Trident 80 series

Trident 80 series DEFAULT

Trident 80B - 30 Channel Console #79 (Vintage) – No Longer Available


  • Dimensions: 7'3" x 3'5" x 3'4"
  • Cosmetic Condition Rating: 8
  • List of Cosmetic Flaws: Slight blemish on wood.
  • Working Order Rating: 10
  • List of Major Working Faults: None. The phantom power on the PSU was disconnected.
  • List of Any Modifications: Mix bus IC chips were upgraded and modded by Bob Alach. It is a vast improvement and allows mixing on the board.
  • When Was It Last Serviced: 2 months ago by Chip Verspyck
  • List of Any Spare Parts: A lot of IC chips, pots, and smaller parts. Also comes with custom made bridge speaker stands (the Trident bridge is not flat so this allows NS10 or other near-fields to be placed flat on the bridge)


  • Model # & Qty of Mic Pre/EQs: 
  • 80B / 30 mic pre and EQs. Please note: the monitor section has 24 channels with EQ allowing for 54 channels at mixdown.
  • # of Aux Sends: 5
  • # of Effect Sends: 3 echo sends
  • # of Busses: 24
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • # of Speaker Selectors: 2


  • Brand & Type of Patchbay: Trident patchbay
  • Qty of Patchbay(s): 1
  • Location of Patchbay: Right
  • Brand & Length of Cabling: Redco - 50'
  • Brand & Type of Furniture: N.A.
  • Is There a Stand: No
  • Is There a Producer's Desk: Yes


Original Manual: Yes
Is Manual Complete: No
Includes Tech Report: No
Modifications Documented: No

One of the pillars of the ‘British sound’ of the early 1970s was Trident Studios in London. Filled with brilliant engineers and cutting-edge gear, it was to go-to place for many of the top bands of the day. Starting with the Beatles, who relished the ability to record in 8 tracks (when Abbey Road still only had 4 track), a steady stream of rock stars came through the door. David Bowie in his Aladdin Sane/Hunky Dory/Space Oddity period; Queen and their first few albums; Jeff Beck, Supertramp, James Taylor and many more.

Wanting to remain at the forefront of technology, Trident studios looked in a vain for a manufacturer to make them a custom console. But why ask someone to do something when you can do it for yourself? And thus Malcolm Toft and Barry Porter, the in house engineers of Trident, came up with their own console, dubbed the ‘A Range’. Only a baker’s dozen of these legendary consoles were made, and as the years went by Trident continually innovated with a long line of further consoles, including the famous 80 Series, which debuted in 1980 shortly before the original Trident closed its doors. Following on the heels of this successful console was the model 80B in 1983, a classic 'split design' console set up in a standard configuration of 32 x 24 x 24 with 5 aux per channel.

The 80B remains in favor with engineers the world over for its signature sound. In fact, the sound of the mic pre/EQs on the 80B were so good, Trident still makes them available as a stand-alone unit that gives you a pair of these channel strips in a rack mount configuration. But why settle for a racked pair when you can have the original 80B, a console that gives you a lot of British bang for the buck.

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Why our Vintage Trident 80b Console Matters to You

Trident Studios was a legendary British recording facility that hosted a number of iconic musical artists such as the Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Reed and Frank Zappa. When the engineers at Trident couldn’t find equipment to meet their exacting specifications, they decided to build it themselves.

The result was such a hit that it led to the creation of Trident Audio Developments, or TRIAD. With that pedigree, it’s no wonder that the Trident 80b vintage console became one of the most eagerly sought-after pieces of recording equipment.

The Birth of the Trident 80b

In 1970 the original A-Range was rolled out, followed three years later by the scaled-down B-Range. Studio owners requested a line with the same high-quality features that were a Trident trademark but at a lower price point.

TRIAD responded in 1980 with the Series 80, which became their most popular console. Finally, the Series 80b came along in 1983.

What Makes the Trident 80b Different?

The Series 80b is a classic split-design vintage console using a standard configuration of 32 x 24 x 24 with five auxiliary ports per channel.

