Minimoog reissue...

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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by Synth Builder »

eivind wrote:I'm very curious about the reissued model-d and it's oscillators. I can't find any info on exactly what of the osc-versions they have tried to remake.


The new Mini uses the second series VCO. That is the second of three versions. As can be seen in this picture - it's the second board on the left in the second row from the bottom:

Image

The very first VCOs were fully discrete and I think were found in only first hundred or so models. The second is the most common and arguably the best sounding. It has discrete component core and waveshapers but the control voltage summing is done with op-amps. The third one is op-amp based and features then temperature controlled NPN pair, the uA726. The octave buffer board was added sometime in the life of the second board but is more commonly found with the later VCO board.

All three sound fantastic and I'm not convinced that the differences are quite as great as made out. Indeed, one of the best Minimoogs I have heard was a later one. Unfortunately, I never did get the chance to pull it apart and see why.

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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

Vintage DNA wrote:Hope that this gives a bit of an insight to those of you that are still awake after reading all of this ;-)


On the contrary, thank you for the insights I wish more manufacturers/ designers would be so forthcoming!

Love the AB tests too, fantastic job. What an incredible product- a MiniMoog for your modular. Make sure everyone knows about this!

Incidentally, I really disliked the instability of the original Moog. Could well be the power of suggestion, but the pitch was constantly going off and there was a warble in the tone, like noise in the waveshape or something?
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by ramthelinefeed »

Bear in mind that they changed the oscillator design (if I'm not wrong) because the tuning stability was bloody awful! Even the second version was no great shakes in that regard.
One of the big selling points of ARP vs. Moog in thon days was that Odysseys stayed in tune!
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by Synth Builder »

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Incidentally, I really disliked the instability of the original Moog. Could well be the power of suggestion, but the pitch was constantly going off and there was a warble in the tone, like noise in the waveshape or something?


A common problem unfortunately - it is partly due to the oscillators modulating each other and leaking into the power supply lines. We call this bleedthrough. It was partially corrected on most Minimoogs by a change on the power supply board. However, the main problem is with the crappy internal grounding arrangement between all the boards and controls.

This problem is exacerbated by ageing contacts on the various board interconnects. Cleaning the contacts and re-aligning them does help this. One way to check this is to give your Moog some love... give it a good hug; squeezing from the rear panel to the panel that faces the keyboard. If your VCOs go back into tune and the bleedthrough reduces you need your contacts cleaned and re-aligned.

It looks like the new Mini won't have the exact same problems since the connectors are attached only to the boards they connect to, and not to the flexible case panels. Hopefully, the new front panel pot and switch boards will help too.

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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by Escapegoat »

The Elf wrote:It's hard to make a MiniMoog sound bad - it's a superbly 'musical' instrument and truly deserving of its reputation. If you like that demo then would LOVE the real thing.


So, it arrived. A grey import via a US-based Wiggler, and ...you were right.

For now, I'm just plugged into some A7s via a little of the XR12's built-in DSP reverb and it's all sweet-spot. Even the triangle wave, which I've never found very interesting, but even with 1 osc it sounds so sweet in the upper ranges, even before getting clever with the filter.

It's the first synth I've ever played which really feels like an instrument. Like a Les Paul or a piano. You don't seem to 'program' a patch, you just play it and find the tone that makes you want to make music. And off you go.

This is in some contrast to the reissue Oberheim TVS Pro. That sounds nice, too, but it's nowhere near as easy or natural to dial it in - seems to be require a conscious effort to get good tones. Wider range of tones, with all of the TVS's patch points, too.

Honeymoon period? Definitely. :)

(Thanks to all for not dissuading me!)
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by Dave B »

That's because quite a lot of the Minimoog sound has been encoded in our very being over the years. And that's largely is it was one of the few good synths that people had. So it's only natural that almost any setting seems to sound 'right'.

Interesting about the 2Voice though ... a couple of people commented recently that they that that the SEM synths seem to have the same 'almost any setting sounds great' sound.

Still horses for courses. :)

The more worrying thing is that there are more rumours of quality issues with Moog gear so I'll be keeping an ear to the ground for a while...
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Zukan wrote:
Vintage DNA wrote:
Zukan wrote:
Alan, do you mind sharing a little bit of information about the VCO? I think people need to know what a good topology is, of course, without giving away any of your Jedi tricks!


Yes, very happy to! I modelled the VCO on the very early RA Moog VCO board - only around 300 of this VCO board were built, they sounded great but were quickly replaced by the CA3046 based VCO board because the temperature compensation wasn't done correctly and they would drift quite badly with temperature changes - I corrected this by redesigning the CV section with precision op-amps and tempco resistors, the challenge was to make it precise enough that it stays in tune without it becoming clinical and sterile. We kept all of the the audio part and signal path unchanged, component types and values are identical to the original. I reverse engineered an original VCO board rather than working from schematics / service manuals, as they are often incorrect and don't always reflect changes made in production, it also allowed me the (very important) possibility of doing a/b comparisons with the original as I went through the various prototype stages during the design period.

