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Trident TSM
Old 3rd November 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Trident TSM

I am looking at picking up a analog console in the next few weeks and need some advice. I run two inch tape and am going for a big analog sound.

I have come across a couple late 70's Trident TSM's online, a 40 channel and 32 channel. Both have had extensive refurb and recap and servicing etc. I am just nervous about buying an old desk and having it arrive only to not be working properly. Any experiences with these and things to watch out for? I have also heard about being careful with some of the online dealers/brokers.

The other console I am looking at is a used Neotek. Totally different to the Trident, but cool in a different way. I looked at a 28 channel 24 bus series III that looked cool. From the 80's but recapped recently and apparently a good console. Perhaps lacking in channel count though. I spoke to Mike Stoica of Neotek and he kinda scared me off the idea of an older Neotek as parts aren't built anymore for it and they can be a constant maintenance. But he also only sells new Neotek.

Any thoughts on this?

Cheers
Old 3rd November 2014
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
If you're not local to the console you're considering, see if you can send a local tech to go check it out. I did that when I bought my Neotek that was in Texas, and I was in Illinois. I believe I posted here and asked for suggestions about a tech in Denton, and I paid him an hour of his rate to check the console out.
Old 3rd November 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Hi
The biggest worries when buying a used desk (or any gear really) is not so much the electronics but pots and depending on type, switches. Many manufacturers used 'custom assembled' pots which is fine when you want 10,000 of them. Not so fine when you want 3!
ANY old desk should be 'auditioned' for crunch and crackle (or downright jammed) pots.
On some occasions old ICs are 'obsolete' but not necessarily unobtainable and in many cases it is possible to fit alternatives with a bit of (tech) effort.
Matt S
Old 4th November 2014
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Avast!'s Avatar
As a former TSM owner, I'd second the idea to look for an 80B instead... they made many improvements after the TSM and I don't think there's anything special about the earlier one that isn't the same or better on the 80-series.

I had the opportunity to ask George Massenburg his opinion about the TSM - "a bit of a mess, especially in the grounding". I was chagrined, but in the end would agree with him. The daughterboard that is part of the EQ sliders is especially flaky in that dept, grounded by flying leads to the pots. Ugh lol.

I guess it was when we installed an A-Range in the other room i became aware of it's shortcomings.

Last edited by Avast!; 4th November 2014 at 07:28 AM.. Reason: (the 80B suggestion musta been on your other thread...)
Old 4th November 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 

TSM

TSM consoles were fitted with a predecessor to the ubiquitous 5534, the Signetics "TA" op-amp. That amp might contribute a little sonic mojo compared to the 80 series desks that are loaded with fet input amps. Not saying there aren't some issues with the TSM, but 80 series consoles aren't exactly famous for their warmth and fun factor.
Old 4th November 2014
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the input......

Any opinions on how the brand new Trident 88 would sound and stack up compared to the TSM/80B?

I know it has discreet class A mic preamps and optional transformers etc....looks pretty good. Anyone used or heard one yet?
Old 6th November 2014
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avast! View Post
As a former TSM owner, I'd second the idea to look for an 80B instead... they made many improvements after the TSM and I don't think there's anything special about the earlier one that isn't the same or better on the 80-series.

I had the opportunity to ask George Massenburg his opinion about the TSM - "a bit of a mess, especially in the grounding". I was chagrined, but in the end would agree with him. The daughterboard that is part of the EQ sliders is especially flaky in that dept, grounded by flying leads to the pots. Ugh lol.

I guess it was when we installed an A-Range in the other room i became aware of it's shortcomings.

Do you know of a good tech familiar with the TSM in the Seattle area?
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