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You won't regret it. boing

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External Inputs

Okay, here’s a quickie but goodie as I continue to work on the audio examples and next video. (Fourth of July weekend, family obligations, blah blah blah.) They’re coming — I promise! One of the least flashy features of the SSL SiX has also become one of my favorites. In addition to the two SuperAnalogue and two stereo channels that all have faders, the far upper right of the panel has two pairs of balanced, stereo “External Inputs.”

Really, this is SSL-speak for auxiliary inputs. They’re line-level and have no associated faders or gain controls, but either or both can be routed to a number of places by pressing the EXT1 or EXT2 source buttons in those places. That includes the control room monitor section, the main mix (and therefore through the bus compressor), and both pairs of Foldback outputs independently.

What would you use these for? Well, a keyboard player might just plug two more synths into them and manage the volume controls on each synth. If you go this route, I’d suggest using your “hotter” synths in terms of output as you won’t have the option of boosting the gain with a trim pot or fader. The SiX user guide includes several application examples, one of which is using the SiX as a summing mixer. Here, both pairs of EXT inputs take a total of four channels from the DAW at unity gain, thereby exapnding the number of inputs the SiX can mix down at once.

I, however, am using them to monitor not one but two DAWs, thereby pressing the SiX’s monitor volume knob into service as the main listening volume control in my studio. My current studio setup has two computers: an Apple iMac that was spec’ed as high as you could go for late 2012, and a Dell T5600 Windows PC upgraded with dual 8-core Xeon processors, 64GB of RAM, SSDs, Nvidia 1080 card, the whole nine. The iMac uses a Universal Audio Apollo interface via Thunderbolt; the PC uses MOTU 2408mk3 and HD192 interfaces hanging off an installed PCI-424 card. It’s an older system but rock solid on that PC, as the Apollo is on the Mac. For sending signal between the two computers, the interfaces are interconnected via ADAT Lightpipe.

The Apollo’s monitor inputs feed EXT1 on the SiX and those on the 2408mk3 feed EXT2. In turn, I have EXT1 and 2 assigned only as control room monitor sources (putting them in the main mix would of course create a nasty feedback loop). After a bit of gain-staging experimentation, I now leave the monitor volume controls on my interfaces alone, instead taking advantage of the big knob on the SiX as well as its Dim and Cut functions. The former reduces the volume by a pre-determined amount; the latter is a straight-up mute button. I’ve never had anything with a Dim button before, but I’ve gotten used to hitting it and having the volume drop if the phone rings or someone comes in the room (which, again, happened constantly over this past weekend). When I’m done with my distraction, I disengage the Dim button and the monitor level goes back to exactly where it was. This is useful for monitoring at consistent levels, because you’re not hunting for your place on the volume knob.

The benefit of this is that audio interfaces’ volume controls tend to behave differently in terms of both the scale and the linearity of their response. Some control a true analog output stage; some do not. Some are detented (clicky); some are not. I prefer having a non-detented, analog volume control for everything, and the quality of the output stage SSL is using here is superior to monitor controllers like the Mackie Big Knob or TC Level Pilot. Not that they’re bad, but I’ll say again what I said before: This is like someone pointed a shrink ray at a large SSL console.

More to come this week!


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More good stuffs!!!!

Just letting you know that some of us are reading along, and plotting how to get one of these goodies...


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Just letting you know that some of us are reading along

yes, we are cool


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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
Quote
I like the idea of a separate enable for the line/hi-z on channels 1&2. If I'm understanding correctly, I could have my bass and guitar direct outputs plugged into the 1/4" jack and a microphone plugged into the XLR. Rather than plugging/unplugging stuff, I could use the line button as a selected switch.

That's exactly right. In addition to a knob you turn up or down, just about everything on the SiX has a toggle button that goes KLONK and an accompanying LED. You're never unsure about what's going where.
Totally agreed.

dB
Okay, this gets my attention (as if everything that went before it didn't). No switching jacks that pre-empt each other? Aw HAYULL yeah.

This is a really intriguing little beastie. I'm enjoying and appreciating your breakdown, Steve... looking forward to more.

mike


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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
External Inputs

Okay, here’s a quickie but goodie as I continue to work on the audio examples and next video. (Fourth of July weekend, family obligations, blah blah blah.) They’re coming — I promise! One of the least flashy features of the SSL SiX has also become one of my favorites. In addition to the two SuperAnalogue and two stereo channels that all have faders, the far upper right of the panel has two pairs of balanced, stereo “External Inputs.”