What really sets the Series 80b apart is the signature sound thanks to its sophisticated mic preamp and equalizer design. In fact, the sound was so distinct that the mic pre/EQs were later made available as a stand-alone channel strip as a rack mount.

Clear Lake: Top Quality at Affordable Rates

Why make do with only part of the Series 80b when we Clear Lake Recording Studios has the real deal? Our Series 80b vintage console is so unique that it comes in a sleek black finish instead of the blonde finish found on most units.

In the true spirit of Trident, our goal is to make great equipment and facilities accessible to independent artists. Contact us to learn more.

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Series 80B Dual Channel

The Series 80B rack unit is derived from the legendary Series 80B Consoles designed by Trident Audio Developments in the late 1970s. It incorporates an exact replica of the mic preamp and equalizer design that gave the original console its unique sound. These consoles have been used to record just about every major artist in the past three decades, including Elton John, Dire Straits, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, and Stevie Wonder to name but a few. More recently they have been used to record artists such as Radiohead and Pavarotti.

The Trident Audio Developments Series 80B rack unit brings with it a historic pedigree and is offered at a price that is now affordable to all studios and home recordists.

The sound and the circuitry of the consoles used to record countless hit records.

In the late ’70s, Trident Audio developed a new series of recording consoles to update Trident’s sound for a new generation of musical talent. The result was the Trident Series 80, the sound of which quickly became a favorite among the top artists. The Series 80B doesn’t just capture the sound of these legendary consoles, it is the exact same painstakingly re-created circuitry.

Equipped with preamps that are great for both microphones and outboard gear.

True to the original design the 80B channel strip incorporates transformer-coupled microphone preamps designed to achieve professional results from a wide range of sources. This is why the Series 80 consoles originally were built to handle signal levels from -60dBu to +15dBu. Despite its extreme gain range, the Series 80B preamp sounds amazingly smooth, accommodating a wide range of input levels with a frequency response that extends to above 20kHz – all with near-theoretical-minimum noise performance. It’s the kind of sound quality that’s inspired many engineers and artists to create better-sounding music.

The Series 80B iconic 4-band equalizer lets you tune your sound to perfection.

The Series 80B rack comes equipped with one of Trident’s most sought-after 4-band equalizers. Loaded with frequency-switchable high and low shelving sections, as well as sweepable low-mid and high-mid bands and a switchable 50Hz, 12dB per octave filter, the Series 80B gives you an exceptional degree of control over your sound. The Series 80B’s highly resonant Q peaks are particularly favored by many top engineers for tuning instrument tones. There’s no limit to what you can create with this classic channel strip in your rig!

Trident Series 80B Features:

  • The original discrete, transistor-balanced circuitry developed in the late ’70s for the Trident Series 80 recording consoles
  • Balanced inputs and outputs ensure the highest sound quality
  • Independent preamplifiers that are perfect for both microphones and line-level sources
  • Switchable 48-volt phantom power available on both preamps
  • 4-band equalizers with classic Series 80 console resonance
  • Selectable pre-/post-EQ insert point lets you incorporate your outboard gear wherever you want it in the signal path
  • LED peak meter lets you keep an eye on your overall gain to prevent distortion
Trident 80 \

Trident Audio Series 80B

For decades, Trident's Series 80 consoles have graced world-class recording facilities. The new Series 80B dual channel strip makes this classic sound available with a much smaller footprint — and cost.

Malcom Toft, the engineer behind the original Trident designs as well as the current crop of Trident preamps and processors, is one of those industry veterans who don't really need much introduction. Plenty has been written about his impressive track record as a recording and mixing engineer, with credits including David Bowie, James Taylor, T-Rex and the Beatles, and about how his company, Trident Audio Developments, hit the market with their first console, the legendary 'A'-range, in the early 1970s. A mere dozen of these impressive desks were built (many of which remain in use to this day), but they laid the foundations for other Trident consoles in the following decades, the Series 80 probably being the most popular. This console has played an important role in defining the sound of rock music over the past 30 years, and, along with those of other manufacturers including Neve and SSL, it helped to establish British recording and mixing consoles as among the finest in the world.


The rear panel offers ample, fully balanced connection options, including an insert path in each channel.

