Help me choose between SSL preamp variants from linkaudiodesign.de

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oldskool1

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I don’t have a lot of experience with SSL gear and I like some opinions from more seasoned engineers on which SSL preamp variants to buy (from linkaudiodesign.de). I am building a recording rig with 8 CAPI VP28, 4 OV560, 4 Helios preamps and 4 SSL preamps.

The Link Audio site has so many SSL preamps and that makes it difficult to choose because of my lack of experience with them. I like the grainy, driven sound of Pearl Jam vs., and I know it’s recorded on an SSL. Is the SL4K-E01 (with the transformer) the best option for this type of rock sound, and the best complement to the other preamps?

My idea is to put all of this in a rolling rack with Dante enabled A/D converter that I can roll from room to room and to other locations, so that I can track a band with just this and a laptop.
 

Whoops

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I like the grainy, driven sound of Pearl Jam vs., and I know it’s recorded on an SSL. Is the SL4K-E01 (with the transformer) the best option for this type of rock sound, and the best complement to the other preamps?

impossible to know how much of that Grainy/Driven sound is due to the mic preamps used.
Most definitely is from the bands sound, production decisions, mixing , etc

sometimes I receive very clean rock recordings to mix, and I dirty things up a lot in mixing, in the end it’s impossible for a listener to know in which phase were things crunched up.

Also even if the studio had an SSL console that doesn’t mean that it’s Mic pres were used, as a lot of outboard mic preamps might be used also.
I produced a record in Abbey Road Studio 3 which has a 72 Channels SSL 9000 console, but I didn’t use any of the console channels, I used 20 outboard Neve preamps and 16 EMI TG channels, so you never know what might be used.

saying this, the SSL 9K is a very Clean and big sounding preamp, sounds definitely different than the different 4K preamps, so although very good it’s not what you re looking after.
I worked with a 4K G series and the preamp was definitely Grainy and I loved its saturation/distortion sound, but it’s more Fuzz than Overdrive.

if you really want the VS preamps for confidence, just try to find which SSL console was used in “The Site” back then.
Otherwise just do some of the different 4K versions and decide
 
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oldskool1

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Otherwise just do some of the different 4K versions and decide
Ok all that makes sense. Thanks for the in depth insightful response Whoops. I'm going to start with two SL4K-E01's and two SL4K-E49's, and pair them with two brown and two black eqs and see where that takes me.
 

FarisElek

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Related but kind of unrelated. Anyone know what SSL pre's were used on Roxy Music's Avalon? Can't get enough of the sound of that album right now.
 

groselicain

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Related but kind of unrelated. Anyone know what SSL pre's were used on Roxy Music's Avalon? Can't get enough of the sound of that album right now.
It depends. That record was spread across multiple rooms. Compass Point would've still had an MCI at the time, and Power Station had an 80 series Neve in studio A. Studios B and C had SSL 6000s in them, but there's no way of knowing which room Roxy was in without someone finding the Power Station's date book or asking Bryan Ferry. So I understand you having difficulty verifying the SSL connection—it's not immediately obvious about tracking. That record was definitely mixed by Clearmountain on SSL, though.

As an aside, I'm sorry for Whoops. I wish I could say he's not always that antagonistic, but... well, he is.
 

Whoops

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As an aside, I'm sorry for Whoops. I wish I could say he's not always that antagonistic, but... well, he is.

I tried as always to be as helpfull as I could to oldskoll1 questions and help him out.
I also directed FarisElek to google which is the place the info he was looking for could be presented.
So I was correct, google gave you those answers!

I don't know you as you are not a contributing member around this community, and you don't know me personally also so I dont know what your beef is.

The only thing I'm an antagonist is to personal attacks in this forum, and although you didnt contribute much to this forum in 12 years since your join date, you still decided to come here and do a personal attack to a fellow member which is also against the forum rules.
So you demonstrated that you not only are pretty good in searching in Google for other people but also you lack respect for other members and for the clear forum rules.

Maybe one day you will contribute anything at all to this forum and community, which will be a positive thing.
Until then you are just a disrespectful person that doesn't contribute anything at all.

Peace Dude
 

groselicain

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I tried as always to be as helpfull as I could to oldskoll1 questions and help him out.
I also directed FarisElek to google which is the place the info he was looking for could be presented.
So I was correct, google gave you those answers!

I don't know you as you are not a contributing member around this community, and you don't know me personally also so I dont know what your beef is.

The only thing I'm an antagonist is to personal attacks in this forum, and although you didnt contribute much to this forum in 12 years since your join date, you still decided to come here and do a personal attack to a fellow member which is also against the forum rules.
So you demonstrated that you not only are pretty good in searching in Google for other people but also you lack respect for other members and for the clear forum rules.

Maybe one day you will contribute anything at all to this forum and community, which will be a positive thing.
Until then you are just a disrespectful person that doesn't contribute anything at all.

