Maybe what they really should make next?

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johnll
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Maybe what they really should make next?

Post by johnll » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:36 pm

Hi, all,
I'm more of a lurker on this forum, but I post occasionally. Like many others, I've been scratching my head over the past year, trying to figure out if you could make yourself a Moog modular synth out of various 'fooger pedals. I love Ctrlshft's mockups and ideas. Since the release of the 107 I've been scratching my head even more. Today it finally hit me. Maybe I'm totally bonkers :)

You know how Fender puts out '59 Telecaster reissues, and '65 Mustang reissues, etc. and they sorta try to duplicate that vintage guitar that everyone wants.

Well... Moog should just reissue the Model D Minimoog.

To heck w/ polyphony. To heck with MIDI. Only change to the original I'd suggest is to add the some of the functionality of the CP-251 in there, particularly the lag and attenuator (though an extra LFO and S/H wouldn't hurt), and the 102 to boot, since ring mod is such an important part of analog synthesis. I've often felt that the lack of ring mod on the Voyager was sort of a "sell them razors and they'll have to come back to buy blades" marketing approach to move more 102s, but maybe it was just trying to keep the Voyager's panel closer to the original of the Model D.

Imagine if you could buy a brand new from the factory a Model D Minimoog? So you wouldn't have to blow a bunch of money on Ebay, pray the thing works when it arrives, pray that you find a local tech who can fix it or get on Kevin's waiting list :) I dunno... I think that's what they should do...

Well, whack some sense back into my head :)

cheers,
john

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goldphinga
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Post by goldphinga » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:04 pm

Ok.... :twisted:

Theres no point re-issuing the model d. The voyager gets very close and is so much more versatile. If you want a model d, then get one second hand. The costs for moog to remake the model d would be astronomical, the demand would be low as the d is very limited for the current market, and the chances are it wouldnt sound as good as the original anyway and everyone would moan how it doesnt sound like the ones in the 70's!

If you want a new discrete synth then the only option is this-the Macbeth x factor.

Dream on....
http://www.macbethstudiosystems.com/ 8)
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Kevin Lightner
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Post by Kevin Lightner » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:29 pm

"Just reissue the Mini D"

That's a big "just."
It's far more difficult than you might imagine.

From a parts and labor standpoint, the unit would end up costing a fortune.
In an original Mini there are parts that are scarce today and parts that were hand-matched or selected.

Several people have tried and come close, but were inexperienced at what they were attempting and woefully under capitalized.
Compromises and substitutes were made that marginalized the final products also.

If it was easy, you'd see them out there today.
The reason you don't is because it's just not possible to do cost-effectively or to the same end result of what's expected.

And fwiw, I don't have a waiting list. I've never kept such a list, as a matter of fact.
This year I simply closed my doors to everyone except one or two great clients.
It's incredibly hard doing everything that I'm expected to do and quite frankly, techs don't make very good money doing it.
It's no use trying to be all things to all people and dieing in the process.
However, next year I'm planning on only servicing Minis and a few other smaller synths.
I own Minimoog.net and plan to offer everything possible for Mini D's, including parts, service and fully restored units with warranties.
The best laid plans of mice and men may change of course, but that's what's going on now with me anyways.

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Post by dr_floyd » Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:32 pm

The Macbeths are fantastic. Check out the M3X2 (closest to Mini clone w/o keyboard) and M5 in addition to the X Factor.

And although it might be offensive to some, the Creamware Minimax tabletop Minimoog clone (digitally modeled) sounds incredible. Compared directly with an old Minimoog D it was totally impressive. Includes stereo effects too.

Kevin, I hope the Minimoog.net endeavor works out great for you. I think there are a large number of folks who appreciate your input here and your dedication to analog surgery (sadly without the surgeons fees).

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Post by johnll » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:21 pm

I guess I misjudged; I somehow thought all the digital circuitry in the Voyager for Midi, memory, the expression pad in the middle, etc. were all more complicated than the guts of the Model D.

Sorry also Kevin for thinking you had a waiting list. I was just perhaps misremembering an earlier version of your web site where you mentioned that it could be a long period of time before you could get to a job. I wish you best of luck with your new endeavors.

cheers,
john

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museslave
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Post by museslave » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:44 pm

I think a Minimoog D reissue is a great idea...

While I'm sure it would be expensive, I'm a little baffled by the notion that it would be "astronomical" in price.

I'm going to guess that this notion is based on the fact that Moog must have used off-the-shelf parts that they did not need to manufacture... and that these parts are no longer made, so that getting them would be difficult, and manufacturing them would be expensive.

I don't know, though. Industries develop around products that are wholly manufactured by a single company... all it requires is funding. I personally suspect that a qualified company could approach a lot of funding and lending sources and get what they are after... the proof of demand is as astronomical, too. ; )
I have a hard time believing that the Minimoog contains components of such complexity and/or design that they couldn't be manufactured today.

I'm inclined to believe, often, that the "analog synthesizers are too costly to build today" is a load of crap put forth by companies who would rather have you buy their computer stuff because it's far cheaper for them to make... and far cheaper for them to make means higher profit margin for them.
It's the same with anything currently being made... companies insist that it's too expensive to make things out of wood, etc... despite EVERYTHING having been made out of wood a few decades ago. It isn't the price of these commodities that has arisen, it is the desire for competitive financial reward that has risen.

