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Trident 80B Modifications
Old 10th March 2014
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Trident 80B Modifications

Hi, I am looking for help from experienced Trident owners:

I'm the proud owner of a very special Trident 80B, with quite some modifications and including 24 additionally patchable TSM series EQs:

http://www.decock.de/GreenLobsterControlRoom.jpg

It's pretty unique: I would love to know anything about the history of the console, what studio it was in before etc., just in case anyone happens to know this hybrid...
It's from Nashville, that's about all I know. Got it from primalgear, nice people, but not very communicative regarding details

The console sounds lovely, but there is still room for (important) improvements.
We do a wide range of musical styles, from acoustic over rock to electronic types of sound, sometimes I need to avoid the desk and do passive summing over the speck...
so we want the desk to become as flexible as can be, while preserving all good parts of the sound. I know that's possible, if we adress the right issues:

Just for the record, this is about our wishlist:
1.For mixing of pristine sources, I would like to have a couple of cleaner line inputs.

2.We want to modify preamps to fix the changing impedance issue of the inverting input, maybe decrease noisefloor at higher levels- I had some trouble recording soft-spoken vocals, the "s" gets a bit annoying when I turn up to 3:00. It was a U87 I would expect the sound to be fatter with the modified preamp, with no decreasing Z at high gains.

3.The juke box has mediocre return amps, the sound gets flat and "chip"like compared to the fatter sounding line inputs. We intend to improve them a little bit, by changing opamps /maybe be able to remove some electrolytics from signal path. Same thing with the returns of the channel inserts and the tsm eqs, which have empty spaces on the print for some transistors etc., maybe I am wrong, but it looks like an integrated output stage! This, instead of the IC used in conjunction with my desk, could maybe increase the TSM Equalizer. The eq itself sounds nice, but then I hear it deteriorates the signal when in the path even in bypass mode.

Since our tech is educated, but not at all experienced with console design, we would like to avoid the 3-years-testing-and-considering-tour de force and grab some information on which kind of mod is worth doing.
There must be many 80B users out there, lots of them with modified boards, like an owner I got to know who had lundahl transformers in his desk.
I did a lot of searching on the topic, getting promising results with download links etc., but all the threads were old, the links dead and I did not even find the preamp modification that is being talked about.

If someone has information on this, any link to schematics or discussions is highly appreciated! Thanks very much in advance
cheers


Rfsiesta
Green Lobster
Recording Studios
Old 10th March 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Before getting into other mods I´d first recap the desk and PSU completely - if it has not been done before. In my expierience that has the most audible impact on the sound of your desk. If you still want cleaner HF then add 0,1uF film caps parallel to every electrolytic. And while recapping I´d increase some of the coupling caps to get rid of phaseshift and capacitor distortion.
Old 11th March 2014
  #3
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Desk and PSU have been recapped. I might give the bridging cap a try on one channel or on the master bus...
But I seriously doubt that changing coupling caps from panasonic to ?? would make that big a difference

I only need 2-4 channels, I LOOOVE the original sound of the channels for MOST of the stuff I'm doing, but there are times when I would like a boring input...
I would love to have 3 really clean stereo inputs
Old 12th March 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Well then....
Change C33+C34 to 100uF, solder 0,1uF Wima MKS2 caps parallel to each of them, as well as parallel to C35.
Change IC11 to TLE2071 and solder 10pF mica (Glimmer) caps across R91 and R92. Then you´ll need a 33uF electrolytic soldered from each rail voltage to ground and add 0,1uF bypasscaps there, too (as close as possible to the IC pins, at least <1cm).
This will clean the line in with no EQ engaged only.
Now everybody chime in with namedropping of different chips :-)

