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Are SSL 4000G consoles hard to come by? Consoles
Old 16th December 2014
  #1
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Are SSL 4000G consoles hard to come by?

Do these come up for sale very often? One day when I'm loaded I hope to own one. Aren't these in about the $75k range?
Old 16th December 2014
  #2
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Hi
There are relatively few 'dealers' around the world and if there are desks for sale or 'likely to be offered soon' they will be known about.
What condition they may be in is a HUGE question as the global slowdown may have seen maintenance fall to around 'zero' so although they may appear 'good value' might actually take considerable work to get them hopping again.
Matt S
Old 16th December 2014
  #3
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Seems like a pipedream to have one of these but someday if I have the cash I may do it.

There's a poster here (a mod I think) who installed an SSL in his studio and he documented the whole thing on YouTube. I watched almost every minute of it. He had some maintenance done on it for sure.
Old 16th December 2014
  #4
That was James Lugo...
Old 17th December 2014
  #5
Have a search online...check names like funky junk, mjq, larking's list, vintage king etc. Every month I get s mail out from these guys and there's always multiple consoles available. Whether or not they're a worthwhile investment I don't know.

Personally, and for my own space, I'd be more inclined to take the aws route. A big console requires a lot of maintenance, or you end up putting up with multiple niggly faults (eg bus amp 23 is noisy, eq 4 crackles, aux 4 on channel 30 doesn't latch etc) that becomes so tiresome you end up avoiding the desk.

With a large console, it's "go hard or go home" - you either commit to spending a lot on keeping it in good nick (and in many ways it's easier to do that with an older, simpler console than it is with a recall equipped, if monster like an ssl or modern neve) or you avoid it as much as possible.
Old 17th December 2014
  #6
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
You might be surprised how cheaply you can buy a used SSL. The problem though is the upkeep and electric bill can get pretty darn high.
Old 17th December 2014
  #7
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They are a nice decoration these days when even the big names have no time for recalls anymore
Old 17th December 2014
  #8
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T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCM - Ronan View Post
You might be surprised how cheaply you can buy a used SSL. The problem though is the upkeep and electric bill can get pretty darn high.
damm right @ $0.32KW here with PG&E rates in California - having a large format desk powered up is not cheap.
Old 17th December 2014
  #9
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

just get an atomic if you care about the environment or your wallet
Old 17th December 2014
  #10
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Well, bought a SSL 4040g+ a year ago and all I can say is: it's the best decision I made! It's in perfect condition and I didn't have any big problems with it. Just really small things that was a piece of cake to fix. And the sound and workflow are awesome. Worked on AWS before... No comparisons... Another league...
Old 17th December 2014
  #11
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Forgot to say: I looked for one for almost a year... I was looking in Europe and USA, but got lucky and found this one in my country (Brazil). It's from 1994, pretty "new" for a 4k.
Old 17th December 2014
  #12
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How much did that run you?
Old 18th December 2014
  #13
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in for the awesome Psycho Monkey lingo... niggly faults & keeping your parts in good nick... incredible haha
Old 18th December 2014
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denus View Post
in for the awesome Psycho Monkey lingo... niggly faults & keeping your parts in good nick... incredible haha
Thanks the further I am from the UK, the more I feel I have to stay "true"...which results in my accent getting imitated within the first 1/2hr of any session...!
Old 18th December 2014
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Thanks the further I am from the UK, the more I feel I have to stay "true"...which results in my accent getting imitated within the first 1/2hr of any session...!
Yeap! And Losing Sport to the "Aussies"...........Lol!

Regards
TLB!
Old 18th December 2014
  #16
I´m also looking for an SSL 4k. But because of our smallish control room I´m really looking for a 4024 or maximally 4032. That should also run a lot cheaper with the power consumption etc. By the way, there is a 4048E on eBay Germany right now in the 30k range:
Are SSL 4000G consoles hard to come by?Solid State Logic SSL 4000 E with Total Recall in in Frankfurt | eBay

Unfortunately it´s too big for me...
Don´t know if you´re looking specifically for a G, but maybe it´s interesting for you.

Cheers!
Christian
Old 18th December 2014
  #17
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For those interested in an SSL 4k.

Here is some advice from an owner.

