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Home eDrum News Simmons, Closing Down Again? (Guitar Center Problems)

Simmons, Closing Down Again? (Guitar Center Problems)

Published on January 16, 2013 by in eDrum News

Though it has not been announced and no store closings have actually happened, there is a possibility that the current electronic drum producer Simmons may be closing its doors. It has come to our attention at Hellfiredrums.com that many Simmons electronic drum products are becoming harder to buy. Popular products such as the Simmons SDMP-1 (Multi-Pad Drum Machine) and DA200s (Electronic drum Amplifier) for example, are much harder to find new. It looks like we now know why.

Hellfiredrums.com (and DMdrummer.com) have gotten several reports about the difficultly finding certain Simmons products since October. Admittedly (until now) we brushed these reports aside thinking it was merely a supply issue of some kind (do to past incidents), but after being tipped off by a Vdrums.com topic (Guitar Center on the Ropes) it finally made sense.

You may be asking yourself what the electronic drum producer Simmons has to do with Guitar Center. Well, back in 2005 Guitar Center acquired (rightly or wrongly) the trademark of Simmons and started producing budget line electronic drum products. Most of the new Simmons offerings were rebranded Medeli edrum devices.

It would appear that as Guitar Center starts pulling back (because of financial trouble) their Simmons line of electronic drums will undoubtedly have issues as well.

Here are a few articles pertaining to the Guitar Center financial issues:

Reuters – S&P revises Guitar Center Holdings outlook to negative (May 8th 2012) 

Guitar Center Bets On Brick & Mortar While Online Sales Struggle  (Music Trades July 2012, page 52)

Life Support: how Long Until They Pull the Plug on Guitar Center? (Nov 5th 2012)

The loss of Guitar Center/Simmons will most likely open doors for newer edrum companies such as KAT Percussion, to fill the void of the more budget minded side of electronic drum products. This would also have the side benefit of helping these companies to grow and produce outside of the budget area.

There is one other positive that could come from this. Many fans of the original Simmons have not been happy with the Guitar Center’s acquisition of the Simmons name. Dave Simmons (the founder of the original Simmons electronic drum company) has been trying to get back his name/trademark from Guitar Center for some time. It may now be somewhat of a simpler task (if Guitar Center folds) for Dave Simmons to reacquire his iconic trademark.  Only time will tell.

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4 Comments  comments 

4 Responses

  1. Glyn Thomas

    Guitar Center did not “acquire” the rights to the Simmons name, they “borrowed” it, thinking that no-one in England would bother to contest it. I still own the rights to the Simmons name in the USA and have done since I set up Simmons Group Center in Calabasas in 1963. Dave and I contested this G.C. assumption and the US Court agreed with us.
    Glyn Thomas, President, Simmons Group Centre Inc.

  2. Hi Glyn,

    Thanks for commenting. I’m aware of the situation with New Simmons (i.e. Guitar Center) and original Simmons. I go out of my way to attach the Guitar Center name anytime I’m referring to the current name user in the States. I mean no disrespect when I refer to Guitar Center brand as Simmons. I’m not a lawyer, so I used the word “acquire” from the stand point of being an outsider looking at Guitar Center. In the same way a person might say “I acquired a car“. That statement doesn’t say “I bought” a car or “I took” a car, it just means “I have” a car. How ever Guitar Center got the name (rightly or wrongly) they “acquired/took it” and they appear to be using it.

    Since the US Court agreed with you, is Guitar Center going to stop using the name anytime soon? Do you guys plan on releasing new electronic drum products? I know many edrummers out there would like to see the original Simmons up and running again. Any information you can supply would be greatly appreciated. Again, thank you for your comments.

  3. Robin

    Please talk to Dave Simmons about starting up again. Analog synths and electronic drums are popular now, and there is still nothing to match the classic Simmons SDS-5.
    There are many synth legends that have got back into business; Bob Moog (before he past away), Dave Smith, Tom Oberheim, John Bowen. Hope to add Dave to this list. :)


  4. dmr

    Recently found an old SDX in a “junk” shop here in Japan. Needs help, yet still going. I need the OS disks or iso file to download so I can burn via omniflop. Can anyone help me get this mothership off the ground?

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