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SSL Discontinues X-Rack 4-Input, 8-Input & Master Bus Modules? Other Modular Audio Processors
Old 17th October 2015
  #1
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SSL Discontinues X-Rack 4-Input, 8-Input & Master Bus Modules?

Hey guys,
after selling my Toft ATB-24 for a more compact SSL X-Rack setup, I just learned that SSL has discontinued the 4-Input Module, the 8-Input Module and the Master Bus Modules. I managed to source three (3) 4-Input modules but sadly can't locate a Master module now.

Apparently the NY SSL rep confirmed this. Even my regular Sweetwater guy learned this for the first time.

Anyone heard similar things or have more info?

P.S. I'm still looking for a master module as I now can't seemingly monitor my otherwise full new X-Rack. Help.
Old 18th October 2015
  #2
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Any reaction or news?
Old 19th October 2015
  #3
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thx for this info ... i have one client that has an X-rack (we did the review initially years ago) .. i can talk to him about sellng for you .... but if he sells the MAster he might as well sell the whole Lot .. as it will not be very helpful without it .. could use 500 series at that point ..

i like the x-rack .. 4 line inputs sound like SSL , the 8 input sunning does NOT sound like the 4 in line input module .. the 8 is bland .. the 4 has magic ..

cheers john
Old 21st October 2015
  #4
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Ghost Logic's Avatar
 

This doesn't shock me, the X-Rack stuff is built like a tank / premium SSL gear and has a price tag to go with it, I think the market for their highest end gear has always been pretty small. I'm still loving my X-Rack mixer system!
Old 22nd October 2015
  #5
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The stuff really does seem built like a brick 5h!+ house. Very solid.

And totally happy to discover that after a few promising leads that didn't actually pan out, I finally secured one of the last new XR622 Master modules from Sweetwater. Also confirmed with SSL support that they indeed discontinued the units, but will be supporting them for "a long time". SSL apparently has a number of B-Stock units left for anyone interested too.
Old 22nd October 2015
  #6
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deuc647's Avatar
 

This is how i felt when i was gonna buy a tonelux frame that held all those v racks
Old 11th January 2016
  #7
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This is really weird . . .
Just got an X-desk and wanted to expand it with a Panda - these are not available anymore - and I can't find one on Ebay or Marktplaats yet (the local Dutch Ebay) - then I thought, let's have a look a an X-Rack with two 4 channel input modules - and now I find out these are not available either anymore . . .
An alternative might now be the Rupert Neve 5059 . . . ? Although then, I miss the solo functions and such.
What is SSL doing ? A lot invested into a more modular Lego kind of approach, and now letting go of that idea . . . ?
Marc
Old 11th January 2016
  #8
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inid View Post
This is really weird . . .
Just got an X-desk and wanted to expand it with a Panda - these are not available anymore - and I can't find one on Ebay or Marktplaats yet (the local Dutch Ebay) - then I thought, let's have a look a an X-Rack with two 4 channel input modules - and now I find out these are not available either anymore . . .
An alternative might now be the Rupert Neve 5059 . . . ? Although then, I miss the solo functions and such.
What is SSL doing ? A lot invested into a more modular Lego kind of approach, and now letting go of that idea . . . ?
Marc
The writing was on the wall a while ago. After they came out with the stereo versions of the whiteface EQ and Channel comp, a lot of people were hoping for stereo versions of the 4k blackface ones but they never came.

SSL was kind of silent for a while with X rack. I had money to invest in it at the time - actually I had set aside like $10,000 to invest in a full x-rack system but my spidey senses were tingling.

People kept asking for filter modules and SSL just ignored us.

I held on to my money feeling like I should be wary of any company who doesn't listen to their customers. Besides most people weren't that interested in SSL pres, even though they are good, and the fact that SSL refused to release a separate filters module made a lot of people feel like SSL was doing it on purpose and making filters only available on their pres so that they could use people's need for filters a reason to force people to buy their pres.

