Tech discussion => Wiring => Topic started by: jimlfixit on July 12, 2012, 05:59:47 PM

Title: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: jimlfixit on July 12, 2012, 05:59:47 PM
Amended 01 February 2013: DL blank pinout added as attachment

If anyone needs some help with SSL DL 96 way wiring pinouts, I have shown two on my website under the Documentation menu (the sub menu is SSL documentation ...Check out One is a blank for your own use and the other one is a typical example of DL33 which has the amps, echo sends, returns and other functions also shown below. I haven't shown the patch jack references (ie L 19) for now as your console may be different but, you can see your patch idents to hopefully identify the DL pinouts.

Also, I have shown a typical example of DL 33 below and a blank DL plug in the attachment section below.

In the early 80's, the consoles were mainly 24, 32 or perhaps even 40 channel frames. The pinouts changed quite a lot later on due to the consoles getting larger as well as SSL bringing out the 6K which mostly affected the centre section DL's (DL's 31, 32 and 33). Earlier on, a 56 channel console (rare in the earlier 80's) could have had the first 24 mic input circuits on, say DL 01 and circuits 25-56 on DL 02. Later on, SSL changed to having 1-32 on DL01 and 33-56 on DL 02. When consoles became even larger, DL 02 was 33-64 and DL 03 was created having circuits 65-96. The same pinout planning applies to all the other channel connections such as DL11, 12, 21, 22, 41 and 42. The user option patchbays were always a bit vague as some of the spare jack positions on the centre section patchbays (mostly R/S from memory) could have been wired as 16 circuits, or so, on separate DL's. You can spot most of these quite easily by looking at how many pins are inserted within each connector. If the DL is fully loaded, it would have 32 balanced circuits wired. If half loaded, it will have 24 circuits.

Also, I have seen examples of user option patchbays being added to a console with both the top and bottom row of jacks being wired into the same DL (maybe 16 inputs and 16 outputs thus creating a fully loaded DL. To the best of my knowledge, SSL NEVER did this and always wired the top and bottom patchbay jacks to separate DL's. Finally, notice the SSL patchbay labelling. After G/H, the next patch was J/K and not I/J. Similarly, they didn't have O/P but used N/P instead. They tried to avoid the letter/number confusion with I or 1 and O or 0. Hope this helps someone at some time!

I created this example below on Excel, converted it to PDF and then as a Jpeg to show here via Photobucket.

Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: waltzingbear on December 10, 2012, 08:11:13 AM
just installed a 4040 that had row R/S divided into two DLs for 1-24 (R=DL51 and S=DL52) and DL 53 was rows R&S 25-38, the rest being board functions.

this was a later vintage board made for Japan and it was wired this way from SSL (have original docs)

Title: SSL different DL pinouts
Post by: jimlfixit on December 10, 2012, 02:45:26 PM
Hi, your post just shows how different the SSL DL wiring pinouts were. I'm currently involved in an SSL studio with a 40 channel G console (wired for 48 inputs!). DL's 51 (R7 - 28) and 52 (S1 - 28) on this console have 22 and 28 circuits respectively from patchbay R/S (the extra 6 cct 1 -6 on DL 52 were for the local aux sends).

If your DL 53 had 28 circuits from both R and S rows, that was quite unusual on the same DL. Japanese consoles were always very different especially regarding the centre section but the patch should have remained as standard. I would imagine that the SSL functions on the rest of your R/S patchbay were mostly connected with SMPTE.

I'm about to show more posts on this forum relating to DL wiring and how to identify the DL pinouts and their connection to the patchbay so watch out for these from me under this menu.

I am now on FACEBOOK ( so check out the link for other SSL related items and wiring services. Select the photos, click the albums and view a photo for more information.

Regards all from Jim Lassen ( Email me direct at (substitute @ for AT to avoid spam).
Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: madmuso on February 05, 2013, 01:31:24 AM
Hey Jim,

I have been given the task of having to connect a total of 48 xlr sockets from 3 live room stage boxes to DL sockets to feed the "mic line" patchrow on the 6048e. Problem is, as I have mentioned in the 6048e thread, we are missing some documentation so I dont know where to start.

I have had a look at your diagram below and can see that each numbered channel on the DL has 3 associated inputs/connections labelled A, B and C.

My questions are:
1)  Does this mean that XLR pins 1, 2 and 3 go to A, B and C?
2) If so in which order?
3) Does one DL socket carry 32 channels TO the console, or does it carry 16 to and 16 back? IF the latter then I will need to use 3 DL's to get 48 mic signals to the console.

hope my questions are making sense, my limited knowledge on this is making it difficult!


Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: kilmister on February 05, 2013, 06:41:10 AM

I attached connector wiring info sheet witch shows typical DL connections. You have at least 2 DL connectors carrying total of 48 mic lines. My guess is DL01 has first 24 lines (1-24) and DL02 has second 24 lines (25-48) but you might want to confirm that.

XLR pins are connected as follow, when refered to Jims picture.
A  (red) -> Pin 2 (+)
B (blue) -> Pin 3 (-)
C (green) -> Pin 1 (SCR)

Title: SSL DL connector panel pinouts and wiring to XLR's
Post by: jimlfixit on February 06, 2013, 04:20:32 AM
Hi people and at last a new post from someone else about wiring. I'm almost doing this section alone so, come on wiring people, contribute please!

I intend to put a full list of possible DL pinouts on the site at some point but, for now, have a look at this close up picture (edited in Photoshop with fine detail by Steve Colley and David Granshaw at Chale Abbey studios, Isle of Wight, UK and sent to me) of an SSL connector panel showing various DL connectors. Along with a patchbay picture, I was able to figure out (with their help) most of the circuits involved and wire it up (it is still in progress!). I have drafted a new post about 'How to identify SSL DL connectors' but haven't had time to finish it yet. Meanwhile, I attach this picture anyway.


Notice DL's 1 and 2 (mic lines). If yours look like these (these each have 24 circuits), then your 48 mic sources are spread across the 2 x DL's using 24 pairs for each as shown. Notice that the other channel DL's are similar (11, 12, 21, 22, 41 and 42 plus a few other pins which would mostly be timecode sends or returns probably). Also, most SSL consoles had their user option DL's wired as 24 circuits as well unless they were 56, 64 or more channel versions (check out DL's 53 to 56).

To answer your questions:

1   Referring to the first circuit only: A1 is hot, B1 is cold and C1 is the screen. On an XLR, this could mean A1 is 2, B1 is 3 and C1 is 1 but bear in mind US equipment could be wired differently on an XLR. This description above refers to the UK, Europe and Japan (not sure about other countries) where the hot wire is pin 2 on an XLR (3 is cold). In the US, these are swopped round so that pin 3 is hot and 2 is cold. Confusing or what? I've seen some UK made gear years ago where the inputs and outputs were wired to different standards!

2   On my DL drawings, I have shown the circuits numbers and colours (red is hot, blue is cold and green is screen). This should give you a guide for the rest of the connector as I have shown the circuit numbers on there.

3   Each SSL DL can accommodate up to 32 balanced circuits but may have less (there were never any unbalanced DL circuits as far as I know). A half filled connector (one side of the central spindle) has 16 circuits and one which is 3/4 full has 24. In practically every case, SSL did not wire inputs and outputs on the same DL unless specified by a client.

Referring to the picture I enclose, you need to view the DL pinouts and see whether each one is wired as a 8, 16, 24 or 32 circuit. My guess (and Kilmister's) is that you have 2 x 24 pair circuits. If that is the case, you would possible need 3 x 16 pair cables (assuming 16 circuits for each panel) wired to 2 x 24 circuit DL's which means splitting one of the 16 pairs between two DL's. No big deal and I'm doing some of those now actually (5 cables between 4 DL's!). It's a bit fiddly but can be done. I'll do some posts when I finish this.

Alternatively, use 2 x 16 pair plus 2 x 8 pairs (for the middle panel) so DL 01 has Mics 1-16 from panel 1 into circuits 1-16 and an 8 pair, Mics 17-24 from panel 2 into 17-24. DL 02 has an 8 pair (panel 2, Mic's 25-32) into 1-8 on the DL and 9-24 are loaded from panel 3 (Mics 33-48). Therefore, each DL has a 16 and an 8 pair.

Kilmister has given you an answer as well but bear in mind the XLR pin 2 and 3 swop if applicable for different equipment. US mics also share this as well so bear in mind a Shure mic and an AKG on the same snare drum (top and bottom for instance) the Shure Mic is pin 3 hot and the AKG is pin 2 hot so they would be phase reversed (although some people prefer this!). Therefore, wire some phase reversals into your patchbay which, along with parallels (mults), could be very handy.

Kilmister also posted some SSL generated standard pinouts. Even when I worked there (1980 to 87), I didn't like the way they did their connector documentation which was not wire person friendly at all as they just showed lists of pinouts rather than a pictorial view. This would take more time for an installer to work out possibly leading to mistakes. That is the reason I did my drawings which are a rear view of the DL plug so you can add the wiring colours and destinations etc.