Of course, I'm no expert in electronics or manufacturing... but it just seems counter-intuitive that something built by a small company in the 70s couldn't be built by a large corporation today.
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Kevin Lightner
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Post by Kevin Lightner » Sat Feb 03, 2007 1:57 am

Let me try it this way... :)

If going 100% original:

Dual FETs- very hard to find.
2.5% polystyrene caps - hard, but not impossible.
50K audio taper pots that have an end resistance of less than 1 ohm - hard to find or very expensive
Keyboard actions - today's are rubberized contacts that won't work directly for analogs and few have the same luster as an original PR action
Switches with silver plated contacts - not rare, but quality costs
Temperature compensated zener diodes- very hard to source
Hand matched resistor pairs and triplets - labor intensive or parts that are expensive
Hand crimped wiring harnesses and soldering point to point - lotsa labor
MPSU transistors - impossible in quantity
High quality reverse audio pots - expensive
Heated transistor pairs - hard to find (if later vco designs)
Hand calibration - expensive
Real wood cabinets - expensive
Injection molded wheels - pricey to have mold made
Gold plated connectors - requires additional PCB mask and gold
Panel and rear - metal fabricated correctly w/ welded seams

I could go on, but it *would* cost a lot because all of this still has to come in at a price for a profit to be made.
Labor today is much, much more than in the 70's and there's no way around the hand wiring unless you'd like your Mini to be made in China.
Many things that seem to be the same between the Vger and D aren't.
For example, pots that have nuts and knobs that have setscrews.
Vger knobs push on and are instantly aligned.
D knobs need hand alignment and if picky, even the height must be controlled.
The pots even need to be aligned and tightened with nuts and washers that take a lot of labor.
I think you'd be surprised what the cost of a Mini pot vs a vger pot is and after multiplying that, it's even more staggering.

I've seen what the defunct Ohio Moog Music's product was and they cut a lot of these corners, resulting in a terrible instrument.

There IS a reason a Vger goes for thousands and an LP for roughly what a Mini used to cost.
Everything costs more today- electricity, shipping, insurance, labor, parts, advertising, gold, solder... on and on.
If you want a company to make such a gem, you'd likely also like them to stay in business too and have support.
That would entail a sizeable profit and an end product *just* like an original Mini D would probably retail for about $5000-7000 each.
Since a company couldn't sell enough at that price to begin with, it's all an exercise in futility.
It just ain't gonna happen. :(

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Post by OysterRock » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:12 am

museslave wrote: It's the same with anything currently being made... companies insist that it's too expensive to make things out of wood, etc... despite EVERYTHING having been made out of wood a few decades ago.
Wood is expensive because it requires skill and time to work with. Not to mention the fact that quality wood itself it pricey compared to plastic.

Manufacturing processes have changed over the last few decades. Plastic is cheap and molds allow for quick production. Nowadays, wood is added for strictly aesthetic reasons, while in the past it was simply what was readily available.

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Post by Sweep » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:14 am

dr_floyd wrote:And although it might be offensive to some, the Creamware Minimax tabletop Minimoog clone (digitally modeled) sounds incredible. Compared directly with an old Minimoog D it was totally impressive. Includes stereo effects too.
A little while ago I was talking with a musician who played some awesome MiniMoog solos back in the 70s. He now has the Minimax and rates it highly.

The other day another top synth player emailed me and said the same thing.

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Post by goldphinga » Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:18 am

it maybe good but its no minimoog.
Moog Gear: Voyager AE,LP Stage 2+CV outs (Blue LED's/Wheels, MF104SD, MF101 Filter, MF103 Phaser, Source, Memorymoog+, Minitaur.

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Post by cheveux.boucles » Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:43 am

I'm inclined to believe, often, that the "analog synthesizers are too costly to build today" is a load of crap put forth by companies who would rather have you buy their computer stuff because it's far cheaper for them to make... and far cheaper for them to make means higher profit margin for them.
Yeah, but the companies manufacturing analog synths nowadays say the same thing and they make a good profit because of it. Either way, you have people using the idea of something being analog as being something so exotic...
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museslave
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Post by museslave » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:19 pm

Kevin, thanks for your response.

Knowing just how many aspects would have to be newly-manufactured puts the whole thing into perspective.

A lot of my denial about this topic comes from the fact that industry has moved so far into a position of targeted profitability that they have moved away from older processes and techniques that provided quality. Granted, there have been improvements... but companies seek financial improvement more than they do product improvement... when both can be had at once, that's fine... but usually, it, especially in the case of synthesizers, is usually a focus on profitability.

It's sad to know that when I die most original analog synthesizers probably won't be working anymore. If no one is going to manufacture the parts they need ever again, analog synthesizers from the past are a thing of the past.
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Post by dr_floyd » Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:58 pm

Re: the Creamware Minimax
it maybe good but its no minimoog.
Well if it's the closest the majority of people will ever get to a real Minimoog, and it helps to keep the Moog sound and name alive, why does it matter?

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Post by CTRLSHFT » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:03 pm

museslave wrote:It's sad to know that when I die most original analog synthesizers probably won't be working anymore. If no one is going to manufacture the parts they need ever again, analog synthesizers from the past are a thing of the past.
that perspective does kind of knock the originals into a catagory of antiquity, and obsolensence, instead of instruments..

i don't think analog synths as a whole will ever die though.. they will always be exotic, they will always have a fan base for this reason.

even now, with such amazing emulations available, people (some people anyway) know the difference, and want the real thing.

we'll see i guess.. who knows what sort of manufacturing tech there will be in even as little as 10 years time..
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museslave
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Post by museslave » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:07 pm

dr_floyd wrote:Re: the Creamware Minimax
it maybe good but its no minimoog.
Well if it's the closest the majority of people will ever get to a real Minimoog, and it helps to keep the Moog sound and name alive, why does it matter?
How can something that does not sound like the thing its replacing keep the name of that thing alive?
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