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The new Moog reissues...
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Author The new Moog reissues...
noddyspuncture
Hi folks,

Could anyone here one please confirm for me that the new Moog modular re-issues do indeed use the original Allen Bradley potentiometers and those original rotary switches throughout...?

Cheers,
Tom
Dave Peck
If they do, those must be very old 'NOS' parts. Allen Bradley was bought by Rockwell Automation over thirty years ago and those parts have not been made for a very long time.
Neovintage
noddyspuncture wrote:
Hi folks,

Could anyone here one please confirm for me that the new Moog modular re-issues do indeed use the original Allen Bradley potentiometers and those original rotary switches throughout...?

Cheers,
Tom


Sorry, Alpha pots. Check Moog Music's Instagram, you'll see pics of the building and see Alpha pots. Shame for that price...
megaohm
There are close work alikes to the AB pots made by Honeywell, Bourns, BI Tech, others. They are expensive (well...more expensive than 50 cent pots!). Moog cheaped out with the generic Alpha pots.
Based on that, you should be suspicious of other parts subs they made.
burdij
Honeywell bought Clarostat and those were rough equivalents of the Allen Bradley. The Clarostats are still being made. Both were carbon composition elements so not the lowest noise. Mega is right in that they are expensive but about what you would expect if you scaled the '70s prices for inflation.
JohnLRice
Would have been nice if they had used higher quality pots! meh d'oh!

I'm not sure how they compare to the Allen Bradley pots but the PEC RV4 pots might have been a better choice then the Alpha.
http://www.precisionelectronics.com/0-40a-010a.html

Even though they are $10 each list, in quantities of 500 or more they are only about $5 each and if I was going to spend $10k to $50k on a Moog modular instead of a competitor's version that is a third or so in price, I would hope there would be some significant reason to do so other than the Moog name of the face plate?! seriously, i just don't get it
josaka
there was photos in another thread of the back of a 921 and the new re-issue 921.. very different.. seemed like gerhard and Seb were both using superior parts to build their clones..

found it..!

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/userpix2/478_921_orignew_1.jpg
Thalassa
josaka wrote:
there was photos in another thread of the back of a 921 and the new re-issue 921.. very different.. seemed like gerhard and Seb were both using superior parts to build their clones..

found it..!

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/userpix2/478_921_orignew_1.jpg


What I don't understand is why in 2018 they make the PCBs without solder mask or silk-screening for the components name / placement. Is the green mask going to destroy the "mojo" ? hmmm..... hmmm..... hmmm..... . Even for them will be much easier and faster to build the modules if the PCBs have silkscreened the component placement.
ranix
I'm going to speculate that the person or people who made the design decisions don't fully understand the electronics involved and aren't experienced with pcb manufacture or electronic design. They're probably using the exact same manufacturing process, or as close to it as they can manage, as was used in the 70s. The company seems to have been meticulous about this in bizarre ways and missed some of the obvious ones.

Someone's calling some strange shots over at Moog. A skilled instrument builder who doesn't know electronics? But can fudge together something working from designs from the 70s? I wonder who it is. It's a shame they're hiding behind the Moog name and not making modules of their own.
josaka
most of the electronics guys I have known over the years are pretty ocd.. they think more along the lines of "if it sounds the same.. why spend more..? "
which on the most part I get.. however if you are building a $35.0000 object for crazed fans.. I would think they might think someone would notice this..
so.. as above.. I cant figure the logic.. other than pure arrogance?
"looks like a moog...it says moog.. so its a moog"
Ranxerox
Can I ask - innocently - why are the pots such a big deal? How do they contribute to the sound/user experience, beyond being relatively fast or slow to turn?
noddyspuncture
Ranxerox wrote:
Can I ask - innocently - why are the pots such a big deal? How do they contribute to the sound/user experience, beyond being relatively fast or slow to turn?


It's a big deal to me because I am thinking of getting a reissue and as they've been making a big thing about how it's all being done with original parts sourced NOS etc... and are for all intents and purposes exactly the "same" as the ones sold in the 70's - and if I'm paying that much I'd like it to have the sealed high quality pots which will last decades instead of going noisy, scratchy and need servicing/replacing in a year or three...!?

confused
EMwhite
I'm not here to come to Moog's defense but I can tell you that they are using films from the original PCB and that is a feature, not a flaw. I'll also tell you that the original MOS-LAB modules (which I actually prefer vs. the newly manufactured PCBs) used hand (chemical) etched single sided PCBs (similar to Moog); I preferred those as well. If done correctly, it's just the charm, nothing more or less to a modern green process masked PCB but if you too both into a rainforest and checked back in 30 years, the modern design would survive and the vintage style may not be as resilient.

