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New SSL AWS 900 opinions...
Old 17th December 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
castle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
SSL AWS 900 - user comments, please!

We are currently looking around for a replacement to our Sony DMX R-100... I wondered how owners or regular users of the AWS are finding them - what have you found are the positives and negatives? Are you using DAW or SSL automation? Do you use Recall and is it ok? Any advice very welcome...
Old 18th December 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
castle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
No-one?
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm not a user so ignore my comments if you like.

I will only say this : if you want an SSL get an SSL ... a new one or an old one ... there's plenty of options for all budgets out there these days. From cheap cracking and humming rubbish to decent and well maintained second hands to brand new ones.

The AWS an attempt by SSL to fill a market gap that simply isn't there imho. It's neither impressive nore very functional imho. As a daw controller it is uhm ... kinda dfegad on peoples intelligence and as a console ... well ... Back in the 80's the feature set could have been called revolutionary maybe .... in 2005, with 2006 round the corner it is .... uhm .... same thing really .... dfegad on peoples intelligence.
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Addict
 
JulianBrightnes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
...well as an AWS user I happen to like it...
Maybe the design of both the controller and the analog desk isn't a revolution, but the combination is.
I love the sound of the board and the integration between the layers is seamless.
I have 'awsomation' and 'total recall' but for dynamic automation I usually use protools.
For me the only downside is having to manually recall the desk before a mix.
If you've got any other questions: lemme know.

Cheers, Julian
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
USOMG's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianBrightnes
...well as an AWS user I happen to like it...
Maybe the design of both the controller and the analog desk isn't a revolution, but the combination is.
I love the sound of the board and the integration between the layers is seamless.
I have 'awsomation' and 'total recall' but for dynamic automation I usually use protools.
For me the only downside is having to manually recall the desk before a mix.
If you've got any other questions: lemme know.

Cheers, Julian
Julian,

Do you find the meter's "lag" behind the program material during playback?

I am seriously thinking about investigating this thing and this is a complaint I have heard several times from other users.... Just wondering if you could comment.... or if it was something that has since been 'fixed' on the desk.

From a practical and pure business standpoint....

I think I'd buy one of these before I ever bought an Ikon.

The AWS900 MIGHT still have a 25-40% resale value in 8-10 years, and it's analog signal paths will keep it potentially vital and worthwhile as a piece of audio equipment, unless something VERY, VERY MAJOR happens to the way we capture sound.

The chance of the IKON being worth ANYTHING at that time, given the historical precident on propritary hardware/software digital systems, is almost zero. This fact is further exagerated by the fact that it DOES NOT pass signal, and serves as nothing but a efficient control surface for a currently popular software platform.

It's functionality is tied to a marketing/manufacturing system which has established a ruthless and vigorus schedule of planned obsolecence in the past, and it's build asthetic alone is not revolutionary, nor clever enough, to make it endear or endure.

The goal of the IKON owners must be as follows as far as I can tell....

3-4 years to amortize the cost of the equipment and turn a profit given the current popularity of ProTools.

2-3 years of increasingly uncomfortable 'explaining away' the lack of the latest control surface and the dwindling profits that accompany such scenarios.

5-7 year window total.

Make the money and run.

Then.

No practical or funtional value.

No client draw.

No resale value.

Doorstop.

Yessir. I'd say the AWS looks positively BRILLIANT by comparison.

Just the way I'm seeing it.

USOMG
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #6
OHA
Gear Addict
 
OHA's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Julian, how do clients react on that you got the aws consolle?
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Dangerous Dave's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have just installed an AWS 900

I have said in other threads some people may not rate it because of cost / lack of dynamics. However for me it is perfect, it controls PT well it sounds awesome and it's a dream to use, one other thing... it's an SSL!

If you are wondering about re sale values, at this early stage of it's life I guess it's pretty much up in the air, however what I will say is that it will probably hold up better than other controllers / mid range consoles out there, simply because of the name.

