Just bought a Model D on eBay...

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Spumoni
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Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by Spumoni » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:39 pm

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141862752077?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

I recently purchased my second Voyager (regrettably sold my first one), and finally made the leap for a Model D. I was waiting for one in decent shape to show up on eBay in an auction format - this way I always feel it's "almost" worth what you paid if people were actually bidding right behind you. This one was in Spain, and since people generally are reluctant to bid on things outside the USA I figured out would take the chance. This one apparently has the original old board, which to me is a positive. I've read that although it's less stable, some people prefer sound of the older boards. It also appears to be refinished (poorly). To my surprise, very much unlike guitars, refinishing doesn't hurt the value - it almost seems to help in some cases. I don't play in a band, it's more of a hobby for me. I'm doing it for the charm, and hopefully I won't lose too much money doing it. I intend to refinish it properly, and restore it within reason. Hopefully it won't need serious work, but I'm prepared for almost anything.

Here's my question - I've never actually touched one before, so how will I know if it needs to be worked on? I've been hearing a lot about model d's being "recapped" and sounding much better... but perhaps if I'm lucky this won't need it? Will it be very obvious if it needs work, and does the video from the listing really tell anything? Or should I send it out regardless?

Thanks in advance!

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noddyspuncture
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by noddyspuncture » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:20 pm

Spumoni wrote:I've been hearing a lot about model d's being "recapped" and sounding much better... but perhaps if I'm lucky this won't need it?


That isn't always the case in my experience. I completely recapped one back in 2010 and regretted it...!

Recapping the power supply is a must... but I'd leave all the other stuff alone if it already sounds nice.
The one I did seemed to lose something by the process... :(

Cheers,
Tom

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MC
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by MC » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:02 pm

Recapping does not always result in better sound.

Recapping power supplies does not always improve them. When I recapped the power supply in my OBX I took before and after pictures of each rail probed on the Oscilloscope. There was no difference.

The only two reasons you should recap is if the chassis generates a lot of heat which degrades caps (think power amps or tube amps), or if the caps show evidence of leaking.

As a rule, I leave any original caps in the audio path intact unless it is defective. Then you have to replace it with the equivalent dielectric or the sound will change. Every dielectric has different electrical properties that impact the sound.

The old oscillator boards can be made stable. I've done it. This involves power distribution improvements, changing circuit biases/gains and opamps, and zero cap replacements. All without altering the audio path.
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EMwhite
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by EMwhite » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:06 pm

Your Mini is the brother or sister of mine (mine is two digits in serial # order away) which puts yours around Spring 1976, a fine year : )

Serial #'s 5000 onward are said to have the Octave Buffer boards installed at the factory and I can see the two screws in the pictures on eBay.

Otherwise, yours looks in good shape. Don't get hung up on the cosmetics of the wood. Based on the way that the seller was tweaking and playing, I wager he's had it for years and didn't play much at all, or maybe it was his brothers and he had no idea what he was doing, just selling it on behalf of a family member or friend.

The few still shots of the insides look immaculate. Not much more to say. I'd exercise each pot to check for scratchy/static sounds and if all sounds good, you might actually be in good shape. Anything cracking or audio dropouts is obviously a warning sign. If you don't have a good tech, you might roll the dice but I would visually inspect the boards before playing; may as well snap a picture of the yellow tag while in there. If you are handy enough, test the power supply output voltage to see that it is stable and producing voltages which are in range.

Otherwise, congrats. A close friend picked up a vintage Mini after having a Voyager for years and (me too, btw) loves his dearly as well.
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EricK
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by EricK » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:43 pm

That's probably one of the cleanest ones ever on ebay....and it's a miracle you got it for that price also!
Congratulations. It looks immaculate. You might find it doesn't need anything but a key bushing and alignment.

Mine was a few hundred more than that and nowhere near as perfect as that. Your's may have a brand new cabinet on there, but the looks of the innyrds, it was given the white-glove treatment.

Get yourself an Anvil Case.
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noddyspuncture
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by noddyspuncture » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:50 am

EricK wrote:You might find it doesn't need anything but a key bushing and alignment.


Eric, I think he might need the footage selector switch mod doing, looking at the video... :)

Cheers,
Tom

Spumoni
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by Spumoni » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:25 pm

Oh wow... thanks for the replies! After hearing this feedback from "the experts" I feel much more confident with my purchase. But time will tell, I should have it in a week or two. Not sure what some of these terms mean, but I'll be learning as much as I can in the next week.

Thanks again for the all the input, this is extremely helpful. I will repost with an update once the unit arrives. I probably should research the best service in advance just in case...

Thanks again!

EMwhite
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by EMwhite » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:46 pm

Probably should mention to remember to flip the power supply switch to 115V (from "230V", assuming you are in the states, that is). It the pic, it's set for 230V which is standard throughout Europe and England.
'76 Minimoog, Taurus 3, Oberheim FVS + Son of 2-voice; Sequential ProOne; Juno 106; Moog Model 15; Kurzweil 250; Hammond M3; and a handful of Fender Basses Flickr!

