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The Taconic TSM-DS3 PCB is a structural steel member that mounts horizontally atop another structural steel member. It has 2×4 and 2×6 sides and top plates made from N/A material. The two x-braces mounted also connect two structures on the bottom of the frame. In addition to its unique design for industrial buildings, we commonly use this product in residential and commercial applications in places like warehouses or garages. The Taconic TSM-DS3, Taconic TSM-DS3 PCB is mainly used to support heavy equipment or machinery moving through a building.


The Taconic DS3 has been a popular DAC/amp from its inception in the late 1980s. We use it on some of the most acclaimed recordings and albums. Dr. Dieter Doepfer designed the device. He is still heavily involved with the company today as their flagship DAC/amp designer for more than 30 years. Commercial use of the DS3 has been widespread. We can find the DS3 in the highest quality of recording studios and many audiophiles.

The prototype AC-DC board, which probably dates to sometime in 1992, had a modified version which re-routed the fold-over portion of the PCB to allow for DC operation. This DS3 PCB board did not go into production, and instead, the new design of the DS3 PCB board replaced it. It had a third switch for DC operation. We could switch this new version of the DS3 PCB board from 120VAC to 240VAC. Manufacturers redesigned the AC-DC board again sometime in the fall of 1993 to include TSM (Thermal Self-Monitoring) and an extra modulation output. The third AC-DC board design included the newly redesigned DC power connector, which allowed for a more stable output voltage.

The current Taconic DS3 PCB board has a “DS3, Dieter Doepfer” mark. We presume that Dieter Doepfer designed it with some help from others. The DS3 PCB board is a low noise, high-performance device. However, there have been several issues regarding repairability over the years and the high cost of parts. This article describes some of the issues and solutions to repair the Taconic DS3 PCB board as reliable as possible. The PCB is also marked: “120/220VAC, 3W/4W/6W.” The DS3 PCB remains unchanged with only minor cosmetic changes and improvements throughout its production years.

Issues with the Taconic DS3 PCB board

The Taconic DS3 is a well-built and sturdy device. Taconic has had minor problems with the DS3 in the past. It was around the power supply and the DS3 PCB board. The DS3 remains a sought-after device with good performance and a reasonable price.

The DS3 PCB board is an all-discrete, class-A circuit with low noise discrete components. It has a very clean design that can be easily modified or supplemented. The PCB layout is simple and easy to work with. We break the board into two halves by a square cut-out. A metal structure connects the two halves, with holes on either side for fastening. One glue pad at the connector/power connector area to help keep things in place during assembly. We can see the main ground point on the bottom layer.

The DS3 PCB board takes power from a standard Molex-type AC power plug via a double-side terminal strip (DS1). The plug has two rows of pins on the bottom with a single row of pins at the top. The pins have approximately 2.5mm space in the outer rows and about 5mm in the inner row. Producers make the power connection through a large pin (nearly 10mm long). We use a generous amount of solder around the power connector to strengthen it and at other places where we will solder the boards to it.

Modification to the DS3 PCB

The design of the TSM-DS1/TSM-DS2 PCB boards is in a way that it can replace the DS3 PCB board and use it in its place. We need a few modifications to make this happen, including some bypass caps and voltage regulators. We must also mount it differently (it can’t use all the fastening holes). The most significant change is to make sure that we connect the ground at the power connector to 1.1 volts instead of 0.9 volts.

The TSM-DS3 PCB has many connections that we can access once installed in a stompbox. There are hundreds of places to solder onto the PCB. The photo shows some of the connections that are easily accessible once installed in a stompbox. Some photos show other possible places connected (but not necessarily used) when installed in a stompbox or sound card.

The Taconic DS3 has several issues with its power supply and PCB board. The main issue is with the power connector. The power supply essentially comes from two small transformers. They are somewhat efficient and have minimal noise. However, one of the transformers often fails.

The producers made two changes to the DS3 PCB board to address this problem:

Manufacturers made changes to the transformer connections better to distribute load among both transformers for better efficiency. They connected the center tap of the transformer connections to the main ground point on the PCB board. This helps to minimize noise and allows for better current flow through both transformers.

Another change made to the DS3 PCB boards was connecting AC power. The original design had a fold-over portion at one end of the PCB where we solder two tabs to each other. It allowed normal operation at 120VAC or 220VAC (see photo). The original design of the DS3 PCB board allowed the possibility of using power at 120V or 240V. However, we only use this in the AC version of the DS3. The original design did not allow output to DC.


Manufacturers such as RayMing PCB and Assembly design this product in industrial buildings and warehouses to support heavy equipment or machinery while moving them through the building. The floor frame is typically placed directly under the supporting structure. Floor systems used in industrial buildings typically mount directly to the subfloor without a support frame.

We also use this product in commercial applications in places like offices. The floor frame is typically placed directly under the supporting structure. A concrete slab is often poured over the structural steel system to create a sturdy, stable floor that is safe for workers and foot traffic. In commercial buildings like offices, we can also use this product in place of wood framing.


The design of this product begins with the concept of being a structural member. The primary purpose of any supporting structure is to support its container in an upright position. You can dot this by distributing the weight evenly. Manufacturers design this product to be a horizontal bearing frame placed on another horizontal bearing frame. It supports the underneath structure and holds it upright during assembly, installation or lifting.

The structural members used to make this product are from structural steel. This structural steel is S235 per ASTM A53/A53M Series. They weld the material together to create a single frame member. Manufacturers design the frame side cross-sections to form a box shape open on two sides and have two horizontal bearing surfaces. The outside dimensions of the frame members are 2 “x4”, 2 “x6”, and .75”. It is dependent on the height of the product. The inside dimensions are 1.875 “x3.25” and 1.5 “x2.625”. The box shapes make it possible for this product to be helpful with other products as an erector set to create an entire building frame. One makes the sides from N/A material. We make the top and bottom plates from 1/2” material.

The primary load-bearing members are the x-braces, which connect the two frames at the corners. We can install the x-braces from underneath or from above. Installation is dependent on its location about other products and whether it will be visible when installed. We also construct these braces from structural steel.

Common practice in design

It is common to use this product with another bearing member as a set to form an erector set or foundation system. We can place the two products together in a series to support heavy equipment or machinery. The use of the product as an erector set allows the placing together of its components. It also allows for support in a controlled arrangement for the building’s frame. Another common use of this product is to transfer its components to build a complete assembly.

This product works well in conjunction with other products. One can form the support structure into a complete building system. Another application of this product is a horizontal bearing member. It allows for independent structural members underneath it. The applied load from the structure below is dependent on the strength of these independent members. We can support each independent member independently or together under this floor frame with an x-brace. The x-brace, however, can also be independently supported.

Structural Specifications:

This product works as a horizontal bearing frame to support heavy equipment or machinery. We can also use it in industrial buildings and warehouses where we must move large equipment. We take different elevations along the way. The floor frame provides this movement by supporting the weight of locomotives, forklifts, and heavy machinery. We can also use this product in commercial applications in places like offices. The floor frame is typically placed directly under the supporting structure. A concrete slab is often poured over the structural steel system to create a sturdy, stable floor that is safe for workers and foot traffic. In commercial buildings like offices, we can also use this product in place of wood framing.


The Taconic DS3 is a very fine-sounding device with good features. It has been around for some time and is still available new, or used. In terms of its specifications, it’s one of the few solid-state amps that still utilize vacuum tubes. This is because of its low distortion and stable output voltage. It’s unknown exactly how many DS3s we have been producing over the years, but it must be worth quite a bit considering its price and good performance.




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