Really, this is SSL-speak for auxiliary inputs. They’re line-level and have no associated faders or gain controls, but either or both can be routed to a number of places by pressing the EXT1 or EXT2 source buttons in those places. That includes the control room monitor section, the main mix (and therefore through the bus compressor), and both pairs of Foldback outputs independently.
Aw, maaaaan...! Now I'm gonna HAVE to get one of these things... my studio has two cascading audio systems (explanation in another thread somewheres) and one is only 6-input... I have yearned for something with 8 or 10 line-level ins, and this has some serious possibilities!


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Video: Input Channels and Bus Compressor

Here's a video I shot playing with my voice and a synth bass from the Nord Wave 2 through the SSL SiX input channels. You can hear the EQ, and we try it with and without the channel compressor as well as the bus compressor. There's still more to talk about with this beastie, so keep coming back to this thread and I'll keep cranking it out!



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More good stuff!


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Wow, kicking in both the channel and bus compressor at the same time is heavy. This thing is lean and mean.

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I have yet to find anything I dislike about it.

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grrr

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Bus Compressor

This has come up before in this thread because it’s hard to talk about SSL without talking about their signature bus compressor, but it deserves its own post.

[Linked Image from solidstatelogic.com]

Unless you’re thinking of a tool to inflate the tires of a mass transit vehicle, this is exactly what it sounds like: a stereo compressor across the main mix bus. Made famous in consoles such as the SSL 4000-G for imparting a certain glue to a mix, the circuit design in the SiX is exactly the same. This is the real deal, folks, and there’s no more affordable way to get it unless you count plug-in emulations.

There are just two knobs: threshold and makeup gain. A six-segment LED shows the amount of gain reduction taking place, from -1dB to -15dB. Unlike the channel compressors, the bus compressor threshold knob raises the threshold as you turn it up, so you’d turn it counter-clockwise to make compression more eager.

The attack and release times are program-dependent according to SSL’s documentation, meaning, again, some sort of envelope-following voodoo is in use to track the attack and release of the incoming signal. Since that signal is an entire mix, the idea is that it “grabs” more quickly with transient-heavy material (such as music with prominent kick and snare drums). I ran songs by several different artists from my Apple Music library through it, and to my ears, it really did seem to get this behavior right. As on the original big-console bus compressors, ratio is fixed at 4:1.

Like with everything on the SiX, there’s a button to engage it, which makes it easy to A-B with the uncompressed signal so you know how much makeup gain you need.

You can definitely hear the bus compressor working more than the channel compressors — and that’s the idea. At very low thresholds, it’s certainly possible to make music pump and breathe a la the now-cliché EDM effect. If this is not your desired result (and if you don’t own a backpack shaped like a stuffed unicorn it shouldn’t be), the magic here lies in getting the compressor to work just enough. Transients assert themselves just a bit more, vocal and guitar passages have subjectively more presence and sustain, and so on. This is the part of SSL consoles that has long been sought out as the final spoonful of pre-mastering secret sauce, especially for rock and pop music.

I found something curious in the user manual: “The bus compressor sidechain also has a first-order highpass filter at approximately 50Hz … to give smoother performances from mixes with more prominent bass content.” Sidechain? This is not mentioned elsewhere in the manual, so I’m wondering if this implies there may be some clever way to use inserts to make a sidechain input to it, keying the rest of your mix to, say, a kick drum (speaking of unicorn backpacks). I’m guessing not, but I'm curious and will report back with an answer.

Okay, now to get to some of those promised audio examples, and what’s left in line to talk about are: the talkback, foldback, monitor, and headphone sections; main fader and what can be routed to it; and a quick look at the rear panel I/O. Keep coming back!

Last edited by Stephen Fortner; 07/14/20 01:28 AM.

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Will SSL allow you to review the gizzards? Take the bottom off and look around?

That's always interesting to me, I don't know about others. It has inspired confidence and also caution once in a while.

Everything sounds great so far, I still want one (dangit!!!).


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Regarding the hp filter I believe this is a similar idea to the”thrust” circuit used in api compressors (and others?), but non-variable. The filter is placed in line with the RMS detector and anything else that controls the VCA. In this case that’s it to the side chain since there’s no external access.

I’ve been studying the manual and specifically the block diagram for the last couple of days along with your excellent review and perspective Stephen. I can’t remember the last time I wanted to “need” a piece of gear this much. This little “mixer” reveals something new and cool every time I look.

