$ 1,029.00

The SSL E-Series EQ Module is a 500-series format equalizer ported from the SL 4000 E console channel strip, which has figured prominently in the sound of chart-topping music from the ’80s through today

They say variety is the spice of life, and the variety enabled by the 500-series format is the spice of recording. For those who’ve patiently waited for the SSL E-Series channel equalizer to come to the 500 format, your wait is over. Fully VPR-Alliance compliant, the SSL E-Series Module for the 500 format has arrived. Not just a reissue of a single console EQ, the E-Series EQ Module lets you switch between two different equalizers found on editions of the console produced between 1979 and 1987. The equalizers are differentiated by the color of the knobs on the low-frequency section. The earlier console iteration is known as the Brown EQ (card 02), which was followed by the Black EQ (card 242), the result of feedback from top engineers. Each EQ has the unique response curves and tonal character of the original Brown and Black channel equalizers. Of special note, the Brown equalizer was featured on the SSL E-Signature Channel, which was discontinued, now back in Brown on the X-Rack E-Series EQ Module.  

SSL E-Series EQ Module for 500 Series—Just the Facts:

  • Immortal SSL 4000 E Series circuitry
  • "Black-242" and "Brown-02" twin EQ design
  • Versatile 4-band channel EQ
  • Bell curve option on high-frequency and low-frequency sections
  • Fully parametric Low-Mid Frequency and High-Mid Frequency with Q
  • Nominal input/output level +4dBu
  • Based on classic 611E console channel strip
  • Featured on the AWS 924, AWS 948, and Duality consoles

SSL E-Series EQ 500 Module—Under the Hood

Brown Knob EQ

The E-Series module defaults to the original Brown Knob circuit that was standard on all early production E Series consoles. The BLK button switches the module to emulate the later Black Knob circuit.

With the BLK button out, the two parametric mid-band sections feature SSL’s classic logarithmically symmetric design that ensures that the ±3dB up/down points retain the same musical interval from the center frequency regardless of frequency and amplitude settings. The two shelving sections are traditional 6dB/octave designs with an option for a fixed Q parametric response (Bell). The 02 EQ (Brown), to give it its proper name, was used on countless recordings and mixes in the early eighties.

Black Knob EQ

In 1983 a new “242” EQ circuit was developed in conjunction with the late Sir George Martin for the first SSL console to be installed in AIR studios. The “Black Knob” EQ, as it became known, featured enhanced cut and boost ranges (±18dB instead of ±15dB) combined with a different control law and a steeper 18dB/octave high-pass filter for tighter control of low frequencies.

SSL E-Series EQ Module controls

This is a four-band equalizer that can be switched between two different sets of curves; one based on SSL’s ‘02’ (‘Brown Knob’) EQ and the other based on the latest version of the classic ‘242’ E Series (‘Black Knob’) EQ.

HF Band controls:

  • Frequency: Variable from 1.5kHz to 16kHz
  • Gain: Variable between ±15dB (Brown) Variable between ±18dB (Black)
  • “Q” (on BELL setting): 0.8 (Brown); 1.3 (Black)

HMF Band controls:

  • Frequency: Variable from 600Hz to 7kHz
  • Gain: Variable between ±15dB (Brown) Variable between ±18dB (Black)
  • “Q”: Variable from 0.5 to 2.5 (Brown); Variable from 0.5 to 4 (Black)

LMF Band controls:

  • Frequency: Variable from 200Hz to 2.5kHz
  • Gain: Variable between ±15dB (Brown) Variable between ±18dB (Black)
  • “Q”: Variable from 0.5 to 2.5 (Brown); Variable from 0.5 to 4 (Black)

LF Band controls:

  • Frequency: Variable from 30Hz to 450Hz  
  • Gain: Variable between ±15dB (Brown) Variable between ±18dB (Black)
  • “Q” (on BELL setting): 0.8 (Brown) 1.3 (Black)

SSL Console EQ history

The classic equalizers of the SL 4000 E and G consoles have made their mark on more hit records than any other console. SSL 4000 consoles are still in use today by top mixers, including Chris Lord-Alge and Bob Clearmountain. The current generation of Superanalogue console EQ (featured on Duality, AWS, and the mono X-Rack EQ Module) is switchable between EQ characteristics that offer either the E Series 'Black' EQ or the G Series EQ. Prior to 1987 SSL used the color of the low-frequency EQ knob caps to indicate which type of EQ was fitted. All consoles were custom built and could feature different combinations of EQ module. The following color codes apply:

E Series Brown: The original SSL EQ fitted to all consoles prior to the summer of 1985. Despite the rumors, these equalizers only came in one version. The EQ card was called the “02”.

E Series Orange: The infamous EQP equalizer. This was a variation on the Brown EQ with controls simulating the curves of a valve-type EQ (the Pultec). Very few were sold. This card was named the “132”.

E Series Black: The last version of the standard E series EQ. It evolved in the early 1980s from discussions with many top engineers and proved very popular. The EQ card was called the “242”.

G Series: With the arrival of the G Series console in 1987, the color coding was abandoned and the classic SSL end-cap color scheme used today was adopted. First introduced in 1987, the original G Series EQ introduced Q characteristics which were proportional to gain settings and had a degree of overshoot when boosting and undershoot when cutting.

VPR Alliance

The 500 series, which has taken the industry by storm, began with API founder Saul Walker and his innovative modular console designs. API founded the VPR Alliance, the industry standard for 500-series modules, to ensure compatibility among all manufacturers off 500-series modules. This module has been specifically designed to operate in an API 500-series power rack such as the API lunchbox or its equivalent.  

Now you can have two flavors of authentic SSL E-Series console EQ to spice up your lunchbox. Order yours today! For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist.

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