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API 3124+ pres verses SSL pres 500 Series Preamps
Old 10th August 2007
  #1
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666666's Avatar
API 3124+ pres verses SSL pres

Sorry for the "verses" post, but I merely wish to collect a few comments describing how API 3124+ pres differ sonically from classic SSL pres (like from an older 4000). I am familiar with the 3124+ pres, but have never used an SSL pre first hand. I'm interested in learning more about the sound of the SSL pres... not sure when I'll get to use some, so in the meantime, I'd love to hear some comparison comments, the SSL vs the APIs. Thanks.
Old 10th August 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 
hle144's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
Sorry for the "verses" post, but I merely wish to collect a few comments describing how API 3124+ pres differ sonically from classic SSL pres (like from an older 4000). I am familiar with the 3124+ pres, but have never used an SSL pre first hand. I'm interested in learning more about the sound of the SSL pres... not sure when I'll get to use some, so in the meantime, I'd love to hear some comparison comments, the SSL vs the APIs. Thanks.
We currently have an SSL 6064, thats 64 micpres. I am testing my friends Api unit which holds (10) 312 cards. I have a luncbox of (6) 512c's. Thats 16 Micpres.

I love both, they both sound great. For my money, I would go with Api. They are both great pres but something about the transient response of the Api's that I really notice and dig. They really retain that 'punch' on high SPL instruments. We need that extra zing as most of our signals are doomed to A/D conversion.

API,..My final answer....
Old 10th August 2007
  #3
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numrologst's Avatar
ssl pres aren't bad and they work in a pinch... But they really aren't something I would track a whole record through...

However, I would track a whole record through api preamps
Old 10th August 2007
  #4
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666666's Avatar
Thanks for the replies so far. While we're on this subject, how would you compare the overall sonic character of a top-end API console verses a top-end SSL console - in terms of mixing / summing? Again, I'm somewhat familiar with API stuff and am trying to learn about and understand the nature of SSLs. I have heard mixes done on SSLs so I do have a clue, but I'm interested in hearing comments from those who have real experience. Generally I'm very happy with API, but I do hear a lot of work done on SSLs that I like a lot. I'm trying to figure out how much of what I like about SSL productions is due to the sonic character of the gear itself, and/or how much is the user.... a bit of both I would guess, but... just trying to head towards a deeper understanding of the SSL sound... at least while I wait to get an opportunity to lay my hands and ears on one first hand.
Old 10th August 2007
  #5
Gear Addict
 
hle144's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
just trying to head towards a deeper understanding of the SSL sound... at least while I wait to get an opportunity to lay my hands and ears on one first hand.
The only way to know is to try using an SSL and hear for yourself. IMHO as long as the tracks are well recorded and the song is good, does'nt matter. Don't waste precious brain cells on these questions.

I would work on a Neve board for the rest of my life, but at our place we have an SSL.
After 5 years of daily useage, I now have a deeper understanding of the SSL.
Thats the only way.

I would choose Api over an SSL. I do all my volume and mutes in the computer anyway, so automation is not a concern.
Old 10th August 2007
  #6
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thermos's Avatar
The pres are not really a part of the ssl sound. I did a record where they did all the tracking with a 4000 (G?) console to tape. It was a jazzish record, great studio, great mics. The sounds were good, but when the engineer broke out a 1073 for the acoustic guitar overdubs, all of a sudden all the other tracks had been outclassed. It was a phenomenal difference. That kind of made me realise why no one talks about ssl pres.
Old 10th August 2007
  #7
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

Can we not have a discussion about what the pres that we make today sound like, rather than the pres that we made 20 years ago?

pretty please?
Old 10th August 2007
  #8
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Can we not have a discussion about what the pres that we make today sound like, rather than the pres that we made 20 years ago?

pretty please?
Jim, look at the bright side. You must have built them well since they are still in use, 20 years later.
Old 10th August 2007
  #9
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

I have not heard any wow factors on SSL except their compressors, But not pres. Listen to the overall Slutz tho, they have been 98 percent right for me on being on target about gear. no i will make that 99 percent correct, it was my ass that decided to buy a BAE 312a, damn i hated that pre.
Old 10th August 2007
  #10
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Can we not have a discussion about what the pres that we make today sound like, rather than the pres that we made 20 years ago?

pretty please?
This discussion is a little mute. It's not quite fair putting a vintage API's strong points against an SSL's weakest.
Vintage API consoles absolutely kill sonically, and the price can kill you as well.
SSL consoles are quite possibly the strongest mix desks ever.
One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
Old 10th August 2007
  #11
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666666's Avatar
Thanks for the replies.

I understand that my original post my seem a bit infantile. But, my goal here is NOT to pit an API against an SSL in terms of which is "better". As well, it's not like I am about to make a choice between purchasing an API or SSL. The sole goal of my initial post was to just collect assorted comments to help further my understanding of the SSL sound and vibe in GENERAL... and the only reason I used API as a comparison is because I know the API sound, thus a good base line for comparison... for me. I also understand that the ONLY way to truly understand the sounds, characters, behaviors etc of all this stuff is to USE it, first hand... and I do look forward to gettng myself involved with projects in the future where I can get my hands and ears on an SSL, but until that time, your comments will have to do. I'm just merely interested.

Thanks again to all for the replies thumbsup
Old 10th August 2007
  #12
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Daedalus77's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrox247 View Post
This discussion is a little mute.
Ah! One of those brilliant (if unintended) puns (or slip-ups) so perfectly appropriate to Gearslutz.

We should have a thread devoted to such sentences.

By the way, if some one wants to give (lend?) me either a vintage API or newer SSL, I promise I won't complain that the grass is greener elsewhere.
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