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Trident 80b EQ, transparancy Consoles
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Trident 80b EQ, transparancy

I've read a lot about these EQ's but have yet to hear one. Seems well established that a lot of people like them and describe them as very musical and useable.

I like all that but I'm kind of a stickler for transparency. I don't need lightning-fast transients and amazing detail. But if something seems to noticeably dull the sound after being inserted into the signal chain I find it to be generally unusable, at least for things like vocals and lead guitar.

So I'm wondering if anyone who's heard these can comment on their transparency. Or at the very least, comment on the circuitry. Are there cheap op amps and a lot of electrolytic coupling caps to dull up the sound?

I love the affordability of these as I'm looking at getting a 500 rack and filling it up with these babies.

Thanks in advance.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Not endorsing or endorsing the 500 format TRIDENT 80B EQ.

But did want chime in on transparency lightning-fast transients, detail and noticeably dull.

Not all really nice gear is transparency and or, offer fast transients nor need it be, to offer amazing detail.

Dull gear is just, well not good gear. And not everyone evens now there inexpensive gear is dull, short of getting the chance to compare it to a great unit.

If you care about getting amazing detail, get great gear. Saving a penny will not lead you down that path.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
Jlm Freq500
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx View Post
Jlm Freq500
Is this a recommendation? Can you expand a bit?

Thx
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Here for the gear
I bought a pair of the 80b 500 series because they are affordable - I loved them so much that I went ahead and bought two more. I also have a pair of the AMS Neve 1073s and API 550Bs. Having said that, I use the tridents more for bass and piano/synth sounds than the Neve/API (which I use more for vox/acoustic/electric guitar) and I love the tridents. To my ears these are quite transparent but I can only do broad strokes. Overall, great for tracking. I cannot comment on the circuitry.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Originally Posted by Manicearthling View Post
I bought a pair of the 80b 500 series because they are affordable - I loved them so much that I went ahead and bought two more. I also have a pair of the AMS Neve 1073s and API 550Bs. Having said that, I use the tridents more for bass and piano/synth sounds than the Neve/API (which I use more for vox/acoustic/electric guitar) and I love the tridents. To my ears these are quite transparent but I can only do broad strokes. Overall, great for tracking. I cannot comment on the circuitry.
Thank you for the reply. Broad strokes is what I'm looking for, as I've gone to great lengths to buy gear(like mics and summing boxes) that don't have any nasty frequencies to notch out.
I've just never heard any comments on the transparency of these things. They're cheap(compared to like an API or SSL 500 series eq), so I was a bit concerned. Cheap can be good, but one has to do a bit more homework to find cheap and good. So your comments are very helpful.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Here for the gear
Yes - I was surprised that these are relatively cheaper than the others, particularly after listening to them. Some of the best 500 series gear are relatively cheap. Case pinpoint, the 80b eq and the Focusrite Red1. Nevertheless.. you might wanna try them out before buying.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
80 EQ's are a 3 stage series connected design using 071 opamps. The two mid bands each share the same opamp stage and there is some interaction as a result. Each 80 console version used the same input module design. The 80C group/return modules added an extra opamp stage that fixed the mid band interaction. They used 100 uf coupling caps so the low end is decent with 2% metal film resistors. The EQ caps are metalized polyester "box" types.
The sound is typical "British EQ".
Old 6 days ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
80 EQ's are a 3 stage series connected design using 071 opamps. The two mid bands each share the same opamp stage and there is some interaction as a result. Each 80 console version used the same input module design. The 80C group/return modules added an extra opamp stage that fixed the mid band interaction. They used 100 uf coupling caps so the low end is decent with 2% metal film resistors. The EQ caps are metalized polyester "box" types.
The sound is typical "British EQ".
Thanks Jim,
I've seen your posts a bunch on this forum and appreciate your feedback.
Sounds like everything's wrong as far as transparent circuitry. But then Manicearthling seemed to think they sounded transparent to his ears. And this was in comparison to his Neve and API stuff. So maybe I'm all wrong on what it takes to make a transparent sound?

