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Simmons DA200S

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Well, Tom, I don't know about GREAT... there's no substitute for real subs!  (No sub for subs???)  But for the cash and size, this thing really is impressive.  Try before you buy, if you can...



I have had this amp out on 4 gigs now in 3 different rooms, and I am loving it! 

Last week, I took it on a jazz gig at a restaurant, where we are plagued with "Shhh!" at times.  The amp was set at a pretty low volume.  I had the amp's EQ almost flat, with a tiny bit of a boost on the bass end.  The subwoofer mix volume was at about 75% (I believe 50% is "flat.")  It sounded really good.  I did add some EQ in BFD... I put a narrow "dip" in the lowest mids (or maybe the "high lows"???) , at around 125hz, and then a "hump" in the 200 range.  This made the bass drum more punchy by getting rid of the "boxiness" at 100, while improving the meat of the snare drum and the fundamental of the toms in the 180-250 range.  If I had my druthers, the amp's bass EQ would center on a lower frequency.  It sounds to me like it's at 100 or maybe 120hz; I'd prefer 80 or 70.  Minor gripe.

The sound was meaty, crispy, natural... I could have used more REALLY low lows (50-60hz), but I was very happy overall, and the gearloading aspect was just awesome.  It's heavy, but it's just one unit to have to carry in, so it's worth it.  (I need to try my little handcart).  Also, the spread of the sound throughout the room was surprisingly good, which I attribute in part to the amp's slanted front.  I didn't notice the stereo aspect of the signal anywhere other than on stage (STAGE: term used loosely!) but that's to be expected since the stereo speaker pairs are only 10" apart or so.

Then last night I took it to a much larger room, in which they expect more slammin' volume, with a funk/jazz quartet.  This time I had the same EQ curve in BFD but I flattened it somewhat (lessened the gain difference on both parts of the aforementioned curve) and I gave it a lot more bass and a tiny bit more highs on the amp's EQ.  The input volume and the master volume were both straight up at 12 0'clock, and it was pretty darn loud.  Not acoustic-kit loud, but pretty close.  It did not get into that ugly range of volume where the character of the sound starts to get unmusical.  Again, fat, crisp, natural... no distortion or "fuzzy" attacks, just solid drum sound. 

There was a nasty buzz from electronic interference from the stage light dimmer, so we ended up shutting off one set of stage lights, which cleared it right up (I did not have a 3-to-2 AC adaptor handy; sometimes that works).  Damn them (Simmons) for not putting balanced inputs on this thing... my one complaint!  On the recommendation from my local electronics guru, I have ordered a pair of balancing transformers; I hope that does the trick (and will let you know later).

Anyway, the Simmons DA200S is killer.  My bandmates have all loved it (one guy said it has more "spank" than the Bose L1s, and "felt" more like a drumkit), it looks really unobtrusive, is pretty easy to carry and set up, and it has a tiny footprint.  I love this thing- so much, in fact, that I want another one.  And, my birthday is next month, hint hint... ;)


Thanks for the review Jer. My PA is on its last legs and I'm looking for something more portable. How well do you like it four months on?

Mr. Wayne:
After owning my Zendrum EXP for over 2.5 years and only able to play it through computer speakers and headphones I finally bought an amplifier. It's a Simmons DA200S and I love it. I paid $315.00 at Guitar Center and it sounds great. So if any Zendrumers are looking for an amp, test out one of these.

It's the perfect stage monitor.  For some smaller gigs, it's all the amplification I need.


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