All said and done, it's an awesome console..

Best

Steve
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by USOMG
The AWS900 MIGHT still have a 25-40% resale value in 8-10 years, and it's analog signal paths will keep it potentially vital and worthwhile as a piece of audio equipment, unless something VERY, VERY MAJOR happens to the way we capture sound.


Hahhahahahahaha .... yeah right. LMAOROFL. You haven't been in this business very long have you.

Take a look at the offer of second hands ... and fwiw ... the ones you find on the internet are EXPENSIVE. I know a guy here who makes a living of used SSL's. He usually buys them in crappy states with lots of default for virtually nothing .... 35k MAX for a 56 or 64 channel one , and that would have to be one of the more recent 4k's. He then repairs and recaps them and sells them at a profit for like 40 or 45 k ... depending the work he had on them.

25 - 40 % of the original value in 8 years from now ? LOL .... good luck.
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #9
TML
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
A guy at GC was trying to get me into one......90 grand...just put it on the mortgage.......here's your 90 grand....it's a 90 dollar track ball.......
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
castle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianBrightnes
...well as an AWS user I happen to like it...
Maybe the design of both the controller and the analog desk isn't a revolution, but the combination is.
I love the sound of the board and the integration between the layers is seamless.
I have 'awsomation' and 'total recall' but for dynamic automation I usually use protools.
For me the only downside is having to manually recall the desk before a mix.
If you've got any other questions: lemme know.

Cheers, Julian
Hi Julian, thanks for your reply. A couple of questions if that's ok... how long on average does it take to manually recall the desk using "total recall"? And, if you're using Protools automation (as I'm sure I would), is there any advantage in purchasing "awsomation"? When would it be used?? Finally, do you find the hardware "plugin" editing controls work effectively?
Thanks in advance!!
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Chris, who is the guy you know who buys recent 4k's for 35.000 and re-sells them for 45.000, just curious...
Old 19th December 2005 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
you can pm me for his contact info but I need to know who you are.
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
USOMG's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Lambrechts
Hahhahahahahaha .... yeah right. LMAOROFL. You haven't been in this business very long have you.

Take a look at the offer of second hands ... and fwiw ... the ones you find on the internet are EXPENSIVE. I know a guy here who makes a living of used SSL's. He usually buys them in crappy states with lots of default for virtually nothing .... 35k MAX for a 56 or 64 channel one , and that would have to be one of the more recent 4k's. He then repairs and recaps them and sells them at a profit for like 40 or 45 k ... depending the work he had on them.

25 - 40 % of the original value in 8 years from now ? LOL .... good luck.
Hello C. Lambrechts.

In this biz since 1981 actually.

I have owned and managed businesses that have bought and sold SSL's, Neve's, Tridents, Ameks, MCI's, Sphere's and API's. Still doing it.

Seen a slew of consoles and manufacturers come and go in a quarter century.

Heard it all.

All.



For starters... Don't mean to be pedantic but... There are no capacitors to recap in the AWS900 "common signal path".

It's a DC coupled design.

More importantly:

Nobody I know of, can REALLY predict the future of this stuff... It's all conjecture...But the more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for those eventual and dreadful cycles of things.

Harbingers of what can only be described as 'trends' in this game...

And me.... Well...I can easily see an AWS900 commanding $25-30k in good shape in 6 or 8 years. It will STILL be 24 excellent pres, 24 excellent Eq's and 24 excellent motorized faders, with total recall and a full function center section, including the much loved quad compressor... in a compact, efficient, well designed and solidly built package by a proven manufacturer of analog audio equipment.

I, for one, am unimpressed by the current glut of 'junker' SSL's on the market now being used as justification for the "LFAC is dead" chicken-littles. It is comical, and sadly predictable that such a phenomenon would be used as momentary pyrrhic victory, or better yet, jacobs ladder of hope and justification by the brave souls who bought into the gigantic DigiMouse.