The 40++ year old etched boards in my Minimoog are in fine shape despite this synth being dragged around the world on tour. They stand up fine.

The potentiometer discussion is a contentious one and I asked Moog directly when the original photos were released from NAMM. I was told (through Humbucker, where I bought my Model 15) that they were considering other pots but no decisions were yet made; obviously they went with all Alpha, the same type that they put in their $5,000 Voyager XL.

I'll also tell you that I have (and many of us here have had our hands pass through) hundreds of pots and many/most on modern gear may have been alpha of this same type/spec; I've had no problems [personally] with them. Meanwhile, I've had modules from so-called superior quality/design like MOTM using fancy sealed pots of some higher spec design and they've been scratchy. Mine were built by Paul S. himself, purchased 2nd hand, and built by me with BrideChamber kits (but 'bought out' from Paul's stock).

My guess is that Moog made the decision to go fwd with what they have experience with from a supply chain and reliability perspective, more so than as a cost cutting measure. I cannot say that the 40-something pots * the $2 (max) additional cost that they would have incurred weighed heavily against the profit margin of a $10,000 synth.

Dave Brown, highly respected in every regard did call out Moog for a few of their design decisions, one of them being the use of radial vs axial caps, purely aesthetic, not anything that alters the electrical spec.

Presumably, Moog actually DID procure all of the same 'hard to source' components and have not made substitutions but I'm not in the business of taking the modules out to compare against originals. Somebody else might want to.

As for the notion of the components on other maker modules are "superior" (or not), let's see pics and examples. I was an early adopter of MOS-LAB (and have purchased from them recently), also have Synth-Work 901s and have bought and sold MOTM, dotcom, and still have vintage gear like MiniMoog, Sequential Circuits, and Oberheim. I take apart everything I own because I'm curious but am always up for learning something new and I mean that sincerely.
Thalassa
noddyspuncture wrote:
I'm paying that much I'd like it to have the sealed high quality pots which will last decades instead of going noisy, scratchy and need servicing/replacing in a year or three...!?


I can tell you for my own experience that Alpha pots are no bad at all. I use them in all my modules ( as almost all MU manufacturers ) and I haven't had any problem with them. I have modules that are 10 years old and the potentiometers work as new.
ranix
I think the big difference is that when I get some scratchy pot from Moon or a module that doesn't work quite the way I expect, it costs an order of magnitude less than a Moog and can be justified as part of the unique experience

and if I get a scratchy pot on a Dotcom module it takes all of 10 seconds to fix because it's designed to be user-servicable
elmerfudd
Late to the party but just some thoughts. most of the more exotic values, especially reverse log are no longer supported by the 'classic' manufacturers.
Alpha seems to be the only source for c taper. Bourns has some but even the 5k c tapers used in API stuff end up Alpha. The Donny Moog 9511 I had used later version AB (green) square modular pots. The original AB pots are great UNLESS they weren't sealed well and then are pone to pot fungus (dendrite mold??) in moist climates. They had a lube called cosmoline(??) in them. Many of the R.A. modules I have owned suffered this fate here in Florida. To me the 'less orderly' wiring in the new modules is a bigger issue than the brand of pots. Would really like a pair of 911s, if they EVER sell individual modules (and will bitch and moan to the PTB at Moogfest again this year). Out of interest does anyone know what Synth Werk uses?
JohnLRice
elmerfudd wrote:
Out of interest does anyone know what Synth Werk uses?
I only have one Synth-Werk module (unfortunately) but the SW6401M ring modulator uses a standard looking Alpha pot:
JohnLRice
elmerfudd wrote:
Alpha seems to be the only source for c taper.
For what it's worth PEC also offers C taper:

