thats not the point I was making, and you are way off the 4000g master bus compressor and the 8000 are highly sought after sounds, to the point of being emulated by almost every company that does that sort of thing.
SSL stuff is ultra-clean by design, even if they are popular to emulate for whatever reason they are (I assume their paradoxically present yet transparent grain/glue).
the point i was making is rarely do you see in studios people using desks for warmth, or any characteristic other than routing the signal possibily to an echo chamber (like at fantasy) or some other send and then into protools.
This might be true in some circles, I really wouldn't know. I do know that many boards are sought after precisely for the reason that they give character and warmth to a mix, particularly for what they are able to do with digital stems. I think SSL would *not be one of those brands precisely because it wouldn't color the signal much, so its not profitable to use it for such. I was even told so by Marc Senesac who heads up music at Sony Playstation that he steered clear of SSL stuff because it was too transparent for his taste.
If you want to spend your money on something that will give you warmth, get some decent mic-pres.
I would like to hear some A/Bs of these mixers , compared to a mic pre of the same quality.
Good pres are wonderful, no argument there. If I wasnt so lazy I could give you an a/b of the zed r-16 pres, vs. Shadow Hills, Great River, Portico, and... I think my pal has a Dav BG-1, as well as some older recordings we did on a Chandler/EMI strip thru the Abbey Road limiter.
My opinion there is they are all good. The zed pres so far are very clean and warmish, with the real power coming in at the EQ section, which is color/beef central.
I bet you are going to hear more a difference in a tube mic pre than a board like that.
You are right, tubes do sound different than the zed's pres.
I also feel like the eqs are pretty much more properly suited for live sound. External Hardware EQs and Digital EQs just do the job better.
Depends on the EQ, I would guess. The ones on my zed r-16 are wonderful to my ears, but I only have my Portico EQ, a Manley Massive Passive we had but sold to go on.
I am simply not at all very educated in the outboard EQ world. Never heard a real Pultec, kinda messed with the Chandler EMI stuff a bit during a vocal session, but don't know much at all really... honestly.
I am not an expert by any means, but I have been very blessed to be exposed to a lot of the top gear out there. I am constantly surprised by different pieces and which ones I prefer.
Blessings to everyone here on your search for the sound that works for you... there are so many options one can lose years looking for what works!