Last edited by jensenmann; 12th March 2014 at 07:13 PM.. Reason: correction
Old 12th March 2014
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Well then....
Change C33+C34 to 100uF, solder 0,1uF Wima MKS2 caps parallel to each of them, as well as parallel to C35.
Change IC11 to TLE2071 and solder a 10pF mica (Glimmer) cap across R91. Then you´ll need a 33uF electrolytic soldered from each rail voltage to ground and add 0,1uF bypasscaps there, too (as close as possible to the IC pins, at least <1cm).
This will clean the line in with no EQ engaged only.
Now everybody chime in with namedropping of different chips :-)
Hahaha
Thanks, that's worth a try. Are the additional caps for increased power headroom, and to prevent ringing or oszillation with the faster chip?
I think to remember the TLE 2071 was announced as a drop in replacement for the 071, with better specs, esp. noise and distortion.
I'll try it when I have spare time.

cheers
Old 12th March 2014
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I'm still in need of the Main O/P Module Pages from the Trident 80B Manual...
Anyone happens to have a scan?
Thanks in advance
Old 12th March 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The small mica caps are for bandwidth limiting and to prevent oscillation, the small rail bypass caps are to prevent oscillation and the larger caps are resevoir caps to improve transient response.
You´d still be aware that if the rest of the desk is not up to task to deliver the improvement made in this stage then you won´t hear much if the improvement. IMHO you should start modding the master to make it as clean and neutral as possible to be able to hear any further improvement in the channels. OTOH you bought this desk for it´s sonic signature (I guess) so why mess with it too much.
Tough decision

Drop me a pm regarding the manual
Old 13th March 2014
  #8
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
The small mica caps are for bandwidth limiting and to prevent oscillation, the small rail bypass caps are to prevent oscillation and the larger caps are resevoir caps to improve transient response.
You´d still be aware that if the rest of the desk is not up to task to deliver the improvement made in this stage then you won´t hear much if the improvement. IMHO you should start modding the master to make it as clean and neutral as possible to be able to hear any further improvement in the channels. OTOH you bought this desk for it´s sonic signature (I guess) so why mess with it too much.
Tough decision
I hear you, of course I don't want to give up the character of the board
I love this board, especially for tracking - and of course the EQs, and the master bus...
But I can hear the little drawbacks is has that have no positive influence on the sound, one of them is the rather flat sounding monitor return (a GS member pm'd me I could completely bypass the return buffer amps), a unnecessary little muddiness on the master (the signal goes a long way through switches, 2bus send/return, patchbay etc.), I could abandon some of the routing possibilities of the monitor bus, f.e. I don't usually need all of them.

As for the TSM EQs, they sound lovely, but you loose depth and integrity just engaging the insert-because of the weak insert return amps in the channelstrips, which appear to be equally redundant.
Anyone has description/schematics for the EQ section of Trident TSM boards?
As I said, there is an unused assembly group on the board, it looks like a replacement for the output driver opamp. could be a discrete output buffer... No Idea how it fits into the rest of the board, impedance etc, since the TSMs are a different design.

Then, we do lots of different musical styles, from classical music, styrian folk music and Jazz to Rock, Pop, EDM, hip hop, Reggae...
Much of what we do is perfect for 80B sonics, but I do have to sum classical music and sometimes folk music over my superclean and nice sounding speck x.sum (passive output).
There are times when I would need just 2 cleaner inputs. I know how they colour the signal from hearing the direct out (or the insert send).
when I send a pristine room recording from my best converters, the room seems to disappear
For most closely-miked instruments this is cool
for some sources it is not cool at all.

I don't intend to change my Trident, I want to expand and customize it...
Step by step

Old 13th March 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Hamburg58's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Look into a way to modify the Remix buffer in the master section as well as the Insert Buffer circuit. You'll find it will clear some cloudiness away from things. There's also a buffer on the Pan. But we haven't gotten around to messing with that on our 80C yet.

Our board was built in the late 80's. It's an 80C. We recapped a few channels. Even before we recapped them we did a sweep, they were fine. Recapped them. No audible difference here whatsoever.

But if anything helped, it was recapping the Remix circuit in master section. It did open up slightly frequency wise. A little less cloudy. But don't go recapping your whole board unless it needs it! I've found caps to be expensive when you're doing that to an entire board.

Oddly the monitor section seems to need more work than our 32 channels. Which is kinda nice since the monitor section only gets used for tape these days.

Also, there's a nice little mod to bring your phantom switch out of the inside of the circuit board. (you have to remove the channel by hand to turn off phantom).

