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Author Topic: Simmons DA200S  (Read 3489 times)

Zendrumdude

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Simmons DA200S
« on: May 13, 2010, 09:04:52 pm »

Well, I've only had an hour on it... but so far it seems pretty darn good.  The EQ controls, with which I will include the sub volume control, are very musical and the freq's are well suited for e-drums.  I like the way the knobs feel (they are large and rubbery, and have an indentation so you can adjust them with a drumstick).  Even with a high volume setting, noise is very low.  The thing is heavy, but seems quite solidly built.  The handle is kinda strange, but I will get used to it (or add something else.)  The carpet seems a little wimpy, but time will tell.

I don't care for 2 things about the input section: that the inputs are unbalanced, and that the second stereo pair (aux) are on a 1/4" stereo jack (I would have preferred a second L/R pair).  There's also an 1/8" in for iPod and 1/8" out for phones (I would have preferred 1/4" phones, but that's nitpicky.)

Now, for the important part: it sounds really good.  For the money it costs, it sounds really REALLY good.  It gets pretty loud before the sound starts to deteriorate (not scary loud, but quite respectable, especially considering its footprint) and I didn't hear any distortion of any kind, other than the harsher tone character that started to appear at the extremes of volume.  The sub control is very good.  Straight up (which I assume is "flat") sounds like you'd expect an amp this size to sound... but at about 2 o'clock it starts to thump, and at 3 or 3:30 it's downright fat.  Or did I mean phat???   ;)

Overall, I am very very pleased with this purchase.  No, it doesn't sound as good as my Bose L1's... but we're talking many times the cost for those units.  For the cash, I can't imagine better.  I will post again soon after I have had this unit out on a couple small gigs, which is the reason I bought this amp in the first place.

Jer
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THUMPER

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Re: Simmons DA200S
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 09:09:09 am »

I also have been searching for a smaller rig especially for these small coffee houses and have been using a Mackie 350 with a Alesis EQ. Its not perfect but sounds pretty good for these small rooms plus it is a little easier load in.  I also and use my  1 Bose Model II with a T1 and 2 subs which you might consider since you are already used to the set and carry in. One Bose sets up pretty fast all things considered . I take the mono out of the TD-20 module for either setup but the EQ on the T1 is really amazing and the people out front just hear the drums and do not really care in my opinion about having stereo sound from the drums. Can I have more COWBELL in the mix? Thumper
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Thumper

THUMPER

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Re: Simmons DA200S
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 09:16:08 am »

Zendrumdude I have tried the packlite/2 Bose subs with my Mackie 350 and it sounds a little fuller I do not think that it will give you the thump that we are looking for. Maybe I am hooking it up all wrong but I am trying to get smaller and sound good to my ears so I keep searching Thumper
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Thumper

Zendrumdude

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Re: Simmons DA200S
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 09:34:48 am »

I also and use my  1 Bose Model II with a T1 and 2 subs which you might consider since you are already used to the set and carry in. One Bose sets up pretty fast all things considered .

Yeah, I do this all the time... it's my most common "gig rig" currently.  (I have the Model 1's and no T1 though.)  I like the idea of the Simmons as a 1-unit solution, rather than the 5 pcs. of the Bose setup (2 poles, base, 2 subs) if it can handle the gig.  Plus it's a lot smaller on "stage" too ("stage" here really meaning no stage at all, and super-cramped quarters for the band!)

I agree, the people who would even notice a streo signal are few and far between... but if the gig can handle it, I like it for ME.  I can tell the difference and I love it!  But frankly I have been playing some pretty small gigs lately.  Shoot.  It's strange, but even though the Simmons speaker pairs are only like 10" apart, if you're listening dead-on, you CAN hear the stereo separation.  It's pretty cool!

Jer
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Tom Roady

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Re: Simmons DA200S
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 05:54:43 pm »

Man I just checked it out at the GC online....it looks like a great solution for small solo zendrum gigs and small places.....and the low end sounds great? that would be really nice...the KC500s I have have wheels but they still weigh over 80lbs each....very interesting zendrumdude
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Zendrumdude

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Re: Simmons DA200S
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 07:12:15 pm »

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...

Jer
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Zendrumdude

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Re: Simmons DA200S
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 08:49:53 am »

UPDATE:

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... ;)

Jer
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brip

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Re: Simmons DA200S
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2011, 06:13:33 pm »

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?
-Brian
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