I bought a mixer(Ashly MX508) that uses 4560 op aps and 47µF electrolytic caps to couple everything and hated the sound of it. I mean, it wasn't worst piece of equipment I've ever heard. But damn, I think the Mackie VLZ1604 I bought in 1996 sounded clearer. Such an uninspiring sound, no matter what mic I plugged into it. A u87 was the only thing that managed to cut through somewhat. But people in reviews were raving about how awesome it sounded, so that's why I took a chance on it. So now I'm leery on low-budget(I know Trident isn't exactly low budget, but relative to API or SSL...) stuff that uses similar technology.
Old 6 days ago
  #10
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
80 EQ's are a 3 stage series connected design using 071 opamps. The two mid bands each share the same opamp stage and there is some interaction as a result. Each 80 console version used the same input module design. The 80C group/return modules added an extra opamp stage that fixed the mid band interaction. They used 100 uf coupling caps so the low end is decent with 2% metal film resistors. The EQ caps are metalized polyester "box" types.
The sound is typical "British EQ".
I think he is asking about the 500 format unit.
80B 500 Series EQ – Trident Audio Developments
Old 6 days ago
  #11
Here for the gear
Yes, the 80B 500 series Eq is fairly transparent IMO when compared to the Neve 1073 and API 550a and b in my arsenal. It is not a GML8200, which is my reference for absolute transparency. I guess it comes down to individual tastes and perspectives...
Old 4 days ago
  #12
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The 500 series is AFAIK based on the later, mid-band separated version. I believe I recall reading some other things along the lines of there being a 5v voltage drop on the way in to the EQ which is made up for at the output (I think I have the schematics for both designs, somewhere). Both of those two tweaks would make the whole thing quite a lot more transparent than, say, a racked strip taken from an earlier Series 80. The original's lower head room and interactive mid's made it kinda crunchy at full crank, and a bit unpredictable in the mids, but no less musical if you like that kinda thing. My small experience with either is that they are actually pretty clean and smooth, right up to the point where it just craps out. The revision however, pretty much runs as expected and does great clean broad strokes. They also have a cool pass-through tone, a solid low end and a nice clarity throughout. I don't have the same experience with Neve/API so shouldn't really comment, but I'd imagine that speaking relatively, the current 500 series 80b is more clean/hi-fi than those other pieces. I'm gonna get me some 500's when money allows - the price is too damn good not to.

"Dull" they surely ain't. Useable for sure. Then again, take it all with a pinch of salt - I don't get to work on them every day or anything like that. YMMV. Also worth considering the revision on offer, due to all the above.

Good luck on your hunt!
Old 4 days ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyBCN View Post
The 500 series is AFAIK based on the later, mid-band separated version. I believe I recall reading some other things along the lines of there being a 5v voltage drop on the way in to the EQ which is made up for at the output (I think I have the schematics for both designs, somewhere). Both of those two tweaks would make the whole thing quite a lot more transparent than, say, a racked strip taken from an earlier Series 80. The original's lower head room and interactive mid's made it kinda crunchy at full crank, and a bit unpredictable in the mids, but no less musical if you like that kinda thing. My small experience with either is that they are actually pretty clean and smooth, right up to the point where it just craps out. The revision however, pretty much runs as expected and does great clean broad strokes. They also have a cool pass-through tone, a solid low end and a nice clarity throughout. I don't have the same experience with Neve/API so shouldn't really comment, but I'd imagine that speaking relatively, the current 500 series 80b is more clean/hi-fi than those other pieces. I'm gonna get me some 500's when money allows - the price is too damn good not to.

"Dull" they surely ain't. Useable for sure. Then again, take it all with a pinch of salt - I don't get to work on them every day or anything like that. YMMV. Also worth considering the revision on offer, due to all the above.

Good luck on your hunt!
Thanks for this post. Very helpful. I think I've heard enough that it's worth it to get one and try it out, before committing to 10

Perhaps doing most of the signal processing at lower voltages helps with distortion a bit, as well as improving headroom, of course at the expense of noise. But since this is a line level processor maybe they can crank it down a bit and still be fine.

