Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

In a Moog Mood? Here's a forum for discussion of general Moog topics.
mrfett
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by mrfett » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:32 am

I ran across an unmodded Model D that had just come into my local used gear store. Needs some work and might have some issues but I'm pretty excited to get my hands on her once the 30 day hold is up :D

Serial #4866, which should mean a production date of April 1974-ish right? Everything functions, although many things are a little wonky. I didn't test the external input (whose input level pot doesn't move) or remove the back panel. Anyone ever get one in this kind of condition before? I'm planning to send it off to an expert, given what they seem to go for nowadays it seems like spending a little extra to make sure she's treated right makes sense. I've had a hard time gauging what a "good" price for one this beat up would be, as they don't seem to come up for sale on eBay much. I realize there's a decent amount of corrosion happening, although I don't know how that's going to impact the repair bill. I wasn't in the market, but... I don't think I have to justify my lust to this crowd right?

I'm mostly just posting to share, as I know I like to see threads like this, but I'd welcome suggestions/opinions (especially in regard to ideas for restoring the wood - in addition to the scratches, there are a few water stains that aren't too noticeable in these pics). This is my first Model D, I had a roommate some 15 years ago (maybe more) who owned one, but that was the last time I laid hands on one. I'm not looking to make her a museum piece, as I like to show my gear's true age, but I do want her to be cleaned up and not look like she just came out of a hurricane.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
thealien666
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by thealien666 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:01 pm

From the pics and your description, I'd say the keyboard will be the most critical part of the restauration. No so much the keys to remove and clean, nor the rubber bushings to replace (easy but time consuming), but rather the critical keyboard contacts. If there's any corrosion happening there, that will be a hard thing to fix and re-adjust properly.

As for scratchy pots, most of them are Allen-Bradley sealed type, and a few hundreds moves, from one end to the other, should alleviate and even eliminate this problem, as the carbon wiper will eventually rub off any deposits on the plastic resistive trace inside. Unless the potentiometer is physically damaged (the jammed one for the Ext Input maybe ?)

Scratchy switches can be cleaned either by switching them dozens of time, or by accessing them on the back panel and spaying a very little amount of contact cleaner in there (from the back).
All the boards will have to be unplugged and their edge contacts cleaned, and their associated connectors, thoroughly to remove any oxidation.

And finally, the whole synth will have to be re-calibrated, starting by the voltages on the PSU board. Ideally, some capacitors might need to be replaced (after checking their ESR values).

All in all, a time consuming, but not very difficult job (except for the keyboard contacts). There is a solution if those contacts are irrecuperable: the Opto-Key system (invented by the renowned tech and recently deceased Kevin Lightner) but still available from someone who has taken over the project.

Good luck.
Last edited by thealien666 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

mrfett
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by mrfett » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Hey thanks for such a detailed description, I was wondering if the Opto-key kit would make the oxidation a little less of a problem. I think I'm going to wrap the whole synth up and just send it off to Chris who does the Opto-kits now. Seems like a good guy, and Kevin trusted him so that sets me at ease.

Again, thanks for that, you really helped me feel a little less anxious about the whole thing 8)

User avatar
MC
Posts: 2874
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:20 pm
Location: Secluded Tranquil Country

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by MC » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:43 pm

The optokit is a nice solution in that it bypasses the original contact system.

The Lintronics MIDI retrofit is another nice solution.
Gear list: '04 Saturn Ion, John Deere X300 tractor, ganged set of seven reel mowers for 3 acres of lawn, herd of sheep for backup lawn mowers, two tiger cats for mouse population control Oh you meant MUSIC gear Oops I hit the 255 character limi

User avatar
thealien666
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by thealien666 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:16 pm

I'm glad I could help reduce your stress level a little. :D

BTW, that's exactly how I got my own Minimoog D. Bought it from a local guy who had stored it in a damp basement for twenty years ! :x But hey, I got it for a fair price considering its poor condition. 8)
I did the restauration myself, including Opto-Key installation bought from Kevin, and I couldn't be happier with my beloved synth ever since ! :D

And yes, the Linntronics Minimoog Midi retrofit is a little less expensive alternative, and offers a much better MIDI implementation than the Opto-Key. But it doesn't fix the keyboard contacts. MIDI on the Opto-Key was just an afterthought and is very limited to note on, and note off messages, and only on the 44 notes range of the Minimoog.
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

mrfett
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by mrfett » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:15 pm

Guys,

Does the Lintronics MIDI kit require drilling into the Moog to install? I've read a lot of derisive comments about people modding their minis lol. I know the Opto-Key is pretty minimally invasive. If the Lintronics is a good idea though, perhaps installing both the Opto-Key without the MIDI option (to get the benefit of the new key contacts) but also installing the Lintronics kit for MIDI is an option?

