19" Wuhan china