But alas so far it’s only led to moving a couple of my rack pieces to be more accessible.

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Talkback Input

When is a talkback input more than just a means to communicate with artists on the other side of the glass? When it uses a high-quality mic preamp with 48V phantom power and includes SSL’s famous Listen Mic Compressor. First, let’s talk about the usual application, though.

The talkback preamp provides up to 45dB of gain via the gain control just to the right of the SSL SiX logo. You can route the signal to each pair of Foldback outputs independently, and it will be summed in mono to either pair.

So, what’s a Listen Mic Compressor (LMC) and why should you care? More generically known as a talkback limiter, it’s a very aggressive compressor (requiring up to 20dB of makeup gain, which the SiX puts back automagically) that was originally intended to prevent any loud signals coming through talkback from blowing monitor speakers in the tracking room, or artists’ eardrums through their headphones. This had the benefit of evening out the levels of the voice of the engineer speaking right into the talkback mic with the voices of others sitting on a couch some distance from the console — and you know that whoever’s sitting on the control room couch is going to share opinions.

In other words, the LMC levels the dynamics playing field between close-mic signals and ambient ones, which has applications beyond talkback. Getting huge room sound on drums is a go-to, and it’s recording apocrypha that Phil Collins’ drum sound is due to an LMC being left on by mistake. Patch one side of a Foldback output pair into your DAW to record the talkback input, and the other back into a stereo input so you can still run the whole thing through the bus compressor, and you have a powerful setup for parallel compression. (In fact, the manual uses this exact application example, with kick and snare going into SuperAnalogue channels 1 and 2 and an overhead in the talkback.)


Foldback Master Section

The Foldback outputs are meant to feed headphone amps or an artist cue system from the likes of Aviom, HearBack, etc. As we’ve seen above, though, you can use them in whatever outside-the-box ways you want. Stereo cue mix 1 goes to Foldback output pair 1 and cue mix 2 to Foldback outputs 2. You can also route either External Input pair as well as Talkback to the Foldback, and it’s an either-or situation: EXT 1 pre-empts EXT2 and Talkback pre-empts both. Master send level knobs are included for each output pair. One application for this would be to send artists backing tracks or “tape returns” so they can hear takes without having to come into the control room.

Each also has a “Cue Post” button which as its name implies switches either stereo cue mix from pre- to post-fader.

In most cases you’d choose the latter if you wanted to use a Foldback output pair as an effects send for either a hardware processor or making a round-trip through DAW plug-ins. You’d then take the processor’s output back into an External Input pair, then sum that pair into the main mix using the buttons above the main fader.

SSL says the Foldback outputs can get sufficiently hot to drive some headphones directly, though it doesn’t define “some.” (Lower impedance is better, perhaps?) I don’t plan to test this, as it requires wiring or adaptors to convert both sides of a Foldback output to an unbalanced stereo TRS connection for headphones. I did test it with my Aviom A16-II, an older but capable artist cue setup consisting of an input head unit (really an A/D converter) and several monitor mix pods you daisy-chain off it using Ethernet cables. The system received plenty of hot, clean level.

[Linked Image from solidstatelogic.com]

Monitor Section and Sources

The SiX’s control room monitor section (remember, control room = “monitor”; artists’ monitors = “foldback”) is quite versatile. The SiX can drive two pairs of monitors, switchable with the Alt button to the left of the large level knob. A mirror of the monitor signal also goes out on the DB-25 connector. There’s a button for checking how things sound in mono, cut (mute), and the aforementioned Dim button with adjustable amount.

Sources that can be summed to the monitor mix are the main mix, bus B, and the EXT1 and EXT2 inputs, each with their own level knob. Importantly, this is not an either-or situation — you can have all these sources in the monitors at once. Why would you want to do this? In this age of socially distanced remote collaboration, let’s say you have a musician doing an overdub to a rough stereo mix stored on their iPhone or laptop. Let’s say you don’t have the full multitrack mix on your DAW because all those audio files would’ve taken too long to send you. You can plug the iPhone into an External input pair, route it to the artist’s foldback, and then monitor it alongside their performance in the control room while keeping it out of the main mix, i.e. their overdub track recording to your DAW.