That can be a royal pain in the ass to modern recording rules (no ribbons) of course that's false, because ribbons are fine on 48v. It's only if one of the pins is off on a mic cable. So if you don't want to take the risk, turn all of that phantom off. And mount it right below your remix switch. Takes a little drilling and 32 switches. But other than that, it's a nice perk.

Haven't messed with chip swapping yet. But I am going to try a few channels. I have mixed through a Trident that was Burr Brown'd out. And it was very hifi and clean.

A lot of guys want to get rid of "distortion" etc and really improve the boards on here. Not an improvement in my opinion. Just something different. Those boards were made a certain way. And you go changing all of the chips, it's not going to sound like a Trident 80C. I don't mind distortion! Then again I don't stare at it on a scope. I listen to it with my ears. And harmonics and distortion are our favorite parts of recording. Something imperfect.

So do the OPA134 swap for your Tl072's on a pair of channels first and listen to them before you go all in. I think they are swappable with the 5534's as well? Jim Williams will probably pop in here and verify. Search the forums. There is very detailed directions on doing mods to these boards. Even mic preamps.

Enjoy the board. Enjoy it. Wish mine had those Eq's!

Also get into the habit of trimming your line trims for each channel with an oscillator from Pro Tools.

What I do is i send out -16 from the Pro Tools signal generator. Hit the insert return on the master fader for remix with it, bring the master fader up till it hits 0 on the VU meter. Leave it be. Then solo your channels all the way down the board one at a time, move the fader to 0 on the board, then tweak the line trim until it reads so on the Vu as well. Move to the next channel etc.

Over time those line trim pots are not as spot on as they were coming out of the factory. Those pots are also crappy. Do yourself a favor and spray them with some deoxit.

I replaced the switches on mine too. At least the ones I use a bit. Mute, solo, Eq in, Pan. It was about $700 in switches but well worth it. The switches were going a bit intermittent during tracking. That's no fun if you are having channels drop!
Old 16th March 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
mjrippe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
"Anyone has description/schematics for the EQ section of Trident TSM boards?"

Attached.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf TSM EQ.pdf (335.8 KB, 347 views)
Old 17th March 2014
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Yeah!! Thank you very much! That's exactly what I was looking for. And I see the two transistors in the output amp, where on my board there are only the holes... Interesting.

@Hamburg:
Quote:
But if anything helped, it was recapping the Remix circuit in master section. It did open up slightly frequency wise. A little less cloudy. But don't go recapping your whole board unless it needs it! I've found caps to be expensive when you're doing that to an entire board.
The board has been recapped.

Quote:
Also, there's a nice little mod to bring your phantom switch out of the inside of the circuit board. (you have to remove the channel by hand to turn off phantom).
The board already has a row of phantom power switches close to the mic input jacks on the patchbay

Quote:
And harmonics and distortion are our favorite parts of recording. Something imperfect.
I love the sonic signature of the old lady, but sometimes I would like some stuff to stay as untouched as possible, because it's already perfect the way it is.

Quote:
Also get into the habit of trimming your line trims for each channel with an oscillator from Pro Tools.
I do it with pink noise, sent to both channels, phase invert one channel, try until most of the noise is gone.
Same thing with EQ settings on stereo channels (2*same mono pink noise, of course). They differ A LOT :=)

I will still keep an eye on the opamps, and redundant parts, especially capacitors in the signal path. Thanks to all for the precious information!
Old 20th March 2014
  #12
Here for the gear
Bypassing the Gain Stage for Trident 80b

I've also a Trident 80b, recent acquisition. I love it! Its an incredible upgrade to my system.

The problem: I'm in need of assistance in bypassing the gain stage for external preamps. I have loads of nice pres, API 512c's, Chandlers, LA-610's, and the like. I can't seem to configure the patchbay to get these preamps inline without a bunch of noise, that I assume is from double preamping. It would be a bummer to not be able to use them.

