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August 17, 2016

Analog › Analog Synth › Minimoog › Moog › Reviews › Synths ›


Here Comes the Moog!


Holy Schnikees, here comes the Moog (Pronounced Moe-guh, like the bartender from The Simpsons)! It’s not often music store employees truly freak out over a piece of gear.  This however, is worth a freak out.

Not since 1981 has Moog Music in Asheville, SC made the Moog Model D, affectionately known as the Minimoog.  Revered by enthusiasts as the quintessential analog synthesizer, its scarcity has elevated it to legendary status.

But what on earth is “mini” about it? That thing is huge!

Prior to the Model D’s conception, synthesizers were oft the size of a ’91 Chevy Astro Van. These less than portable, impossibly expensive, monolithic portions of the Starship Enterprise more or less dwelled in the bowels of university music departments across the nation. Occasionally used by classical musicians or borrowed by major recording artists, synthesizers remained mysterious and unobtainable to the general public.

Enter the Moog Model D.

For the first time a 3 voice, portable, user-friendly synthesizer was within the grasp of the average working musician.  Moog revolutionized the way keyboard players perceived their craft. This in turn revolutionized the sound of popular music. To this day the very uttering of the name “Moog” conjures an air of reverence. Here are some musicians revering:

So what’s this Model D Reissue like? First of all, not a reissue! Moog has gone to extreme lengths sourcing the materials and parts needed to handcraft each and every Minimoog synthesizer. Save for the addition of midi and some modernized components, this is a real Moog Model D.

While the purists and angry professors hurl their nays, I can see only the positives from such a production. It’s no secret that vintage Minimoogs cost more than a liver transplant. Resuming production will bring balance to the used market. Musicians who before couldn’t dream of affording an old Minimoog now have a shot at owning a classic. Touring bands that struggle with the constant repair of their vintage rigs, can retire their old Model D for a reliable replacement.

If anyone can re-capture lightning in a bottle, it’s Moog Music. Hand-crafted, made in America, Moogs are built old-school tough. A Moog synthesizer is a serious investment, with parts that can be serviced for the life of the instrument.

So go don your powdered wigs, slap on your vinyl copy of “Switched on Bach” and tell me you aren’t excited too! Whats that? Don't like Moogs?  You only play circuit-bent Casios, huh? That’s wonderful, so does my grandmom, now shut-yer-yap and get movin before my Minimoog squarewaves your mustache into flames, you dirty hipster! MOOG!

Brad Althouse
Brad Althouse