DNA DNS-112C Review
David Nordschow, founder of Eden Electronics, left Eden about five years back and started a new company: DNA (David Nordschow Amplification). I have been a satisfied user of Eden gear for many years, so when the opportunity came up to review one of David’s new products, I jumped at the chance.
The DNS-112C is a compact speaker cabinet that contains a custom designed 12 inch ceramic magnet bass driver for the lows and a neodymium compression tweeter for the highs. The cabinet is constructed from void-free plywood and is covered in an industrial grade black colored carpet with metal guards protecting the corners. The cabinet sports a massive four inch circular port that is reportedly designed to maximize air flow, thereby reducing the “chuffing” that is sometimes present in other port designs. The drivers and port are protected by a metal speaker grill. The attenuator for the tweeter is mounted on the front upper right corner of the speaker grill, which allows the user to use the attenuator on-the-fly just like an additional tone control. Dual, heavy duty handles are inset into the top edges of the cabinet – which make this cabinet much easier to transport. There are two Speakon connectors located on the back panel and four large rubber feet on the bottom to keep the cabinet safely away from any spilled beer or other liquid refreshments.
An Innovative Security Blanket
All DNA products are equipped with a SNAGG microchip – this is an RFID microchip (radio frequency identification device). If your gear is ever stolen and recovered by the police or a pawn shop, you can be identified as the lawful owner when the chip is scanned. For more information on this device go to : SNAGG
I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much bigger this cabinet sounds than the outer dimensions would suggest. I started out with my Fender Precision bass and found that the cabinet provided an impressive amount of heft and punch. The DNS-112 could produce a significant amount of usable volume while still sounding very pleasing and musical. I decided to up the ante and plugged in my Ernie Ball StingRay 5 to really test this cabinet out. The low-end extension of the cabinet was tight and controlled even with the low B. The high’s were present and well articulated without sounding harsh when popping and snapping the strings. Later on, I discussed the musicality of the high end response of this cabinet with David Nordschow and he explained that he uses a Phenolic diaphragm in the tweeter just for this purpose. Apparently this design more gently rolls off the high end which avoids the metallic sound that can occur with other high frequency drivers, thereby reducing ear fatigue.
These cabinets came just in time for my last gig of the year, so I loaded them up in the van and headed off to Sacramento. The first thing I have to comment on is all the extra room I had in the van. I normally haul around an Ampeg 810 Fridge – I am competing for sonic space with three electric guitars, a live drummer, a keyboard and four vocals ( at least, that is my excuse). It was the easiest load in I have had in quite a while. Old Sacramento is paved in cobble and the store fronts are all lined with a rustic boardwalk. Wrestling the fridge through all of this was quite the task. On this occasion, I just simply carried each box in one at a time… with a huge smile on my face.
We were playing a mixture of classic rock mixed in with some country and a little bit of blues. The bass sound for the evening definitely leans toward a bigger, rounder sound with just a little bit of edge for the more rocking tunes. I only bring P Basses to these gigs to help me stay true : ).
For this gig, I used an Eden WTDI pedal running into the power amp section of a Trace Elliot stereo bass amplifier. I set the controls on the Eden flat with just a tiny bit of “Enhance” to smooth things out a touch. The two 12 inch speakers were more that up to the task of providing all that was needed for the evening. The amount of bass that comes out of these small cabinets is impressive, but the real attribute that stood out to me is how these cabinets project their sound in such a tight manner. On songs like “Wild Nights” by Van Morrison, I use my index finger like a pick to add an upper “click” to the signature riff that plays throughout much of the song – these cabinets readily reproduced this nuance. On other heavier tunes like ZZ Top, I play nearer the neck to emphasize the lower frequencies and the cabinets responded perfectly by laying down a nice pounding tone with no hint of breakup or unwanted, unpleasant sounds – in layman’s terms: these cabinets didn’t fart-out all night. In short, these cabinets sound great, go loud and are easy to transport. These boxes have a street price of $699.00. For more information go to: DNA – David Nordschow Amplification
I would like to give a shout out to my favorite local music store, Watermelon Music in Davis – and in particular the owner, Jeff. When I received these speakers for review, I didn’t own the appropriate Speakon connectors. Jeff provided me with the loan of two Speakon to quarter inch adaptors free of charge to use during this review. Support your local music stores!