Headphone Section

First things first: The headphone output on the SiX can get loud. Like, hurt-your-ears loud, so be careful. That said, it doesn’t break up or get crispy even at extreme volume. Normally, it mirrors the monitor source selection, but can be switched to stereo cue mix 1 or 2, the idea being that you can momentarily switch from the main mix to what the artist is hearing.

Talkback is not a selectable headphone source because the assumption is that the engineer or a musician recording themselves will use the headphone jack. (Note: I frequently talk to myself when in the studio alone, but this is my therapist’s problem, not SSL’s.)

To the Rescue

Here was the situation when I helped out a musician struggling to record a woodwind part for a remote chamber orchestra project where the guide mix consisted of a YouTube video. She was struggling to listen through ear buds on her laptop as she recorded into an iPhone augmented by a Røde snap-on mic. Neither her nor the musical director were especially tech-savvy, so I wasn’t about to nerdsplain about how he needed to send her a proper WAV file, we needed to import it into a DAW, do this the right way, etc etc. They had their hands full arranging the music and herding cats, so I just wanted to make it work without adding to their task list.

Into my car went the SiX, an AKG C414B-ULS mic, my MacBook Pro, and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. Via adaptors, her laptop’s stereo out went into EXT1 on the SiX, which I selected as a monitor source, which she in turned listened to via the SiX’s headphone jack on some proper Audio-Technica cans I also brought. (She didn’t need to hear herself in phones as this was a quiet living room session, but if she had I would have used a full stereo input channel for the guide video to take advantage of the cue sends.)

The AKG mic for her instrument went into SuperAnalogue channel 1 and the SiX’s main outputs fed the Scarlett, which was in line-level mode. Though it was a “straight up the middle” mono recording, I recorded a stereo track in Logic in case later spatial processing was desired. The monitoring situation was so superior to what she was doing before that she got an inspired performance on the first take (though we did a couple more for good measure), precisely to tempo. Certainly, the SiX is not the only mixer with which I could’ve accomplished this, and an audio interface with enough inputs and onboard cue mixing could also have done it, but the obviousness of the SiX’s routing, not to mention its sound quality, meant that I wasn’t wrestling with my tools and that I was able to put an already stressed-out classical musician at ease.

Main Fader

This is a pretty simple affair. Like the inputs, the 100mm fader has more resolution right around 0dB. EXT1 and EXT2 inputs as well as stereo cue mix 1 can all be summed into the main mix — applications here include getting maximum inputs out of the SiX for DAW summing, or simply using a pair of EXT inputs to cascade in another mixer. It’s important to note that the 12-segment stereo LED meter above the main fader reflects the some of the monitor sources, not just the main mix. The level values next to its segments aren’t arbitrary; certain ones (such as +24, +18, and +15dBu) are intended to reflect peak levels for specific recording and broadcast standards. The meters do have a brief “peak hold.”

Still a bit more to come as promised!

Last edited by Stephen Fortner; 07/24/20 03:56 AM.

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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Will SSL allow you to review the gizzards? Take the bottom off and look around?

If I did it carefully I don't see why not. Any review unit that a company ships out already has to be sold as B-stock (probably to me, because good luck prying this thing out of my cold, dead hands). Reader Al Coda also asked about build quality near the beginning of this thread, so I think a look inside for the next video is a great idea.


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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Will SSL allow you to review the gizzards? Take the bottom off and look around?

If I did it carefully I don't see why not. Any review unit that a company ships out already has to be sold as B-stock (probably to me, because good luck prying this thing out of my cold, dead hands). Reader Al Coda also asked about build quality near the beginning of this thread, so I think a look inside for the next video is a great idea.

Sweeeeet!!!!!!
We don't care about switches, jacks, connectors and pots, until we do.

Great review and yeah, I WANT one too!!!!


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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
Reader Al Coda also asked about build quality near the beginning of this thread, so I think a look inside for the next video is a great idea.

thu

Thank you Mr. Fortner !

Quality of pots, faders, switches and connectors are extremely important for reliability.

Pots:
Sealed and metal shafts ?
How´s the fastening on the mixer´s surface realized ? Is there some play or is all tight ?
Behaviour of all the pots is consistent ?

Calibration of master fader: Exakt same level L & R across full travel of the fader ?
Are master fader and channel faders the same quality ?
What do they use for pots and faders ? ALPS ? Or other ?

Someone, who got the SSL Six, mentioned it feels like a Behringer ...
I doubt it´s true, but at least it happened.

I´m really irritated because it´s assembled in china.

