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SSL, which would YOU pefer... solid SSL 4000 or a new AWS900?
View Poll Results: which would YOU prefer...
solid SSL 4000 G & E series
140 Votes - 53.44%
AWS 9000
85 Votes - 32.44%
Neither...
13 Votes - 4.96%
ITB
24 Votes - 9.16%
Voters: 262. You may not vote on this poll

Old 5th May 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

SSL, which would YOU pefer... solid SSL 4000 or a new AWS900?

Sound, functionality, end product, features....also given what you already have.

And why, please?

Curious.

-a
Old 5th May 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jindrich's Avatar
 

I spent some time lately with an AWS900+, and I have to say that the desk is just awesome. Well, it could be cheaper, or include 8 more channels at this price (SSL are you listening? ), but the board is great, with a great layout and sounds expensive.

I dont care much for the lack of compressors per channel, you can always add an X-RACK later if you like the SSL comps (same for additonal inputs). I wish it had more SIMULTANEOUS aux sends though, and the screen was bigger and had a matrix of 4x4 soft knobs to control DAWs plugins and the like.. did I mention i wish it had 32 channels?


In all, it all depends on the kind of clients you may have. For a typical commercial studio, a 4k gives clients the confidence of booking the *real thing*. It looks impressive and sounds great, has a million features in routing etc etc. But this comes at a price.
The AWS900+ has total recall and moving faders, which many older 4k dont (and dont think about retrofitting it), and it's a NEW product, and the way they are manufactured means zero maintenance bills, whereas an older 4k will need antyhing from *some care* to *drive you nuts*. They are getting old and soon will be difficult and expensive to fix (RoHS, parts supply..).



Besides, there's the electrical bill and air conditionning thing. On this alone, these days, I'd get an AWS instead of a 4k. Take it wherever you want it to, plug it to the wall, and you're set up an running.
Old 5th May 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
reid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
Besides, there's the electrical bill and air conditionning thing. On this alone, these days, I'd get an AWS instead of a 4k. Take it wherever you want it to, plug it to the wall, and you're set up an running.
Got it in one.

That and the functionality - I'll take the AWS thank you very much.
Old 5th May 2007
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Greg Dubuis's Avatar
 

Hello,

Definitly a good old 4000 E/G!!!!

Better sound and definitly much, much more solid...

One friend of mine have already change the whole AWS900 because the desk had too much problem.
One other have 10 channels out of order.

The AWS900 is overpriced.

The power supply is inside the unit!!!
All the console is assembled with Surface Mount Components.

So for me no discussion possible.

Best regards.
Greg
Old 5th May 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
AWS900. I prefer to sit between the monitors in the sweet spot and not have to move to make adjustments. They may look impressive to clients but I really don't like working on console were there is a bus service running from one end to the other (no pun intended!) heh The AWS900 is a bit over priced though
Old 5th May 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 

AWS900.

SSL4000 is great but it's way too old... maintenience is a PITA as is its power bill / separate machine room for it, etc. After years of using one, I bought an SSL AWS900 and it's been more than great for me.

BTW, your poll says 'AWS9000'...
Old 5th May 2007
  #7
My first choice would be the 4000/9000 if i had the space, HVAC, tech support, needed the routings,inputs,small fader and i owned the location where i am using it.

The AWS900/Duality would be my choice if i didn't have the space, not ideal HVAC setup, tech support wasn't as crucial, could live with less functions,less inputs,scarificed the small fader and i was in a monthly rental space.

On the electric bill issue the way i see it is right now without an SSL i am paying an average of $1100 a month for electric. So if i go up to a $2K monthly electric bill i am screwed no matter what.
Old 5th May 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
radu.ionescu's Avatar
 

it all depends how you wanna work; if you do extensive Pro Tools automations or any other kind of software control, surround monitoring, inside PT dynamics and FX, then the AWS is for you.

Get the 4000 if you do most of your treatements outside the box (on the board); compression, gating, FX..if you want that "expensive ultra professional" looking room :-)
Old 5th May 2007
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
My first choice would be the 4000/9000 if i had the space, HVAC, tech support, needed the routings,inputs,small fader and i owned the location where i am using it.

The AWS900/Duality would be my choice if i didn't have the space, not ideal HVAC setup, tech support wasn't as crucial, could live with less functions,less inputs,scarificed the small fader and i was in a monthly rental space.
Now I can talk about this , The Duality is not in the same leage of the AWS900 by any means, the console is big enough to fill a big control room (like mine). I also had to upgrade my air condition beacause this beast produce a lot of heat!
The ruting posibilities are superior, not to mention the gates-compressor per channel.

