Simmons is a legendary electronic drum maker that made a splash in the 1980’s with their hexagonal electronic drums and their SDS drum kits. Their drums became popular with artists that wanted to incorporate more electronic sounds into their music.
What Does Simmons Currently Focus On?
The old version of the company closed in 1999. In 2005 the brand name was purchased by Guitar Center and they still own the brand to this day. The only similarity that the modern Simmons drums shares with the old brand is that the drum modules feature some of the classic Simmons sounds from the past. They also make drum amps and acoustic drum triggers. They don’t use the iconic hexagonal design anymore and their drum kits look similar to the other electronic drums on the market.
Simmons currently focuses on the budget electronic drum market, with their most expensive kit at this time being the SD1250 which sells for around $1100 and the cheapest being the Titan 20 which can often be found for as low as $250 when it’s on sale. They also currently have the Titan 50 and Titan 70 drum kits on the market.
So Is Simmons Still Any Good?
Even though the current version of the brand and the new kits have very little in common with the legendary kits from the 80’s, they still produce nice, playable electronic drum kits for the price levels they are sold at. Their mesh pads feel good and the drum racks on their newest kits are nice and sturdy. The newer drum modules have a nice set of studio recorded sounds built in along with some of Simmons classic electronic sounds, and I really like how the drum sounds have a nice natural decay in most cases.
My favorite Simmons kits are the SD1250, the Titan 70 and the Titan 50. I don’t really like the Titan 20 as much as the others but it can be an affordable option for kids.
The SD1250 is the largest of the kits with a 12 inch snare drum that mounts on a snare stand. It has a large rack and an extensive sound library in the module.
The Titan 70 has as many pads as the SD1250 but is slightly more compact with slightly smaller pads such as a 10 inch snare pad. It’s pretty much the only electronic drum kit that has a triple zone ride cymbal with a bell zone for under $1000.
The Titan 50 is a solid entry level budget kit that in my opinion is better and more sturdy than the Alesis Nitro kits that are similar in price. This is my favorite kit under the $500 price point.
Those are the kits I’d recommend looking at if you’re interested in Simmons drums.
The Simmons Drums Apps
Another thing I like about the newest Simmons kits are the apps, especially the Simmons Drums 2 app. The apps used to only be available on iOS but the Simmons Drums 2 app is now also available on Android.
The apps make it easier to get into the sound design options of the drum modules and they can also be used to create and save custom drum kits. The graphical user interface is just more of a pleasure to use than the buttons and small screens on the modules. So if you pick up a Simmons kit be sure to give the apps a try even if you’re not usually a fan of using apps like this.
One thing I’ve liked about Simmons is their support. I’ve run into a couple minor issues with Simmons kits I’ve purchased and their support responded quickly and sent me new parts quickly at no cost, and I really appreciated that. They appear to stand behind their products and make sure that you’re happy with your purchase.
Don’t Rule Them Out
Even though Simmons is a much different brand now they still make some affordable kits that are a lot of fun to play. If you are in the market for electronic drums and have a budget of around $1000 or less it’s well worth it to take a look at the offerings from Simmons. I’ve purchased all of my Simmons kits from Guitar Center since I have one in my area, and they often go on sale for really good prices.