Skip to main content
forums, blogs, song critique, support & more...

Trident question

Anyone know what the differences are in the 65, 70, and 80 series tridents? How would you classify their sound? I know how neves and api's sound, is it close to either of them? Also how are the eq's? Anyone think there might be something to gain by mixing thru one with good converters rather than mixdown in a daw?

Tags

Comments

UTS Wed, 12/05/2001 - 23:32

Hi Planet Red,

The Series 65 and 75 are basically the same desks, just the buses differ. 65 has 16 and 75 has 24. I guess the Series 80 is an older model and would be a step up from the 65 and 75.
I have a Series 65 with 32 Channels and 16 Buses since the mid of the year in the studio, and when you come from a smaller, cheaper desk like Mackie or Behringer the difference is really night and day. The Trident sounds very round in a way - very full - almost too full on vocals (I always dip a little 250 HZ there), but you won't recognize any thinness or the brttle sound of modern "budget" desks. It has a good, solid low end which can even be improved with moding the power suplly (a thing I haven't done yet, though).
For mixing dirty rock stuff, and metal and related I really prefer it over mixing in Pro Tools - the Trident adds a nice full character - but then this all depends on the project and the sound you want. The console has good pres, good, yet basic EQ and looks very cool.
I think it must be one of the best budget desks around (got mine for 5k)...infinitely better than any Mackie, Behringer, Soundcraft whatever desk of today...

Yours,

UTS

Recording Engineer Thu, 12/06/2001 - 01:20

planet red,

Sorry for butting-in on your thread... I don't know if you're looking for a console, but I have a Trident-MTA Series 924 console I am trying to sell. I won't get into detail here as I've flooded the net with it enough (please pardon this one too). If you're at all interested, some info is in the For Sale forum. Only thought I'd mention it since you mentioned Trident. I would have Private Messaged you, but I don't know how often you look there.

Regardless, please forgive the intrusion.

I'd comment on the topic of your question, but I feel there are others here who could tell you more than I can; if anyone can.

All I know is that a well maintained Trident 80B is the way I'd go if I could ever afford a semi-down-to-earth priced console of that age or older.

Mad John Thu, 12/06/2001 - 05:18

Hello,

All of this talk regarding "fine" bords is makeing me wish I had not gotten a Mackie 32/4 bus mixer!

Oh well. :(

Mackie mixers get hard slamed here and when I discovered that they are not friendly with Ballenced outbord gear (like Manley MU) , I felt cheated on the great Mackie professional claim.

Wish reminds me this the old lesson:

A man saw an add in the paper (in 1925) , it advertised, "Learn how to make a fortune and be ritch for $1.00"

The man sent away for this information and did not get a responce for a whole year. Finally there was a reply in the mail that was sent to him from this company, it read: "Catch SUCKERS the way we do!"

Gentalman, that is my great grandfathers story and I think of it often when I look at my Mackie mixer!

Cheers!

Mad John
Zythum Studios

"The present day Composer refuses to die!"
Edgar Varese - 1921

Ang1970 Thu, 12/06/2001 - 07:07

John, while Makeez are not the be-all-end-all of mixers, this does not mean they are less than professional. You just have to approach it realizing their limitations. Many people who do this are able to put out professional quality product with it.

When you know a connection is unbalanced, you need to modify cables in order to connect balanced gear to it. Being unbalanced doesn't make the board unprofessional at all. Blaming the gear for your lack of knowledge is.

Uncle E Thu, 12/06/2001 - 07:09

The 70 is the studio version of the trimix & both of them are very similar to the 80. According to John Oram:

"...a later Trident Tri-mix module is identical to the Series 80 except for a slight alteration of the shelf frequencies of the top and bottom bands... The comparison is a good one though, and on first listen they appeared identical and the EQ switched out, they undoubtedly were. Plug anything into it and, just like the old Neve desk, you immediately feel good about the sound without having to resort to forced enhancements...."

Obviously, though, his is not an unbiased opinion. ;)

The 65 & 75 are later & different, I've never used either but people have always recommended the earlier ones to me. Still, you won't get an 80 for anything close to 5k.

planet red Thu, 12/06/2001 - 07:28

I can get either a trimix or series 70 both for fairly good prices, and i could get it recapped and a big power supply for them. Plus i've heard some of jim williams from audio upgrades mods sound amazing, so i could get a couple channels and the master section done by him. The question is... the 70 or the trimix.

Mad John Thu, 12/06/2001 - 08:31

Hey Ang,

Thanks for your reply and I agree with you regarding the Mackies!

It is about how you aproch it, I am learning that now!

However, my statement pertains more to my initial disapointment in Mackies less than professional parts and features (via the unballenced stuff.)

I do have a right to bitch Ang. I purchased my 32 channel bord in February of this year. Since then it has been repaired 4 (yes 4.) times!

