The ‘original’ Simmons returns

Friday, 7 July 2017 12:28 pm

The battle for control of the Simmons name is over, with Dave Simmons, founder of the original Simmons drum brand, now working with Guitar Center, the giant US retailer which had claimed the name after the original registration lapsed.

The partnership promises to restore the Simmons legacy and move away from the lower-end offerings which Guitar Center had been offering. It also marks the end of Guitar Center’s rebranding of Medeli drum kits, with Dave Simmons telling digitalDrummer that the new collaboration was based on Guitar Center “dumping that idea and starting from the ground up”.

The first offering of the ‘new’ Simmons is the SD2000 kit and Simmons says “everything on this kit is new: the hardware is new, the industrial design is new, the voicing is new and the manufacturing is new”.

The SD2000 takes advantage of the expiry of Roland’s patent on mesh head drums and features an 11” triple-zone SimHex mesh snare, three 9” dual-zone mesh toms, and a 9” mesh bass drum. Cymbals include a 13” dual-zone chokeable crash, 15” triple-zone ride and 12” hi-hat.

With its $1,299 price tag, there’s no doubt this is a mid-market kit, but Simmons stresses that it’s the first offering “in a development process over the next 10 years to really take electronic percussion forward”.

 Full details of the kit will be included in the August digitalDrummer, but in the meanwhile, you can hear digitalDrummer’s exclusive interview with Dave Simmons here.