SSL 2

258

2-Channel USB-C Audio Interface

  • 24-Bit/192 kHz AKM converters
  • Mic preamps (62 dB gain range, 130.5 dBu ON)
  • Neutrik connectors
  • Alps pots
  • Legacy "4K" switch per channel for sounds inspired by the legendary SSL 4000 series
  • +48 V Phantom power
  • 5-Stage level meter for each input
  • 2 Mic-/Line-/Instrument inputs: combo XLR/jack 6.3 mm
  • 2 Monitor outputs: 6.3 mm jack, balanced
  • Stereo headphone output: 6.3 mm jack
  • USB bus-powered
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 234 x 70 x 157 mm
  • Weight: 0.88 kg
  • Includes software licenses for SSL Native plug-ins (Vocalstrip 2 & Drumstrip), Ableton Live Lite, Loopcloud Samples & Hybrid Keys/Komplete Start
Available since January 2020
Item number 481700
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Recording / Playback Channels 2x2
Number of Mic Inputs 2
Number of Line Inputs 2
Instrument Inputs 2
Number of Line Outs 2
Headphone Outs 1
Phantom power Yes
Number of S/PDIF Connectors 0
Number of ADAT Connectors 0
Numer of AES/EBU Connectors 0
Number of MADI Connectors 0
Ethernet 0
Other Connectors USB
MIDI interface No
Word Clock 0
Max. sample rate (kHz) 192 kHz
Max. resolution in bit 24 bit
USB Bus-Powered Yes
Incl. power supply No
USB Version 2.0
Width in mm 234 mm
Depth in mm 157 mm
Height in mm 70 mm
Connection Format USB port Type C
Included in delivery Licences for SSL Native PlugIns (Vocalstrip 2 & Drumstrip), Pro Tools First, Ableton Live Lite, Loopcloud Samples & Hybrid Keys / Komplete Start, USB cable
Zero latency monitoring 1
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$155
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The legacy of SSL

Alongside the almost identical SSL 2+, the SSL 2 is the first audio interface from the long-established British company Solid State Logic, which is most likely known to many musicians and sound engineers for its large mixing consoles. The 4000-series consoles (often referred to as "4K") have a legendary reputation and the SSL 2 interface is reminiscent of this series both visually and sonically. Each channel features a Legacy 4K button with which SSL have distilled two essential characteristics of the 4K sound into a single circuit, adding analogue colouration when the user needs to breathe some life into "dull" or "lifeless" sounding input sources, but more on that below. Apart from this special feature, the SSL 2 is a typical two-channel USB interface with LEDs and a large monitor mix control, and it comes at a surprisingly low price by SSL standards.

SSL 2 2-Channel USB-C Audio Interface

All the way to eleven

The two Neutrik inputs on the back of the SSL 2 interface serve as combo sockets, allowing both microphones (with optional 48V phantom power) and instruments to be connected. The single headphone output and a pair of monitor outputs (all in 6.35mm jack format) are joined by a USB-C port, which supplies the SSL 2 with power. The first thing that catches the eye on the top of the interface is the large, baby-blue monitor level control, which, as a nice touch, goes up to "11" and not just "10" ("Spinal Tap" would be proud). There are also rotary controls for gain, headphone volume, and direct monitoring (crossfading between the input and the signal coming in via USB).

The sound of the 70s and 80s

The SSL 2 is designed for sound and quality-conscious beginners who only require two inputs and outputs while also seeking the focused and punchy sound of the SSL 4000. The first thing that engaging the Legacy 4K button will do is introduce a "forward", yet musical high-frequency EQ boost, while also injecting a controlled amount of finely-tuned, sweet-sounding harmonic distortion into the signal path. The two inputs can be switched from line to Hi-Z, which allows for the simultaneous recording of an electric guitar as well as vocals with a condenser microphone. For users who need MIDI sockets, we recommend the SSL 2+, which also offers even more outputs.

Solid State Logic Logo on the SSL 2 2-Channel USB-C Audio Interface

About Solid State Logic

Solid State Logic (SSL), is a renowned British manufacturer of high-end mixing consoles and hardware. It was founded in 1969 by Colin Sanders and is based in Begbroke, Oxfordshire. Initially the company developed transistors to control church organs, hence the name Solid State Logic. At the end of the 1970s they made huge advances in the domain of large mixing consoles with the 4000 series which pioneered the oncoming era of the ‘super’ consoles. Later, the 6000 and 9000 series also proved to be a great success and are still being used in countless recording studios all over the world. In 2005, Peter Gabriel and David Engelke took a majority stake in the company and then sold it to the Audiotonix Group in 2017.

Connections on the SSL 2 2-Channel USB-C Audio Interface
Closeup of the SSL 2 2-Channel USB-C Audio Interface

Plug & play

Weighing in at just over 800 grams, the SSL 2 is a robust and rather compact unit powered via USB. As such, it is ideal as a mobile interface when used with a laptop running a DAW (digital audio workstation), for example. As a class-compliant device, it does not require a driver for Mac, while suitable software is available for Windows on the SSL website. What is more, a small software package is included in the scope of delivery so that beginners can get started straight away: SSL Native PlugIns (Vocalstrip 2 and Drumstrip), two entry-level DAWs (Avid Pro Tools First (plus plugins) and Ableton Live Lite), 1,5GB of Loopcloud samples, and Native Instruments Hybrid Keys and Komplete Start.

