The Trident A-Range Microphone Preamp & EQ is a 2-channel rack-mountable version of the legendary Trident 'A' Range console. Comprising two independent channels, each with a microphone/line amplifier and four band equalizer, it is designed to process incoming signals from a microphone or line level instrument and output to a recording device, such as a digital audio workstation or analog multi-track tape recorder.
Mains powered, with 48 volt phantom power independently switchable for the two channels, the Trident A-Range operates as a complete stand-alone unit. In keeping with its mixing console heritage, each 'channel strip' of this rack unit features insert points (switchable pre/post EQ and with bypass), phase reverse (which operates on both microphone and line inputs) and an output level control with peak signal indication.
All inputs and outputs are balanced on the Trident A-Range so that maximum signal integrity and high output levels are assured with minimum distortion. A useful additional facility when using it as a stand-alone unit is the inclusion of LED peak level indicators at key points in the signal chain. These are located: directly after the input amplifiers (microphone and line), after the equalizer section and after the main output amplifier. This ensures that the signal is accurately monitored and matched at all stages in the signal chain. The Trident A-Range will add its own signature to any program material, whether using just the discrete transistor microphone and line input preamplifiers or the unique and versatile equalizer sections.
In 1972 Trident Studios decided to buy a new recording console and Malcolm was able to convince the owners that they could in fact build one themselves. The first console was designed purely for Trident Studios and was designated the A-Range . It was hand-built by Malcolm and Barry Porter who was responsible for much of the electronics design, while Malcolm used his expertise and knowledge as a recording engineer to specify the facilities and design the ergonomics. In those days, the integrated circuit (or 'chip') had not been invented, so all of the circuits used individual transistors (known nowadays as 'discrete' design). This and the use of inductors in the lower and upper mid equalizer sections are said to account for much of the unique sound of the A-Range. From this first successful design was born Trident Audio Developments Ltd, which went on to become a leading manufacturer of music recording consoles. One of the company's earliest advertising slogans was 'designed by recording engineers for recording engineers'. This became a key component of what made the 'Trident Sound' unique. As a recording engineer rather than an electronics engineer, Malcolm has always designed with his ears rather than a text book and it is this, coupled with over thirty years experience that has enabled him to develop his own 'philosophy of sound' that is his trademark.
The 2-channel Trident A-Range rack unit is an exact replica of the original all-discrete transistor circuitry and faithfully follows Malcolm and Barry's design. So much so that it has taken three years of circuit analysis and testing by Malcolm and his colleague Allan Bradford who undertook the mammoth task of recreating Barry's circuitry. Needless to say, Malcolm and Allan in conjunction with Trident Audio Developments and PMI Audio are extremely pleased and proud to offer this unique piece of recording history. Only thirteen A-Range consoles were ever built and a number are still in use today despite being nearly forty years old. This says a lot about the heritage of these iconic items of recording equipment and the artists that have used them, which include Elton John, Dire Straits, David Bowie, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder to name but a few.
Trident A-Range Microphone Preamp & EQ Features
- All-discrete transistor circuity and inductors in lower and upper mid range
- Transformer balanced inputs and outputs
- Transformer coupled mic preamplifier
- The transformers are custom designed to the original Trident A-Range console specifications