XL-DeskThe smart dumb analogue console.

XL-Desk VHD Pre's

VHD Pre's

XL-Desk features 8 of SSL's patented Variable Harmonic Drive (VHD) microphone preamps, built-in to the first 8 channels of the console. The VHD pre can deliver clean SSL grade recordings but also features the VHD circuit used in our acclaimed Duality console* which can be switched into the signal path. The Variable Harmonic Drive circuit uses a 100% analogue signal path to generate rich harmonic distortion. As you increase the input gain, the Variable Harmonic Drive circuit introduces either 2nd or 3rd harmonic distortion or a blend of the two to your source material. At lower gain settings it adds gentle valve-style warmth or a touch of transistor edge. As the gain is increased the more extreme the distortion becomes until at high gain settings it delivers fierce trashy transistoresque grunge. VHD pre's give the user the ultimate versatility from a studio grade preamp. Whether it's ultra-clean traditional SSL, subtle warming or totally trashy transistor distortion, VHD will change your expectations of what a preamplifier should deliver.

Key Features

  • 8 channels of high-quality, SSL microphone preamps with 75 dB of gain
  • Switched VHD circuit - introduces either 2nd or 3rd harmonic distortion or a blend of the two for enormous tonal versatility
  • 48V phantom power
  • 20dB Pad on input for line level signals
  • Hi Z switch toggles impedance between 1.6K and 10K for different microphones


*Note: Duality has two different channel inputs; the SuperAnalogueTM mic pre (as also featured in the AWS and X-Rack Mic Amp Module) and a VHD input. XL-Desk uses the VHD input circuit not the SuperAnalogue mic pre.