Moog Synth Repairs

Minimoog

The Minimoog is the grand-daddy of all portable synthesisers, first advertised for sale in 1970 with slider pots for the pitch bend and mod controls instead of the usual wheels.

stranglers-mini-front-lhs-1There are a surprising number of these in Ireland considering how expensive they are to buy.

stranglers-mini-front-rhs-1We have rebuilt quite a number of these over the last decade. The Mini is inherently very reliable, not many parts fail and all are still available from local sources except the rocker switches and the knobs. The latter are available but at a very high cost. The keyboard does not use J-wire contacts which are fragile, but a plated coil spring kind of contact. They sometimes get dirty and need cleaning but they don’t break.

minimoog

Adding an Octave Buffer board is a service we supply (it improves tuning) and the 1981 Moog pitch bend mod is also well worth doing.

The only downside and pitfall of the Minimoog is the huge wiring harness, it is probably easier to rewire your car than a Minimoog. Wiring faults are the Mini’s only achilles heel.

As for the sound, it is as good as folklore says.

Opus 3

Another popular synth which we see quite often, the condition in which they arrive varies quite a lot.

Some have never been gigged and stored in an attic for 20 years, while others have been gigged for 20 years and stored in a paper bag.
Surprisingly enough, the major issue with the Opus 3 does not depend on the previous two scenario’s.

There is a black foam liner inside the front panel which was designed to keep dust out of the sliders and toggle switches. Unfortunately the material the liner was made from deteriorates over time to become a black sticky tarry substance, which clogs the sliders and switches. The whole foam liner has to be removed which is very time consuming, and the slider controls removed from the circuit board, stripped cleaned and rebuilt and then resoldered to the circuit board.
A complete set of sliders and switches with coloured switch caps are available from the far east as brand new cloned products, they are expensive but work well and transform a wrecked synth to something that looks as good as new (There is no clone of the foam liner though).

The circuitry itself is very reliable, with nothing difficult to source apart from the organ divider chips, but we haven’t seen a dead one of those yet.

moog-opus-3-completed-2

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