Spumoni
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by Spumoni » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:17 pm

Thanks for the power switch warning... good catch. The seller said he switched it for me, but I definitely will make sure! Very anxious to get my hands on this thing!

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latigid on
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by latigid on » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:42 am

MC wrote:Recapping does not always result in better sound.

Recapping power supplies does not always improve them. When I recapped the power supply in my OBX I took before and after pictures of each rail probed on the Oscilloscope. There was no difference.

The only two reasons you should recap is if the chassis generates a lot of heat which degrades caps (think power amps or tube amps), or if the caps show evidence of leaking.

As a rule, I leave any original caps in the audio path intact unless it is defective. Then you have to replace it with the equivalent dielectric or the sound will change. Every dielectric has different electrical properties that impact the sound.

The old oscillator boards can be made stable. I've done it. This involves power distribution improvements, changing circuit biases/gains and opamps, and zero cap replacements. All without altering the audio path.


Slight thread deviation, but what's your stance on replacing tantalums MC? Especially those across power rails? I have a fairly old looking PSU with tell-tail spherical tants and I don't want the thing to catch fire! I'm tempted to go for modern high value ceramics.

To OP; very nice find! I hope it's a pleasure to play. Personally I'm keeping an eye out for this project .

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noddyspuncture
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by noddyspuncture » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:14 am

latigid on wrote:
MC wrote:Slight thread deviation, but what's your stance on replacing tantalums MC? Especially those across power rails? I have a fairly old looking PSU with tell-tail spherical tants and I don't want the thing to catch fire! I'm tempted to go for modern high value ceramics.


Replacing vintage tants is highly recommended, especially in the places you mention - on power rails...!
I usually replace them with modern low ESR electrolytics.
Cheers,
Tom

Spumoni
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by Spumoni » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:37 am

The Moog finally arrived yesterday, and needless to say I was delighted with the condition! The seller did a fabulous job of packing it, and the condition was better than expected. I removed the back panel before turning it on, and it appeared spotless and untouched. I tried plugging it in, and was not able to get any sounds. I could hear some faint oscillator sounds, but they were not effected by pressing the keys. I unplugged the unit, and removed the bottom panel. I found 8 matching loose screws, and the entire long board under the key bed (that has those wire rails and clear rubber things) was totally loose. I also noticed the wire connector coming from the keyboard had a broken solder connection. As soon as I touched it, another wire broke off. Hopefully this will explain the keyboard not working.

I'm waiting for my coworker to solder those wires back on, and hopefully that will solve the "no sound" issue. But in the meantime, when I tried putting the loose screws back in, they didn't feel like they were screwing into threads. It felt more like they were screwing into foam. Although they will probably hold the board on, this didn't seem normal. I will remove the keyboard today and investigate further.

Does anyone know the correct screws to mount this board?

Hopefully I was able to attach the pictures correctly.

Thanks!
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Spumoni
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by Spumoni » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:26 pm

We got the wires soldered back on to the connector, but it worries me that the wires aren't matching on both sides of the connecter - I would assume it should be the same, but it appears as though a couple were switch. Either way, the keyboard now works, and I'm getting a tone! A very ugly tone, but a tone that responds to the keyboard!

I didn't have it one for more than a few minutes, but it really sounded pretty bad - oscillator 1 was really screechy, and I couldn't turn the sustain of the notes, but again I was rushed. Hopefully it's user error, and nothing serious. I will spend more time with it tonight.

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noddyspuncture
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by noddyspuncture » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:48 pm

Spumoni wrote:I found 8 matching loose screws, and the entire long board under the key bed (that has those wire rails and clear rubber things) was totally loose. I also noticed the wire connector coming from the keyboard had a broken solder connection. As soon as I touched it, another wire broke off.


This sounds pretty bad.... the "entire long board" is basically the keyboard contact assembly and it needs to be fastened, not only securely but also at the correct distance - from the keyboard actuators..! The whole board is/was originally held onto the frame by rubber 'cones'. These
'cones' deteriorate and cannot be sourced any more. My guess is that this Mini has had some work done to get around this problem. It might account for the loose screws..?

Either way - until you get that board mounted securely and in the correct place you can forget trying to "play" the keyboard I think.
The wire breaking off is no big deal... I'd be more worried about that key-bed. Seems to me like you need a good tech to get this thing sorted...!

Cheers,
Tom

Spumoni
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Re: Just bought a Model D on eBay...

Post by Spumoni » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:46 pm

Oh man... you can say THAT again. It plays like crap! Almost like it has after touch! On some keys, the notes sound like they are gliding off into space.

Also, the envelope knobs don't seem to do what they should. I can't really adjust the decay, and some of the wave forms sound really bad (scratchy), and others sound ok.

I'm not feeling so confident...

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