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SSL SL4000G/G+ vs SL5000 G+ which would you buy?
Old 12th February 2003
  #1
Gear Addict
 
Bernd G's Avatar
 

SSL SL4000G/G+ vs SL5000 G+ which would you buy?

Dear SLLutz,
we are considering the purchase of an SSL 5000 G/G+ or an SSL 4000 G/G+. Both are in the $ 75,000 price range. The 5K (1991) is a film mixing console with 7.1 surround feature has 72 moving faders, TR, IR, G+ computer, 10 patchable compressors, etc. but no mic pres or bus compressors. The 4K has 56 faders with TR but not Instant Reset (IR), VCA automation but compressors and mic pres on every channel. Both are in good condition and we have techs that love to recap consoles. We are a teaching institution that is trying to offer our students the SSL experience for the entry into the professional world. Which would you buy? I greatly appreciate ANY constructive comments. Thank you all, you SSLutz !
Old 12th February 2003
  #2
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Neither one, imho, for music...

If you want to correspond to current SSL music mixing situations, the desk should have Ultimation (moving fader auto+VCA auto), TR, mic pre+dynamics+EQ on every channel, and a recent software version.

For a school context, a 4048E/G with G+ computer or a 9048J would be my recommendation...48 channels would be more than enough. No need for 72 channels, but do get a modern desk with something close to standard features.

Some extras that are very helpful to negotiate as deal-clinchers, that will save lots of money and time:

A year of warranty/SSL service including installation by SSL techs
1-2 spare channels
1-2 spare large faders + motors
Replacement of all switches (actually, replacement of the cards)
Replacement of the screen
Replacement of the faders
Replacement of the front buffer if really worn

Good luck.
Old 12th February 2003
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Bernd G's Avatar
 

Thank you J. for your kind opinion.
Obviously the J series would be a bit pricey for us, but your recommendation for a 4K series is well taken. This particular model has had a recent replacement of all bus switches. Also, we could store some of the many channels to prepare for recapping and reswitching and replacement. What else typically goes wrong with these consoles that we need to consider? Would the advent of surround sound mixing make the SL 5000 more attractive? How would you implement surround mixing on the 4K?
Thanks again,
Old 12th February 2003
  #4
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

The thing is, the 5k has moving faders but not dynamics and pres on every channel.

The 4k doesn't have moving faders.

I'd have a hard time choosing between the two desks. Maybe the 5k if you have lots of outboard comps and pres. Which software are they running? On what media are the mixes/recalls stored?

I'd look for a modern desk that has everything, even if not a large desk.

For surround work, the SSL surround monitoring panel options are very spendy (we're talking 5 or 6 figures) but for about $3k you can get a Studio Technologies StudioComm or an Audient surround controller and patch it in for 5.1 mixing using aux faders and stereo groups (at least that's how we do it with the J series).
Old 12th February 2003
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Bernd G's Avatar
 

Audient, ah yes, we looked at their consoles. We just weren't sure they would be around for long considering the current large scale analog console market. But the surround controller is a good idea for the 4K. Both consoles have 3 1/2 floppy drives and G+ computers. I would have to ask about the software update, but I assume getting the most recent update for that computer would not pose a huge problem/expense. From my point of view, the pre 9000J SSL preamps were sounding terrible anyway so going with outboard mic pres would be preferable. Also, decent dynamics are to be had cheaply these days (Presonus, FMRaudio, etc) and the lack of dynamics would not frighten me off the 5KSL. These, however, would not be accessible through the SSL automation and the question is whether students need to learn how to deal with the integrated compressors in the console, as opposed to outboard equipment (which we do have plenty). Thanks again for all of your feedback, it is very much appreciated. There is one thing we do have here and that is space and electricity.

BG
Old 13th February 2003
  #6
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Re: SSL SL4000G/G+ vs SL5000 G+ which would you buy?

Quote:
Originally posted by Bernd G
We are a teaching institution that is trying to offer our students the SSL experience for the entry into the professional world. Which would you buy?
Well... you're kinda between a rock and a hard place... if you're teaching them 'film mixing'... then the 5k... if you're teaching them music mixing... the 4k.

You don't find 5k's in music studios... but you do find 4k's... and once you know how to get around on a 4k... all you have to do is learn the computer to operate a 9kj [and all you have to do is climb to the top of Mt. Everest to be at the highest point on earth...].

At the same time... you don't find too many 4k's in film mixing facilities...
Old 13th February 2003
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I'd go with the 4K myself. Mixing music on a film console might lead to some strange workarounds. Just for hell of it, does the 5K even have busses? When Sonic Youth got their 51 Series Neve it didn't have any busses for multi-track stuff, nor did it have a regular 2-buss so it had to be modded.
Old 14th February 2003
  #8
Re: SSL SL4000G/G+ vs SL5000 G+ which would you buy?

Quote:
Originally posted by Bernd G
. We are a teaching institution that is trying to offer our students the SSL experience for the entry into the professional world. Which would you buy? I greatly appreciate ANY constructive comments. Thank you all, you SSLutz !
If you really want to prepare them, i go with what Jon said; Take $75K and put towards a lease on a 9000K. It is now the standard when working on an SSL. You can always acquire it with the surround/film mixing option.


If not, than the 4000 is fine.

I would personally stay away from the 5000. It has its own reputation and it is not positive.
Old 14th February 2003
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
--- DISCLAIMER---
This is coming from a guy whose never even touched an SSL, let alone mixed on one.

For students mixing and recording music I go with the 4k. As I understand it the SSL automation and dynamics are a big part of the SSL sound and experience. 56 is plenty of channels. I make records on 32 channels all day long. I bought my console from someone who bought a 4k. He said it just "sounds like a record," i believe that's the kind of real world thing your trying to teach these students.
Old 16th February 2003
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Bernd G's Avatar
 

SSL 5K vs 4K

Thank you all, for your kind replies.
Please keep the comments coming.
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