jellyjim wrote:Is a bantam patch bay, vs TRS, overkill for home/project studio?
Depends on what you want to achieve and your budget.
The only real advantage of Bantam (or TT) patchbays us the socket density -- you get a heck of a lot of connection points in a small space.
The biggest down-side is the expense -- obviously in the cost of the patchbay itself but also in the wiring of it and the cost of the patch cords. If buying new reliability shouldn't be an issue, but I've had more reliability problems with used TT patch bays than any other kind.
Also I read somewhere ‘you save money because there’s less cables at the back’. What does that mean?
Probably that the writer didn't have the faintest idea what they were talking about! :-)
With most TRS patchbays you have to run individual TRS cables for each input and output at the back. That's a lot of cables to buy and plug in. In contrast most TT patchbays come pre-wired with looms terminating (typically) in D-sub connectors which you can plug straight into a console etc. So the wiring is already accounted for in the (high) cost of the patchbay, and one multicore cable instead of eight individuals... But patently there are the same total number of input and output connections as in a similarly sized TRS patchbay.
I think the Elf's comment refers to the fact that with a TRS patchbay, reconfiguring the thing is a simple matter of unplugging some of the cables at the back and plugging them in to different sockets. You can't do that with a pre-wired TT patchbay. At the very least you'd need to get the soldering iron out!
From a sound quality point of view there's not that much to choose between them. The main enemy of patchbays is dust, dirt and corrosion/tarnishing, which results in unreliable connections, with increased distortion and noise. PO316 or B-type patchbays are mechanically better than the other types and, if kept clean, are more reliable. But they are horrendously expensive and regular polishing of jack plugs and sockets quickly loses its appeal! The plating on TRS plugs and sockets is rarely thick or robust enough to be polished so the life of the sockets/plugs is inevitably shorter than a B-type. But the balance is that in a home studio it wouldn't be used anything like as much as in a professional studio (or olde-worlde manual telephone exchange!).
So... unless you really do need a heck of a lot of patch points in a small space, I'd stick with TRS patchbays. Better still... avoid the mechanical patchbay altogether and plug everything permanently into a multi-channel interface so you can use the computer to route things, or where latency is an issue, use an electronic router! ;-)
I have all three solutions (TRS patch, multichannel interface, and electronic routers) in use at Robjohns Towers...