Trident Audio currently offer a number of products based on their earlier designs, and the dual-channel, 2U enclosure of the Series 80B houses two independent mic preamps and equalisers. Essentially, the 80B offers the entire input architecture of Malcom Toft's classic desk, minus the aux sends and bus-assignment switches. Each channel consists of a fully featured input section for mic and line signals, a four-band EQ and a rotary output fader. There are also some extras such as the insert path, which can be switched pre- and post-EQ.

The mic preamp offers 60dB of gain on a single potentiometer. Many other manufacturers employ rotary switches for coarse level setting and potentiometers with a smaller range for fine adjustments, and both methods have their own advantages. When a single pot is being used for the entire gain range, levels can be set faster and more intuitively. However, sometimes you have to deal with unexpectedly large level changes, especially at the higher end of the potentiometer's gain range. This is not the case with the Trident Series 80B: Malcolm Toft has made sure that gain adjustment is smooth over the entire range. A maximum gain of 60dB might not seem very much at first glance. However, the output fader offers up to 10dB of further gain, and this is plenty of 'juice' for virtually any application, including passive ribbon mics on fairly quiet sources.

Just like any serious mic preamp, the 80B offers phantom power and a phase switch. A pad switch to be engaged when recording extremely 'hot' sources is not necessary: this preamp is laid out in such a way that it accepts up to +15dBu at the input without any pad at all, and that should be plenty of headroom for even the most powerful of instruments. For line-level input signals, there's a centre-detented trim pot with a ±5dB range. This, again, does not seem much, but since the output fader gain ranges from full attenuation to +10dB, the 80B will undoubtedly handle all kinds of line signals without any problems at all.

The 80B rackmount unit also boasts the four-band EQ section that forms part of the original console. It's quite common for people to talk about a 'British EQ' when they want to explain certain qualities of an equaliser, such as the broad bands and the smooth, 'musical' behaviour. This description stems from a handful of different classic EQ designs, and the Trident EQ is certainly one of them. This EQ offers two shelving bands for bass and highs, as well as two peaking mid-range bands. A maximum range of ±15dB should be more than enough for even the most drastic of frequency adjustments. Generally, whenever possible, it's a good plan to tackle serious frequency issues at source, but in some cases — for instance, when mixing signals that have been recorded with poor quality — such extreme EQ settings can't be avoided, and it's reassuring to know that you can get very heavy-handed with the Trident EQ, should the need arise.

There's a clear layout with comparatively short signal paths inside the unit.Each shelving band has two corner frequencies: 60 and 120 Hz for the bass, and eight and 12kHz for the highs. These corner frequencies are well chosen. The bass band allows sculpting of the fundamental frequency range at 60Hz, and when switched to 120Hz, the octave above will be affected as well. Similarly, the 12kHz setting on the high band controls only the 'air' frequencies, while the 8kHz setting also allows for adjustments of the upper mid-range. In addition, the overlapping mid-range bands range from 100Hz to 1.5kHz and 1-15 kHz. The EQ section also features a 50Hz low cut with a 12dB/octave slope. This frequency is high enough to effectively filter out rumble, but low enough not to interfere with the lowest register of a male voice.

Each channel's EQ section has a bypass switch, and these switches are the only ones with a status LED. There's no 'warning light' on the phantom-power switches and, while they may not have been present on the vintage desk, I would have liked to see them on a current-production outboard unit. The metering is a bit sparse, as well, as the Trident 80B features only a single clip/overload LED per channel. In the age of digital recording, the recording level should always be set monitoring the input-level peak meter of the DAW or the A-D converter, but a little more visual guidance on the preamp could come in handy in many situations. And while we're taking about the features I feel are missing on the 80B, there's no High-Z instrument input, either. Again, this might not have been part of the original console channel, but on a modern stand-alone channel strip I'd be almost inclined to consider this a mandatory feature.

There are, however, ample connection options on the rear panel. Audio inputs and outputs are present on XLRs and TRS jacks, and there are TRS connectors for the two inserts. All connections, including the inserts, are fully balanced. While there's a pre/post EQ switch for the inserts on the front panel, there's no bypass switch, which, unfortunately, means that the cables have to be removed from the jack sockets if you do not wish to use the insert path.

