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Trident S40 by John Oram-mods....

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair Modifications DIY' started by Link555, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I recently had the pleasure of working on a Trident S40 by John Oram. First let me say the unit was well constructed for repair and modifications. It came apart in about 1 minute, and the circuit board was clearly labeled and easy to work on. The unit had a grounding issue with the XLR input, but otherwise fully functional. I did at the owners request change some of the TL071 op-amps to OPA627's. As well the NE5532 were swapped out for OPA2134's. Overall I would say the sound is bit more lively.

    I don't want to give away any of Oram's specific design. I will say that the mic pre is all in one IC design, the compressor is another all in one IC based design, and the EQ is a traditional op-amp based state filter type network. The main power supply was toroidal based linear supply (+/-18VDC) The phantom power had its own toroidal XFMR as well. The phantom power circuit was a simple BJT and Zener type regulator.

    I noticed there was no ground plane, and no ground lift circuit. As well the quality of the chosen parts were not what I would have expected, they were a bit on the low end for high end audio....

    All and all he executed this type of circuit very well.

    I have some clips coming shortly...
  2. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    And the preamplifier was swapped with a THAT1512...

    Thanks Link!! Looking forward to it.:biggrin:
  3. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Ok so here are the links. I recorded three gtrs. One acoustic track, one electric gtr and one elec bass gtr. I must apoligize for the terrible recording and playing and room tone. I think the battery in my bass was dying too..... I had to record the acu gtr in the room directly below where by 2 month old daughter was sleeping. So it was a good test for mic pre's gain and noise floor ;)
    Everything else was DI'd. I tried to match levels but it is not perfect. There is no compression, eq or dither. I recorded at 24bit 44.1khz, and rendered 16bit 44.1kHz files.

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/Ibanez -SG-ELEC-Bass-Steller-ELECTRONICS-Passive-DI-Neve-Portico-5012.wav

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/Ibanez -SG-ELEC-Bass-Steller-ELECTRONICS-Passive-DI-Steller-ELECTRONICS-LUCID-R0.wav

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/Ibanez -SG-ELEC-Bass-Steller-ELECTRONICS-Passive-DI-Trident-S40.wav

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/PRS-ELEC-GTR-Steller-ELECTRONICS-Passive-DI-Neve-Portico-5012.wav

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/PRS-ELEC-GTR-Steller-ELECTRONICS-Passive-DI-Steller-ELECTRONICS-LUCID-R0.wav

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/PRS-ELEC-GTR-Steller-ELECTRONICS-Passive-DI-Trident-S40.wav

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/TINKER-ACU-EARTHWORKS-QTC50-NEVE-Portico-5012.wav

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/TINKER-ACU-EARTHWORKS-QTC50-Steller-Electronics-Lucid-R0.wav

    http://steller-studios.com/music/TRIDENT S40 Tests/TINKER-ACU-EARTHWORKS-QTC50-TRIDENT-S40.wav
  4. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    I like the mid-range on the Trident too and it sounds like it has a little bit mode low-end as well. Not really having opportunity to listen to the Trident S40 in its original state I can't comment on the improvements the mods made to the overall tone or sound quality (other than it not being noisy, lol), but it sure does sound good. Adding that EQ section in to tweak it can only make it better. Considering you put it up against a Neve Portico 5012 and one of your custom Lucid preamps, the modified Trident sounds respectable and competitive.

    Just from listening to these in my humble Koss PortaPro headphones here at work it would seem that your Lucid pre has a slight edge over the Neve in high-end sparkle. They all sound great to me.

    By the way, you were very pleasant to deal with a more than helpful. Exceptional service, very professional and highly recommended. If I have any audio repairs in the future they're coming your way. You've earned my business for sure!!
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Nice work sir!

    I thought the Neve had a distinct darkening effect on the high end on all of the clips sort of like what a Tubescreamer pedal does for the electric guitar. The Lucid had a very nice midrange that suited the guitar and bass well, but was a bit woody sounding on the acoustic guitar. Nice work on your design Link. The Trident had a really singing quality with the acoustic guitar that I think suited the guitar and mic choice well. I thought it sounded a bit flat on the electric guitar though. Accurate maybe, but flat. I can see using each for different reasons, and the mod-readiness of the Trident makes it very appealing to me as well. Good work.
  6. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback guys, mdb let me know how it arrives, I always dread shipping my babies.
  7. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    It arrived today and in excellent condition. Plugged it in and ran an old guitar track through it to play around with the compressor and EQ. Nice and quiet and working perfectly. Thanks a million.
  8. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    good news! Glad I could help.

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