I bought the studio I used to work at in the early 90s, when I could afford it, in the later 90s. The previous owner and my former boss bought the SSL 4060G+ that I now have in '92.

You MUST have a tech who knows these beasts look them over before even thinking about them.

The things that you must think about, is proper maintenance for these is costly. The power supplies are very hot and have fans, I have had to have my power supplies rebuilt several times in the last 15 years. I am about to get the 4 supplies replaced with some upgraded power supplies that are not so hungry and so hot, but can still power the desk nicely and have overhead.

This is not a cheap task. Each time I have had the supplies rebuilt/recapped it has cost about 4-5K.

Maintenance on the desk has cost me about 5K per year for all of the little things that need to be worked on. I have had a number of channels go out most years or eq pots that need work or to be replaced due to noise. Faders that have gone bad, etc.

Cabling the thing for the first time, is going to cost a lot, if you do not get cabling with your desk. You may need new patch cables too, depending on the condition of the ones that you get handed with the desk. You may not need this, but again these can be costly if you do not get them or they are in bad condition.

They can sound great if they are properly maintained, but it will cost you to keep it up, and this should be taken into account.

If you are just going to use this in a home environment and don't care too much if channels go out, or you can do all the work yourself, then great those costs will not be as much.

Jim

P.S. I am not knocking this at all or trying to sway people away from buying, I am just trying to let you know that to operate one of these in a pro space takes love and care. That was not nearly as much care 16-18 years ago. These things sound killer and are on another planet for their workflow and sound.

I have go to say if anything I have said scares anyone at all, I also have a neotek elan at home and it gets nowhere near as hot, and the supplies are not near as problematic, and it sounds nearly as good to me as the SSL. My Neotek is from 1996, so it is right up there in age and I can say the maintenance on it seems better than the SSL to me. Now the neotek has no dynamics though.
Old 18th December 2014
  #18
Thanks for the advice and the perspective!
These are all valid points that I´ll be taking into account with my decision.

Cheers!
Old 19th December 2014
  #19
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toolz's Avatar
 

From my perspective, running a 32ch 4000G with G+ computer in my home studio.

Used to hire the London studios up till 2003, and as they unfortunately closed.

Made it my mission to continue with the gear ‘that was that sound’ so just set out to make that happen in a home situation.

Only turn it on when I use it.. so no unexpected power bills., other than when working.

Use an ajacent small box room as the machine room, if you have a full computer, or just a single console supply.. you’ll need to not hear it! so that kind of setup is essential.

It sounds amazing, and have downsized my outboard, to complement the board.

Amazing separation, big wide and 3D, by default.. not even trying! whilst just moving the faders up! kind vibe., is the daily experience.

Maintenance wise, here is really good for tips and tricks, the SSLmixed forum caters for the tech side of things: SSlmixed.com Forum - Index

Have and X-Desk as an FX-return sub mixer, and that's perfect. at the price point., it sounds amazing but the 4k build quality is 500% better!
Old 19th December 2014
  #20
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Space1999's Avatar
 

Atomic Instrument power supplies should be a game changer for older SSL consoles. Anyone using them yet?
Old 19th December 2014
  #21
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toolz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
Atomic power supplies should be a game changer for older SSL consoles. Anyone using them yet?
Think they replace the situation of have say a 48ch running on 2 PSU's and changeover., with a single power source.

A multiple power supply SSL situation is probably better left on, than constantly powered up and down. The PSU's need to be perfectly balanced voltage wise.
Old 19th December 2014
  #22
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toolz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
Atomic Instrument power supplies should be a game changer for older SSL consoles. Anyone using them yet?

It would be interesting to shootout the standard 661, the over engineered Japanese 661J, and the Atomic.

I have a Jap and the standard.. and the Jap rules :-)))

Jap also powers 56ch with one supply
Old 19th December 2014
  #23
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jimbridgman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
Atomic Instrument power supplies should be a game changer for older SSL consoles. Anyone using them yet?
I am about to get all 4 of mine moved over to the Atomic Instrument supplies. With the Atomic Instrument supplies, will only need 2 to power my desk.

