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Trident A Range
Old 8th August 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 

Trident A Range

I'm obsessed with finding Trident A Range modules for my studio, but after exhaustively searching for many months I've been unable to locate any. Does anyone know how frequently these modules would tend to come on the vintage market? Is it so rare a find that it's a lost cause? I would greatly appreciate any leads or suggestions to help me on my quest. Of course, if anyone out there is in a position to sell, I'm prepared to be very generous!
I'm in a kind of Goldylocks situation, in that no other pre sounds just right for my tastes the way the A Range does. But I'm starting to consider other options after all this fruitless searching. Did any of the other early trident models use the same pre as the A Range by any chance? I vaguely remember a rumor from years ago that Malcolm Toft was working on a straightforward recreation, not an "updated" interpretation, of the A Range. Anyone know the status of this project if it ever existed? Companies like Universal Audio have proven that people will welcome unapologetic, faithful reissues of the classics, so I hope he won't back down from this idea thinking people would freak out about the noise or whatever. Anyway, any info. on this topic is welcome.
Old 8th August 2006
  #2
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Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 

As far as im aware there isnt any A Range preamp reissues on the market, the only reissued Trident Preamp available is the S20 preamp which is currently in production in various different forms. Weather the S20 will sound like the A Range preamp your looking for is a different story and one that I would not be able to comment on as ive not heard the A Range, but it could very well share some similarities.
Old 8th August 2006
  #3
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Mike Tholen's Avatar
 

Have you tried a Daking module?

They just might be the thing your looking for.

Or be a real slut and find some Trident modules...
Old 8th August 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
I'm obsessed with finding Trident A Range modules for my studio, but after exhaustively searching for many months I've been unable to locate any. Does anyone know how frequently these modules would tend to come on the vintage market?
well, if you find any modules let me know 'cause i'm in too.

i was so desperate i actually bought TWO of those 'MTA A Range' stereo things malcolm toft made with the faders that look like the A Range's some years back. ordered the 1st one they ever sold at an AES show and bought another one on ebay (england). they're probably the only 2 in existence for all i know. never heard of anyone having one. the EQs are ok but the pres aren't even close.

you could say 80B's had a family resemblence, but A Ranges are the best thing i've ever heard.
Old 8th August 2006
  #5
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Mike Tholen's Avatar
 

Here's Jack at The Maids Room in New York selling a pair...ask him about them, I think he's pretty schooled with the Daking stuff.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthread.php?t=80832
Old 8th August 2006
  #6
Harmless Wacko
 

I now own some of the Daking pre's BECAUSE I used them while recording on a Trident A range.

We did "mix and match" across everything but drums on a record, for about 2 weeks of tracking all told.

They sure as heck didn't sound the SAME as the desk IMHO, especially once ya started twisting(or in the A range case... SLIDING) the Eq's around some.

What they DID sound... was pretty damn great in direct 'case by case' comparison, and sorta built on the same VIBE.

Smooth, clear and present, with great detail.

I kinda use them WHEN I'm "thinking A range" in my shop these days.

Hope this has been some help.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 8th August 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
Daking VS Trident A Range

Best thing to do is ask engineers on the board who have used both. William Wittman may be one who used both modules.

I have a Daking console that I like, but I cannot say how close to the A range in sound it really is.

Good Luck
Old 8th August 2006
  #8
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
Best thing to do is ask engineers on the board who have used both. William Wittman may be one who used both modules.
Sounds like Slippy just testified to that point.
Old 8th August 2006
  #9
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danasti's Avatar
 

13 consoles were built?

made in the early 1970s... So it's likely there is about 400 - 700 channels in the entire world.

channels in existence - desire to sell + desire to own = possible but extremeley costly(2)

What is a fair price per working channel? $10k

I'll guess you'd pay a minimum of $8k - $12k per channel but it could be much, much higher...

I'd like to find out from someone whose bought or sold recently.
Old 8th August 2006
  #10
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SoundUniverse's Avatar
 

I've got one of those MTA "A-Range" two channel boxes and I would have to agree about the pre's being eh and the eq being pretty nice. I got mine for $1500, but I guess the street price started at over $2500! Maybe Audio Upgrades can "Up-Size" this box? Maybe it's not worth it I don't know, but you'd think the eq part is as it does sound very nice.
Old 8th August 2006
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Frankovitchy's Avatar
 

another A-Range studio, located in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sweet Silence Studios

(owner Flemming Rasmussen has done a lot of rock/heavy....Metallica, Blind Guardian, Ritchie Blackmore and on and on)...
Old 8th August 2006
  #12
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

And another:

http://www.bombfactory.net/
Old 8th August 2006
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Quickpunch's Avatar
 

