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Moog Sonic Six
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Moog Sonic Six
I restored a Moog Sonic Six and took the opportunity to take some photos of the insides. Although the brochure comments on the PCBs saying "They can be quickly and easily removed for convenient servicing" what they mean is they can be swapped out easily. Working on this is a pain because you have to lay the top panel over the keyboard to access the signals and trimmers but then have no access to the controls. To replace any components you need to remove the PCB (at least it's easy) to access the component side. Of course they had exploded instruments at the factory for service but without them it is a real pain.

Anyway, just getting around to putting the images on the web. They are on my Sonic Six page. I grew to appreciate this synthesizer after playing with it restored.


'doze were the days. Where is the synth museum that I can go to to play with all of these wonderful statements of synth history.

That thing looks great... Don't make me start doing all sorts of internet research, followed by YouTube followed by building gaaasssss....
I remember mine fondly...but I'm a total sucker for blue synths hihi

I've always wanted to play one of these. Unfortunately I've never had the chance.

I've always wanted to play one of these. Unfortunately I've never had the chance.

those circuit boards are gorgeous!
The Real MC
I played a new one in a store many many years ago. Definitely not a minimoog. I couldn't get my head around it but back then I was just getting started in synths. Knowing what I know now, it's a good machine for modulated sounds. Just don't expect minimoog sounds.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the Sonic Six
In Jr High I got to bring one home from school during a holiday break
I find myself wanting one for sentimental reasons
I have a 1972 Moog Sonic Six which I think it about as old as they get. I had some professional restoration done and it now works just great.

However, the key bushing are old and hard.

I have a new set of bushings, but am balking at the restoration job myself. ( I don't want to mess up the J wires or anything else)

Anyone have some advice on restoring a Pratt Whitney keybed?

And/or how much should I expect to pay to get the work done?

I absolutely love my Sonic Six. It was the first Moog I ever got to play up close, back in the early 70's in a music store in Champaign Illinois. I was stationed for school at Chanute AFB in nearby Rantoul, and would often make the trip to the store just to play the Sonic Six. The built-in speaker made it easy and attractive to mess around with, and the staff at the store were gracious enough to put up with my noodling around for hours on end. I never could talk the AF credit union into loaning me any money to buy it though (they viewed it as a "toy organ").

Years later, I bought one in the hallway at Leo's Music at Oakland from a former member of Country Joe and the Fish. He was trying to sell it, they offered him $50, I offered him $75, and a deal was made.

I've added a number of useful mods to it over the years such as keyboard tracking for the awesome XY generator and PW modulation, and it produces some incredibly huge and creamy sounds as well as some of the best "sci-fi" type effects ever. I'll certainly be detailing it in my blog at some point in the future.

Mine also needs to have the key bushings replaced, and I have the replacements ready...I just need to find the time to do it. The keyboard is the Pratt Read J-wire type (just like the Modular two voice keyboard which shares similar electronics) and is much easier to do if you take it slow and do it a few keys at a time.
markustg wrote:
[...] Anyone have some advice on restoring a Pratt Whitney keybed? [...]

They make jet engines, I would have thought?

Pratt and Read is what you are looking for, I guess smile .

Does anyone know what signal the cv and gate inputs take. Trying to figure out if a roland sh-101 cv and gate out can control it.
Not sure what the CV is, but when I owned one I built a foot switch that would trigger it by connecting one pin in the multi pin connector to ground.
IIRC old Moogs use S-Trig, a quick short to ground, not a gate. So you need an S-Trig to Gate pulse converter.
Sometimes you can get two synths to fake it by using a polarity inverting cable. But this is super flaky.
Here's how to DIY the gate converter:
Because of the design of the two-note keyboard circuitry, the Six uses an arcane CV input that is scaled at 5 volts per octave, making it useless with just about everything else.

This is casually mentioned in the service manual, along with the documentation for the resistors inside that need to be changed to make it conform to a standard 1 volt per octave scheme.

I'm not sure if Moog ever produced any units with that modification already done. It certainly confused the heck out of me when I tried to build and calibrate my own copies of the oscillators many years ago.
Thanks for all the responses! However, I pretty much know nothing about electronics, so does anyone have a morons description of what the difference between short to ground and gate signal is?
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