Not sure if there is a simple patchbay formula that I have not yet tried, though I feel like I've tried everything. ((Channel send to preamp to channel return. Direct out to preamp to line in. Direct out to channel return, channel send to preamp, return to line in. Channel send to preamp, return to channel with direct out to line in)). No matter which configuration, it always turns out the external pres have a pretty noisy hiss or there is some crazy oscillator noise or pulse.

Show me the correct path and I will be greatly in your debt forever.
Old 20th March 2014 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
mjrippe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbeing ➡️
I've also a Trident 80b, recent acquisition. I love it! Its an incredible upgrade to my system.

The problem: I'm in need of assistance in bypassing the gain stage for external preamps. I have loads of nice pres, API 512c's, Chandlers, LA-610's, and the like. I can't seem to configure the patchbay to get these preamps inline without a bunch of noise, that I assume is from double preamping. It would be a bummer to not be able to use them.

Not sure if there is a simple patchbay formula that I have not yet tried, though I feel like I've tried everything. ((Channel send to preamp to channel return. Direct out to preamp to line in. Direct out to channel return, channel send to preamp, return to line in. Channel send to preamp, return to channel with direct out to line in)). No matter which configuration, it always turns out the external pres have a pretty noisy hiss or there is some crazy oscillator noise or pulse.

Show me the correct path and I will be greatly in your debt forever.
You need to connect your microphone directly to the external preamp and the output of the external preamp to the line in of the channel (or insert return if you want to bypass the eq, filter, and phase controls). On the patchbay there should be a row called mic lines which comes from the XLR panel or snake in your live room. Patch from that point to the input of your pre.
Old 21st March 2014 | Show parent
  #14
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrippe ➡️
You need to connect your microphone directly to the external preamp and the output of the external preamp to the line in of the channel (or insert return if you want to bypass the eq, filter, and phase controls). On the patchbay there should be a row called mic lines which comes from the XLR panel or snake in your live room. Patch from that point to the input of your pre.
Ok, cool. I wondered if that might be the case. So I then take the xlr output of my preamp and run it Bantam cable "line in" on my Trident? I would like to be able to use the EQ, filter and Phase if possible. Is this the way to go in that application?

Thanks for the guidance. I really appreciate it!
Old 21st March 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
mjrippe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yup, simple as that! If you have any issues with your 80B, I'm in Greenpoint ;-) Analog Audio Repair | Brooklyn Based Tech for Studios and Musicians
Old 21st March 2014 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
brianroth's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSFiesta ➡️
Yeah!! Thank you very much! That's exactly what I was looking for. And I see the two transistors in the output amp, where on my board there are only the holes... Interesting.
I'm having to Rewind my memory banks to recall when a few changes were made in the 80B/80C "sequence". Earlier desks used TL071 opamps EVERYWHERE, and thus required the pair of "booster" transistors and associated components in order to happily drive 600 ohm loads from various outputs.

Later desks used NE5534 opamps for the output drivers (But, TL071 opamps everywhere else), thus negating the need for the transistor pair.


Bri
Old 22nd March 2014
  #17
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Earlier desks used TL071 opamps EVERYWHERE, and thus required the pair of "booster" transistors and associated components in order to happily drive 600 ohm loads from various outputs.

Later desks used NE5534 opamps for the output drivers (But, TL071 opamps everywhere else), thus negating the need for the transistor pair.
I was referring to the missing transistor on the TSM-EQ output section, not the 80B master - but that's still interesting info. I keep reading that the later 80B and C without those BD booster transistors would be a drawback in sound compared to the earlier versions. I thought the 5534 have always been there, never heard they had used the 071 before... As I said, my desk has AD 797 instead, but still the boosters. Sound is great!

R

Last edited by RSFiesta; 22nd March 2014 at 05:21 PM.. Reason: removed annoyingly jumping smilie
Old 23rd March 2014 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrippe ➡️
Yup, simple as that! If you have any issues with your 80B, I'm in Greenpoint ;-) Analog Audio Repair | Brooklyn Based Tech for Studios and Musicians
Sweet, Swell and will do. Thanks so much for the informative answers.

SPeaking of, what about RF situations? Doesn't seem to be hitting recordings unless I'm in mixer mode. Know how to get rid of it. Its not crazy bad, but having none is better than having some, ya'know?
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