Btw, did I mentioned that the Duality costs almost 3 times more than AWS?

Said that, the sound of AWS is awsome, I'm buying one for my home studio.

I was very close to get a beautiful 4K g plus but I finished opting for a Duality for many reasons, incluided the sound.
Best regards.
delcosmos.
Old 6th May 2007
  #10
theother
Guest
Total different animals.

The SSL E/G have 'that' typical SSL signature sound that we know and that I personally like.

The AWS on the other side is a modern desk with less maintenance, small footprint, not much A/C required and has a very open sound.

It's really difficult to compare these two. Go and listen to them, best do a mix. Book a studio for a day, etc.

Then you will know what suits your taste.

There is no clear-cut answer for your questions. They are both excellent desks and both very different from each other.
Old 6th May 2007
  #11
Gear Addict
 
MX582's Avatar
 

im in no position to buy either right now but i wish SSL would make the AWS 900 expandable..i get to 24 tracks so fast its not even funny..and i dont really like consolidating tracks together
Old 6th May 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
indie's Avatar
 

Here's a question for those who have spent a decent amount of time on the AWS900.
I see that the sound is described as open -- if this is the case, why not get a new Neotek Elite? Do you guys think they are in the same class...regardless of price?
Old 7th May 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
nlc201's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post
Here's a question for those who have spent a decent amount of time on the AWS900.
I see that the sound is described as open -- if this is the case, why not get a new Neotek Elite? Do you guys think they are in the same class...regardless of price?


Well the SSL is in a different league simply because of the automation and the digital control. Both in terms of controlling a DAW and in terms of actual analog automation of the console itself. It also has Total Recall of its analog controls and a fairly sophisticated computer system for integration into the digital studio world. Sure the Neoteks can be upgraded with moving fader automation systems and the like but they will never be as comprehensive or as powerful of a mixing platform as the SSL simply because the aren't designed that way. Anyhow, upgrading a Neotek with a decent moving fader automation system is NOT cheap. People often complain at the cost of the AWS900 but they forget that it has that powerful SSL style automation in the digital AND the analog world (which is a frickin' expensive thing to do!). Soundwise, I'm sure you could find people who would argue for the Neotek and people who would argue for the SSL. But there's no way the Neotek, even upgraded, could compete with the SSL in terms of mixing power and systems integration. Also, the SSL has the name, "Solid State Logic" on it. While that seems to be counting for less and less these days, it still means something, like 'em or not.
Old 7th May 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

I don't undersand....

The poll results show that most prefer the SSL 4000, but if you were to read the posts, you would have thought the AWS 900.

-a
Old 7th May 2007
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
The poll results show that most prefer the SSL 4000, but if you were to read the posts, you would have thought the AWS 900.

-a
I think that a AWS with 2 XLrack loaded with 16 compressors, it's an amazing system.
Dirtyhalo, are you planning to buy an AWS?
Best regards.
delcosmos.
Old 7th May 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by delcosmos View Post
I think that a AWS with 2 XLrack loaded with 16 compressors, it's an amazing system.
Dirtyhalo, are you planning to buy an AWS?
Best regards.
Armando Avila
mmm my dream set-up... I like it alot! (anyone seen dumber and dumber lol!)
Old 7th May 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Delcosmos,

I'm just curious when you mention the maintenance cost and power consumption of the SSL 4k being a lot and not practical, is this from experience of owning one ?? I freelance at a couple of SSL facility and a good friend of mine also bought an SSL 4K 3 years ago...His electricity bill is around $ 200 a month and no maintenance issue whatsoever. I keep reading all these power consumtion and maintenance nightmare rumours and the experience i've had with SSL are totally the opposite.
People i know who are getting rid of their SSL are doing it mainly because they prefer mixing ITB ( beleive it or not ) and Icon.
Old 7th May 2007
  #18
theother
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by vudoo View Post
Delcosmos,

I'm just curious when you mention the maintenance cost and power consumption of the SSL 4k being a lot and not practical, is this from experience of owning one ?? I freelance at a couple of SSL facility and a good friend of mine also bought an SSL 4K 3 years ago...His electricity bill is around $ 200 a month and no maintenance issue whatsoever. I keep reading all these power consumtion and maintenance nightmare rumours and the experience i've had with SSL are totally the opposite.
People i know who are getting rid of their SSL are doing it mainly because they prefer mixing ITB ( beleive it or not ) and Icon.
I totally agree with you, vudoo.

