At under $400 per channel, it's hard to find another pre amp as good as the Solid State Logic Alpha VHD. These pres sound absolutely wonderful: Wide open, rich, and warm. A/B them againt the preamps in your audio interface, and you'll want to re-record every project you've ever done.
I LOVE the SSL Alpha VHD pre. More than the pre I love the DI. I recommend this to every hardware synth user. It out-tubes a lot of valve gear I've used and the 3rd order can really get nasty. Use the output knob to compensate for the abuse on the input so your converters don't have to suffer! Back off the input and it cleans up real nice. It's a fast, clean pre sans VHD that's ideal for drums, acoustic guitar or anything with a lot of transient material. Did you do the math on cost per channel?!
I have had the Alpha VHD in my desk for years now. It is a workhorse and best of all, it sounds like SSL. Four channels in one rack space with this quality and presence you can not go wrong.
It's SSL, it deliver's!
I learned all my foundational skills on a SSL G console, so it was priority I got some ssl preamps for my own studio. What can I say, if you want their sound-you get it. I love mine on clean and overdriven guitars, they are perfect for a cutting rock tom-tom drum sound. The price is pretty great at 400$ and change a preamp. I recommend them highly for a dependable intro into the SSL sound.
I own and use Universal Audio and Vintech, Avalon, DBX, and Presonus pre's...the SSL Alpha is a whole other beast. Very strong in character, big iron sound, the VHD knob is insane...just a great addition to an already strong arsenal. Thanks Mark Magdich and Sweetwater for continuing to make my musical life better!
Solid State Logic Does It Again Even If They're Brittish...
I originally intended to purchase a Focusrite ISA428. I was convinced by Luke to get the SSL. When I plugged in my Roland Fantom to the DI amp I was blown away. The 3rd harmonic distortion adds a sonic character to your signal that is indescribable. I've used SSL 9000 J series boards before & the DI on the Alpha almost sounds better than the 9000 J DI to my ear. Thanks Luke, SSL, & sweetwater.
4 Channel Magician !!!
The only reason i did not give this 5 stars is cause I only have about 4yrs experience in audio recording, and have not tried half of everything out there (just yet).
I call this my 4 Channel Magician cause i can make this thing sound clean and straight, or fat and warm. I also own an LA-610, and i can get that same grit sound from this unit as i can the LA-610. But the thing that impressed me the most is the fact that i can make an "OK" mic sound like a well defined solid-state, or a warm tube.
I will never regret purchasing this unit. At $424 a channel, you got to be crazy not to consider this unit.
***Thanks also to the Sweetwater staff***