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DNA DNS-410 Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Scatterblak, Oct 23, 2010.


  1. Scatterblak

    Scatterblak

    May 12, 2007
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Endorsing Artist for Low End bass guitars, DNA Amplification
    Hi guys. Thought I’d post my impressions of my new DNA/David Nordschow DNS-410 cab. I’ve been waiting for quite a while for them to come out, and with some strategic phone calls, I’ve got mine in-hand! Mine is part of the first factory run, and I’m posting pics here so you can get a look at what these things are like right out of the gate.

    Let me hit some of the non-audio stuff first.

    I received the cab Thursday, October 21 (or, rather, I went to the Estes loading dock to pick it up, since they wanted to deliver it the next day). The DNS-410 comes in two flavors - 4Ω or 8Ω (You want the 4, unless you’ve got some specific reason why you need 8Ω’s). 1400W RMS, 2800W Peak (Now I have to get a new power amp!). SPL right at 137db. The company page with some computerized renders is here:

    http://dnaamps.com/products/cabinets/.

    The DNS-410 comes (for now) with DNL10XT speakers – I’m hoping for a neodymium version, so I can get the weight down. Still, it’s only 79lbs – not the end of the world (My Eden metro combo weighs more than that). Design is outstanding – seems are tiny and uniform, everything is very solid, and the handles are very stout – not ‘plastic-y’ at all (I’ve no idea what they’re made of). High points (for me) include an embedded RFID tag that you can register with the company (GREATLY helps recover lost gear) and a real two way x-over, as opposed to a simple high-pass circuit. Mine is the rat fur version (which I actually prefer), and the cab was covered and finished *very* cleanly. *Very Solid* is the phrase that springs to mind. The only issue I was with the cab upon unpacking was that the front-loaded tweeter attenuator (Something new from David – Eden stuff had the attenuators on the back) was slightly mis-aligned. More on that below.

    The Audio stuff.

    I’m going to borrow my drummer’s Zoom and record some sound bites; for now, I’ll just tell you about it. After breaking it in for a few hours (Just ran some music at a reasonable volume through it to let the contact surfaces polish, things seat, etc.), I put about 750W program power to it and started beating on it. I played a Low End Jazz 5 into an older Eden metro (that I love love love), and then into the DNS-410. Of course it sounded good – that’s to be expected. The bits that need to be mentioned are these: the attack is unbelievable. If you bang a higher register note (‘E’ on the ‘G’ string, for instance) with any authority, the power and definition coming out of this thing is scary, and it’s absolutely instant – this cab goes from 0 to a million miles per hour just as fast as you can hit the note. Same with the low ‘E’, ‘D’, ‘C’, ‘B’ – the sound just ‘appears’. The lower registers are very well defined, no burpiness at all, and the speakers do a great job preserving the upper mids while the low notes are booming. The volume is amazing – granted, I only have 750W to push (for now) it with, but the SPL is very impressive. One of the disconcerting ‘features’ of the cab is how transparent it is. Some cabs (SVT, Goliath, etc) can color the sound (often in a pleasing, classic way), and can be an integral part of the artist’s signal chain; some cabs seem to strive to offer a flatter, more accurate representation of the sound they’re reproducing. The DNS-410 is *far and away* in the latter category. This is a Good Thing™, for me at least, since I want to reproduce a lot of different tones, but it can be disconcerting; everything you do is faithfully reproduced. If your muting or picking technique needs cleaning up, you’ll know it instantly. If, however, you feel like you’re spot on playing some rising dynamic line with some subtle swells or vibrato, or a fast staccato finger-style run, you’ll be blown away at how crisp and clean it all sounds. And loud. Did I mention loud?

    Customer Service. This section almost started out differently.