At one point, I even had various multicore pinouts and colours (Van Damme, Mogami etc) in a Filemaker program along with a DL drawing so I could just select a cable make and size and instantly get a full pinout printed.

Hope this helps and regards from Jim Lassen ( Also on FACEBOOK (

Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: kilmister on February 06, 2013, 08:06:34 AM
That's most excellent explanation I've read for a while.

What comes to to XLR pinouts, my recommendation is to stay in todays standard and build some separate polarity change adapters where needed.

Title: XLR polarity changers
Post by: jimlfixit on February 06, 2013, 07:13:04 PM
Hi people. Thanks for the kind comments Kilmister. You also mentioned making some polarity changers, presumably to keep the basic installation wiring as pin 2 hot and then use an XLR to XLR adapter to convert to pin 3 hot for the differently wired equipment.

Good idea but, if the budget doesn't allow for this, especially if a studio has lots of US equipment wired pin 3 hot, I would suggest re-wiring the XLR so pin 3 is hot and labelling it as such. This would save about 3 to 4 for 2 XLR's and a short length of cable.

I have some other ideas, used in the past for cable convertors and cable colour schemes so you can instantly see what convertor to use when they are hanging up somewhere. I'll post something on this site about that when I have more time to spare but, a starting point is red cable for inputs and green for outputs plus yellow for phase reversals perhaps.

Regards from Jim Lassen (

PS: I've just realised that I am the person to have entered the 1000th post on this website!

Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: brewery on February 08, 2013, 09:45:17 AM
regarding the pin 3 hot thing - this used to be common in american microphones and certain pieces of outboard, but most manufacturers switched to pin 2 hot quite a while ago.
to my knowledge the EV RE20 is one of the few mics left that is still pin 3 hot. shure mics haven't been for quite some years now.
same goes for most outboard, the really old stuff is on barrier strips anyways, and most others should say how they're wired on the back.
the only recent pin 3 hot piece i encountered was a bss crossover. also tascam consoles used to be pin 3 hot on the mic inputs.

not saying the problem doesn't exist, but it's a lot less common nowadays.

best thing is to get a polarity clicker and check, helps with keeping drum mics in phase too (regardless of how they're wired)

Title: XLR wiring
Post by: jimlfixit on February 08, 2013, 09:57:57 PM
Thanks Brewery for that info. It shows how old school (and out of date it seems) I am and I'm glad that pin 2 is much more commonly used these days. I'm going to be involved wiring about 100 units of rack gear soon so I'll bear that in mind.

Good job the good old 96 way DL connector is the same every time although, I think that some old API consoles used the same version as SSL but DID wire it differently! I have some documentation showing 24 circuits spread across the whole connector but missing out some of the circuits near the centre spindle.
Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: brewery on February 09, 2013, 08:55:47 AM
yeah, this to me is one of the main advantages of dl plugs - you can have a non confusing pinout, that stays imprinted in your brain after you've done a few installs. will never happen with edacs.

Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: alchematic on August 07, 2016, 09:36:03 PM
I need the pinout for DL 31 and 32. Can some one post them. I lost my DL chart book. Thanks!
Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: MartyAckerman on January 08, 2022, 11:18:01 PM
Resurrecting this old thread to say that this is really valuable info.  If anyone has any similar DL pinout diagrams or information, I'd love to have it.

I'm currently installing a 6048 that didn't come with documentation and tracing out these DLs is a pain.  For example, having the echo sends tucked between the stereo returns is a little evil.  Makes sense on paper, but when I discovered that send 2L wasn't next to 1R, I had no idea what was in between.  Didn't occur to me that it would be the send.
Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: MartyAckerman on January 08, 2022, 11:24:16 PM
...And immediately replying to myself to say that I just discovered the dropbox link a moment later, which has a wealth of information including rundowns of the DL connectors.  Jim's diagram is really nice and easy to read while you're working, so please share away if there are more of those.

In the meantime, I'll paste the link to the dropbox here as well, in case that helps anyone.
Title: Re: SSL DL wiring pinouts
Post by: jimlfixit on January 13, 2022, 04:01:15 PM
Hi Marty
Just seen your post after not being on here for a few weeks.
Ta for your comments about my clear DL wiring drawing (done in Excel). I also have examples of DL's 31,32 and 33. I can send you these via email so contact me with your email.
I am busy with two SSL installs at the moment in the UK but intend to post this info with pictures on the Forum when I get time along with most of the patchbay wiring for the 4 and 6K consoles as this is all a minefield but I know about it!