One rather nice feature I discovered isn't even documented in the manual: the direct signal is not interrupted until there is a cable plugged into the return jack. This, in turn, means, that the insert path can also be used as a line splitter to feed the preamp signal to multiple devices. Applications for this include latency-free monitoring in a digital recording setup.

A peek under the lid reveals that the Trident 80B rackmount unit closely follows the circuit layout of the original console. As on the vintage model, there are no discrete sections in the input channel. Virtually all active stages in the preamp, the EQ and the output stage are based on TL071 and TL072 op-amps, the same parts employed in the original design. The only exception is a high-quality BurrBrown OPA2134 op-amp in the microphone input stage. According to Malcolm Toft, this op-amp has a better drive capability and is much quieter that the one used in the vintage circuit, but it wasn't available when the original 80B was designed. So this is actually an improvement in the most critical stage of the entire channel strip!

The Bellclair mic-input transformer employed in the original console is not available any more, the manufacturer having gone out of business long ago. Instead, Toft opted for a high-quality Lundahl LL1538 transformer with the same 'turns ratio'.

The overall mechanical build quality of the 80B is very good. Apart from the power supply, there are virtually no cables inside the unit. All signals are fed through PCB traces (and very few ribbon cables), which is a very modern approach that also can be seen inside other high-quality units from manufacturers such as Daking and Elysia. Not least, this principle helps to control manufacturing costs.

All gain pots in the line input and EQ sections have centre detents for convenient resetting, and, although they're surprisingly small, the milled aluminium knobs feel really solid and good.

In Use

The mic inputs employ a quality Lundahl input transformer with the same turns ratio as that on the original console channel strip.

In short, working with the Trident 80B is a very joyful experience. The front-panel layout is very straightforward and self-explanatory; you certainly don't need the manual to get started. Sonically, the 80B covers a lot of ground. I'm especially fond of the sweet, lively mid-range of the mic preamp, which sounds more like a classic discrete design than this (admittedly also classic) op-amp-based circuit. The highs are transparent but not overly aggressive, and the bass is just there, without being too pronounced. In some cases, I found myself wishing that the 80B preamp sounded a bit fuller, with more 'bloom' in the bottom end, for instance, to give voice recordings a little more authority. But in such cases there's also the EQ, with which one can dial in all the bass energy one could wish. The most important thing is that the mid-range sounds truly beautiful.

It's also possible to drive the preamp a little harder and back off the overall level with the output fader. My Minimoog audio example (see 'Audio Examples' box) proves that, used in this way, the 80B can yield meaty overdrive effects. Again, some of the best all-discrete designs might sound a little smoother when breaking up, but they're higher in price, and the 80B does an admirable job in this application. The original Trident console is beloved of many rock engineers and producers, and, although it's certainly not the only console about which you can say this, its saturation behaviour is one reason why countless rock records have been produced on Tridents over the years.

The EQ can sound very soft and unobtrusive when being used for minor corrections, but it's also an extremely powerful and useful tone shaper, capable of creating some wild frequency curves without ruining the character of the original recording. Not only is it really effective, but you can hardly do any harm by turning the knobs! This is, arguably, mostly due to the elegant, wide calibration of the filter bands, so you hardly ever notice the harsh 'ringing' that can sometimes be heard on cheaper designs.

The flip side of this coin, of course, is that the Trident EQ is not so well suited for 'surgical' correction applications, such as steep notching of resonant frequencies. Again, this is due to the wide filter bands, which do not offer any manual control over the Q. But while this added flexibility could come in handy sometimes, I can't really criticise Trident for their semi-parametric design: this is a classic console EQ, after all, and you won't find fully parametric filters on designs of this era from Neve, SSL or API, either.

The boosts of the 80B's EQ, especially in the lower registers, are so powerful that you may run out of headroom at the most extreme of settings. At a maximum level of +24 dBu, the gain staging inside the Trident 80B has to be handled with a little more care than on some other units with even more headroom, but perhaps, as discussed above, you might just like the sound of the Trident driving into saturation!