    I knew I wanted a DNA 410 cab, way back when before I even knew when they would become available. I was already in the process of finding a local dealer so I could pre-order one when I met Lane Baldwin (Lane on Bass), and was able to get one of the initial run cabs fast-tracked to middle Tennessee. Out of the box, as above, it all looked great, except for the misaligned tweeter attenuator. The knob didn’t *quite* fit perfectly in the recessed collar, and it rubbed the side a little bit when you turned it. This was a little disappointing, but not the end of the world, particularly on a first production run item – I’m an engineer myself, so I was looking for little things like this – seams, alignments, fastening strategies, materials, etc. I sent an email to DNA Thursday night with some pics of the problem. I expected to get something back, some sort of acknowledgement that my email had been received (I mentioned in my email that I’d be happy to keep the cab exactly as it was – as a first factory run, though, I wanted to alert DNA to a potential problem). This morning (Saturday), Lane Baldwin called me about my cab. Then, Lane *drove* down to my house, and took a look at the problem. He called David Nordschow on the phone, and while they were talking, Lane pulled the grill on my amp, and took a look at the tweeter attenuator post and mounting structures. He really spent a lot of time on it, and he and David decided that they’d send me a new grill that David believes will fix the problem (if it’s just a bad grill), and if that doesn’t fix it, they’ll drop ship me a brand new cab. I know, after doing some searches on TalkBass about DNA (looking for reviews before buying) that there’s been some ‘Lane is a prick’ talk, and some ‘DNA is just eminence speakers in a box, it can’t do what they claim’, etc type talk as well. I have to tell you guys: those are just words. I’ve got some pics to post that demonstrate the reality – for a prick, Lane still drove up here and spent 90 minutes looking at my rig and talking to the engineer that designed it before explaining to me that they were going to ‘make it right, whatever it takes’. From my experience, bass gear vendors could stand to have a few more of those pricks around. As far as the naysayers who claim these cabs can’t do what David and DNA can – mine sounds like a stick of dynamite dipped in blowjobs, and I’ve got the p.o’d neighbors to prove it.

    If you’re in the middle Tennessee area and want to check it out, drop me a line, and I’ll be more than happy to let you plug in and take it for a drive. If you’re interested in having a DNA cab of your very own, I’d suggest talking to Brian Barrett at The Low End – he’s just become a dealer, and should have some cabs in-store very soon.

    Flames? Very interested – please send them directly to me at imrealconcerned@yawn.com and I’ll get right back to you.

    Peace, love, etc!

    Back of the cab.
    w1.

    Beside the metro.
    w2.

    Up close. Very clean assembly.
    w3.

    Corners and seams - very clean. Note the handle reinforcement layer over top of the grip.
    w4.

    Handle design - great for two people. Not too bad for one, but I've already got the casters on order. Can you believe that's rat fur (which I prefer)? Very clean finish all over.
    w5.

    Lane Baldwin of DNA Amps. Drove to my house to take a look at my cab, and then told me they'd take care of everything. What a prick. :)
    w6.
     
  2. babebambi

    babebambi

    Jan 7, 2008
    YTZ
    Nice review.

    Can you post some photos of how the tweeter attenuator looks before you fixed the slight mis-alignment.
     
  3. Scatterblak

    Scatterblak

    May 12, 2007
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Endorsing Artist for Low End bass guitars, DNA Amplification
    It looked completely normal -- the knob was rubbing just a bit on the inside of the recessed collar in the grill, that's all. I didn't plan on turning it very often anyway - that's why I told them it didn't matter much, but they're all about fixing it up, so fine by me. :)
     
  4. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Looks beautiful - probably sounds even better.

    I'm still waiting for DNA to secure a Los Angeles dealer so I can hear these things for myself!

    :bassist:
     
  5. ooh can't wait to hear one of these!! Great review!
     
  6. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    "mine sounds like a stick of dynamite dipped in blowjobs, and I’ve got the p.o’d neighbors to prove it"

    I'm laughing my virtual behind of right now. That's a great line!

    I love that the tweeter attenuator is on the front grill where you can actually reach it. Markbass did it on the side and that was good but the front is just awesome, too bad it's such a prominent feature though.
     
  7. Scatterblak

    Scatterblak

    May 12, 2007
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Endorsing Artist for Low End bass guitars, DNA Amplification
    Ok, so I got some sound bytes from the cab. My drummer lent me his Zoom Q3, which does a decent job recording at higher SPL's - I got a print off the Zoom, and used Cubase to convert the print to WMA files. Here are the parameters:

    1. Zoom placed about 8' from front of cab.
    2. SPL peaked around 118 during recording at 10'
    3. Everything set flat - no knobs twiddled away from 12 noon, except on the bass as noted below.
    4. The rig is an Eden Metro, everything set flat, enhance set to 0.
    5. Bass is a LEJ-5 with strings that are broken in, but still have some life in them (I change out about every two weeks).
    6. Everything is one take (what is this, a freakin' album?), so don't feel the need to alert me to any mistakes - I can hear 'em. :)
    7. No VST's or other effects in Cubase - just import and export.