As I alluded to before, I'm only looking for the EQ's to do things like round out a kick drum or bass guitar tone, thin up a vocal to fit in a busy mix, etc. Not surgically remove problem frequencies(I'm not recording clients so I have good control over my sources) or try to make one mic sound like different one.
Old 4 days ago
  #14
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
As I alluded to before, I'm only looking for the EQ's to do things like round out a kick drum or bass guitar tone, thin up a vocal to fit in a busy mix, etc. Not surgically remove problem frequencies(I'm not recording clients so I have good control over my sources) or try to make one mic sound like different one.
I have a Trident 80b 500, plus 2x Kush Electra's and 2x Kush Clariphonic's. I use the Kush units for what you are describing, especially the Electra's.

Mike
Old 4 days ago
  #15
80 EQ's can be fixed up. 071 opamps spit and hiss like cats. The mylar box caps absorb details and convert them to heat. Replace that stuff with good parts and those issues will disappear.

Full + 15 db mid boost at 2k won't bark anymore and that phasey swish sound heard when cutting and sweeping goes away. Switching it in will not degrade sonics when set flat. Just about any analog EQ can be treated that way.
Old 4 days ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
80 EQ's can be fixed up. 071 opamps spit and hiss like cats. The mylar box caps absorb details and convert them to heat. Replace that stuff with good parts and those issues will disappear.

Full + 15 db mid boost at 2k won't bark anymore and that phasey swish sound heard when cutting and sweeping goes away. Switching it in will not degrade sonics when set flat. Just about any analog EQ can be treated that way.
The $64 dollar question that I've been looking for the answer for some time - what is "good parts"? The best performing caps I've ever heard are the Duelund CAST PIO's. Anything less and something gets lost through the cap, or added. WAY too expensive($100-500/cap) and WAY too big to put into an EQ that I'm going to do 10 channels of. So every time I do a design I go to great lengths to eliminate them altogether. But in EQ's they're unavoidable. So is there something "compact" that is really good?

I've heard the WIMA(seems like these would fall into the "box cap" category, but maybe I'm off in my understanding of what a box cap is) caps are used in lots of high end EQ's. Would these be a suitable replacement? Or maybe for bypassing of large electrolytics?
Old 4 days ago
  #17
In my experience, the good stuff costs more than $64.

When I was a youngster my mum told me, "go first class or stay home and watch it on the Travel Channel".
Old 4 days ago
  #18
80 series and transparent....I don't know that they go together.

Cool sounding boards, I guess... same old tl07xx sound from a lot of British consoles of that design era. Jim's right man.

The couple tridents I've worked on did for some reason sound WIDE though. Like extend outside of the normal panorama wide. What about the design makes that happen, I dunno.

A little dark-ish. Guess some call it warm.

These were 75 and 80b. In the mid eighties, one of the big fish in small pond studios in my little town had one. Everybody went there, they later got a G+.

The A range whole other story. When I hear things recorded and mixed from say Indigo...man. Beautiful.

Wouldn't a Daking eq be better? Or why aren't they making the A range eq? Or are they?
Old 4 days ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
G-Sun's Avatar
To my (not hi-end) ears the Trident 80b 500 is quite transparent and utility eqs, not for color.
Broad strokes. Hard to go very wrong.
Old 4 days ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
80 series and transparent....I don't know that they go together.

Cool sounding boards, I guess... same old tl07xx sound from a lot of British consoles of that design era. Jim's right man.

The couple tridents I've worked on did for some reason sound WIDE though. Like extend outside of the normal panorama wide. What about the design makes that happen, I dunno.

A little dark-ish. Guess some call it warm.

These were 75 and 80b. In the mid eighties, one of the big fish in small pond studios in my little town had one. Everybody went there, they later got a G+.

The A range whole other story. When I hear things recorded and mixed from say Indigo...man. Beautiful.

