The Superanalogue Channel unit is derived directly from the circuitry employed in the XL9000K consoles, right down to the individual component values and the unique DC-coupled preamps (which mean that there are no capacitors in the direct signal path). However, the XL9000 console was designed in the early '90s and constructed using conventional leaded components. As a result, the channel circuit boards in the console are pretty big - far too big to be easily re-engineered for a 19-inch rack case. So, although the actual circuitry is essentially identical, it has been implemented entirely with surfacemount devices and multi-layer PCBs - partly to make it small enough to integrate within a 1U rackmount box, and secondly to enable cost-effective automated production. This re-engineering has also produced some useful advantages along the way - one being the introduction of ground planes within the circuit board, which have improved the isolation and technical specifications of the various circuit stages. SSL Xlogic 2 At an early stage of the design of the Superanalogue Channel, the engineers and product marketing team had to decide which elements of the original console channel strip to include and which to leave out, as well as what features to add to make the unit more useful as a stand-alone product. The result is a product which combines the XL9000K channel's mic/line preamp, four-band equaliser, high and low filters, and dynamics section (comprising both compressor/limiter and expander/gate), with an output driver. The preamp stage has been enhanced with a DI input facility, and a plug-in A-D card is under development. Physically, the Superanalogue Channel is quite a deep 1U rack unit, measuring 365mm (14.5 inches) including the strangely protruding heat sink at the rear. It weighs 6.4kg (14lbs) and consumes a modest 22W of power. A mains power switch is provided on the rear panel, along with a voltage selector accommodating nominal 100, 120, 220, and 240V mains supplies. All of the main facilities found on the big console are retained in the XLogic Channel, including the ability to switch the equaliser between E-series and G-series responses, and to allocate the filters and/or equaliser into the dynamics side-chain. The compressor can also be switched from RMS to peak sensing. The general control layout is very similar to the console, although the slightly larger panel real-estate has enabled buttons to be used instead of the pull-switches built into the knobs on the console. All of the buttons have associated LEDs to ensure the operational status is clear at all times.