Neve 80 desks had thsoe big steel rails that ran between every bucket of (10?) modules for reinforcement.
The TSM is just one long open bucket.
The mic pre in the TSM is definitely NOT discrete.
Record Plant did some fairly major mods to their big 56 in mixing desk... and they're worth considering if you really want to imporve your TSM.
one was, the put in pull on/push off pots for all the rotary sends and also to engage the line trim (push down made it unity, pull up engaged the trim... that alone is a BIG improvement)
they also had an extra buffer amp installed at the channel insert point... this provided enough current there to drive a chain of, say, an La2a
and a Pultec, which was common there.
I seem to remember it being 5534's in that desk rather than TLO's...but maybe that was another Record plant mod.
It was never my faovurite desk to record on (because of the very adequate mic pres...) although i DID do some major overdubs up in that mix room.
(the Time After Time guitars were, for example, recorded on it)
but it was a nice desk to mix on, once we put the GML automation in it.
I agree, WORLDS better sounding and nicer to work on than an 80 series Trident.
congratulations on your new baby though.
Fred is a good guy, and I'm sure he'll be helpful if you need him to be.