E, G, G+ (what’s that all about?)

This is not by any means a comprehensive guide but we’re working on it!

The description E series, G series & G+ series are often banded about as though they are definitive and separate models of SSL console but it ain’t that straight forward, the terms can be applied to the console itself or the console computer.

When applied to the computer:

  • The term “E series” means that it can only run on original E series software and 8″ floppies, the memory is too small for later versions. Early ones had a 430 processor, later ones had 490 processor which, with a memory upgrade, can handle G series software up to console sizes of 56 channels. Also if you can find a SASI card the 490 can be used with 3.5” drives making it a G+ computer.
  • The term “G series” means that it can run G series software. These computers have either a 490, 4100A or Forman Hart processor with 2mb memory card which can run on 8″ floppies and use 20mb Bernoulli deives for extra storage.
  • The term “G+” means that the computer either has a 4100C processor of a Forman Hart/490/SASI combination and can run on 3.5″ floppy drives.

When applied to the console:

E series channels:

What you can read below is a brief outline of what you would find in the various versions.

The picture is far more complicated however because many of the modifications incorporated in the later series of consoles had been around for years as the custom mods built into the early desks and it is possible to find older E series desks with G & G+ features. Also many people ordered G/G+ consoles with, for example, E EQs.

Read the What Was Fitted When help sheet.

G series centre section

Introduced a full sized keyboard for the computer but for those with limited space the narrow E series keyboard was still an option. Additional operational features fitted as standard eg:

  • Channel input to meters
  • Solo link
  • Master ready group
  • Master cues cut
  • Cut and Solo O
  • Patchable VCAs
  • Split cues system

Later G series systems also incorporated some features seen in the G+ consoles eg: wireless talkback, phase scope , post compressor o/p, balanced main and monitor o/ps.

G+ centre section

As G series with additional features:

  • Oxygen free cable used throughout console
  • phase scope fitted as standard
  • 2 PPM meters fitted in the centre section
  • post talkback compressor o/p available on patchbay
  • LED meter illumination
  • additional mini loudspeaker o/p

Film pan modes and additional centre section mix amps were also available for these consoles allowing 5.1 mixing (these used cassettes from the SSL5000 series desks and thus required an additional set of power supplies).

Upgraded centre section cards cards giving:

  • Balanced main and monitor o/ps
  • Improved main fader law

Additional master section features fitted as standard:

  • Solo isolates for every bay of channels
  • VCA to meter inhibit for every bay of channels
  • Solo cuts to computer