I got TWO Mackie 1202 VLZ4 about 2 weeks ago,- and it was horrible.
I just only wanted ´em for my keys in a small appartment where I cannot use my old gear because of lack of room,- and it was shattering.
At a 1st glance, it looked very sturdy w/ metal case, balanced XLR outs w/ mic/line level selector and built in PSU, but it already became unusable for me because L and R main-channels introduced a differnce of about 2- 3dB w/ input channel´s PAN and BAL pots (w/ center detend !) @ center position.
Some pots, when turned/moved, had almost no resistance, others had a lot of, some even too much ...
FX returns didn´t behave as expected,- AUX-2 return always controlled AUX-1 return, regardless of all the possible pre/post and routing switches combinations ...
A nitemare.
In the end I returned ´em both and didn´t want to see a 3rd one.

I still own a old Mackie 1604VLZ which now needs some service but worked for decades.

Well, Mackie isn´t the same league as SSL, but now, when I read "small mixer - assembled in china", I´m very sceptical.

I´d wish gear again would be assembled where it is designed,- US, UK, germany p.ex.,- and got way better quality control vs the china products.

Talkin´ small mixers ... the built quality of my old Ashly MX508 is excellent and all works like it should ´til today.

The idea combining 2 DAWs via the "SIX" and getting 2 great channel strips for recording is very tempting.
So, I´d really want to love it when investing that money for a "small" mixer.

smile

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I won't quote Al Coda's excellent post.

I also wonder about "serviceablilty", which has become quite rare on less expensive products.

Something I admire about Mesa Boogie guitar amps is that they've always "flown" the jacks, switches and pots. These are the parts that end up needing replacement.
On the Mesa stuff, those components are mounted to the chassis directly with lock washers, face washers and nuts. Wires with sufficient "service loop" are run from the components to the PCB.

Very easy and fast to unsolder the leads at the component, replace it and resolder the wires. The integrity of the PCB remains untouched.

I don't see it often but I do look for it.


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Video 3: A Look Inside

KuruPrionz, Al Coda, and others, you asked, I listened! Please shoot me any questions you have after watching, and I'll do my best to answer anything about the internals I didn't cover in the video. More written commentary to come!



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Thanks Stephen, that was a noble effort!!!!
I wouldnt expect to see flown components in something so compact.

It looks solid to me. Not something I'd be toting around much and certainly worth having a quality case for it as well.
I'd probably be inclined to send it to SSL for service if it ever needed it, let them suffer!


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Originally Posted by Al Coda
Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
Reader Al Coda also asked about build quality near the beginning of this thread, so I think a look inside for the next video is a great idea.


Quality of pots, faders, switches and connectors are extremely important for reliability.

Pots:
Sealed and metal shafts ?
From what I could see, yes and yes.
Quote
How´s the fastening on the mixer´s surface realized ? Is there some play or is all tight ?
Behaviour of all the pots is consistent ?
As shown in the video, there's a tiny bit of give to the pot shafts, but it's negligible. With the control panel cover on and the mixer assembled, it's even less as the tolerances for the apertures the controls pass through are extremely tight.

Quote
Calibration of master fader: Exakt same level L & R across full travel of the fader?
Are master fader and channel faders the same quality ?
What do they use for pots and faders ? ALPS ? Or other ?
With regard to panning and stereo balance, yes, at all levels, L&R are exactly alike to my ears. I could back this up by putting an identical test tone in both channels and checking it on a software loudness meter, and I expect my ears will be validated. However, the faders' response is intentionally not linear. On either side of unity gain, the resolution is higher, meaning you get more change for a given physical amount of movement. Master and channel faders are identical from what I can tell, but I could not discern any part names or numbers that would identify the manufacturer of the fader. I'd guess ALPS or P&G.

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Someone, who got the SSL Six, mentioned it feels like a Behringer ...
The only structural similarity I can see to some Behringer mixers is the raised "superstructure" where all the inputs are. In terms of quality, no, this is a different world.

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I got TWO Mackie 1202 VLZ4 about 2 weeks ago,- and it was horrible.
I just only wanted ´em for my keys in a small appartment where I cannot use my old gear because of lack of room,- and it was shattering.
At a 1st glance, it looked very sturdy w/ metal case, balanced XLR outs w/ mic/line level selector and built in PSU, but it already became unusable for me because L and R main-channels introduced a differnce of about 2- 3dB w/ input channel´s PAN and BAL pots (w/ center detend !) @ center position.
Some pots, when turned/moved, had almost no resistance, others had a lot of, some even too much ...
FX returns didn´t behave as expected,- AUX-2 return always controlled AUX-1 return, regardless of all the possible pre/post and routing switches combinations ...
A nitemare.
In the end I returned ´em both and didn´t want to see a 3rd one.
I'm sorry you had that experience. I've had lots of good luck with Mackie over the years. On my SiX review unit, I can assure you I found no such irregularities. In terms of tactile response and what a given movement does to the audio, everything is precise and consistent.