To top it off I am sending it back to them today as a matter of fact in exchange for a new one.

So let me vent, at least for today. :D

Mad John
Zythum Studios

"The present day Composer refuses to die!"
Edgar Varese - 1921

McAllister Thu, 12/06/2001 - 11:06

The latest issue of TapeOp has a bit on Malcolm Toft. In it he talks about the difference between some of the Trident series. Check it out. Right from the horse's mouth.

Jesse Skeens Thu, 12/06/2001 - 12:11

Where can you find Tape Op other than a sub? I have a sub coming but missed the cutoff for the current issue by one day.

Jesse

Mad John Thu, 12/06/2001 - 13:26

Thanks Bear!

That does make me feel better.

This will be a main bord for a year or so.

Peace!

Mad John
Zythum Studios

"The present day composer refuses to die!" :p

planet red Thu, 12/06/2001 - 18:53

I once heard a soundcraft 600 with a lot of audio upgrades mods and it sounded great. I never got to hear it with the original master section, but the difference between the modded and unmodded channels was huge. The eq was really nice, but i do know from talking to him he's all about 'transparency' which defeats the point of a trident i'd imagine. For some reason im really interested in modifying equipment, maybe ill just find someone around here and pay them to let me watch them work.

I guess ill have to order the tape op issue. I subscribed once and got one copy and never got anymore. Lately ive been buying them but didnt get the last one.

bnewsommfic Thu, 12/06/2001 - 19:44

This is a bit off the subject but I think transparency is a bit relative. For example I think a Trident 80 is more transparent than something like an SSL 9000j, but how the hell would I prove that? I mean the SSL has lower distortion figures and whatnot, but the Trident sounds more like how I hear things. Not hyped in a way making it more like how I might want things to sound, but just more like how I hear stuff normally. So I think how you percieve things affects what you regard as 'transparent'. Also on the subject of Mackies, just since the inserts on the Mackie are unbalanced doesn't make it 'un-pro', in fact many pro-boards(including the Trident 80 I think) have un-balanced or quasi-balanced(for lack of a better term)inserts. The big boards usually just handle better under abuse and mismatching. Also though I hate to admit it, a track I did was re-mixed by Nick DiDia at home on his Mackie 32/8, and his mix sounded better than mine done on a MCI 636. So ears and musicianship still reign supreme, although good gear really helps.

MadMoose Thu, 12/06/2001 - 21:21

Originally posted by bnewsommfic:
This is a bit off the subject but I think transparency is a bit relative. For example I think a Trident 80 is more transparent than something like an SSL 9000j, but how the hell would I prove that? I mean the SSL has lower distortion figures and whatnot, but the Trident sounds more like how I hear things. Not hyped in a way making it more like how I might want things to sound, but just more like how I hear stuff normally.

Wow. I would call an 80B or 80C anything but transparent. I'm really not an SSL fan but they are cleaner and more "transparent" then a Trident.

The 65, 75 and 24 were the budget Tridents. Still expensive in their day but they were built to go against things like Soundcraft and A&H rather then Neotek and MCI. A series 80 makes a 65 seem like a bit of a toy. They don't have as much in common as you would think. Having said that, I like my 65 which is a 24x16x16.

subspace Thu, 12/06/2001 - 21:36

Choosing between a Trimix and a Series 70 will depend largely on what configuration you need. The Trimix was released in '81, a year after the Series 80, as a mobile console based on the 80's electronics. The differences between the Series 80 and the Trimix input modules were the 12-bus switches were reduced to 8 individual, the hi shelf was changed from 8k/12k switchable to 10k fixed, the low shelf from 80/120 to 100 fixed, and the stereo aux was removed leaving 4 mono total. The Trimix came in a 16 or 24 module frame and there was an optional matching patchbay sidecar. The standard large configuration was 18 input modules, 4 dual submaster/tape monitor modules, a dual master/tape monitor module, and an aux master module. This gives you a 18x8x10x2 board. The submaster and master modules were identical save for the assign to master switch, of course, and each one provided 2 tape inputs with pan, level, mute, PFL, plus the 4 sends. The aux master module also provided oscillator, PFL, control room, and talkback controls. There were an assortment of additional modules available including an 8 monitor return module, an 8x8 matrix module, and a studio playback module. Trimix frames could be interconnected to share buses, auxes, PFL, etc. and one PSU could power two 24 module frames.
In '83, Trident released a hybrid Trimix in a studio frame with built-in patchbay. This was the Series 70, which used the exact same modules and PSU with a couple slight alterations. The frame was wired for 16 buses so the 8 bus switches were modded to select pairs. The master module wasn't used, so the master faders were added to the bottom of the studio playback module. The configuration was 28 input modules, a new 4 channel echo return module with 2 band EQ, an aux master module, the studio playback module, 8 dual submaster/tape monitor modules, and an 8 monitor return module. This 28x16x24x2 board included a stand and had a desktop in front of the patchbay.
So the Series 70 was a larger configuration in a fixed format frame. The cool trick with the original Trimix was that any module could be located in any position and multiple frames could be linked. I have two 24 module frames with 32 input modules, 6 dual submaster/tape monitor modules, 2 dual master/tape monitor modules, and 2 aux modules configured as a 32x8x16x2 board. I use two PSUs, one for each frame so they're running at half capacity. If you'd like pictures or schematics of any of these Trident's, just ask and I could post them. HTH