The Trident Audio Series 80B dual channel strip offers all the tone-shaping capabilities of the famous, classic Trident desk but in a much smaller package. It comes without some of the bells and whistles that can be found in most modern recording-channel layouts, but on the other hand it stays very true to the original design in all important aspects. If you're looking for a good-sounding and flexible way to record your tracks, you should definitely try this one out in your own control room. The Trident 80B is a very solid piece of equipment, and at this price I expect Trident to sell plenty!  


Most 19-inch rackmount alternatives are also derived from classic console input channels, but the majority come at a much higher price. A pair of SSL XLogic Alpha Channel units might be the closest competition, while Trident Audio also offer the all-discrete A-Range dual channel strip. The API Channel Strip includes an additional compressor section, and there are also countless rackmount channel strips based on classic Neve designs, such as the Chandler LTD1.


  • Great sound.
  • Flexible EQ section.
  • Output level control.
  • High-quality, transformer-balanced mic input.


  • No Hi-Z instrument inputs.
  • No bypass switch for the inserts.


A fully featured dual-channel unit, the Trident Audio Series 80B offers ample signal control. The combination of the clear-sounding preamp, with its sweet mid-range, and the smooth yet powerful EQ section make an extremely versatile recording and mixing tool. The 80B is fairly priced, and is a high-quality all-rounder for the demanding professional or project studio.

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80 series trident

Trident 80B Dual-Channel Microphone/Line Preamp/EQ


Your Savings:$1,000.00Msrp:$2,999.99

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Ships directly from Trident

Note: This item may not be returnable or could require a restocking fee. Contact one of our Audio Consultants for more details. This item ships directly to you from the manufacturer. To ensure that the manufacturer currently has stock, please chat, call or email for the latest availability status.

Dual-channel mic/line preamp and 4-band EQ

MFR# 80B

Product Description

The Trident Series 80B is a two-channel rack mountable version of the legendary Series 80B 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.

The Series 80B rack unit is derived from the legendary Series 80B consoles designed by Malcom Toft in the late 1970s. It incorporates an exact replica of the mic preamp and equalizer design that gave the original console its unique sound. These consoles have been used to record just about every major artist in the past three decades including Elton John, Dire Straits, David Bowie, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder to name but a few. More recently they have been used to record artists such as Radiohead and Pavarotti.

Product Specifications

Tube or Solid StateSolid State
Chassis19-inch Rack-mount
Rack Spaces2u
Direct InputNo
Digital I/ONo

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Trident Series 80 LRAB 30/24/2 PB Analog Mixing Console

A classic analog 30/24/2 console

SKU: K_2085



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Shipping & VAT

format_quote We have a sensational ex Swedish Radio Trident 80 analog console available for sale!

Serviced – contact us for a service log.

If you're looking for cool and serviced Trident Series 80 look no further – this superb Series 80 console is originally from Swedish Radio and after that spent over 10 years serving in the popular Soundtrack Studio in Finland. We bought it in spring 2020 and have serviced it well.

This particular console has all 30 pcs mic inputs fitted with Jensen 115K-E transformers.

Almost all possible outputs have also 52 pcs Jensen JE 123-S transformers.

Includes two detailed information and documentation binders, original legs, some cabling as seen on the photos and a stage box with cables.

This console will ship channels removed and marked, we will supply new black studs that are designed to fix the modules in the slots. The metal legs are included and will be removed for shipping.

Contact us for a precise shipping and crating quote, or for any additional information and service log.

We accept only bank transfer or TransferWise transfer for this deal.

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format_quote US parcels are shipped fully insured with DHLExpress and they usually arrive within 2-3 working days from pickup day zero.

EU parcels arrive within 4-6 working days and are shipped with DPD or ACE Logistics.

You are also most welcome to pick up your order from Retrosonic Pro Audio showroom, studio and warehouse in Tallinn, Estonia.

We ship worldwide! Contact us for a personal shipping quote or if you have any questions.

VAT (Value Added Tax) is deducted if you have a company with a valid EU VAT number or if you're based outside of EU. Non-EU buyer pays all and any import duty and tax as regulated by your local customs.



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