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SSL: how low can they go?

High-end manufacturer introduces super-affordable new interfaces

The new ultra-affordable SSL 2 interface.The new ultra-affordable SSL 2 interface.

Budget audio interface launches are common at NAMM, but this year big names are rumoured to have debuted fully-featured interfacing at lower prices than ever. First out of the gate are SSL, who are introducing their first ever sub‑£200$300 hardware product just before the show: the new 2 interface.

USB‑powered and with SSL’s own mic preamps (related to those in last year’s SiX mixer), the 2’s specs do not read like those of super‑affordable gear. Although ‘just’ a 24-bit/192kHz two-in, two‑out interface with a dedicated headphone out and balanced monitor outputs, its dual mic preamps offer a possible +62dB of gain, there are Neutrik connectors and Alps pots throughout, and the 24-bit/192kHz converter chips are apparently the same ones used in SSL’s expensive Alpha Link converters.

The 2 also offers ‘Legacy 4K mode’, a switchable analogue circuit that allows users to add something of the classic character of an SSL 4000-series input stage if desired. As if that weren’t already a pretty good deal, the interface also comes with a bundle of SSL plug-ins worth over £1000$1000 and a selection of other third‑party software instruments.

The 2+ is slightly more expensive... but hardly bank-breaking!The 2+ is slightly more expensive... but hardly bank-breaking!

As well as the 2, SSL also introduced a (slightly) pricier variant, the 2+ (above), which features an additional headphone output for collaboration, and an extra pair of unbalanced outs which may be assigned a different aux mix if required.

Features Editor Sam Inglis gets the full lowdown on the units at NAMM 2020; watch our video above for more info.

The 2 costs £179.99$229.99, the 2+ £239.99$279.99.

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