subspace Thu, 12/06/2001 - 21:45

As to your original question, I use my Trident for mixing DAW tracks rather than doing it digitally. The DAW can play them back at the proper relative volumes, but the Trident actually mixes them. The EQ is very cool as well. HTH

drundall Fri, 12/07/2001 - 00:59

I used a series 70 and wasn't really into it. Upgraded to an 80C and it was night and day. I really like the sound it imparts to digitally tracked audio. I do rock stuff, though. If you need pristene clarity with that SSL top end, it's not going to deliver...

Other may disagree, just my experience.

planet red Fri, 12/07/2001 - 07:21

What was were the differences between the 70 and 80? Was it mostly in the features or in the sound? If it was the sound, how would you describe it?
Subspace, i was looking at a trimix that had two boards joined together to make a 32x8x16. It looks pretty cool, but i think im going to go for the 70, because itll come with a large patch bay. Thanks for all the info everyone's given so far.

Jon Best Fri, 12/07/2001 - 11:50

I had a Soundcraft 600, and eventually got Audio Upgrades to mod the master section and a couple of channels. It sounded much better, more open with more headroom, especially in the mix bus. The EQ on the modded channels was also much more pleasant, as were the pre's.

I think modding consoles for tone really depends on what you're starting with- the 600, while (IMO) a cut above current Soundcraft, Mackie, etc., was never supposed to be a particularly expensive board. I think that's what made it ripe for modding- it was a good platform to selectively un-cut some corners. The Trident 65's and 24's are probably in a similar boat. However, modding an 80 series would just be dragging it away from the tone people expect from it. Recapping and power supply mods excepted.

Originally posted by planet red:
[QB]I once heard a soundcraft 600 with a lot of audio upgrades mods and it sounded great. I never got to hear it with the original master section, but the difference between the modded and unmodded channels was huge. The eq was really nice, but i do know from talking to him he's all about 'transparency' which defeats the point of a trident i'd imagine. QB]

Ang1970 Fri, 12/07/2001 - 15:14

Originally posted by John Thomas Milhorat:
However, my statement pertains more to my initial disapointment in Mackies less than professional parts and features (via the unballenced stuff.)
I repeat myself... there is nothing "unprofessional" about unbalanced connections. It is just something you have to treat a little differently when wiring your studio. There was a time when most mixing consoles sported all unbalanced in's and out's, and many of those sounded f'in amazing.

I do have a right to bitch Ang. I purchased my 32 channel bord in February of this year. Since then it has been repaired 4 (yes 4.) times!
To top it off I am sending it back to them today as a matter of fact in exchange for a new one. So let me vent, at least for today. :D

Ah, that is quite a different story. Yes, unprofessional parts and unprofessional quality control don't help your music sound any better. I won't argue with you on that one. You definitely do have a right to bitch about those. hehe :D

MeltedMediaMusic Fri, 12/07/2001 - 16:54

From my conversations with Jim at Audio Upgrades, I believe his preference for consoles to upgrade to lean towards Soundcraft. I know he mods many other boards, but seems to work more of his magic with the Soundcrafts. I had him mod the output section of a Soundcraft 2400 I used to have and it sounded great - Much beefier yet open in the low end and much airier and extended high end. Haven't heard any Trident mods to compare, but I imagine a similar improvement would take place by modding any consoles output bus. I would approach modding channels and mic pres a little more cautiously as you may change the characteristics of the consoles sound away from what originally made you select that model. Trident I think, has a more characteristic sound that is somewhat held in reverence than say a Soundcraft, which even though I have had great results with, is not really sought out for its indelable mark made on recorded music. I think that is part of the reason Jim works wonders with these consoles as they can be had for cheap and modding them can turn them into a completely new beast with results that far exceed the costs put into it. This may not be the case with an 80 series Trident, as the initial cost is much more and the mods will not add any value to your investment and may even hurt its resale value. If I were to buy a Trident, I would probably stick to recapping and changing out low quality resistors, and doing the output mod. I would only consider individual channel mods after having a couple of channels modded, and then do some serious listening and A/Bing with the originals before proceeding.
Just my .02

Kenny Meriedeth
Melted Media Music

x