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Electronic drum pioneers Simmons reveal SD550 kit

New $550 kit offers 50 kits and all mesh heads

Following up on the success of its breakthrough SD2000 mesh-head electronic drum kit, Simmons has introduced the SD550 full-sized, five-piece, mesh-head electronic drum kit. According to Simmons, the system employs advanced, tensionable mesh pads with variable attack response technology to enable expressive performance and nuanced playability.

The SD550 offers a drum configuration that players should find more natural, including a 10-inch, dual-zone, dual-ply snare; three eight-inch, dual-ply mesh tom pads; a 10-inch crash cymbal with choke; a 12-inch ride cymbal; and a 10-inch hi-hat pad with pedal. The kick pad module includes a built-in pedal with a no-slip grip. It all mounts on a rugged steel rack with robust, custom T-fitting and extra-stable rubber feet.

Simmons also claim that their Variable Attack Response (V.A.R.) technology enables better playability and performance. With V.A.R., say Simmons, you get intelligent sample playback, and pads that respond differently based on dynamics. In addition, it offers round-robin alternating samples on snare and ride cymbal.

The SD550’s sound module has sounds for virtually every genre featuring 50 kits and 64-voice polyphony so you shouldn’t find cymbal samples are cut short. The sound module also sports a sleek new design, easy navigation, and a 16-character, backlit, blue LCD screen. It features eight trigger inputs on a multi-pin connector for clean cable management and connects to a computer via a USB/MIDI connection. A stereo, 1/8-inch TRS input connects audio from an MP3 player or other media player.

"The SD550 is an outstanding instrument that also is an amazing value," observes Simmons Product Manager Jim Norman. "You normally don't find features like this except in far more expensive kits. Whether you're rehearsing, practicing, gigging, or recording, you'll love the SD550."

The Simmons SD550 Mesh-Head Electronic Drum Kit is available now at a street price of $549.99.

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