I made the decision to use surface mount components rather than traditional through hole components, this is largely dictated by the Eurorack format, it just isn't possible to squeeze a full through hole Model D into 84HP (3U) of rack space without using multiple stacked pcb's - the number of board to board interconnects and added complexity involved would lead to long term reliability problems as the contacts oxidise over time, so this approach was discounted. So, I had the extra challenge of creating a design using only current production parts as I feel that it is very important that the rare NOS parts are kept for repairing and keeping alive vintage synths! There is a school of thought that dictates that vintage sounding synths can only be made with vintage through hole parts - carbon comp resistors, paper and oil or tropical fish caps etc, so the challenge was to get as close as possible with modern day equivalents. The SMT (surface mount) approach does have some advantages though - for example the P-Fet buffer transistor that we use in the oscillator core has been discontinued as a through hole part but is still available in SMT format.

Hope that this gives a bit of an insight to those of you that are still awake after reading all of this ;-)

Allan


Wonderful, thank you Allan.


Indeed. I had the pleasure of chatting briefly with Allan at Synthfest and I really liked what I saw, an amazing job. I hope to be contacting him again as a customer at some point over the next few months - pennies permitting :)
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by desmond »

Dave B wrote:That's because quite a lot of the Minimoog sound has been encoded in our very being over the years. And that's largely is it was one of the few good synths that people had. So it's only natural that almost any setting seems to sound 'right'.


Also, it's not like the controls and features let you get that far into weird, horrible sounding nasties - the limited feature set keeps you in a good sounding spot anyway, and the core components are all good-sounding and well implemented.

It's amazing how much mileage the Minimoog gets out of volume balances of the three oscillators, set to different pitches/waveforms.
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by Escapegoat »

Dave B wrote:The more worrying thing is that there are more rumours of quality issues with Moog gear so I'll be keeping an ear to the ground for a while...


I may get back to the forum on that in a while. I plan a visit to the synth guy in Suffolk (the one that so many on the forum recommend) to double-check something.

For now, I'll just mention the aesthetic: the inconsistent alignment/gaps around some of the switches on the reissue were a surprise. Soon forgotten when playing, but a charmingly home-made look on a £3000+ synth. And I've never been a fan of the radiogram-style cabinetry.

But, of course, I'd rather have a great-sounding ugly synth than an average-sounding beauty.
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by imw »

Hi there,

I have a possibility to buy Vintage Model D (from 75 or 76). I know that it is a matter of personal taste and inner beliefs, but would you go for the new one or buy a vintage for its "value"? Vintage is in perfect condition and the price is around 3500€. I am aware of the reissue model benefits and the fact that it (should) produce the same sound as its predecessor. Just curious how would you decide...

Thank you!
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by IAA »

Interesting, I know used prices are still holding up well and I had the same dilemma and got the reissue. For me the reasons were;

The sound of the reissue is the same as the vintage model it replicates. There is no discernible difference other than the normal model to model variances in analog gear.

It has a warranty

It has a beautiful keyboard that is silent and you can use velocity and after touch from it as cv’s

The ext audio feedback and LFO addition are the mods to the vintage model I would have had and they’re done very well

It’s in s beautiful cabinet with zero marks and I know I will keep it that way.

When Gordon Reid reviewed the reissue for SOS he also answered your question.

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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by The Elf »

The re-issue has some distinct advantages. The keyboard, for example, is simply gorgeous and features aftertouch, though it seems crazy to me that Moog didn't make it possible to use that aftertouch natively for vibrato.

The additional modulation options are also a big plus on the re-issue.

The external PSU is a disgrace. I believe it is insulting on a machine of this price.

Warranty.

My advice would be to go for the re-issue, if it's a 'real' Mini that you want, but...

...TBH, with the Roland SE-02 and the Behringer Model D having now arrived you really need to look at those and take a long, hard think before you blow nigh on 3 grand on the 'real thing'.

Even this 70s MiniMoog owner couldn't resist the latter...
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by imw »

Thank you both for your answers and tips! I am gonna take a look.

When Gordon Reid reviewed the reissue for SOS he also answered your question.


True. Well, I just wonder how this vintage would look like in 20 years, so the investment to this model would be more "collection" oriented. Considering, if this is worth it or not.
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by Wonks »

They obviously aren't making any more of the originals, so their number can only go down and their value go up as a result. Whether demand (and so the price) for old synths will remain high in 20 years time is a matter for conjecture. I doubt you'll ever see their value decrease in real terms, though whether they will prove as much an investment as say a '59 Sunburst Les Paul would have been, only time will tell.

But you'd need to put it to one side and not play it (or only on special occasions), which I feel is a waste of a good instrument.

If you just want it for the sounds, then as The Elf says, you're better off with one of the recent, and much cheaper, clones.
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Re: Minimoog reissue...

Post by imw »

If you just want it for the sounds, then as The Elf says, you're better off with one of the recent, and much cheaper, clones.


Thanks for you message and your conclusion.Which cheaper clones you mean exactly? The new models are also in the 3-4k range.
https://www.thomann.de/cz/moog_minimoog_model_d.htm
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