I found it very difficult to locate a review of the Simmons SD200.  I’m not Sure why.  I mean, it is a very entry level drum kit, so perhaps others consider it beneath them to do a review on it.  Is it a toy?  Is it worth buying?  Let’s find out.

First of all, this is by no means a professional drum kit.  Simmons released the SD200 specifically as an entry level electronic drum set, and while they do not specifically state it in any of their marketing material, it is aimed at kids.  How do we know this?  It’s small.  I mean, super small.  The drum rack is 28 x 22 x 22.  To put that in perspective, the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit, another popular beginner set, is 24 x 38 x 43  I think this picture gives you a pretty good idea though.  This is from an unboxing and setup video from Tech 360.  And no, he isn’t a giant.  Just a normal sized adult looking like the Hulk in front of it.

Still, it’s all about the player.  Have you ever watched those Jimmy Fallon videos where they play songs with all kinds of random instruments?  A good musician can make just about anything sound good. Here’s a video of a guy using the SD200 to play along and record. It isn’t the most complex drumming, but for what he’s using it for, it works just fine.

To determine if this electronic drum set will meet your needs, think about why you are buying it?  Is it for a child?  Do you need an ultra small footprint?  If the answer is no to those questions, there are better options for $50 to $100 more. 

However, if you are buying this for a child as a first set, or just something for the kids or grandkids to bang on and have some fun, it’s a pretty good inexpensive option.

What comes in the Box

Everything for the SD200 ships in one box.  Inside there will be about 20 other smaller boxes containing the drums, cymbals, and other components.  Once you unwrap everything you will have:

  • 8” Mesh Snare
  • Three Toms with rubber pads
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Hi-hat
  • Hi-hat pedal
  • Kick drum pedal
  • Set of drum sticks

SD200 Unboxing

Overall though, it is a pretty easy setup.  Since there are so many little pieces and you will need to route your wiring, plan on it taking at least 45 min.  Here’s a good video showing the unboxing and setup.

Simmons SD200 Playing Impressions

For a really inexpensive drum kit we are impressed that they included a mesh head for the snare. This isn’t common for this level of electronic drum kit.  The snare is also dual zone and you can control the tension.  This is good and bad.  It’s great that you have dual zone so the snare responds to hits in different areas and it responds to the force in which you hit it.  For those not expecting to do any type of configuration to the drum heads it has posed problems.  Often it is necessary to adjust the tension on the SD200 snare to get the triggers to respond properly.  If you read comments from purchasers this is a common complaint.  The snare doesn’t work.

I also liked that the kick pedal has a mallet.  While it doesn’t hit a drum pad, a kick pedal always feels more natural when there is a mallet striking something.  I think it’s a nice touch.

The toms and cymbals are what they are.  For this price point you just can’t expect that it is going to feel anywhere remotely close to an acoustic kit or have the same response and feel as a more expensive kit.  That being said, if your expectations are in the right place it’s a fun little kit to play.

The drum module is pretty limited compared to other electronic drum kits.  You will have 10 drum kits to choose from and 93 custom sounds.  The interface is really simple and you can connect to an app that will allow further customization of sounds and kits.

The sounds are good for a very entry level set.  I was neither overly impressed or seriously disappointed.  Granted, my expectations were not super high.  My expectations were that this will be fun to play on.  Pretty similar to the joy I get from banging on the little drum pads that came with the game Rock Band.

Pros

  • Really inexpensive
  • Better sound than toys
  • Small footprint if you don’t have much space
  • Can connect to your smart phone or tablet

Cons

  • Really small
  • Can’t expand
  • Won’t hold up to daily play and punishment

Final Thoughts: Should you Buy the Simmons SD200?

If you have the right expectations for this kit, it isn’t bad.  I have read many comments from musicians that just wanted something small to record drum bits in their home studio and they were very pleased with the results.   At the same time, I have read many many reviews from people with improper expectations for this drum set being very disappointed with the size, quality, and durability.  Overall, we’d recommend spending an extra $100 and getting the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit.  You just get a whole lot more for that extra $100.  At the end of the day, if you want to keep your spend under $300, the Simmons SD200 is certainly more than a toy and could meet your needs.