As a massive fan of all things analogue gear I decided to read up research and answer the question of which was better Neve or SSL? Having personally only heard each of these consoles just a handful of time in use in a studio the records that have been made by these consoles are un-countable. These two British studio work horses are staples of famous studios world over. AMS Neve comes from the British town of Lancashire and Solid State comes from the town Oxford shire. These console have been around for a while and are made of top notch electronic. After reading a couple of articles and many manuals of both brands one can come to conclusion that the answer to this question is…… well there is no answer!!
What I soon realized is that these consoles are like cars its basically a Lamborghini and Ferrari. They both do the same job what which one of it is the users choice.
Here was a something I picked up from a couple of write ups
- The Neve has a transformer on the microphone input, whereas the SSL does not. This may be a factor in the “warm” sound that is attributed with the Neve – though the transformers are on the mic input only, so tape or Pro Tools output don’t pass through these.
- The Neve has much more sophisticated circuitry, because it’s routing is very flexible. This probably again contributes to the coloured “Neve” sound.
- For the most part, though, the electronics on each board are quite similar.
- The Neve sound varies greatly between the eras of their design. Over in the SSL camp, whilst their sound has evolved, the similarities between E’s, G’s and K’series are more apparent than in the history of Neve’s designs.
- The Neve’s automation is sophisticated, possibly not for any good reason. Despite the Neve being a fantastic sounding mix console, Most engineers opt not to mix on it purely for the reason that you do need a degree in rocket science to operate the automation!
Having compared these two consoles I think they both are winners and no ones better than the others but have their own personal plus points.