258 Customer ratings

4.8 / 5

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handling

features

sound

quality

165 Reviews

g
Outstanding interface!
giorgpap 25.11.2021
My wife is a pro singer and a qanun teacher. She works in the music industry, and I am a session musician with several gigs a month and occasional demos. So, we need to buy a good and cheap interface to:
- record vocals
- record and edit acoustic and electric instruments (qanun, oud, flute, classic guitar, a-guitar, e-guitar, double bass, e-bass).
- Deliver online lessons with real-time singing and instrument playing
- Listen to some nice music in our dedicated - acoustic treated bedroom-style studio.
I use SM7B directly to the SSL for my wife’s vocals, and several top-notch condenser mics for the acoustic instruments. Focals for monitors, decent acoustic treatment in the room.
Results are beyond my expectations. This interface is a killer in the under-500€-category if the inputs-outputs suits your needs (I am more than happy with it, if I need more connections or we have a very demanding project, we can always visit a pro studio in my city that has thousands of € gear).
We always receive compliments about the sound quality of our work, many pro engineers had asked me what gear we use and have such good results in a home studio. Very clear sound, no noise or distortion. Even if I crank the gain to ¾ for the SM7B, I have a very clean and sweet signal. A few times I try to use the 4k switch and the results are nice on vocals but not so useful on instruments. I find the 4k switch more useful for online singing lessons (and video meetings) and not so perfect for recordings. But with online seminars, the voice is very easy to be heard from the other parties with all the wet details of the mouth and tongue.
I also like the form factor. Very easy to use and adjust settings even if I don’t look at the interface. It really pisses me off that most audio interfaces are like tiny rack-mounted devices, they are very slick and if you try to adjust a knob you end up pushing the device in back of your desk. Build quality is also top, and this thing will last for years.

Highly recomended, and excellent service from Thomann -as always.
quality
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10
2
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b
All about the blue knob!
biggee 17.07.2020
Unit is built like a tank and looks beautiful.

Sound quality is excellent, as you would expect from a company like Solid State Logic. The legacy 4k mode is wonderful for adding a bit of "air" to your recordings as it adds a very musical HF boost which you will love. Worth noting that this a pre-recording option only not post, so you can't reverse or remove it if you record with it enabled.

The design is really well thought out and it's a decent sized chunk of metal that feels like it should be way more expensive than it is. Plus it's got that lovely big blue monitor control knob! As with all of the knobs these are similar (in look at least) to what you'd find on an SSL console costing many marriages which is a super nice touch. Also every knob and button feels like it was built to last. There is absolutely nothing "budget" about the look or feel of this thing.

Monitor mix will let you set a balance between what you hear coming back from your DAW and the direct signal into the box. This is great for a number of reasons but in particular it's very handy if you have some decks plugged in as you can monitor them without having to open up a record line in your DAW or any software at all for that matter.

You also get a 6 month free trial of the SSL Native plug-ins bundle (worth about £90 on it's own). If you haven't tried these yet you simply have to, once you do you won't be able to part with them.

Only downside for me is the lack of a mono sum button. Why? it would have been so cheap and simple. There is a stereo button on it which some youtube reviews suggest is supposed to switch between mono and stereo but this is for the input stage only (recording a stereo source), and doesn't affect the output stage. If you want to hear you mix in mono with the SSL2 / 2+ you will have to set the output to mono in your DAW.

A digital input would have been nice too but I guess that would have bumped the price up.

Goes without saying that I love this box but I also have to show mad love for Thomann who were extremely helpful when the courier delivering this went AWOL. Customer service is virtually a thing of the past these days but Thomann are a shining example of how it can and should be done.

Pros :
- Sounds fantastic
- Beautiful design and layout
- Built like a tank
- The big blue knob (it's just sooo satisfying to use and to look at)
- Free Drum & Vocal Strip plugins
- Free 6 month SSL Native trial (do it now)
- It's SSL man!

Cons :
- No mono sum button
- Input meters could have had more resolution, bit useless
- You can only access the "free" loopcloud samples if you don't already have a loopcloud account (or you set up a new one)
quality
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7
1
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A
Great
Azuflid™ 06.10.2021
This is great audio interface. I can feel real solid SSL quality. Thank you Thomann.
quality
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2
0
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s
Better than 2i2
sibilar 14.10.2020
So, I had a 2i2 for my guitar and bass recording at home. Soundwise and latencywise I was happy but didn't like the fact that the card doesn't like high gain pickups. I had to turn down the gain on the channel input all the way and still with some humbuckers it would clip.
That's the only reason I bought SSL2. I tested it and it handles humbuckers better. Still, I would like to have more headroom for guitar recording. On 2i2 I used to turn the gain down all the way, on SSL2 I put it on 1/4 and it doesn't clip with most PAF's and similar humbuckers.
Soundwise, I don't have much to say that hasn't beend said already.
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3
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