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Well, Mackie isn´t the same league as SSL, but now, when I read "small mixer - assembled in china", I´m very sceptical.
I´d wish gear again would be assembled where it is designed,- US, UK, germany p.ex.,- and got way better quality control vs the china products.
I get the skepticism. I think one thing we forget is that “Chinese manufacturing” is not monolithic. Like in any other developed country, there are mass-production factories, high-end boutique ones, and everything in between, depending on your budget and the price of your product. Also, the classier the factory, the lower the chances any of your designs will be copied. I don't know who SSL uses, but from looking at (and now inside) the product, I doubt it's the same people as a maker of a budget mixer who's working to a strict price point. (Aside: Japanese products had a similar reputation for being cheap and shoddy in the 1970s and '80s. Now, we in the West pretty much think of them as high-end.) Point being, I wouldn't prejudge the SiX just on it's being assembled in China.

Hope this is some help!


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Just chiming in to say that a few years ago I bought a Yamaha acoustic/electric guitar - a classical hybrid. Fairly high end model, full retail was $1,200.
It was made in China and it was... flawless. Completely and totally flawless.

Plays great, sounds great, looks fantastic.

So I can easily see a company like SSL successfully making high quality products manufactured in China.

Yes, there are other aspects. We are not here to discuss those.


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To echo Kuru and Stephen, there is a very wide continuum of Chinese manufacturing and QC practices today. There are still plenty of factories at the bottom of the heap, but the other end of the continuum is rising steadily...

The folks in the Chinese manufacturing community don't get out of bed every morning, yawn and stretch, and say, "You know, today I think I'll deliberately build cheap crap that the world will hate me for, just for the lulz." Bad quality and bad QC aren't deliberate and malicious -- they are an inevitable byproduct of what you get when a factory's available materials, workforce, IP, and/or funding are not up to snuff. When you have a company like SSL pouring resources into a Chinese manufacturing operation, it can't be assumed that the results will be on the same level as what you get from the folks building cheaper gear on the other side of Zhongshan.


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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
Hope this is some help!

Thank you very much for this detailed report.
Yes, it´s big help !

Great vids too !

cool

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I picked one up and love it so far. Still trying to wrap my head around how best to integrate it into my studio. So many options. So many hard decisions.


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What are your options? idk

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But who is number 1 ? ...
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John Worthington FWIW the way I’ve been doing it is to fully utilize the DB-25 connectors on the back via a couple of Planet Waves, erm, baby snakes, to and from the line I/O on my Apollo. Eight out, six back in. The Apollo monitor outputs feed EXT1 on the SiX, and another keyboard submixer (of late the Korg MW-2408 for its review here in GearLab) hits EXT2. The SiX is my main monitor controller, switching between my A system (ADAM S2A I bought off dB over 20 years ago, still going strong) and B system (Genelec 1029A plus 7060A sub).

On the first page of this thread is a post where I detailed the DB-25 connections. This setup gives me full send and return between the SiX and Apollo. Also, since the main and monitor busses are on the DB-25 outs, I can even route different things to them and record both buses to different stereo DAW tracks. If I need more mic preamps I've got the four on the Apollo I can switch in.

For when I’m feeling really fancy, the XLR main outs feed an old Korg MR-1000 DSD recorder. This lets me play stuff coming back out of the DAW (via EXT1 to main) and record it real-time for pre-mastering tracks instead of bouncing to disk. At least in theory, because I haven't needed to do this yet. But it's nice to know I can!

I haven't come up with a use for Bus B yet, as you get there by muting channels on the main bus. Routing things through an alternate hardware processing chain then back to the DAW is a possibility.

I never thought a compact desktop mixer could make that much of a difference to my workflow, however nice it was. But there really is a little magic to the SiX IMHO.

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Welp, SSL have just announced a new 500-series version of the SiX at another gasp-inducing price considering the quality and functionality.

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They're gonna sell a ton of those. thu

dB

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