Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

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Flip
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Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by Flip » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:38 pm

I recently read about a company in the UK recreating the Model D in the 90s. I was just curious if anyone has ever played/owned one and can give some insight on how they compared? Also, do they ever come up for sale on ebay and what prices might they go for? I've never heard about them until now, but I've always wanted a Model D and thought maybe this could be a more affordable way to get one similar without having to pay vintage prices. Though looking on ebay, none seem to be for sale or anything in the completed listings, and nothing on youtube either. So do these things even exist or what? :mrgreen:

Trigger
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by Trigger » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:17 pm

There was a Welsh company manufacturing Model Ds with the Moog Music logo for a few years in the 90s I think. IIRC, they were cosmetically identical, with the exception of the color of a few rocker switches. This might have been in that black hole period when Bob didn't have the rights to his own name. In any event, there were relatively few Ds made before the company went belly up.
I read a few accounts from owners who were pretty happy with them. Whether their reliability was as good is anyone's guess. There were probably so few made that if you do find one, its rarity might make it prohibitively expensive.

Maybe Google "Welsh Minimoog"?

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thealien666
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by thealien666 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:46 pm

As Trigger wrote, the Welsh Minimoog, also known as the Minimoog 204E model, was produced by Moog Music Limited owned by Alex Winter, in very small quantity (less than 5 according to some ?) in the U.K. back in the '90. It cost more than a used authentic Mini at the time, and is pretty rare these days. That company failed shortly after the introduction of the 204E.

Maybe this article in S.O.S. Magazine could enlighten you on it ?

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct98/a ... g204e.html
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Trigger
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by Trigger » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:30 am

Good Article. S-o-S is a great mag.

It would seem that if there were only a few 240s produced, the only attraction over a Model D would be the novelty of owning one.

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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by moogsaurus » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:43 pm

Think I enquired on buying one around 1998?! Only problem was - they wanted the money up front, (1499.00) Sterling - then they would build the Mini?
Totally at odds with their boast of shipping a batch for international buyers, as well as fulfilling UK buyers,seems 7 were made,there was a small advert in the back pages of SOS unveiling the Mini somewhere in Wales.Really no marketing what so ever, but the Future Music / SOS reviews were good! (you could spec wood type) but still no dedicated LFO?!

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MC
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by MC » Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:25 pm

At the time of the Welsh Minimoog, the US Moog trademark was not yet in Bob's hands. Don Martin owned it during his infamous Cincinnati-based operation attempt to clone minimoogs and moog modulars, and the trademarks were later defaulted to Bob during the bankruptcy proceedings. Because the trademark was active in the US, Welsh Minimoogs couldn't be imported with the "moog music" moniker. Alex Winter still owns the UK trademark and refuses to budge, so any products from Bob's company destined for the UK have to have the "moog music" removed from all paperwork (owner's manuals, etc) and the badge changed to a facsimile of Bob Moog's autograph (which legally cannot be construed as trademark infringement) instead of Moog Music.
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by goldphinga » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:59 pm

MC wrote:At the time of the Welsh Minimoog, the US Moog trademark was not yet in Bob's hands. Don Martin owned it during his infamous Cincinnati-based operation attempt to clone minimoogs and moog modulars, and the trademarks were later defaulted to Bob during the bankruptcy proceedings. Because the trademark was active in the US, Welsh Minimoogs couldn't be imported with the "moog music" moniker. Alex Winter still owns the UK trademark and refuses to budge, so any products from Bob's company destined for the UK have to have the "moog music" removed from all paperwork (owner's manuals, etc) and the badge changed to a facsimile of Bob Moog's autograph (which legally cannot be construed as trademark infringement) instead of Moog Music.


Bob/Moog won the UK trademark back a good few years ago now. All Moog products are badged the same as their US counterparts now. Hence I have a UK import Voyager, Little Phatty and Minitaur all with the normal Moog logo and not the 'by Bob Moog' script that was required until the name was aquired back around 2006...
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by moogsaurus » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:53 pm

Seemingly the Moog patent had lapsed in the UK. not sure how they successfully revived it?! Surely the American owner of the name would have placed an injunction on the process? But it is fascinating to think of such a revival of an iconic synthesiser so far from its birthplace. Financial grants were awarded to the company by the Welsh office (obviously not too much given the companys limited strategy?) I'd often wondered if only they'd made a monophonic Memorymoog style synth-but not with the Moog name, there was always going to be a massive identity crisis using such a classic revered name! Bad Call!

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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by MC » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:19 am

goldphinga wrote:Bob/Moog won the UK trademark back a good few years ago now. All Moog products are badged the same as their US counterparts now. Hence I have a UK import Voyager, Little Phatty and Minitaur all with the normal Moog logo and not the 'by Bob Moog' script that was required until the name was aquired back around 2006...