I wanted to invest in X-rack just because it was such great technology, and far superior to 500 series.

Then SSL started releasing 500 series modules which should have been the biggest red flag on the planet.

The nail in the coffin was when SSL revised the 500 series bus comp but ignored their own X-rack bus comp.

People asked when SSL was going to revise the X-rack bus comp. But there was no answer. People realized that there was a reason there was so much silence the past year or two from SSL on x-rack - it was being abandoned.

People posted here asking and Jim from SSL came here using very, very carefully picked language about how SSL will continue to support X-rack into the future.

Of course he meant support as in repair, not support as in continue to develop technology for. Some of us aren't as stupid as SSL would like to treat us as.

I was thankful I never invested in technology that even SSL stopped believing in.

I still think X-rack is superior to the 500 series. I would have had no problem having a compete X-rack system and not the hodge-podge of stuff that 500 series leads to.

In the end, I mourn the loss of X-rack. It had a ton of potential but it didn't catch on.
Old 11th January 2016
  #9
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Stimmt's Avatar
 

The way you archived every step, like you are some kind of conspiracy journalist. I say DOWN with Freemason controlled SSL!!! ... just kidding hihi
Old 11th January 2016
  #10
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i suspect SSL stopped making the X-Rack mixer modules because nobody was buying them--there's really no buzz around them and they are very expensive compared to other options (like the X-Desk and the Sigma). It seems like SSL sells enough of the other X-Rack modules to keep making them but perhaps not enough to spend money on R&D for new modules...
Old 14th January 2016
  #11
Solid State Logic
 
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FWIW X-Rack sales did quite well last year.

It is fair and true to say that we've had a bit of a prune on the product range. Since the launch of Sigma the sales of the X-Rack summing modules dropped through the floor and due to lower build quantities we would not be able to sell them at a sensible price. So we dicided to stop producing them. If you'd like a rack-mounted SSL summing system then we still have one of those in the range - just not modular. However it does do automation and is cheaper than a similarly-channelled X-Rack summing system. That's not a bad offer.

No, we haven't released many new modules for X-Rack in the last 3 years. Once we had "9000-style" mic pre, eq and dyn, "4000-style" mic pre, eq and dyn, and then the Bus Comp on top of that isn't that kind of any flavour SSL you might want to have in a modular format? Stereo EQ and Dyn for the X-Rack were essentially "freebies" from when we prototyped the AWS948, and there is no sinister reason why we don't make stereo 4000-series modules; we are not convinced that there is sufficient demand to make it worth our while to make them (when we could spend our time developing something that we know would sell more). This is simple opportunity cost and something all businesses have to make choices upon.

Yes, we have released some 500-series modules in the last 3 years. This has been particularly popular in the US and while we can do 4000-series in a 500-series chassis it is looking incredibly unlikely that the 9000-series stuff will ever live in the format. If you want that then X-Rack is your only option.

X-Rack isn't dead. It is however a platform that isn't going to match Ionian's regularly-voiced requirements. Sorry Ionain.

However, if you have one of the many many thousand X-Rack modules we've made, thank you very much :-)
Old 14th January 2016
  #12
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ionian's Avatar
One of these days, Jim...I might still take the plunge! Ha ha

It world's be nice to see you guys update the bus compressor though...and it would be cool if there was a retrofit to update the memory in the x rack so there's more than 32 slots.

But yeah...One of these days I might find myself with a spare $10k again and you never know! I still think it's a far superior system to 500 series.

