KSS, I appreciate the input. A simple answer to all your points is: this is why I am making prototypes, I am aware of all of your concerns and have plans to deal with them. Not having an actual Minimoog to reference requires the design to be iterative and that is perfectly fine with me. This is not the build thread though, and clearly asking questions about panels got this group buy thread way too off topic (My fault). So I am going to clarify a few things about the case project and we can hopefully get back on topic to getting us some 44 key keybeds. I am just inquiring about case interest here because the two are related.
The faceplate design has been an evolution, which is why I explored all my options. I am not trying to make an exact replica, to answer bgreeves, yes, my goal is to make a reliable instrument with the physical presence and playability of the original. As close to the original design is of course ideal, but the ability to produce multiple is the most important, and given that I will be rebranding them from Moog, 100% authenticity is already off the table.
After doing some more research on the original panels and what people do to make replicas, I have landed on textured powder coating a 1mm aluminum panel in the same shape as the original leatherette, and silk screening it with epoxy. These are both processes that can easily be done locally. So I think the front panel design is decided short of looking at specific texture samples and deciding on which one. I have seen pictures of minimoogs with repro faceplates in this method and they look fantastic.
These cases will also be entirely finished before they are available for sale, with those who have shown early interest getting priority, committing to a sale before a prototype is even made is of course just asking for trouble. As for price, that will entirely depend on the cost of manufacturing the metal case and I unfortunately just don't know what that will be yet. After the first prototype I will have a much more solid idea of material and labor as well as a more specific ETA. The mid summer *goal* is most certainly not for the kit or faceplate, just the case for people who want to use reproduction hardware and faceplate (hole pattern etc will be based on my reproductions I have purchased). And you are correct, this may change depending on how long it takes to get the keyboards from FATAR or other parts.
To clear up any potential confusion, I do understand that goals and reality rarely line up, so in the interest of keeping expectations within the realm of likely setbacks, I will re evaluate my official estimate to winter 2021
. I am not trying to rush this, summer is just my personal goal for the case, but seeing the response I want to keep everyones expectations within the realm of delays and setbacks, but also state what my intended goals are. The woodworking is not even remotely an issue, The potential setbacks are: not being satisfied with the quality of the CNC method for the hole pattern and having to find an alternative, and delays in arrival of parts. The combination of covid and the total failure of the US postal service has made this IMO the most likely cause of setbacks.
I am trying to make it very clear that these are goals for the case and not commitments, I am not trying to rush this and it is not my day job, hence why I will not be taking orders yet, just gauging interest. I have seen other small businesses' reputations destroyed by overcommitment so believe me, that is at the front of my mind at all times.
Right now I am focusing just making the first prototype, which starts with the FATAR group buy. I would like to get this thread back on that topic.
If you are also interested in a case keep letting me know though, it will inform how I plan the first run when it happens.
I will update the build thread when the build actually begins. I have been silent over there because I have been in talks about collaboration on the circuit design and will make an announcement regarding that when more details have been worked out.
Maybe I'm being obtuse but I can't seem to edit my first post anymore. So here is the current interest List.
To those who have shown interest in a case, thank you! and I will keep everyone updated on progress in the build thread. Let me know if you want to get in on this group buy to nail down your keyboard, I will have a few extra but can only afford so many on this first run.
Once we get a quote from sythcube I'll start nailing down commitments.
Lets get some keyboards!!!