It’s safe to say that if you purchase something with the Solid State Logic name on it, you’re getting a piece of audio hardware (or software) that’s held to the highest standard. Their current range of mixing consoles and audio processing for studio, live and broadcast are chosen by many in these industries for the assurance of quality. Although SSL 2 and SSL 2+ are in a different class to their flagship products, they are no exception to this rule.
Professional Build Quality and Signal Path
When you pick up the SSL2, it’s clear it is designed to be a robust and portable recording solution. It’s made from a hard-plastic casing with a brushed metal front panel. The sloped shape makes it the perfect desktop companion with easily accessible controls. All the Neutrik XLR and Jack connections are neatly arranged on the back, meaning cables don’t spill out into your workspace. The high-quality Alps pots topped with SSL-style knobs are extremely smooth and sturdy. They maintain the look, feel and precision that you get from their pro range of products. It’s hard to miss the large blue monitor control, which allows very precise control over your monitor outputs. Fun fact - you’ll notice the monitor control goes up to 11, which is 1 louder than most other interfaces out there…
SSL Designed Mic Preamps
When you’re plugged in and ready to record, the first thing your sound will hit is the SSL-Designed Preamps. Clean, pristine and precise are words you’ll hear a lot when people talk about that ‘SSL Sound’, and that’s exactly how we would describe the input stage of these interfaces. They deliver class leading sonic performance that you’d expect from far more expensive interfaces and preamps on the market.
They offer a huge gain range of 62dB, which is more than enough for low output dynamic & ribbon microphones. They’re also extremely clean, ultra-low noise floor of -130.5 dbu EIN. This is thanks to their 2-stage design, which uses a mixture of specially chosen discrete low-noise transistors in combination with ICs (Integrated Circuits). When you put these figures together, the result is consistently clean and detailed recordings with a large dynamic range.
Converting analogue audio to a digital format is pretty much essential these days. Virtually all editing, recording, mixing and distribution of audio is done on digital systems. This is why we have audio interfaces - to pipe an analogue signal straight into a digital system. Not all converters are the same. As with preamps, some converters perform better than others. So when we say SSL 2 and SSL 2+ use the same AKM AD/DA Converters found in the SSL Alpha Link I/O products, you can guarantee that you’re getting the same performance as SSL’s top-line converters (at a fraction of the price!) At maximum settings, you can record at an impressive 24bit / 192kHz - that’s some crazy high resolution sound! Realistically, not everyone’s going to need to use these specs, as typically people use somewhere between 44.1-96kHz, but at least you know SSL have you covered.
Whether you’re monitoring on speakers or headphones, the SSL 2 and SSL 2+ deliver your sound back to you just as you recorded it. The industry-grade components used in the monitoring path are audibly transparent, so all you’re going to hear is your recording. On the back of both interfaces, you’ll find a pair of balanced Neutrik Jack connections for studio monitors. The large Monitor Level controls these, and the 1st pair of unbalanced outputs on the SSL2+.
If you’re monitoring on headphones, these interfaces are both equipped with high powered headphone outputs designed to accommodate a large range of different impedance ratings. The headphone outs have independent volume control, and a monitor mix so you can blend between the direct signal from the preamps and the playback from your computer. On SSL 2+, you can choose whether the Headphone B monitors from outputs 1/2 or 3/4.