Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Carmel, NY
Hi... I am guilty of not going back to read this whole thread but here is a list of Trident Consoles that I wrote up some time ago as an explainer of what Trident consoles are what...
Trident consoles: the John Klett summary
A Range -*1970,*First Trident console made initially for in-house use at Trident Studios, split*monitor*design, 16 and 24 buss versions, all discrete class A circuitry. Not many were made, perhaps 11 to 13 produced by Trident. Cherokee Studios in L.A. purchased the first A Range consoles that came to the US and the story is that they made a copy or copies - there are some very good clones of A Range modules floating around that were made in the 70's (by component dating) and these are attributed to Cherokee. Parts of the A Range consoles suck but a well restored one can be awesome. The Micpre/EQ is quite good although the mic pre (and other amplifiers in the desk) went through various changes and updates as the techs at Trident played with gain and compensation to keep them quiet and free of oscillation (most of the time) - everyone was learning. Few completely intact A Range desks exist. Several have been broken up for the modules. At least one the remaining desks is made from two different consoles each having different buss modules. There are probably five or six working A Range consoles left on the planet.
B Range -*1973,*Second split*monitor*design console, reduced feature set from A Range but based on same general architecture and many of the same circuit blocks (but not in EQ). It came in*4, 8 and 16 buss versions, all discrete and class A circuitry. More of these were made than A Range consoles. Generally the only good thing about B Range consoles today would be the input modules with mic pre and EQ and even that is questionable given the condition they are in today - the controls and switches are generally past cleaning so a tech who cares and wants these things to be reliable would be replacing all the controls. This is nearly always NOT a good Trident console to buy and try to restore as a console.
Fleximix -*1977,*Live sound console, 8+2 buss, all IC, based on 741 opamps and later ones used TL071's. This mixer was created to fill the role as the F.O.H. mixer for Queen. It was a great portable table top modular console in it's day with limited functionality for studio application but it was great live desk when compared to everything else that was available at the time. The Flexi was*similar to Soundcraft Series One in feature set but the Flexi modular and flexible in configuration while the Series One was not. Fleximix consoles turn up with some regularity although many of them are being bought up for their mic input transformers, the ZUTT012a. This transformer was in all the early Trident desks. A functionally equivalent part is now manufactured as a model 7456 by Sowter and selling new for around £50 UK... and that part does not sound anything like a Zutt.
TSM -*1979,*First Quad console, split*monitor*design, 24 buss 32 monitor return standard, all IC based mostly on selected TL071 opamps: *This is a really cool console and ranks among the best of the Trident IC consoles in terms of flexibility and feature set... *These are old consoles today and need work but they are restorable. *The split design makes them huge and restoration can take time. The patchbays on early TSM consoles used plastic PC mounted jacks in the patch-field. Later on they changed to a PC mount metal long-frame jack that was better but the patchbays in TSM and nearly every Trident desk are going to be problematic after so many years. Some of the short faders used in the EQ's and monitor remix section are not easy to find. They are an odd size so unless you find NOS (low probability) custom parts will have to be ordered.
Series 80 -*1980,*Stereo console, split monitor design,*all IC based mostly on selected TL071 opamps: This is the first of the 80 Series desks and arguably one of the most*successful*mid-sized non-recall console products ever made. *The early ones had transistor followers added to the IC output amplifiers to lower output impedance. *Over time the series was upgraded - 5534 opamps came into use in mic pre's and buss amp locations, the transistor followerconsoles were dropped in later production but could be retrofitted up until the C version when the circuit boards were re-laid.
Tri-Mix -*1981,*Stereo console, split*monitor*design, rear panel patching, mobile,*no stand: *This was a stripped-down Series 80 with less of everything. There were some gain structure and headroom issues in the first ones and generally this product missed the mark. *It was sort of a table top console but too big and too expensive for the feature set it carried... *too big and too expensive on the one hand and not enough console on the other. *There are Trimix consoles floating around and they are good... *these are more of a marketing failure than and technical one.
Series 80B - 1983: as Series 80 above. *The monitor remix section was revamped and was delivered with features that were mods in the original series so the bus faders and rotary monitor remix level pots could flip via a switch and the monitor remix section could fold into the stereo bus. *The Series 80B is the best of the Series 80 line in some ways...
Series 70 -*1983,*Stereo console, split*monitor*design, Tuchel connectors, patchbay and*stand: *This is what the Trimix should have been and in fact with some minor mods a Trimix module will fit into a Series 70 frame. *The Series 70 had 16 busses and more features than a Trimix... *it also had a patch and really was more like a small Series 80 desk.
TIL*"Trident In Line" -*1984, Stereo console, first in-line monitor console from Trident: First with narrow module width (relative to Series 70,80 etc) and full channel strip modules. *Few of these were made... *too much stuff in too small of a space.
Series 65 - 1984, stereo desk, connectors on the back no patch: first of the truly successful table top consoles from Trident
Series 75 - 1985,*stereo desk, connectors on the back with patch: pretty much a 65 with larger meters and an integrated patchbay.
Trident Di-An - 1986, a fully automated digitally controlled analog console, mixes stored on 3-1/2" floppies. *Maybe fewer than ten were made... some were still in use in the oh-oh's and were reported to sound amazing... but not sure what that means any more. *The DiAn is one of the things that killed Trident... *it was too costly to develop and did not catch on.
Series 80C -*1987: as Series 80B above. *More features added and the inside of the modules got busier. *These are good consoles but some of the features, when actuated, can overburden certain amplifiers and muddy up the sound so some of the IC's concerned changed to 5534's, which reduced, but did not eliminate the problems... in regular use this was not anything an operator using the console normally would really encounter but it is something to be aware of... of course these consoles are less old so they are generally less beat up.
Series 16/24 - 1989,*stereo desks, connectors on the back: basically "upgraded" Series 65/75... also described as a 'hybrid between the Series 65 and Series 75, utilizing Series 75 modules in a Series 65 frame"
Vector 432 - 1989,*the second in-line monitor console to be designed by Trident: *This is*Trident trying to answer the SSL 4K... it had*32 multitrack busses, 4 stereo busses and a choice of 4 modules including a stereo input with both stereo mic and line inputs, there were also version with LCRS pan for film mix applications. *These were feature-packed in-line monitor desks that ran pretty hot. *There are few around today however if in kept in good shape, recapped and clean, they should sound quite good and offer most of what an SSL or V-Series would. *Recall may have been an option but that would be proprietary and probably running on a computer that you can't get parts for.
Series 90 - 1992,*offered *with a choice of either Trident’s dual*VCA*fader automation or moving fader/VCA*(SSL Ultimation-like)*fader automation. Both systems include 12 automated switches per channel and machine control. The Ninety is a 24 bus console available in either 40 or 56 channel frame sizes.. There was one in Nashville last I heard (2005 maybe)
Ventura 85 - 1994,*developed to fill the niche below the Ninety series and is available in 32,40 and 48 input versions with an optional automation package.*Never saw one...
and then it fell apart and you had the father of something or other doing this and that and people fighting over nonsense...
Malcolm went on to make MTA consoles... and now PMI owns the marque and Malcolm is happily working away on the Trident 82 console... which I have had demo modules from and... well... there is no Trident console where you can't point and something or another and complain about as a tech but it has a good feature set... eight sends... a nice sweep filter added to the EQ... it's is worth looking at but WAY more money than a used 80... I have a client looking at a big 82 and it would not make me sad at all if he bought that, as opposed to other supposedly Trident descended things...
anyway - hope that was fun