Trident TSM pros/cons
Old 27th May 2006
  #1
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Trident TSM pros/cons

Old 28th May 2006
  #2
one man, ONE mic pre
They're pretty good desks with nice sounding EQ, but the ad seems to imply it's "A Range" EQ and it's NOT.

it's an all IC desk.

the mic pres are decent, but not exceptional.

and DiskMix is a pain in the ass.

but Fred at Tiki was good about caring for his gear and I'm sure it left him in good shape.
What's happened to it SINCE, I have no way to know.

who bought it and why is he selling it?
Old 28th May 2006
  #3
one man, ONE mic pre
oh.. on the con side..
one thing to look out for is the integrity of the FRAME.

the channel modules plug into 4 edge connectors, each, on the bed of the frame, not plug in connectors.
So if the frame is bent anywhere along that long desk, it makes it VERY difficult to get good edge contact.
Old 28th May 2006
  #4
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Thanks WW.
I think maybe a trip up for a closer look is called for.
Anybody else with an opinion???
Old 28th May 2006
  #5
one man, ONE mic pre
you want to see that all of the modules, especially in the higher numbers more near the physical centre of the desk, don't have any 'wiggle' in them as they sit in the frame.

even better if you can wiggle test them with a tone running to see if it loses contact.
Old 28th May 2006
  #6
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How 'bout a highly paid day trip to Boston?
Old 29th May 2006
  #7
one man, ONE mic pre
You'd be better off taking someone techie... a John Klett or Eddie Ciletti, for example
Old 29th May 2006
  #8
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You might wanna put a PM out to Dave G. A few years ago, when I met him, he was working at a studio in Sausalito with a TSM. That board was huge!
Old 29th May 2006
  #9
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Yes, our TSM was frickin enormous, with producers desks on both sides of the 40 channel beast. Ours looks similarly configured to the one in the auction, originally comissioned by Jose Feliciano, and sold by his ex-wife post-divorce to David Rubinson, where it went to work at the Automatt, before bouncing to Narada Michael Walden, and our shop.

While we didn't have any issues with edge connectors, the big issue with these was the pots. While it's routine to think about recapping old consoles, with a TSM, you'll also need to think about repotting the thing. It was sadly not uncommon to have a channel's signal disappear, only to reappear after tapping every pot on the channel until the tweaky one got it's tap. REALLY annoying.

Ours had Allisons, which we never used for anything other than grouping during my tenure, instead enjoying the art of static mixing, or "performance mixing", with white artist's tape marked for fader positions during choruses, verses, bridges, etc. .. fun fun fun

I actually really liked the TSM.. The preamps were good, and the EQs were capable of a kinda cool "grainy" texture that I sometimes hated, but sometimes really loved. I also liked having mini-faders for the EQ boost/cuts and the first 2 sends. It was ergonomically pleasant, and sounded good, if not audiophile.

I think the price on that one in the auction is pretty good, but count yourself in for a project, not to mention the space-needs.

-dave
Old 29th May 2006
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
They're pretty good desks with nice sounding EQ, but the ad seems to imply it's "A Range" EQ and it's NOT.

it's an all IC desk.

the mic pres are decent, but not exceptional.

and DiskMix is a pain in the ass.

but Fred at Tiki was good about caring for his gear and I'm sure it left him in good shape.
What's happened to it SINCE, I have no way to know.

who bought it and why is he selling it?
The automation system is Mega mix not disk mix. It's a little clunky but Fred had a full blown system with the LC 501 cards in the console. Fred's reputation is that he was really on with maintenance like William said. Mega mix is a good sounding vca
automation system. I think when you buy a console from PAD they commision the console for you.
Old 29th May 2006
  #11
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The old TIKI desk for $13.5k? Sounds like a good bet. That thing was probably cared for well.

A SONY mxp 3036 might be easier to deal with, and I'm told they "hot rod" without too much bother.

The TSM will always be a classic, a SONY/MCI will just be old.
Old 29th May 2006
  #12
one man, ONE mic pre
It's also entirely possible that Fred has already recapped and replaced pots etc in that desk.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #13
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TSM has Transformers

They're pretty good desks with nice sounding EQ, but the ad seems to imply it's "A Range" EQ and it's NOT.

it's an all IC desk.******** (Trident TSM IS NOT ALL IC)Transformer Mic Input/ Also Transformer out. Thats why they sound fat! Trident 80B Transformer Mic Input only but still desirable. The rest Is IC In the circuit.)*********


the mic pres are decent, but not exceptional.

and DiskMix is a pain in the ass.

but Fred at Tiki was good about caring for his gear and I'm sure it left him in good shape.
What's happened to it SINCE, I have no way to know.

who bought it and why is he selling it?
Old 3rd June 2006
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jslstrat
They're pretty good desks with nice sounding EQ, but the ad seems to imply it's "A Range" EQ and it's NOT.

it's an all IC desk.******** (Trident TSM IS NOT ALL IC)Transformer Mic Input/ Also Transformer out. Thats why they sound fat! Trident 80B Transformer Mic Input only but still desirable. The rest Is IC In the circuit.)*********


the mic pres are decent, but not exceptional.

and DiskMix is a pain in the ass.

but Fred at Tiki was good about caring for his gear and I'm sure it left him in good shape.
What's happened to it SINCE, I have no way to know.

who bought it and why is he selling it?
To be clear it's a Mega mix automation system NOT disk mix. I know because Fred Guarino was really knowledgeable about the system. When I bought mine, he was nice enough to answer some questions. I think when Fred sold out to Alicia Keyes
either they sold the desk or Fred still owned it and put it up for sale to pad. I dont think that this console has been used much since Fred sold Tiki
Old 4th June 2006
  #15
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TSM transformers