I wish you well. I truly do. I wish ANYONE who is crazy enough to buy any one device that costs more than $50k in this business well.

It takes balls to 'pioneer' any type of business strategy that is NOT based on the proven methods of the past. And pure tactile controllers as the centerpiece for working studios certainly qualifies for that distinction.

It may be "all the rage". It may be "working now".

But...

I'll check back with you in FOUR years.... JUST FOUR years... and we'll see who's laughing last.

I suspect, and I'd be happy to be dead wrong about it, that you may be singing a different tune at that time.

USOMG
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by USOMG
I wish you well. I truly do. I wish ANYONE who is crazy enough to buy any one device that costs more than $50k in this business well.


Thanks .... and same to you.
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
castle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I guess it would be too much to ask if anyone else could answer the ORIGINAL question...?
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Addict
 
JulianBrightnes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by castle
Hi Julian, thanks for your reply. A couple of questions if that's ok... how long on average does it take to manually recall the desk using "total recall"? And, if you're using Protools automation (as I'm sure I would), is there any advantage in purchasing "awsomation"? When would it be used?? Finally, do you find the hardware "plugin" editing controls work effectively?
Thanks in advance!!
Recalling the desk takes me 5 to 15 minutes, bit longer if it's set totally different on all channels. I actually don't use awsomation that much. I could do without it, but it's nice to have the choice. Plugin editing works fine, the display on the desk is a bit small
and there's only 4 knobs to tweak with, but it's usually enough...

Cheers Julian
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
JulianBrightnes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by USOMG
Julian,

Do you find the meter's "lag" behind the program material during playback?

I am seriously thinking about investigating this thing and this is a complaint I have heard several times from other users.... Just wondering if you could comment.... or if it was something that has since been 'fixed' on the desk.
The meters have never bothered me, I think they work fine....
But the meters in the protools layer do. Measured in frames (I work for TV a lot)
I'd say a frame or two, but I usually check those on my computer screen...

To answer the 'client' question: the name SSL does help I've found, but I work a lot for
advertisement and they usually don't have a clue, as long as the espresso is good, they're happy


Cheers, Julian
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Another AWS900 owner here.

Works great. Like the Analog/DAW functionality. It does exactly what I need for my production work.
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
castle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist
Another AWS900 owner here.

Works great. Like the Analog/DAW functionality. It does exactly what I need for my production work.
Thanks... it's good to know that the people that actually OWN them seem happy!
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Rented one for session recently. Didn't like it. They obviously skimped on the goods somewhere because it just doesn't sound as good as the real ones. And for the price, you would think it wuld just be a smaller version of a K. No go, the EQ and Dynamics are really lacking compared to the J or K (which many people don't like either). My point simply being that the EQ and dynamics are not the same asin the big consoles, or something is keeping them from sounding the same.

Ended up sending it back and getting a little API mixer which solved all the problems.
Old 20th December 2005 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I used one extensively for a month and liked it. Granted I didn't fully mix anything on it but it was very comfortable and productive to work on. Work flow was great.
Old 21st December 2005 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyclueless
Rented one for session recently. Didn't like it. They obviously skimped on the goods somewhere because it just doesn't sound as good as the real ones. And for the price, you would think it would just be a smaller version of a K. No go, the EQ and Dynamics are really lacking compared to the J or K (which many people don't like either). My point simply being that the EQ and dynamics are not the same asin the big consoles, or something is keeping them from sounding the same.