Wouldn't a Daking eq be better? Or why aren't they making the A range eq? Or are they?
Trident audio shows a-range 500 series

Almost there.
Old 4 days ago
  #21
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jjblair's Avatar
 

Nothing transparent about series 80 EQs, which is why they are one of the best ever electric guitar EQs. Lots of phase shift. Extremely musical, and just the sound of rock and roll, period.
Old 4 days ago
  #22
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Old 4 days ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Nothing transparent about series 80 EQs, which is why they are one of the best ever electric guitar EQs. Lots of phase shift. Extremely musical, and just the sound of rock and roll, period.
Haha...right on.
Old 3 days ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
I'm guessing 1K-$1,200 per channel, being double-wide and all
The A Range is not exactly transparent - but that's the point I guess that 15kHz is platinum-encrusted, though. Double wide size, price, and hopefully, sound...

I would like to do an actual side by side with the original Series 80 design and the later 80c monitor/500 series design. The difference in headroom and mid-band response must surely account for some variable opinions and accounts, don't you think?
Old 3 days ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyBCN View Post
The A Range is not exactly transparent - but that's the point I guess that 15kHz is platinum-encrusted, though. Double wide size, price, and hopefully, sound...

I would like to do an actual side by side with the original Series 80 design and the later 80c monitor/500 series design. The difference in headroom and mid-band response must surely account for some variable opinions and accounts, don't you think?
Samples would be wonderful at this point. Something with the EQ inserted and then pass-through.
Old 3 days ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
Samples would be wonderful at this point. Something with the EQ inserted and then pass-through.
Wish I still had access to the console... different time, different country :( that said, I'm possibly the least experienced with said gear among this gathering. Don't let my bias sway you - can't you go try a pair for yourself?

Will say this much: for transparent 'all rounders' I like having low/high bell options and variable HPF/LPF. The 80 series doesn't do that kind of surgery. Have you considered Portico, even SSL?
Old 3 days ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Nothing transparent about series 80 EQs, which is why they are one of the best ever electric guitar EQs. Lots of phase shift. Extremely musical, and just the sound of rock and roll, period.
Abusing the upper mid band of the 80b Eq was a good bit of the Cake electric guitar sound. Maybe not so clean, but really vibey.
Old 3 days ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyBCN View Post
Wish I still had access to the console... different time, different country :( that said, I'm possibly the least experienced with said gear among this gathering. Don't let my bias sway you - can't you go try a pair for yourself?

Will say this much: for transparent 'all rounders' I like having low/high bell options and variable HPF/LPF. The 80 series doesn't do that kind of surgery. Have you considered Portico, even SSL?
Yeah, it's just a big PIA to get gear home and then decide you don't like it and have to either resell it or send it back. I'm going to take a haircut on that Ashly mixer.

I was attracted to the Tridents because of reputation and price. As far as Portico or SSL goes, $1K+/channel means I'm going to have to wait a longer(until I build up the funds) to get them. I was hoping to just get a rack of 10 and then put them all on my channel inserts. Another option would be fewer channels and a patch bay, as I doubt I'm ever going to want 10 eq's all at the same time.

Sounds like Jim might be willing to hot-rod these for me. So that might be an option if I think they need a bit more.

Another option is the home-build route. Certainly the cheapest, but a lot of work(I have a lot to learn about filter design). Sometimes I want to focus on the music and not the gear. Yes, I said that out loud.
Old 3 days ago
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
I'm guessing 1K-$1,200 per channel, being double-wide and all
Alan Hyatt said $850 street. That’s a good deal IMHO. Looking fwd to having them.
Old 3 days ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbshearer View Post
Abusing the upper mid band of the 80b Eq was a good bit of the Cake electric guitar sound. Maybe not so clean, but really vibey.
This is the guy to ask about the 80b. Love your work, mate.

I've been building the funds for a little 80 series rack for a while, but if those A Ranges hit the mark then I'll be on the list. I'm not deep into this enough to speculate on gear at the mo, sadly.

I'd really like a few sessions on that Fleximix EQ too. That has the bells I like, from what I can tell. Overall, the brand's name and sounds should be more widely acknowledged IMO. But, that's business.
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