Memorymoog query

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Herbert West
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Memorymoog query

Post by Herbert West » Fri May 22, 2009 1:43 am

I've been reading a lot about the supposed reliability issues that are inherent with a Memorymoog... but what I was interested in finding out specifically is whether there really is some truth behind one version being more reliable over the other (Plus versus non-plus). Because from what I have read so far, I have seen opinions that would suggest opposing arguments for both sides. One being, that the later Plus model was upgraded and had some bugs hammered out making it a much more reliable synth, but I have also read that the Plus model is more glitchy due to the sequencer and rudimentary MIDI implementation taxing the CPU and overall being a sort of mess.

From what I've seen there are a few Memorymoog users here, would any of you say that it would be a good idea to avoid one version over the other? Disregarding the LAMM upgrade of course.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Z » Fri May 22, 2009 3:53 am

There is an Auto Tune update that was probably added to the Plus model. The stock non-Plus MeMoog has Auto Tune like most analog polys, but the update seems the work better. Not sure what the science is.

But yes, the MemMoogs are notoriors for having issues. They overheat easily. Few tech will work on them becasue of the complexity of their innards. I've never seen the inside of one, but I've heard they're a jumbled mess.

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Herbert West
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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Herbert West » Sat May 23, 2009 2:32 am

Hm, I see. The autotune feature not working well would be a problem. I just need to know if getting a non-Plus model would be financial suicide, haha. I dont want to end up with a giant expensive paperweight. I'm hoping the reliability problems aren't quite as bad as a lot of online reviews make them out to be, it seems the Memorymoog would be the perfect poly-synth for me otherwise.

I guess in this day and age though, the probability for most old analog synths crapping out is pretty high anyway.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Z » Sat May 23, 2009 2:52 am

I owned a non-Plus MemMoog in the early 90's and didn't have any issues and the non-Plus MemMoog I have right now did not have any issues prior to update being installed. The only reason I had the update installed, is becasue I bought a sequencer/MIDI board from marriedwithpatchcords on eBay (who is very condescending and not helpful at all) and wanted to to have as much work done at the same time.

But as you stated, all analog synths are going to be prone to issues these days. I'm on a first name basis with nearly everyone at my local tech (Audio Electronics in Dallas). I have a pretty constant rotation of gear in for work.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Herbert West » Sat May 23, 2009 2:59 am

Haha, yeah I hear you. Whenever I speak with the local techs around here, I try to make sure I come across as grateful, because without them I would be absolutely screwed.

And thanks for the info! Sounds like a non-Plus model shouldn't be a problem as long as I am careful and take good care of it. By the way, what update did you have installed?

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Z » Sat May 23, 2009 3:05 am

I had the AutoTune update installed. Not sure what the difference is between the stock AutoTune and the update. Like I said, I was trying to get the seq/MIDI board installed (missing some ribbon cables, I think, so that was never finished) and had the update installed while the hood was open.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Herbert West » Sat May 23, 2009 3:11 am

Ah ok, are these currently standalone updates from a third party, or were they pulled from a Plus?

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Z » Sat May 23, 2009 3:14 am

I got it from marriedwithpatchcords on eBay (Kevin Lightner & wife). Not sure if they still have any.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Soundwave » Mon May 25, 2009 12:21 pm

The main problem with both version ser the tin contact ribbon connectors which wern't intended to last 10yrs let alone 20!

Linntronics don't upgrade this as far as I'm aware but Oakley Sound Systems can do a gold connector ribbon upgrade and my friend's MM has been solid ever since although I'm told Tony is very busy at the mo.

My friend previously owned a plus version and had no end of trouble but now has a regular model with a Kenton upgrade however I'm told they do hack the innards a little.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by garranimal » Wed May 27, 2009 12:18 am

The MemoryMoog is 20 pounds of stuff crammed in a 10 pound box. But manages to weigh in at nearly 40 pounds anyway. So the size/weight ratio is way up there. Mine is a standard MM but perhaps the Plus version adds more components for the sequencer section. So every bump and shake, all the innards feel it and soldered and cable connections can come loose easy.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by garranimal » Wed May 27, 2009 12:22 am

Soundwave wrote:My friend previously owned a plus version and had no end of trouble but now has a regular model with a Kenton upgrade however I'm told they do hack the innards a little.
oh yeah and mine has the kenton MIDI retrofit. It involves adding a PCB under the keys on the right hand side and another just above the keys, various hook-up connections to components inside, and punching out locations for the MIDI connectors and control button to a small break-out panel on the rear. No big deal.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by Herbert West » Wed May 27, 2009 9:25 am

If I had the choice of getting a Prophet 5 or Memorymoog, which do you guys think would be the smarter choice? Are the two pretty similar in terms of sounds achievable? I'm thinking the Prophet would be the more stable unit, but it seems the Memorymoog is closer sonically in what I am looking for. I'm not a huge fan of pads and strings, I like bass sounds, weird modular type sounds and pseudo-electric piano/organ type sounds.

I love my Pro-One, I just wish it was polyphonic. I really did not like the Prophet 600 however. So I'm not sure.

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Re: Memorymoog query

Post by garranimal » Wed May 27, 2009 3:25 pm

A good rule of thumb I use to gauge the reliability of a design is the number of parts that go into something. The MM has TONS of parts in there, that that means more could go wrong at any given time. Sardines in a tin can, baby! And you're right, the PLUS version adds more stuff in there. Maybe somebody can elaborate on the Prophet 5.

But I say forget about fears of reliability issues, forget about making a smarter, wiser, logical decision and let your ears decide this one. Admitting the sonics of the MM may be a bit more pleasing, and it appears you already have a Sequential, so give the Moog a go. If it doesn't satisfy you won't have trouble flipping it especially in Cali. So Moog is always a wise investment because the prices are just going to go up, up, up whether they're working or not. And try to find one local as these MM do not ship well at all, there appear to be plenty in Cali as I frequently see of the ones that come up on ebay.

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