    Here are the three tracks:
    1. http://www.alienetworks.com/artists/sean/media/Goof_1.wma - some chords and pops, and some fingerstyle runs. Bass is set flat across the board, active LEJ pre-amp is enabled.

    2. http://www.alienetworks.com/artists/sean/media/Goof_Bridge.wma -- Some terrible crap in 'B'. Bass has the pup blend rolled back to the bridge, and some of the high mid rolled off.

    3. http://www.alienetworks.com/artists/sean/media/Goof_B.wma -- Bass set flat, some staccato finger runs. Short.

    This cab is sooo transparent; and you can clearly hear how fast the response is - there are so many tiny harmonic overtones that live in the attack that you never get to hear most of the time, and it's all very clear in front of this thing. I can't wait to gig with it this Friday. :)

    Peace, love, etc!
     
  8. nice!
     
  9. hamertek98

    hamertek98

    Apr 3, 2004
    Indiana
    Lane a prick? Hell, I think he's a helpful - standup guy.

    Congrats on the new cab!!!!
     
  10. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Those top corner mounted handles are a deal breaker.
     
  11. BassSlave

    BassSlave

    Mar 2, 2006
    Chicago via Park Forest IL
    Endorsing artist: Sadowsky Basses & Dean Markley Strings
    Ummm...I don't want my dynomite dipped in blowjobs......it might lose its balls!
     
  12. Yeah they force you into carrying the cabs right in the back tweaker position for anyone that has back issues. I have some Nemesis stuff with these handles and it is a design flaw and feels very unnatural carrying these.
     
  13. dose

    dose

    Nov 2, 2008
    Mobile,AL
    Thats what drummers are for
     
  14. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Thanks for a good review. Looking forward to their actual amps.
     
  15. I had a feeling it was going to be my cab as I drove from Milwaukee to Chicago to try one out at the Music Garage - I'm glad I did. After spending many hours trying other cabs, I plugged into this thing and a grin fell on my face like never before. I instantly knew this was "IT". The search was over!

    Our band plays a fast, technical thrash metal. When your speeding through notes fast on the low end things can get lost in muffle. It's mostly the speaker cab that's losing definition. Especially at high SPL. I shouldn't have to sacrifice my sound by cutting lows, tweaking mids and whatever else to compensate for a cab that cant cut it. Not the case with the DNA cabs. I get thundering, smooth, well-defined response with the DNS-410. If you play metal and know what I'm talking about, you should really check these out. There's nothing that compares at this time. It's very fast, accurate, and articulate. It also happens to be the answer to my prayers! haha :)

    Dave is a genius. Whatever the story behind the departure from the "other" company, he's back to making high quality bass gear and I'm glad. I'm a Nordschow nut for a reason. Keep it up Dave! Oh and I can't wait to hear the new DNA head that should be here soon.
     
  16. Neil

    Neil Supporting Member

    The cabs may be the best cabs on the planet I don't dispute that. I just don't see how those top loaded handles make any sense....especially with the 4x10 cabinet being 33" in height. If the handles were on the side I could grab the cab and use the strength of my legs to lift. Can't do that with this bad boy. Just my 2 cents.
     
  17. I don't mean to come across as a pr!ck, but handles?
    Come on guys. This isn't how I choose a piece of sound equipment. Handle location was never in the equation.

    I agree the handles are in a bad position.
    You can work around bad ergonomics, but you can't fix an inferior cab. You just buy the DNS-410 and a dolly! ;)

    BTW- Ever lift an Ampeg SVT-810 on or off stage, and in or out of a van? Even with the handle and wheels, that thing is a beast! TEAM LIFT! :)

    This is my answer until I come up with the money for a cab road case. A blanket, straps, and this....

    http://www.amazon.com/Magna-Cart-Ideal-Hand-Truck/dp/B001HBH1BM/ref=acc_glance_sg_ai_-2_t_3
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Neil

    Neil Supporting Member

    Good point my brother!!! LMAO
     
  19. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    I'm eager to hear one of these with an Aguilar DB750.
     
  20. bassclef04

    bassclef04 Bass and Beyond! Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2006
    Bronx, NY
    anyone using the DNS-410 with the TC RH750?
     

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