The Robb brothers at CHEROKEE RECORDING made some clones/copies a few years back.
I don't know if they still do but they were the best pre/EQ I ever used/heard.
Everything you put through those things sounded better and the EQ points just worked on everything.
Unbelievable.
Biggest mistake I made was not buying a pair.
Old 9th August 2006
  #14
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robmix's Avatar
I haven't done the side-by-side test like slip has, but I have worked on a couple A-Range's and I own a Daking console mainly because I wanted the A-range vibe without the maintenance hassles. I think the Daking is as close as you can get to a modern A-Range. Geoff bought the schematics and rights to the A-Range in the late 80's or early 90's and and used these as the inspiration for his mic pre/EQ. There are changes - Jensen transformers being the most obvious. I'd love to do some side by sides comparison if anyone gets or has some A-Range modules racked up. I would think finding any A-Range modules or parts is going to be very difficult as the 12 or 13 console owners must have snapped up everything and everything over the years. I know I would have.
Old 9th August 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
These guys Have an A range

I have not been to their studio in Chicago, but they have an A Range

http://www.somastudios.com/
Old 9th August 2006
  #16
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danasti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickpunch View Post
The Robb brothers at CHEROKEE RECORDING made some clones/copies a few years back.
I don't know if they still do but they were the best pre/EQ I ever used/heard.
Everything you put through those things sounded better and the EQ points just worked on everything.
Unbelievable.
Biggest mistake I made was not buying a pair.
Interesting,

On the website they state that there are only 5 boards remaining of the original 13 whose whereabouts are known. They have one so that would make 4.

Yet we've got two accounted for at Sweet Silence and Bomb Factory. That would leave 2 complete boards. However many channels or sections that were separated????

I'm going to either call or write the Robb Bros tomorrow and find out what the deal is.

It would be nice if we could get an accurate thread together to know who has got what where.

I would love to see what these guys have had made up as far as channels.

How much was a channel of their remakes going for BTW?
Old 9th August 2006
  #17
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robmix's Avatar
There was one at Image in Hollywood up until about 2 or 3 years ago. Resonator might be able to tell us where it went. And Butch Vig has one too. That's 6 right there.
Old 9th August 2006
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
ryguydrum@netsc's Avatar
 

I know of one other A range locations:

1. what used to be Elliot Smith's studio in Van Nuys CA

www.newmonkeystudio.com


I also seem to remember seeing something about
an A range being in Nashville, but that may be
old news.

Peace

Last edited by [email protected]; 9th August 2006 at 02:36 AM.. Reason: duplicat info
Old 9th August 2006
  #19
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robmix's Avatar
And here's some more discussion:

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/36302/0
Old 9th August 2006
  #20
Harmless Wacko
 

Here is the A-Range I work on from time to time.

http://www.residentialrecording.com/flash/home.html

Navigate to "Sound" then "The farmhouse" then ""Control Room".

It used to be my avatar for quite a while.

Just about the most idyllic setting one could imagine making a record in... run by the nicest folks on the planet.

Don't get me started on the cooking and accommodations(included in the day rate).

I feel like dashing out the door and driving up there right now.

SM.
Old 9th August 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 

aesproaudio.com just sold Lenny Kravit's old A console in the UK last month, it has pictures and info on their website.
Old 9th August 2006
  #22
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danasti's Avatar
 

something is off...

Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post

Here's the info I found on MixOnline:

"The story of the Trident A Range is an interesting one. Initially designed for London's Trident Studios by Malcolm Toft and Barry Porter in the early '70s, the A Range console was also produced for sale, though only 13 were actually built. But the A Range spawned an entire generation of consoles, and many hit records were tracked and mixed on its direct descendant, the Trident Series 80. Today, Toft is still building consoles based on the Series 80, including the Series 980, which was used to record the last three Radiohead releases. Another Series 80 derivative is the Trident-MTA Series 80B module, a rackmount version of the Series 80 channel strip. "

http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_tride...nge/index.html

The Robbs apparently have 2 consoles so that inflates the number of consoles but here's what they say on their site:

"Producers exult in two of the original and nearly extinct trident A range consoles which continue to produce and exquisite sound, matched by none. These boards are so rare there is only an estimated five whose whereabouts are known remaining in the WORLD."

A search on GS now tells me Soma in Chicago has an original A Range. How many is that?

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/57437-trident-range-vs-trident-80b.html

I'm wondering if the Robbs are exagerating. If there are "not quite really" A Range consoles that a bunch of places have. Or if more than 13 were built and that number is incorrect.
Old 9th August 2006
  #23
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

I believe from what I've read before some of the consoles were split up into sidecars, maybe those are now being referred to as consoles.

Slippy, that one of the most beautiful studios I've seen- and a great homepage.
One of my favorite studios is in a barn, too, outside of Mendocino. No fancy vintage console, but an amazing sounding room & best vibe ever.
Old 9th August 2006
  #24
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
Here is the A-Range I work on from time to time.
http://www.residentialrecording.com/flash/home.html
Navigate to "Sound" then "The farmhouse" then ""Control Room".
Just about the most idyllic setting one could imagine making a record in... run by the nicest folks on the planet.
Don't get me started on the cooking and accommodations(included in the day rate).
I feel like dashing out the door and driving up there right now.
SM.

some friends of mine have been working up there recently and they say the
same.......



be well


- jack
Old 9th August 2006
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

I have 2 A Range mic pre/ eq modules that I bought from our very own Fletcher many moons ago.

