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Trident/MTA 980 series
Old 17th June 2005
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Trident/MTA 980 series

Anyone know anything about these desks? Pres and eq any good? What's the routing like? etc..

Any info or experience much appreciated (and yes I do know Radiohead used one for OK Computer).

fish
Old 17th June 2005
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Nobody has used these?

Old 17th June 2005
  #3
Gear Addict
 
RhOdEz's Avatar
 

well i played with 980 for a short time ,i only tried EQ on 2 channels (no cables yet - damn edac connectors ),and all i can say is thumbsup .
i must say i never used old trident or neve ,the only expirience i have with expensive boards is ssl 4k,6k and aws900 ,and Euphonix CS2k.If you ask me EQ on MTA smokes all the above .Every band is wide yet precise ,you just cant fukup the sound with it ,even when you boost all the way there's no "sqeeeek " resonance which makes you to change freq or Q point or reduce gain .I think of it as volume control on individual freq bands ,its that nice .Its maybe not good for precise notches ,but you can always do that with smth else .Dunno whuts summing like ,i'll know in month or 2 i think .I expected "dull" sound out of it cause it looks "old" but its suprisingly opened sounding and yet even across freq spectrum .Dont remember how transients sounded like ,it was precise for sure - but it's not agressive as SSL (me no like ssl that much - not my cup of tea -yet
Old 17th June 2005
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Thanks Rhodez. I'm looking for a console upgrade and have loved the sound of the Trident boards I've heard, so am researching options along those lines (2nd trident, daking). MTA isn't exactly Trident, but Malcolm Toft was involved in the design of these boards.

Anyone got any comments about the pres?

fish
Old 18th June 2005
  #5
Gear Head
 
cookiekixx's Avatar
 

MTA 980 Opinions and Info

Hey guys, i'm totally sleep deprived but am excited to see interest in the MTA console. Got one as a gift and was skeptical of it at first but it's held up really nicely and has resulted in much better sounds than i was getting on ssls for years (not kidding)
It's a 32 input split console with a 24 channel monitoring section. Cool sound and can be modded to sound many different ways (utilizes chip opamps to drive nearly every signal) balanced aux sends and busses differ from the Trident though strangely the monitor sends are unbalanced. There are 8 aux sends(!!!) and the patchbay has room for 24 channels of outboard gear which was nice of them. The center section layout takes a little getting used to but the led meters for the auxes are really nice and can be seen clearly from across the room. They barely limited the monitor section which includes 6 aux sends and a nearly complete EQ (no low cut) i
The layout is almost identical to the Trident 80C but it sounds very different. It delivers a way more solid sound that reminded me way more of the SSL G series than the Trident sound. The mic pres are completely different also (transformerless) It also easily accepts several automation retrofits as well. The EQs are soso to me and im pretty happy with them on anything but vocals. A little bit goes a long way.
Overall frequency response of the console is pretty solid from top to bottom and delivers that solidness with subtle touches of character. There's definitely a vintagey vibe especially in the top end. The bottom end is rock solid though and i haven't had to wrestle with bass at all. When we first ran signal through it all of our eyes lit up.
I gotta say, there isnt really a console in this price range that i would rather have. When I heard it was being installed here, I told the studio owner that we should turn it down and get a neve instead (three times the price). If youd like to hear an example rumor has it that Radioheads OK Computer was done on one of these. The manual I got with it was totally backwards and even some of the schematics and EDAC pinouts were dead wrong! We hired Coleman Rogers from Pro Audio Design to repair and set ours up and I would recommend him over anyone else to fix or install this console (a genius and great guy)
Reading back over this the info seems really scattered so if anyone wants or needs more info on this console, feel free to drop me an email.

Take Care,
Chris Coady
[email protected]
Old 18th June 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
dave-G's Avatar
At the studio I used to helm, we bought one of the smaller (24-channel, 24-buss) MTA consoles and built it together with a 16-fader ProControl into a single, split-analog/digital monster.. (pats self on back)..

From what I was told, the pres and EQs on ours were identical to those on the bigger 980. . It was a very clean, very smooth sound. Not a strong personality, IMO, but a pleasant tone. Not as grainy as an SSL G, nor the Trident that preceded it at our place. Nice broad Qs, etc etc... Very good sounding.

I would however add to Chris' stuff about bad tech documentation and other problems with the thing -- the aux returns had their routing reversed (ie send L-R into the returns and get R-L out of them), and one of the sends didn't work at all, and a couple of other problems existed on athe master module-bank right out of the crate. We were told repeatedly that they'd send a new module-bank, but they never followed through. By the time we got really frustrated with the lack of response, we were told that MTA had been sold to Fletcher Electroacoustics, and that they had discontinued production of the console and all its modules, offering only to send a full tech manual so we could have our own tech fix things. We survived, but the way this all went down didn't make us happy.

So, although it sounded good, I'm pretty much sworn off buying anything "new" from Toft ... However, I'd say to anyone buying a used MTA that they're getting a very nice-sounding console, but caveat emptor regarding build quality (and apparently, documentation quality)

-dave
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