* hot molded carbon element
* gold-plated terminals
* stainless-steel shaft and housing
* quality meeting or exceeding MIL-R-94 - QPL listed
http://www.precisionelectronics.com/0-40a-010c.html
sduck
I don't have a pony in this race but would like to report that the larger (24mm) alpha pots are really well built, sturdy, and long lasting pots. I have many of them in things I've built that have been in steady use for over 15 years and haven't had to replace a single one (knock on wood- who knows what will happen tomorrow). If one has them in a studio where there's smoking or some other higher than average dust source, one might want to put those plastic covers on them that you can get from Small Bear, Amplified Parts, or wherever - they're really inexpensive.
megaohm
It's not that there is something wrong with Alpha pots.
They are cheap, easy to source, feel nice with 1" knobs, and more.
That is why I have used them over the years.
My problem is with the premium price tag moog reissues using them.
Why not use some high quality parts and tac on another couple grand? At that price, who's going to notice?
On top of that, Alpha 24mm pots feel nothing like the original AB pots.

My shop is in a 100+ year old warehouse. Very dusty.
This effects some of my Alpha pots and makes them scratchy.
I use the plastic caps for the 16mm pots from Small bear and I have never had one of those get scratchy yet. It's only been around five years. The Alpha brand caps that come with the pots from Tayda do not fit as tightly.
If you have a choice, get the Small Bear type.
If you have a low dust environment you should be OK (which seems confirmed by everyone else's experiences).
Also, your most used controls are unlikely to develop this problem.
It's those modules you may not have used in months which will cause problems because the dust is not being scraped away as often.

The reason I hate the scratchy pots so much is they always occur at the worst moments - recording, playing with others, etc.
That really bums me out!
waah
SynthBaron
JohnLRice wrote:
elmerfudd wrote:
Alpha seems to be the only source for c taper.
For what it's worth PEC also offers C taper:


When you're the size of Moog, you have the financial resources to get a company to make anything you want.
SynthBaron
megaohm wrote:

On top of that, Alpha 24mm pots feel nothing like the original AB pots.


I've only used 40 year old AB pots on Moog Modulars and a Mini, but they seemed to lack the shaft lubrication the Alpha's have that make them have a more "dampened" feeling. But maybe it's just because after 40 years the lube dried up...

Anyone know if the reissue 901b's use the dual-ganged wirewound pots for the frequency verniers like the originals? Dead Banana I think I know the answer.

(Obscure fact: the Don Martin 9501b's did. That's right, that shitty company made more authentic reissues than Moog Asheville...)

megaohm
SynthBaron wrote:
megaohm wrote:

On top of that, Alpha 24mm pots feel nothing like the original AB pots.


I've only used 40 year old AB pots on Moog Modulars and a Mini, but they seemed to lack the shaft lubrication the Alpha's have that make them have a more "dampened" feeling. But maybe it's just because after 40 years the lube dried up...



That's my experience with AB pots I've come across, too.
Frankly, the Alpha pots feel nicer to me.
(hides)

In fairness to Moog, I get the impression that the reissues do everything else as the originals and people seem happy with that.
If it needs to be roadworthy then simply employ a synth tech to swap those pots out for others.
phil<at>megaohmaudio.com
hihi
robotmakers
SynthBaron wrote:
Anyone know if the reissue 901b's use the dual-ganged wirewound pots for the frequency verniers like the originals? Dead Banana I think I know the answer.

(Obscure fact: the Don Martin 9501b's did. That's right, that shitty company made more authentic reissues than Moog Asheville...)


Yeah, I have a lot of the Don Martin Moog modules alongside some of the vintage ones, and I'll vouch for them as extremely well made and accurate reissues.

Cheers,
Roger
MindMachine
EMwhite wrote:

Presumably, Moog actually DID procure all of the same 'hard to source' components and have not made substitutions but I'm not in the business of taking the modules out to compare against originals. Somebody else might want to.


Kevin L. told me that Moog bought out all of his 'hard to find' parts inventory for the Keith Emerson copy and initial few new modular builds with the promise that they would also procure some of the more numerous original stock parts that now had 'equals'. According to Kev they never purchased the balance of parts and used some 'equals'. I honestly forget which unobtanium he was talking about or which equals. He said he could have sold the unobtanium parts for more on ebay but wanted to contribute to the rebuild and expected to sell Moog more parts. He was unable to do repairs by that time so selling was his only real income.

Not a lot of meat to chew on but that is what he shared with me.

I very much miss his stories and karate moves.
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