No e-drums shortage - yet

Friday, 27 March 2020 9:35 am

US e-drum suppliers seem to have avoided the shortages seen in other industries in the wake of China’s slow-down.

A large proportion of e-drum products sold in the US are manufactured in China, including Guitar Center’s Simmons line, ddrum-branded gear and the KAT line.

When digitalDrummer spoke to David Cywinski, sales manager - drums & percussion at

Hal Leonard, two Chinese facilities which supply KAT instruments were closed.

However, having anticipated the Chinese New Year closures, the distributors had stocked up.

“We are in a good position where many of our needs and products had shipped (including our new release of the KT-200) prior to (the new year) and the coronavirus news. So, for the moment, we are in stock and shipping all that we have,” he says.

“We’re in communication pretty regularly with our contacts at the factories and are keeping each other updated as needed.”

Guitar Center’s Simmons head, Jim Norman, said his suppliers were back in action, with factories at 30% capacity last month – and production returning to normal.

“We are evaluating supplies now, but for now, we are okay,” he says.

With most of its manufacturing in Malaysia, Roland seems to be largely unaffected by the production woes in China.

Alesis, which is closely linked with Medeli’s Chinese manufacturing, did not respond to digitalDrummer’s request for comment.

Medeli, one of the largest e-drum manufacturers in the world, produces products under a number of different brands at its giant Medeli Park facility in Zhuhai in Souther China.

It appears to be business as usual for US music retail giant Sweetwater, which has taken steps to mitigate supply chain interruptions due to coronavirus.

“However, the short- and long-term impact is still unknown at this time,” says Phil Rich,

chief merchandising officer. “Some manufacturers are seeing an immediate impact while others are either predicting a future impact or they don’t know.

“We continue to stay in close contact with many of our vendor partners to monitor the situation. It’s safe to say that it’s changing nearly every day and nobody has all the answers,” he says.