With Great Sadness…continued

Originally on Facebook:

With great sadness I am pulling my Moog Slim Phatty from consideration in live performance. Several bugs, critically low reliability, among many issues have been a problem since day one. I stress test everything and the Moog did not pass. On the shelf it goes…let’s see what Moog says?

Let’s talk about this:

There are 3 faces of Moog.

  1. The original late 1960s Mini. It was revolutionary.
  2. Brand – been bought, sold, diluted, and abused for money.
  3. The Foundation.

Regarding #1. If you look at the landscape there has been little new innovation in the realm of topic. I have played almost every Moog ever built – I consider all non-Mini variants an attempt to market off the success of the Mini. Many were train wrecks (e.g. the Rouge, Memory, etc). Additionally the poor builds of Moogs has made Wine Country very wealthy (leading Moog repair center). Some may want to argue the minutia of the engineering. That is not the point, sure there have been advancements in technology and construction, but these have barley kept up with the landscape.

Regarding #2- Anything that you can drop a Moog tag on for money. E.g. The pedal line. They are pretty good pedals, but way off the mark bang for buck wise. Smaller independent companies are producing better at the same price point. I own a lot of that stuff. For a Chinese export (unconfirmed) to cost the same as a hand built unit from the USA or England – something is really off the mark. Moog guitars…huh? That is not what the Moog name stands for in the scope of the market. Even if the guitar is awesome that is asking me to buy a Marshall synthesizer.

3. The Foundation is dope. I applaud what they do and encourage it.

I think everyone should understand that Moog SOLD OUT and left his company to form “Big Briar”. That was late 70’s.

I kid you not, I have used damn close to every Moog out there and the slim phatty is as “temperamental” and unstable as all of the models form the past 40 years. I feel Moog (post Bob) missed the boat, possibly as far back as 1974.

Most people don’t have the broad understanding of hardware synthesizers to make these judgments and buy based on brand. If you are an established brand I am going to hold your unit to that level of quality.  I am not going to convince myself I am in love because you put your sticker on it.  You have to earn the respect of the market.

Bob’s vision is/was strong and he is to be applauded for what he has done. As for the namesake – MINO – “Moog in Name Only” – that is how I categorize my recent Moog experience. (but they are using the same osc chip from the 60’s more or less).

The Tone

The Moog tone is unique.  I like it.  Not enough to deal with the machine.

The Issues

  • F# 4 to G4 will reliably discharge the OSC. Not acceptable.
  • Been getting frequent OSC discharges “flamming” notes. Still trying to replicate for a support ticket.
  • When idol for 5+ minutes the first note if .5-.75 second delayed. For playing live, this will impact your bitchin’ solo as note #1 is bad.
  • [pending] The LFO integration is just broken. Nothing you could use live and on the fly. I am trying to determine if “broken” is a weak implementation or engineering mistake.
  • Quality of build : substandard, unacceptable, embarrassing.

Let’s take the blame off Moog.  Instead put this on me. My standards are high and Moog is consumer level product. The Kia of synths.

My solution is simple, Euro and Frac rack. Not too much more expense and considerably higher in quality (construction and tone). The engineers care about the product, they will email you back, and best of all – the units are repairable.