From my own experience as 4000 owner I have to say my total electricity bill was always under $400 a month (incl. the household I lived in, all A/C etc)
maintenance was almost non-existent. Maybe one afternoon in 2 years and 2-3 opamps I had to change (which even an idiot like me can do, because they are on sockets)

The 4000 series is the easiest to maintain desk in the world. But as you said, the method how people like to work changes. It's not to everyones liking to work with a 4000.

Of course I talk about late G+ desks, with E's you have a little more to do, but it totally depends how you look after them.
If you are careful and fix all problems when you buy instead of piling them, if you don't overheat/overload the PSU's, change fans on a regular basis etc it's very pleasant to work with 4k desks, no matter how old they are.
If you have a friend who knows a little about electronics and can read circuit diagrams it helps.

I try to avoid plasma meters. Until you have a stockpile of plasma tubes and can afford them ($300-400 each) it's not a problem, but it just was annoying to see them break down all the time. But then you could just switch them off and work without meters...
they look great though when they work and are still the best meters on the planet. Much better than any LCD system.
Old 7th May 2007
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vudoo View Post
Delcosmos,

I'm just curious when you mention the maintenance cost and power consumption of the SSL 4k being a lot and not practical, is this from experience of owning one ?? I freelance at a couple of SSL facility and a good friend of mine also bought an SSL 4K 3 years ago...His electricity bill is around $ 200 a month and no maintenance issue whatsoever. I keep reading all these power consumtion and maintenance nightmare rumours and the experience i've had with SSL are totally the opposite.
People i know who are getting rid of their SSL are doing it mainly because they prefer mixing ITB ( beleive it or not ) and Icon.
Yes.
Old 7th May 2007
  #20
Dear Theother,
Let's not forget that your G+ was in perfect condition, I don't know if you were the first owner but after seening your pictures, the console looks like new!! That is why you never had a problem.

If somebody have the fortune to buy a G+SE like the one you sold to Batcave, thats another story, but there's not a lot of those oportunities outthere.

All the best.

delcosmos.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theother View Post
I totally agree with you, vudoo.

From my own experience as 4000 owner I have to say my total electricity bill was always under $400 a month (incl. the household I lived in, all A/C etc)
maintenance was almost non-existent. Maybe one afternoon in 2 years and 2-3 opamps I had to change (which even an idiot like me can do, because they are on sockets)

The 4000 series is the easiest to maintain desk in the world. But as you said, the method how people like to work changes. It's not to everyones liking to work with a 4000.

Of course I talk about late G+ desks, with E's you have a little more to do, but it totally depends how you look after them.
If you are careful and fix all problems when you buy instead of piling them, if you don't overheat/overload the PSU's, change fans on a regular basis etc it's very pleasant to work with 4k desks, no matter how old they are.
If you have a friend who knows a little about electronics and can read circuit diagrams it helps.

I try to avoid plasma meters. Until you have a stockpile of plasma tubes and can afford them ($300-400 each) it's not a problem, but it just was annoying to see them break down all the time. But then you could just switch them off and work without meters...
they look great though when they work and are still the best meters on the planet. Much better than any LCD system.
Old 7th May 2007
  #21
Lives for gear
 

I live in Canada. It's an SSL 4k ( 40 channels ). We have a seperate air conditioned machine room. The electricity bill is $ 200 monthly, and this is for the whole studio complex. Again, never had a problem with the SSL in 3 years.
Before getting the SSL, we did a lot of research...called SSL, PAD...Damn, if we listen to PAD we would have never bought any used SSL, they were telling us how complex it was to set up, fix, maintain...but when we talk to actual owners, it was a totally different story.
Anyways, all i can say is that my expience with the SSL 4K was great, problem free and as reliable as any console i've used.
Old 7th May 2007
  #22
Gear Addict
 
MX582's Avatar
 

quick question for delcosmos...do you turn your duality off? or do you have to leave it on all the time?


just curious
Old 8th May 2007
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vudoo View Post
I live in Canada. It's an SSL 4k ( 40 channels ). We have a seperate air conditioned machine room. The electricity bill is $ 200 monthly, and this is for the whole studio complex. Again, never had a problem with the SSL in 3 years.
Before getting the SSL, we did a lot of research...called SSL, PAD...Damn, if we listen to PAD we would have never bought any used SSL, they were telling us how complex it was to set up, fix, maintain...but when we talk to actual owners, it was a totally different story.
Anyways, all i can say is that my expience with the SSL 4K was great, problem free and as reliable as any console i've used.
Well, you are very fortunate, electricity bills here in Mexico are higher not to mention that we don't have too many tech engineers.
Altough there is one studio with a pair of 4000G+, but their owners can pay any electricity bill because the studio it's not their main business.