I've got to think about how much I really care about the MIDI functionality though. I could see sending note data from an arpeggiator or sequencer, but for the most part I'm looking to play the thing.

User avatar
thealien666
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by thealien666 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:44 pm

The Opto-Key offers two cables with female DIN MIDI plugs at their end. No drilling required.

As for installing the Opto-Key and Lintronics MIDI kit, that would almost double the cost. But you'd get the very best of both worlds (provided you're willing to drill holes in your Minimoog), with lifelong peace of mind for the keyboard contacts (optical system requiring no maintenance whatsoever), and complete MIDI functions from the Lintronics interface.

But, reading your last sentence, I'm pretty sure you'll be very satisfied with the Opto-Key. But maybe it isn't necessary after all ? Maybe the original keyboard contacts are intact and in good enough condition not to require such a relatively costly upgrade, yet ? It'll depend on what Chris sees when he takes a look at it...

I seldom use MIDI with my Mini, mostly from a sequencer occasionally. Playing the marvellously buttery feeling of the Pratt-Reed keyboard, with brand new lubricated bushing, is a pure joy that I don't want to deprive myself of.
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

mrfett
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by mrfett » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:10 am

So we've started working on it and I thought I'd share a few of the eye-popping pictures. We think it was stored in a barn lol.

Image
Image
Image

mrfett
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by mrfett » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:32 am

Also, one thing I learned in looking into MIDI options: the Lintronics MIDI converter is no longer being made, so that's not an option for owners anymore :(

One more thing to thank Synthfool for I guess.

User avatar
MC
Posts: 2874
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:20 pm
Location: Secluded Tranquil Country

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by MC » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:48 am

mrfett wrote:Also, one thing I learned in looking into MIDI options: the Lintronics MIDI converter is no longer being made, so that's not an option for owners anymore :(


As of a year ago they were still available, and that is from Rudi. Hopefully he will pipe in.
Gear list: '04 Saturn Ion, John Deere X300 tractor, ganged set of seven reel mowers for 3 acres of lawn, herd of sheep for backup lawn mowers, two tiger cats for mouse population control Oh you meant MUSIC gear Oops I hit the 255 character limi

mrfett
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by mrfett » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:54 am

MC wrote:As of a year ago they were still available, and that is from Rudi. Hopefully he will pipe in.


I emailed him and that was what I was told...

User avatar
thealien666
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by thealien666 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:01 pm

@mrfett

Oh boy ! And I thought my Minimoog was dirty when I got it ? :shock:
A serious clean-up job ahead...
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

mrfett
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by mrfett » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Pretty nuts right?!?!

lol i was turnin' that input volume knob like you said, and it DID get better, but I had NO IDEA how futile that effort was. I can't imagine why this thing was neglected like this for so many years.

User avatar
thealien666
Posts: 2791
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by thealien666 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:59 pm

Yeah, some people don't know what they have.
Yours look like it was used in a wood shop or somethin'... :lol:

The good news is that almost all of the pots in a Minimoog are sealed and are industrial grade and can easily clean themselves just by turning them like you did, simply because of the way they're constructed inside.

But the keyboard will probably be problematic...

I wish you a lot of courage and patience !
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

mrfett
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Re: Found a Minimoog Model D that needs some TLC

Post by mrfett » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:21 pm

thealien666 wrote:I wish you a lot of courage and patience !


Oh I know when to say "uncle". These latest picks were taken by Chris who's doing the work for me. I'm a guitar player who loves to play with synths lol. There was no way I could handle this job on my own!

Here I'll share a couple shots of what it looks like after being cleaned:
Image
Image
Image

Still a lot of work to do but it's getting there. I'm hoping to hear back about what these panels cost:
http://www.sintetizadores.com.ar/en/news/minimoog-panel

The bubbles on the control panel are actually moisture damage, not protective plastic that was never taken off :(

Post Reply