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Old 1st April 2019
  #13
Here for the gear
Moog 15 vintage & reissue

Hi all!!!
I'm from Argentina and I have both a vintage Moog 15 (with RA Moog and Moog Music modules) and a Moog 15 reissue, plus a 960 Sequential Controller (Moog Music, vintage), a 962 Sequential Switch (RA Moog, vintage) and a pretty old 950 Keyboard controller (from 1968, I think).
My first experiences with totally modular synthesizers were when I acquired a Technosaurus Selector C in the year 2000 and, shortly after, a vintage modular E-Mu system of good size. Although I had my first synthesizer in 1988 and already in the early 90s in my set I had incorporated Korg MS20 and SQ10, ARP2600, EMS Synthi AKS, etc. I always felt fascination with the modular synthesizers and their enormous possibilities and the panorama of their massive resurgence at all seemed to be in sight at the beginning of the '90s and even less the possibility that there would be modular Moogs again (the brand was literally missing in that time)... Timidly the picture began to change towards the end of the '90s, Doepfer, Technosaurus, MOTM, Analog Systems, etc. and even different incarnations of Moog (Moog Custom engineering, Don Martin's Moog, etc.) resumed the path Modular that seemed to have been buried in the sample players and workstations and when I finally could compare in real studio and live situations the real power of the modular I had no doubt that there resided a "truth". Also the fact of experimenting simultaneously with a vintage modular (the E-Mu) and a "new" (the Technosaurus) allowed me to compare similarities, differences and potentialities of the options. When Moog resurfaces from the hand of Bob and then when, at last, they decide to make large modular models again (after the experiences -for me very gratifying- of, for example, the Moogerfoogers and Voyagers) I felt that finally it was close to that the circle closes in a virtuous way and that along with it new paths are also opened for the classic Moog models both made by the brand itself and by companies that clone them (Mos-Lab, COTK, SynthWerk, Corysynth, DotCom, etc.). Modular Moog has always been my highest fantasy in modular systems for sound, ergonomic, historical reasons, etc. but this was only intuitions based on recordings, photos, videos, books, etc. A couple of times I had tried to acquire modular Moogs at the beginning of the 2000s but they escaped me and the prices did not stop going up... In 2015 I had the opportunity to buy a Moog 15 reissue and I did not doubt it. Although I knew I was paying more than double for a similar model of other brands that already cloned the 15 I sensed that there was something genuine within the new Moogs (I can not say for sure, maybe because of the access to instruments and documentation and components and original prototypes and the work of technical specialists in vintage Moogs) and when in 2016 I finally received my unit I felt absolutely overwhelmed by the beauty of the experience. The instrument really shine in its main area: the inspiration that produces its sound and its performative use, and the feedback that develops with it. Despite my absolute love for the modular E-Mu there is an indescribable magic in the Moog that I could experience in person after thirty years of playing synthesizers and thirty-five years of listening to electronic music... That magic I felt present in the Moog reissue, despite noticing certain inconsistencies (some knobs, for example, are not up to the level of vintage Moogs, although the appearance and overall construction quality is excellent). A few months after that experience I definitely wanted to deepen it and I found a vintage Moog 15 with sequencer at a good price in the UK. I got indebted (thanks to the help of a very good friend!) and I acquired it. I was in doubt whether, when I could compare both instruments, there would be much superiority on the part of the vintage (which would have implied that it might have been better to buy a Mos-Lab instead of a Moog 15 reissue, for example) or almost no difference (which implied having paid almost twice as much as a reissue only for the "historical" value of the vintage). When I finally had the two were perfectly integrated and to this day are, for me, the same instrument... the vintage has, indeed, a superior quality in some components and pieces but the reissue is felt and experienced authentic and dialogue between them is excellent. I have noticed differences in the bands of the fixed filter banks (in the vintage I have a 907 R. A. Moog, the reissue is inspired by the 907A, although in theory there should be no technical differences between them beyond the size of the module and its disposition) and at the levels of the noise generator (the noise of the reissue sounds louder and brighter and, for example, the 907A tends to saturate a bit with all the bands very high in sounds with a lot of harmonic content). The response of the regeneration between the two 904A is a little different but even in certain settings I tend to prefer the vintage and, in another, the reissue.
In 2016 I toured Europe and tried the Moog 35 reissue with Sequencer Complement by Hannes Bieger and a few months ago my generous Argentine friend received a full Moog IIIC reissue, with the Sequencer Complement and, beyond noticing in that model again some inconsistencies in details of termination of some knobs and switches (which seem to have been made with lower quality components since some things like backlit/retro illuminated switches, buttons used sequencer and Bakelite are not available in our days) the instrument is really impressive. A little convincing detail of the IIIC reissue of my friend is the duophonic keyboard 953 (black) that has a construction and an aesthetic that is not according to the quality of the rest of the system but another friend of mine, the Spanish Toni Gutierrez (who makes the Antonus 2600 and Step Brother) tried another 953 (wood) and it was better built.
On a recent travel to France I made the opportunity to use a vintage Moog with oscillators 901 and I felt the 901 reissue very close to that thick and warm feeling of the originals.
I will gladly extend my experiences if you wish, my friends.
Attached Thumbnails
Where are the Moog modular reissue owners?-dsc_8665.jpg  

Last edited by ernestoromeo; 16th April 2019 at 02:16 PM..