Just wanted to make clear...My Post was......TSM has transformers! Mic In and on the outputs of each channel....Trident 80 B has mic input transformers! I have actually seen the TSM cards with the transformers mounted on cut outs on the circuit boards. John
Old 5th June 2006
  #16
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I owned a trident tsm that did a lot of bay area work in the 90's.

think it did pointer sisters and P. collins against all odds before me (it was at american in la)

saw that auction as well. i don't see how you could go wrong. i love tsm's. very rock&roll with nice trannie sounds.

above is very correct re: risk of overflexing the channle slot "tray"

ship it with all modules in for stability. carrying it that way is difficult though during load in (it weighs tons fully loaded!!!)

a tsm smokes an 80 any day! first time i had to work on an 80 (when my tsm was booked out and i couldn't get in) i was sorely dissapointed.

the little plastic eq faders go dodgy often but all my long throws were p&g and were great.

love the split config during mixdown.

funny thing about mine: you could record running the pres really hot and it sounded great.

but the line in's were finicky and prone to overloading and distorting easily (they have a variable input pot for line in on each channel, as i recall which i'd have to trim down.)

the vintage desk i have now doesn't have this problem and i can slam anything up it's keister without it complaining (maybe it's gay!)

i actually considered going for that tiki desk when i saw that... problem is, i'd have to cut a hole through the wall in my live room to get it in! (no joke, it's massive!!!)

there was a company that handle all those little sliders and parts and it was a fairly easy board to work on. mine was in great nick amd i had hardly any maintainance issues. but we also did preemptive tech-ing regularly.

get the extender board if you buy it. your tech will hate you otherwise!

i'd go for it if it's in good shape and you have room for the big old lady!!!

Old 20th August 2006
  #17
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OK all, the Trident TSM from the original post is now in my studio in Salina, Ks. This board is beautiful. Fred at TIKI did a wonderful job maintaining it. The board ( & studio) were sold to Alicia Keys and she promptly sold it/traded it to pro audio design. I bought it from them. The story is happy all the way 'round. Fred had replaced darned near everything in the board and kept all of his receipts etc, all of the eq faders were replaced with those nifty tascam ones, pots were replaced with those sealed Renault or whatever they are called, all new acopian power supplys, custom headphone system with like 18 boxes were included. Much more was included as well. The board was basically like new.
I delt with Dave Nodif at PAD and he was great to work with, very helpful in making sure the manual etc and all was there. They also sent a lot of extra parts ( spare meter bridge etc) those guys could have easily just kept those parts and acted like they never existed, but they didn't, they sent them right along and it was a pleasant suprise.
I'll try to get some pics up at sometime.
Just as a side note to other TSM owners, my board is #50 I'm curious where all the others are & what your serial #'s are. Speak up!!

Aaron Householter
www.studio1117.us
Old 20th August 2006
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslstrat View Post
it's an all IC desk.******** (Trident TSM IS NOT ALL IC)Transformer Mic Input/ Also Transformer out. Thats why they sound fat! Trident 80B Transformer Mic Input only but still desirable. The rest Is IC In the circuit.)*********
You are correct on the transformer front, you are incorrect on the IC front, and the two issues are indeed mutually exclusive.

A transformer is a component in a circuit. An IC is a circuit unto itself, but can include/require/employ a transformer in the greater scheme of the circuit.

From what I recall of the TSM there were a couple of discrete transistor amplifiers in the circuit... I believe the mic-pre was one of them but I could very easily be wrong about that.

The two main issues with the TSM were the frame and keeping the TLO 72's from blowing. They ran the voltage rails very high in the TSM... right on the edge of the TLO 72's capability... coupled with a stock Trident power supply every now and again you'd experience a rash of dead op-amps. A more stable power source usually helped that significantly.

As for the frame, it's not too difficult to add a steel reinforcement bar to the frame to keep it from sagging. I've done this to some Neotek consoles over the years which have also had frame sagging problems [I even have an "anti-sag" package for a Neve 8088 in my collection of crap... the 8088 had notorious frame sagging problems!!!]... in other words, sagging frames were not necessarily uncommon back in the day and their remedies were not unknown.

In my not the least bit humble opinion... the TSM was a great sounding desk. Required a fair amount of maintenance on a fairly regular basis but sonicly the things were lovely.

Peace.
Old 20th August 2006
  #19
one man, ONE mic pre
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.
Old 28th August 2006
  #20
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Update!!
The old TIKI board now at my studio is moving along great put power to it (through the great acopian power supplies) all was well had a few burnt out VU bulbs but they are a very, very easy change out.
It's so damned amazing how much better this console is than an 80 series Trident. Items that you could easily take for granted on a TSM (like the ease of changing VU bulbs, to the ability to zero meters from the front instead of a meter bridge dissasembly)
I've been passing audio through the board via the patchbay and all is looking great, Fred really knew how to take care of a board. His few mods are great (including the ability of having 32 tracks of digital and a 24 track analog machine do a complete switcharoo by simply pressing a single button, no more changing DL cables for this function)

Cables are being made at REDCO right now and we'll be doing our first session in a couple of weeks and I'll update and fill you all in on the progress and sound etc.
Aaron Householter
www.studio1117.us
785-820-7243
Old 29th August 2006
  #21
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congratulations!

may she give you many years of sweet sonic lovin!

regards,

richie.
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