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Will replacing my Stage with a Stage II solve tuning issues?

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Will replacing my Stage with a Stage II solve tuning issues?

Postby rosswatson » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:38 am

Hello fellow Moog enthusiasts,

I am the owner of a Moog Source and a Little Phatty Stage. I picked up the Little Phatty Stage secondhand in Scotland (where I live) four years ago from a band who'd purchased it new but had been having a few issues with it. It has served me really well, and only cost £500, so the problem outlined below (which was the reason the previous owner sold the Phatty) has never bothered me too much as I paid very little for something that sounds very good.

The issue is with Oscillator 2. I have to tune Osc. 2 for each preset every time I move the Phatty to a new environment as it's incredibly sensitive to temperature changes. I'm using about 20 presets for live now so it's becoming increasingly difficult to manage this tuning instability at gigs. The Phatty takes a minimum of 45 minutes to warm up and for the tuning to settle in any location. Osc. 2 will always be out of tune with Osc. 1 unless the Phatty in the same room as it was in when last played and the room temperature has remained exactly the same. With the tuning mode set to Auto, Oscillator 1 tunes up perfectly and reasonably quickly - it's just Oscillator 2 that's giving me a headache.

When I perform, I always have the Phatty warming up for about an hour beforehand. If I can do this onstage it's ideal as I know that once the Phatty has warmed up and Osc. 2 has been tuned for each preset, it will stay in tune for the duration of the set. However, if I have to warm the Phatty up backstage or side of stage at an outdoor festival, I have to move it on stage as soon as possible to give it time to adjust to the on-stage temperature and time for me to re-tune each presets before performing. I've become very quick at doing this but I play in a band with a complex stage setup and tuning the Phatty presets creates hassle that we could be doing without.

I've run the calibrations many times over the years (always after letting the Phatty warm up for over an our) and this hasn't improved the stability of the tuning of Osc. 2. I'm also running the most up-to-date version of the firmware. I successfully carried out the debug repair when upgrading the firmware 18 months ago using a USB Debug Adaptor from Silicon Labs as described in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VMCijPZiLU as the Phatty died when I first attempted to upgrade.

So, is there anything I've not done that I could try? I'm considering replacing my Phatty Stage with a brand new Stage II. However, I'm concerned that I will have the same tuning issues as with the Stage. Or, I may replace it with another secondhand Moog Source. My Source is surprisingly roadworthy, is always in tune after 15 minutes and has caused me little problem in the 5 years I've had it.

Any advice on the issue I'm experiencing and about whether a Stage II would give me fewer problems would be much appreciated!

Regards,

Ross
Guitarist with indie-pop band Be Like Pablo. Moog Source, Little Phatty Stage and Sub Phatty owner.
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Re: Will replacing my Stage with a Stage II solve tuning iss

Postby ricknboogie » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:53 pm

It sounds to me like you have a problem, that is to say, with that particular Phatty. I've owned a Stage I, and currently have a Stage II, and neither one has had this issue you describe. In fact, my Stage II is ready to play almost instantly. Excuse me if you already know this, but Osc 2's frequency is adjustable from the front panel, but should be "in tune" relative to Osc 1 from the start. I think you need a repair, but a new Stage 2 should certainly solve your problem.
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Re: Will replacing my Stage with a Stage II solve tuning iss

Postby Sir Nose » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:46 pm

Have you tried turning auto tune off and going with manual tune?

If you go with a new instrument, the new sub phatty has oscillators that are in turn upon power on.
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Re: Will replacing my Stage with a Stage II solve tuning iss

Postby redeyeflight » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:41 am

I've had this exact same issue with my little phatty as well. I just make sure it warms up and it helps but it's never perfect. I'd love to know if anyone else has ever felt with such an issue in a quicker way.
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Re: Will replacing my Stage with a Stage II solve tuning iss

Postby rosswatson » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:56 am

Thanks for your replies. I do indeed know how to tune the frequency of Osc. 2 from the front panel. This is how I tune Osc. 2 for each preset each time I turn my Phatty on (after it's warmed up for 45 minutes or so). I generally keep auto tune on as it keeps the tuning Osc.1 rock solid. I use manual tuning from time to time but auto/manual/off affects the overall tuning of the Phatty only. When I alter the fine tune (when using manual tuning), Osc. 2 remains detuned relative to the frequency of Osc.1.

I carried out all the calibrations twice this week - exactly as they should be done - just to be sure and I'm still experiencing the same problems. Very frustrating. Looks like it'll be a new Phatty Stage II for me. I'll likely keep my current Phatty as a backup.

Thanks,

Ross
Guitarist with indie-pop band Be Like Pablo. Moog Source, Little Phatty Stage and Sub Phatty owner.
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