That is good news, I did not know that!
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by MC » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:32 am

moogsaurus wrote:Seemingly the Moog patent had lapsed in the UK. not sure how they successfully revived it?! Surely the American owner of the name would have placed an injunction on the process? But it is fascinating to think of such a revival of an iconic synthesiser so far from its birthplace. Financial grants were awarded to the company by the Welsh office (obviously not too much given the companys limited strategy?) I'd often wondered if only they'd made a monophonic Memorymoog style synth-but not with the Moog name, there was always going to be a massive identity crisis using such a classic revered name! Bad Call!


The UK trademark (not patent, btw) did lapse back then. When that happens, anybody is free to claim it. Which is what Alex Winter did. Remember this was about 1994 before the big Moog revival.

The American owner from Moog Music Cincinnati could had sought relief citing trademark confusion but that would had been a stretch. When Don Martin had the US trademark, he didn't have the $$$ to file the legal paperwork much less build any minimoogs.

In 1996 a lot of customers forked over advance deposit money to Don Martin for reissue minimoogs. Don didn't have the resources to meet demand. Customers started complaining and Don stopped answering phones and emails. Then angry customers found Bob Moog's name at Big Briar and started calling Bob's office demanding to know where their minimoogs were. In Bob's case, that was a no-lose trademark confusion case which won him back his trademarks. He not only had a record showing that angry customers were calling his Big Briar office, he had his birthname and past association with the company to strengthen his case. Alex Winter or Don Martin don't have that luxury.
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by nicholas d. kent » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:53 pm

Historically Bob Moog had long sold his ownership in the original R.A. Moog Co. in 1971 and then left working for the company (Moog Music) in 1977.

My understanding was the Minimoog was discontinued after about a decade of production in 1981 because it was expensive to build so it hits a situation where if they raise the price again they just sell fewer and of course by 1981 far fewer musicians were looking for a pricey monosynth.

Moog Music went out of business in 1986 and in hindsight Bob Moog was unaware he could file to reclaim the trademark and that came up in the 90s when the mentioned Don Martin filed to use the trademark in the U.S. and then I don't know of the precise time frame but Alex Winter around that period successfully filed for a UK trademark. Presumably Don Martin was unaware about the need to register in the UK but I don't know. It's not unheard of that the same trademark name is owned by different people in different countries. Off the top of my head, record labels like Victor and Columbia in Japan can not be exported afaik until relabeled JVC and Denon respectively.

So I believe Don Martin made enough new, re-laid out PCB Moog Modular Modules to prove he could make them and get pre-orders which he didn't fulfill. One can to this day see several 18" rack rows of modules in FiveG, Tokyo and peek at his boards. I've been told FiveG by third parties that they put in a large paid order on the basis of these modules and nothing was delivered. Not sure why they remain in the store unpriced and unsold sine the mid 90s. Perhaps they were samples on loan? Then I understand Don Martin tackled the Minimoog building about 3? and selling them for $2000, which sounded too cheap to me to make a profit but not cheap enough to risk buying one when I saw one in a sealed box having just arrived at a NYC dealer. Kevin L. I believe reviewed the build of one online years ago as I recall. Purely a guess but I presume a couple were made at a net profit loss to prove he had a product and take more orders.

Jump to the Welsh Moog. He started out with the Mini and only announced the modules and a taurus to come at some point. The Mini was definitely shown working and it's interesting to read the number built. While priced at more than US$2000, they still seem like there was little profit and the if it costs more fewer people want to buy one scenario. Has anyone seen the insides?

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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by Sweep » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:54 am

Just a couple of minor snippets which may or may not be of interest.

One of the Welsh Minis turned up at Hammond Hire in Coventry, England, a couple of years ago. I'm not sure if it was being sold or just in for repair.

Someone - not Hammond Hire - told me Bob Moog was impressed with the sound and feel of the Welsh Mini, though not, understandably, with the name issue.
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by megavoice » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:21 pm

Looks WONDERFUL on the pics with those additional controllers. My tech would take a look inside one day if he could face one :wink:
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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by BrianK » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:29 am

The history(s) of RAMoog, Moog Music Inc. MME, EJE etc etc is very confusing. I've been asked to write something on the long history and have been pursuing it for years, it's fairly complete, so it should be "out" soon. Many things are assumed by people, and some things not yet uncovered in the basic thread of the story. There were other people claiming/using the name in the middle eras as well.

Don't forget, Bob sold the rights to the name in 1971, and happily moved away from it in 1978 and stayed away. Of course, like Leo Fender, Bob went on to use other names for various enterprises. When Don Martin was using it, he had been doing all the right things to assume a "dropped" trademark. As Bob had been actively using Big Briar, it was tough to argue his claim when going to court (the name had been sold and left unused, with several people having good claim to it). It's all cloudy and legally argumentative, but the name did finally return (literally) just in time for Bob's first new synthesizer to be called "a Moog"... Nice.

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Re: Moog Music UK 90s Minimoog?

Post by CZ Rider » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:06 pm

BrianK wrote:. I've been asked to write something on the long history and have been pursuing it for years, it's fairly complete, so it should be "out" soon.

Sounds great! Will this be a book or an article? I'm going to request a signed copy if a book. :D
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