I did own the 9k pre and a channel compressor at one time in a mynx and I thought the compressor was great on vocals and really good on bass.
Old 15th January 2016
  #13
after buying a fantastic aws 900+, now I'm selling an xr 622 master module... (located in Italy and possibly shipping to europe)
let me know....
Old 15th January 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sticazzi75 View Post
after buying a fantastic aws 900+, now I'm selling an xr 622 master module... (located in Italy and possibly shipping to europe)
let me know....
How did the X-Rack summing compare to the summing on your AWS? Have you been able to form an impression?
Old 15th January 2016
  #15
with many channels projects it is a very beast!!!!! (I had 16 inputs=4+4+8) with only 2, sincerely, not much difference.....
Old 15th January 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sticazzi75 View Post
with many channels projects it is a very beast!!!!! (I had 16 inputs=4+4+8) with only 2, sincerely, not much difference.....
Yes its a great mixer to be sure (I have one too!)--but what I was asking was how does the summing on the X-Rack mixer, in your experience, compare to the summing on the AWS itself, assuming you are using many channels of summing (SSL has stated that it is identical but I don't have an AWS to make a comparison!).
Old 15th January 2016
  #17
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Will SSL ever open up the x-rack to other manufacturers? That would solve some problems and perhaps revitalize the format.
Old 15th January 2016
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Logic View Post
Yes its a great mixer to be sure (I have one too!)--but what I was asking was how does the summing on the X-Rack mixer, in your experience, compare to the summing on the AWS itself, assuming you are using many channels of summing (SSL has stated that it is identical but I don't have an AWS to make a comparison!).
I sold the X rack module some months before I took the aws, however my impression is that on aws all Material sound much Solid and deeper....I didn't do a scientifical experiment because in the new mixes on aws I used a lot of eq and several hardware compressors....
Old 17th January 2016
  #19
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ARIEL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Will SSL ever open up the x-rack to other manufacturers? That would solve some problems and perhaps revitalize the format.
I am sure any other manufacturers could analyze the pinout structure on the cards and make their brand to fit them. But I think the 500 series has most of them stretched trying to fullfill all formats. But it would be good to see.
Old 29th January 2016
  #20
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NUVMUSIC's Avatar
 

The King ain't dead.... Long live the King!

Does this mean this little beauty will go up in re-sale value? I can tell you there isn't anything out there that comes conceptually close, at its price point, for what it does and offers.

Cheers Jim, I'll be holding on to mine for now!
Attached Thumbnails
SSL Discontinues X-Rack 4-Input, 8-Input & Master Bus Modules?-ssl.jpg  

Last edited by NUVMUSIC; 30th January 2016 at 12:08 AM..
Old 29th January 2016
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
there is no sinister reason why we don't make stereo 4000-series modules; we are not convinced that there is sufficient demand to make it worth our while to make them (when we could spend our time developing something that we know would sell more).


With all due respect how can that be? People constantly ask all around for it. If every other company makes reboots of their legendary products and seem to keep them going for a while, considering the SSL desk was the single most "marquee" mixing tool ever developed in audio history, how would a 4000 channel strip module not sell? With tons of of people going more hybrid and ditching big desks, surely there is high demand for what people really wanted from the thing in the first place which was the sound of the channel strip on a mix the eq, filters, dynamics etc. Basically, a 19" rack-mount mono channel strip with the line amp, eq w/ filters, dynamics... assuming it sounds great, that's money right there. And just to be greedy and expand my imagination some sort of easy recall, perhaps usb or something based to make it easier.... People would take out loans or sell their souls to buy multiple units...


Can we take some sort of vote or petition to prove that there is very high demand for it? "It" being the core component of the most popular product SSL has ever made that made it one of the companies whose names will go into the proverbial Mt.Rushmore of audio companies?
Old 30th January 2016
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramism View Post
With all due respect how can that be? People constantly ask all around for it. If every other company makes reboots of their legendary products and seem to keep them going for a while, considering the SSL desk was the single most "marquee" mixing tool ever developed in audio history, how would a 4000 channel strip module not sell? With tons of of people going more hybrid and ditching big desks, surely there is high demand for what people really wanted from the thing in the first place which was the sound of the channel strip on a mix the eq, filters, dynamics etc. Basically, a 19" rack-mount mono channel strip with the line amp, eq w/ filters, dynamics... assuming it sounds great, that's money right there. And just to be greedy and expand my imagination some sort of easy recall, perhaps usb or something based to make it easier.... People would take out loans or sell their souls to buy multiple units...