Best regards.

delcosmos.
Old 8th May 2007
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MX582 View Post
quick question for delcosmos...do you turn your duality off? or do you have to leave it on all the time?


just curious
I turn it off every day, this baby can sleep at night with out a problem.

Best regards.

delcosmos
Old 8th May 2007
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vudoo View Post
Delcosmos,

I'm just curious when you mention the maintenance cost and power consumption of the SSL 4k being a lot and not practical, is this from experience of owning one ?? I freelance at a couple of SSL facility and a good friend of mine also bought an SSL 4K 3 years ago...His electricity bill is around $ 200 a month and no maintenance issue whatsoever. I keep reading all these power consumtion and maintenance nightmare rumours and the experience i've had with SSL are totally the opposite.
People i know who are getting rid of their SSL are doing it mainly because they prefer mixing ITB ( beleive it or not ) and Icon.
A studio with a $200 electric bill?

Is the studio in a residential area or business?

Is it near Niagara Falls?

I wish we could have something similar because in the East Coast we have the highest electric bills around(right now i believe Connecticut is the highest).
Old 8th May 2007
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
A studio with a $200 electric bill?

Is the studio in a residential area or business?

Is it near Niagara Falls?

I wish we could have something similar because in the East Coast we have the highest electric bills around(right now i believe Connecticut is the highest).
Now that you mention this, with al due respect, It's not posible that someone with a full profesional facility with a pro installation, air condition for CR, Studio and machine room, outboard gear, SSL 4G+,standard lighting etc, etc just pay $200dls per month. It's imposible.
All the best.
delcosmos.
Old 8th May 2007
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
TTatman's Avatar
 

Our 1986 4048E w/G+ computer was commissioned and brought up to spec by Dave Thibodoux of (at the time) P.A.D. After another warranty visit to clean up some minor issues that had developed, our console "settled in" and has been solid for the last three years. However, my partner is an electronics pro and I wouldn't recommend buying one of these if you don't have access to someone like him. If you do...go for it. It doesn't sound as "nice" as the Neotek 3C it replaced, but it "rocks" a lot better, and the ability to recall will improve your final product.

Look out for buss switches and EQ/dynamics switches. If they're shot, it isn't cheap to replace them. Utility increase wasn't a big deal.



http://www.catamountrecording.com/
Old 8th May 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Thrillfactor and Delcosmos,

The facility has one tracking room, control room, a B-room ( Nuendo and a few Midi keyboards ) and a small machine room. Roughly 1100 Square feet in all. The machine room air conditioning is hardly ever on in the winter. The electricity bill is $200-$250 a month for the whole facility.
I have a small 3 room studio at my house. Room 1 is PT HD with lots of outboard, room 2 has Media100, Avid and Final cut running an Apple X-raid with Betacam machine, Room 3 has a 40 channel Raindirk console. My electricily bill for the whole house ( roughly 1800 square feet ) is less than $200 a month..and most of that goes to heating in the winter. Electricity alone without heating is not even $ 100 a month with all that gear...My gear is on 24-7 during production-busy periods, wich is roughly 10 months a year. So yeah, it is very possible. I guess you guys should move to Mtl :-)
Old 8th May 2007
  #29
Gear Head
 

I have to agree with the boys about the G... We bought a 4056G about 18 months ago. It came on a *plane* from Japan. We unboxed it, installed it ourselves (with the help of a slightly-techy friend or two) and have worked on it ever since. It has *never* been comissioned or even had a qualified technician look at it.

It has a few *minor* issues like the EQ on one channel needs to be looked at, but compared to mixing in PT this was a dream come true.

The hardest thing about installing it was wiring the EDAC connectors for the looms! We have patched it to mix 5.1 (using the SSL multi-channel comp) and it simply rules.

As for power, our power bill basically didn't change. I have switched the console off *every* night since we've had it and have had no issues from doing so.
Old 9th May 2007
  #30
Gear Nut
 
filltrate's Avatar
 

I havent worked on an AWS yet but i would love to try it out. I grew up on a 4K E series and always loved it. Im not a big fan of the J's and the K's to me sound ok. I work on alot of hip hop and I love the fact that you can slam the crap out of the E's as well as the G series consoles.
I was wondering how much headroom does the AWS have? cuz if it is anything like a J or K , where if you overload a channel just a little and the signal just farts, then im going to stick with the 4K..

Although the E that im working on is in such bad shape i would love to be working on a Behringer right now
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