Peace Dude
You actually do know me. You got me involved in a terrible deal with Michael Holman years ago and then had the audacity to send me a really disrespectful email afterward because you felt I should've thanked you.

If your memory was as strong as your sense of self-importance, you'd have known that.
 

Whoops

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Hi mate,
I really don’t know who Michael Holden is…
You can please remind me by pm, as it just might be a confusion that doesn’t relate to me at all, but whatever it is, its definitely not related to this thread so There’s no reason for you to disrespect the forum rules and disrespect me in doing a Personal Attack.

like I said,
Peace Dude
 

groselicain

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Hi mate,
I really don’t know who Michael Holden is…
You can please remind me by pm, as it just might be a confusion that doesn’t relate to me at all, but whatever it is, its definitely not related to this thread so There’s no reason for you to disrespect the forum rules and disrespect me in doing a Personal Attack.

like I said,
Peace Dude
You know exactly who Michael Holman is. You were the one who emailed me his contact info. You can pretend to not know him, but you can't pretend our emails don't exist. You made it personal, so I could only respond in kind.

I have the utmost respect for the forum rules. I've just grown tired of the way you speak so disrespectfully to others here. If you don't like being described as antagonistic, then stop behaving that way. If you didn't have any intention of helping @FarisElek you didn't have to post snide replies. You can always just ignore the thread and move along.
 

Ricardus

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I like the grainy, driven sound of Pearl Jam vs., and I know it’s recorded on an SSL. Is the SL4K-E01 (with the transformer) the best option for this type of rock sound, and the best complement to the other preamps?
I am not certain, but analog tape was probably involved with that sound as well.
 

Whoops

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You know exactly who Michael Holman is. You were the one who emailed me his contact info. You can pretend to not know him, but you can't pretend our emails don't exist. You made it personal, so I could only respond in kind.

I have the utmost respect for the forum rules. I've just grown tired of the way you speak so disrespectfully to others here. If you don't like being described as antagonistic, then stop behaving that way. If you didn't have any intention of helping @FarisElek you didn't have to post snide replies. You can always just ignore the thread and move along.

As I said before,
I have no ideia who Michael Holman is...
And any confusion about that could be solved by PM message instead of disrespecting other forum members in this thread.

I'm an active contributor to this forum and I help a lot of people out, you are not, you don't contribute anything at all but decide to come here once in a year just to be disrespectful, I dont see anything positive about your behaviour.

If you have any issues to clear out and solve I will gladly do that by PM message.

Until then,
Peace Dude
 

Whoops

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I am not certain, but analog tape was probably involved with that sound as well.

You are completely right,
or it could be just the use of Sansamp, or mixing in an Otari console...

There's lot of steps in sound production to the final released record could be a lot of different things.

But as a previous user of an SSL 4K G series console I would subjectively call it's sound grainy and probably the SSL 4K E series are grainy also.
The SSL 9K is definitely not grainy, it's very clean and huge.
 

kags

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I am not certain, but analog tape was probably involved with that sound as well.
I was a fly on the wall for some Pearl Jam sessions and Brendan O'Brien worked really hard to setup the gear and mics to avoid EQ as much as possible. That's how I remember it, but he may have some insight in ancient interviews. I remember he would setup multiple mics on guitar amps and pan those channels to create separation and contrast between sections rather than use the desk processing to carve the sound. It left a big impression on the way I record—especially songs that I record and mix.

I sit in front of an SSL 4K G+ (with 2 flavors of E and some G EQs) and a 9000J and sometimes a Duality. I generally avoid the EQ on the G+, but love the EQ on the J. The Duality is okay, but the gain structure of the console leaves a lot to be desired. I don't really find much difference in the dynamics sections of the boards - at least with my processing methods, which are not minimal, but not extreme. The most obvious difference to me between older SSLs and the J/Ks is the low-end extension and overall soundstage. You almost have to really process sounds on a G to get the separation and definition that the Lord Alges and Clearmountain achieve. The J is much more effortless and most mixers were happy to jump to the J when it became available.

I think the "grainy" sound of the early 90's albums was a combination of the SSL preamps (mostly G or G+), Tape (rock used mostly Ampex 456 at that point), and a lot of analog processing and analog mastering. All the E and G EQs could get "spitty" or "grainy" with a lot of boost (especially HF).

A quick note - I demoed the SSL Fusion processor for a few weeks and I found its EQ section to "grainy," and felt it was not clean enough to be called a mastering processor. The HF limiter and stereo imager were useful, but the EQ, drive, and transformer saturation were pretty weak. I would say the Fusion is more of a G sound than J/K.

YMMV
 

JohnRoberts

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come on kids play nice...

If you have a personal problem use a PM.

Making public accusations raises the visibility (and heat) of conflicts, and degrades the S/N for the rest of us.

JR
 
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