Here is some info that I can add to this:

There were 2 separate runs of A Ranges. One run of 6 consoles, one run of 7 consoles. Engineering changes were made to the second run, and the schematics are different. My modules are from the second run. Both use Zutts input xformers. But the first 'proof of concept' modules made for R&D used Marinaires, the same as the Neves of the day. The reason it was changed to the Zutts is that Neve bought out all the stock from Marinaire during the time it took to make the decision, and Marinaire then became to busy with Govenment contracts to make more in time.

On top of the 13, there are also some small (8-12 channels, I think) A Ranges that were sold to and installed in the Vatican. I believe they are still installed, but if not, that could account for the discrepencies noted earlier in the thread.

Cherokee does have 2 A Ranges, but only 1 is a Trident, the other is one that Toby Foster made for them when he was chief engineer over there. I believe that one has Jensens on the input. They have put my 2 modules into that console and there was no drastic difference. There modules *may* have been a tiny bit cleaner sounding, but everyone agreed that it was pretty much a toss up.

I believe that Cherokee had a total of 4 A Ranges through the years, and they are definitely the authority.

Butch Vigs' console once belonged to Cherokee, and was sold to (what's his name??) in Nashville and then to Butch.

Cherokee did used to make modules for sale. It is easy to identify Cherokees Modules from originals. The originals were all originally painted 'Plum', a brownish/purplish color. Cherokees modules were covered in either grey or blue Lexan. They also refurbished some of the original Trident A Ranges with the same Lexan, so any module that is not Plum but grey or blue came from/through Cherokee.

I have seen some very famous peoople that believe that they own Trident modules, but they are actually Cherokees.

Personally, they are my favorite mic pre/eq combination. They sound amazing on everything. Everything. IMO the best tracking console ever. Sometimes the best mixing console as well.

If the Daking sounds 85% as good, you'd still be better off than most.

Hope that helps.

Jeff
Old 9th August 2006
  #26
Lives for gear
 

A word of caution about the excellent sounding A-Ranges. I've worked on 3 of them, 2 of which were in Nashville.

Those consoles cannot deal with a high RFI environment. Modern control rooms full of computerized gear with switching power supplies, lots of flat panel displays, expansion chassis, etc will wreak havoc on the noise floor and overall console performance. Been there and done that. The artifacts of that environment can steal much of the magic from the experience. Similar situation with Helios as well. High gain unbalanced discrete electronics with poor grounding schemes (by todays standards) do not play well with computerized devices, in my experience. It's somewhat like a single coil guitar in that environment vs a humbucker. Poor analogy, possibly, but the only one I can think of right now.

An A-range will be happiest when teamed with similar vintage gear that has well behaved powers supplies and well controlled electronic radiation characteristics. But it's the sort of thing that doesn't really occur to you until you get there.
Old 9th August 2006
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Goodman View Post
Butch Vigs' console once belonged to Cherokee, and was sold to (what's his name??) in Nashville and then to Butch.
Norbert Putnam. That's one of the A-Ranges I worked on.
Old 9th August 2006
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
There was one at Image in Hollywood up until about 2 or 3 years ago. Resonator might be able to tell us where it went. And Butch Vig has one too. That's 6 right there.
Yep yep yep and I will unabashedly stick my nose in and say that it was I (with Barbara, and "Squeak Stone", who everybody loved) who took that A Range from the "boxes and boxes of undocumented stuff that came from England" to a living and breathing, well behaved console, many many mods, additions, improvements, and repairs later, over a period of several months. It was an unforgettable experience and one I'm very proud of.

If I get time I'll come back and tell the long version of this story later. It's certainly worth telling.

In the shop we were loooking at an A Range schematic just today, comparing it to some racked B Range modules that came in the door.

Resonator, that desk went to Arizona, did it not? Where is it now?
Old 9th August 2006
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
Billy Bush's Avatar
 

#13 is in Madison Wisconsin at Smart Studios.. www.smartgeeks.com

it's an amazing board... i believe it was originally at Cherokee and was in storage in Nashville when they got ahold of it.

billy bush
Old 9th August 2006
  #30
Gear Addict
 
EngineEars's Avatar
 

I remember thinking A-Ranges were not so rare, because all the studios I would frequent in the 90's in Nashville had them. Quad, Omnisound, The Bennett House and one other I can't remember the name of. Little did I know there were only 13 built. Apparently the US distributor was based in Nashville.

They needed a lot of TLC but they are great sounding desk for sure. Great thread!
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