Ended up sending it back and getting a little API mixer which solved all the problems.
devil's advocate here, but could it be the monitors and room you were in weren't of the same quality as when you were using the 'real ones'?

i've heard people say they sound just like the K, not like the J, and also someone (i think here at GS) said he felt they didn't sound the same as J/K. they used an AWS as a sidecar for a J or K i believe, but don't quote me on that.

i demoed one for several hours once and have to say i liked what i heard. never A/Bd it to the big ones though.
Old 21st December 2005 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
devil's advocate here, but could it be the monitors and room you were in weren't of the same quality as when you were using the 'real ones'?

i've heard people say they sound just like the K, not like the J, and also someone (i think here at GS) said he felt they didn't sound the same as their big brothers. they used an AWS as a sidecar for a J or K i believe, but don't quote me on that.

i demoed one for several hours once and have to say i liked what i heard. never A/Bd it to the big ones though.
It was in the same room as a J9000 being used at the same time for additional inputs. The idea was that is should sound just like the J, or even better like a K so that it should fit right in. But it didn't cut the cheese. had to make sure the tracks going to it didn't need as much EQ and tracks where the EQ was more crucial were done on the J9000. The next day we exchanged it for an API sidecar and the bottom end came back. Only problem was that the API sounded much better than the J.

Another thing that was interesting was that there was a HUGE difference in sound between returning the API into returns (better) than channel inputs, even at the insert return points of the channels. But thats OT.
Old 21st December 2005 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, pretty happy with the console. I use TR 2-3 times a day switching between different projects ----- great timesaver. Awsomation, been kinda lazy so I only use it on 2/3 of the mixes I do -- the rest I just automate in PT.
Old 21st December 2005 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
When you say that you are "lazy", is it more difficult to use the analog automation than the PT auto?
Old 21st December 2005 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyclueless
It was in the same room as a J9000 being used at the same time for additional inputs. The idea was that is should sound just like the J, or even better like a K so that it should fit right in. But it didn't cut the cheese. had to make sure the tracks going to it didn't need as much EQ and tracks where the EQ was more crucial were done on the J9000. The next day we exchanged it for an API sidecar and the bottom end came back. Only problem was that the API sounded much better than the J.
wow...

Quote:
Another thing that was interesting was that there was a HUGE difference in sound between returning the API into returns (better) than channel inputs, even at the insert return points of the channels. But thats OT.
double wow...
Old 11th February 2009
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
New SSL AWS 900 opinions...

Ok, the SSL AWS 900 has been out for a while and most threads are quite old, so now with some time under your belts, how are you owners and users still liking or disliking the console?

How is the overall sound compared to other large consoles (not size, you get the idea)?

How is the summing/center section for imaging, depth and headroom?

Overall... are you loving or hating the board?


Thanks!


-a
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
SSL UK
 
samw@SSL's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Solid State Logic | Music

Well I like it obviously, but I have to say I'm excited about the new SE software which adds some cool new things.

Don't forget it is an analogue console as we all know and love and a DAW controller.

And the ability to add new features via software allows it to grow with you over the next 5, 10 ,15 etc years.

All the best,

Sam
Solid State Logic
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
OK, I'll bite:

a. I still like my board.
b. the overall sound is good. I also work out of facilities with 9000J's and G's and find that I really like the sounds I'm getting out of my AWS900. It could use a few more channels (The duality covers that tho) and it would be nice if I could replace a few mono channels with stereo ones... heh (dreaming)
c. summing/center section is good and sounds like a good analog console.

I really don't know what else to say except that it works... heh
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Skip Burrows's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo ➑️
Ok, the SSL AWS 900 has been out for a while and most threads are quite old, so now with some time under your belts, how are you owners and users still liking or disliking the console?

How is the overall sound compared to other large consoles (not size, you get the idea)?

How is the summing/center section for imaging, depth and headroom?

Overall... are you loving or hating the board?


Thanks!


-a
Do an AWS setup like this and I can tell you that you will love it.
P.S. I also have a Huge G+, An Icon D-control and A Control 24. The AWS fits a niche that no other product does. We loaded ours with 24 channels of Dynamics pre wired to the inserts. Full Bay. You will love it!. Visit"https://gearspace.com/board/high-end/359076-aws-900-sunrise-sound-houston.html" for pictures
Good Luck..
πŸ“ Reply

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