When I heard that Solid State Logic was making an audio interface, I immediately put my order in. The chance to own a product from SSL, let alone two preamps, for under $300?! Incredible! But… do the preamps live up to the SSL name? I wanted to find out for myself, so I put the 2+ to a test, side by side with my Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 and Golden Age Pre73. I’ve used both Shure SM57 as well as a Rode NT1-A on all the preamps, including the 4K Mode on the SSL 2+, tested for latency, as well as tried to emulate the 4K Mode with plugins.
The SM57 is a universal standard and should give you an even playing field to test with the preamps in your studio.
Additionally, I recorded some loops into the SSL 2+ (with 4K Mode on and off) and the 18i20 so we can listen to the differences in sound between them. I’ve included my thoughts on the shootout at the end of the video, so be sure to stick around till the end.
- Intro: @0:01
- Unboxing: @2:03
- Latency Differences: @4:28
- Microphone Preamp Shootout: @7:00
- Drum Loop Preamp Shootout: @12:18
- Attempt at emulating 4K Mode with plugins: @14:30
- Final Thoughts: @18:24
Correction @12:00: The 4K Mode does induce a 2db boost in the upper mid range and highs of the frequency spectrum, so the kick (low end) was in fact quieter, but I still think the 4K Mode is in fact adding a bit of harmonics and *SSL magic* to the recordings.
Latency test done with RTL Utility: https://tinyurl.com/spfj3kx
Download files of shootout recordings: https://tinyurl.com/s9s37ob
Voice of Electronic Music Podcast playlist: https://tinyurl.com/y37ur338
If you’d like to support, check out my Patreon: https://tinyurl.com/rxq6vza