Jim
Old 19th December 2014
  #24
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Once they get on the standard Amek power supply one of the studios I use is going to change over. They have an Otari from the late 90s and it uses that same power supply. Too tired to remember the name but it is a common off the shelf supply from that era and it had its share of problems keeping steady power to the board. Causes all kinds of ghosts in the machine. I wouldn't be surprised if it was Atomic's next design, there Are a boatload of them in service.
Old 19th December 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbridgman View Post
I am about to get all 4 of mine moved over to the Atomic Instrument supplies. With the Atomic Instrument supplies, will only need 2 to power my desk.

Jim
From what I have read on them this makes owning an older console a lot more attractive. Reduced power consumption and a rock solid supply to the board is a game changer and takes away a lot of maintenance problems. From what I've seen unsteady power supply causes a lot of weird behavior in consoles especially with automated faders and powering up dumb or erratic.
Old 19th December 2014
  #26
Owner of two SSL4000G+ here.
My consoles were built in 1999.
I bought them in 2009 and were commisioned and serviced by Ross Alexander.

NEVER had a single problem in the last 5 years of daily use.
The maintinance has been just the occasional card that suddenly fails, but we always have a fresh spare module ready to replace the bad one, it took 5 minutes to swap the modules.
And that's it.
My consoles are ON 24/7.
We recently changed every single bulb for leds and everything is fine.

So, those horror stories about frequent maintinance and thousands of dollars in repairment didn't happened to me in 5 years.

My advice would be: If you find a nice 4000G+ from the late 90's... Go for it!
Old 19th December 2014
  #27
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Space1999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by delcosmos View Post
Owner of two SSL4000G+ here.
My consoles were built in 1999.
I bought them in 2009 and were commisioned and serviced by Ross Alexander.

NEVER had a single problem in the last 5 years of daily use.
The maintinance has been just the occasional card that suddenly fails, but we always have a fresh spare module ready to replace the bad one, it took 5 minutes to swap the modules.
And that's it.
My consoles are ON 24/7.
We recently changed every single bulb for leds and everything is fine.

So, those horror stories about frequent maintinance and thousands of dollars in repairment didn't happened to me in 5 years.

My advice would be: If you find a nice 4000G+ from the late 90's... Go for it!
And I bet your very careful about humidity and dust and insure proper regulated power to your board. So many horror stories about consoles come from owners who don't ensure the proper environment for their consoles.

I have witnessed how running a dehumidifier in the control room of one studio who had humidity problems calmed the board down dramatically. Its all in the care and feeding of them.

They should hand out a copy of "Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance" to every console owner.
Old 19th December 2014
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
Once they get on the standard Amek power supply one of the studios I use is going to change over. They have an Otari from the late 90s and it uses that same power supply. Too tired to remember the name but it is a common off the shelf supply from that era and it had its share of problems keeping steady power to the board. Causes all kinds of ghosts in the machine. I wouldn't be surprised if it was Atomic's next design, there Are a boatload of them in service.
I'm hoping for a Neve VR replacement....!
Old 19th December 2014
  #29
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Hi
The SSL power supplies represent good design but badly implemented with insufficient regard to EASY replacement of the bits that usually need replacing. This is not a particular 'dig' at them as MANY supplies come in this category. They are also a bit 'wasteful' but with care this can be minimised in most situations.
The requirement for cool clean dry air inflow is often ignored so problems ensue.
Similarly attention to the environment the desk itself is working in also reaps rewards (or revenge if you don't!).
There are 'ways and means' to making most desks 'smaller' although fewer than 24 channels begins to be tricky.
Matt S
Old 20th December 2014
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
And I bet your very careful about humidity and dust and insure proper regulated power to your board. So many horror stories about consoles come from owners who don't ensure the proper environment for their consoles.
Well Yes, we made a proper installation just for the machines room of both consoles with proper condition air and regulated power.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Space1999 View Post
I have witnessed how running a dehumidifier in the control room of one studio who had humidity problems calmed the board down dramatically. Its all in the care and feeding of them.

They should hand out a copy of "Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance" to every console owner.
Agree, well my SSL is the Center piece of my control room, but I also have a bast amount of hardware and my complete collection of instruments (over 145 guitars and dozens of synths and vintage instruments in the same room), so keeping that place with a decent level of humidity is key and for sure my console is benefited of that.

But, really, with the right tech guy, these consoles are super reliable.
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