Can we take some sort of vote or petition to prove that there is very high demand for it? "It" being the core component of the most popular product SSL has ever made that made it one of the companies whose names will go into the proverbial Mt.Rushmore of audio companies?
The product you are asking SSL to make was called the E Signature channel, which was discontinued a few years ago presumably for lack of sales... you can still find them used (I think I saw a few in the classifieds here not long ago).
Attached Thumbnails
SSL Discontinues X-Rack 4-Input, 8-Input & Master Bus Modules?-image.jpeg  
Old 30th January 2016
  #23
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Originally Posted by Ghost Logic View Post
The product you are asking SSL to make was called the E Signature channel, which was discontinued a few years ago presumably for lack of sales... you can still find them used (I think I saw a few in the classifieds here not long ago).
I concur.
Old 30th January 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Logic View Post
The product you are asking SSL to make was called the E Signature channel, which was discontinued a few years ago presumably for lack of sales... you can still find them used (I think I saw a few in the classifieds here not long ago).
ok fair enough but in a dream world, something dedicated for mixing (not too many people care for the mic pres let's be honest) with emphasis on line level processing (basically in a mix) and recall ability would be great.
Old 30th January 2016
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramism View Post
ok fair enough but in a dream world, something dedicated for mixing (not too many people care for the mic pres let's be honest) with emphasis on line level processing (basically in a mix) and recall ability would be great.
Just grab an xrack and fill it with some black eqs and compressors--that is pretty much what you are looking for and it comes with total recall. The only issue is if you want the filters you would have to also get the vhd module which does come with a preamp. Basically do this but all black modules:
Attached Thumbnails
SSL Discontinues X-Rack 4-Input, 8-Input & Master Bus Modules?-image.jpg  
Old 30th January 2016
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Logic View Post
Just grab an xrack and fill it with some black eqs and compressors--that is pretty much what you are looking for and it comes with total recall. The only issue is if you want the filters you would have to also get the vhd module which does come with a preamp. Basically do this but all black modules:
yes I know but that is not very practical esp with the filters. I have thought about it before but in order to get one strip you need 3 modules basically...

To me the eq and compressor without the filters is pointless because it's the combination of those 3 that really gets it to be fun
Old 2nd February 2016
  #27
Solid State Logic
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramism View Post
With all due respect how can that be?
Well, with all due respect () people who buy gear can be a fickle bunch. We do our best to cover all bases but resign ourselves to the fact we'll never be able to cover absolutely all of them.

FWIW the E Series Signature strip cost about £2k, so 8 of them would actually have added up to more than 3 X-Racks loaded as you describe by about 33%.
Old 2nd February 2016
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Logic View Post
Just grab an xrack and fill it with some black eqs and compressors--that is pretty much what you are looking for and it comes with total recall. The only issue is if you want the filters you would have to also get the vhd module which does come with a preamp. Basically do this but all black modules:
I find the lack of filters on the Eq's are a dealbreaker. Such a shame they didn't include those...
Old 12th March 2016
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
thx for this info ... i have one client that has an X-rack (we did the review initially years ago) .. i can talk to him about sellng for you .... but if he sells the MAster he might as well sell the whole Lot .. as it will not be very helpful without it .. could use 500 series at that point ..

i like the x-rack .. 4 line inputs sound like SSL , the 8 input sunning does NOT sound like the 4 in line input module .. the 8 is bland .. the 4 has magic ..

cheers john
I have both the 4 input module and an 8 input module. They sound identical.
Old 18th March 2016
  #30
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbackdoor View Post
I have both the 4 input module and an 8 input module. They sound identical.
Really ?! I thought the 8 was "flatter" while the 4 had more "real" SSL Mojo ?
Maybe I'm biased ...
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