First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby anoteoftruth » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:28 am

Agreed the LP was the right choice! The LP was my first Moog.. and I remember posting this exact same question to the people on the Moog Forums.. and getting a overwhelming reply in the direction of the LP. It's true.. it does more, is more reliable, is currently supported by MM.. its just a much better bet for your money right now. And really, you can't go wrong with it. Congrats.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby retrofreak » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:24 am

Little Phatty by a country mile.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby thinkingbeat » Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:27 pm

Well, it took a while to finally happen, but I landed the LP Tribute. It's a long story, suffice it to say the seller kept having second thoughts. But it ended well for both of us - he's happy he sold it to me; I was very happy to get the LP. :) When I got it home and immediately got even better sounds than when checking it out, I knew it was the right move.

I cannot thank you all enough for the advice to buy the Phatty. (I did make a donation to VSE though.) Aesthetically I love the the look of the Tribute. Even though it would take a trip to the factory to get the OS up to Stage II specs, it's worth it for how good it looks.

Most importantly, the sound is in another league from the rest of my gear. I had a hunch VCOs would be my thing, and what a joy to have them in such a well-designed instrument. My last purchase was the MEK, and I'm going to play them side by side and see whether the MEK compliments or should be traded for a CP-251, Foogers, etc.

Micromoogs can be great, but I am 100% convinced the one on offer was a hunk o' junk. I'm going to post details of what it would have cost to fix and the rest of the buying process, just so it's there for future reference. For the right price I would have gone for it, or at least one of its brethren in better shape.

Again, many, many thanks!
Last edited by thinkingbeat on Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby thinkingbeat » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:00 pm

For those of you looking at a Micromoog, they are great-sounding. Automatic Gainsay's YouTube vid inspired me to want one very badly. Unfortunately the one I found in my area was not at all a good deal. Read on if you care to know what it could cost to fix & how I made my decision to walk away.....

=============================================

In checking out this particular Micromoog, I could tell it would take some work to get it back in shape. There was a broken slider and a loose knob for starters. More concerning was the sluggish response from keys and knobs, along with intermittent static on Audio Out when plugged into a reliable amp. The seller wanted $500 for it, he said he had considered offering at $800 but decided for a quick sale and felt he was compensating for the condition. Right...

I contacted a reputable tech in the Seattle area & mentioned everything above. Based on my description,
the tech said this unit could well have "issues". According to him, repairs could be simple or they could easily run to $400-$500. There's just no way to know. They can normally assess repair needs and costs in 30 min. with newer instruments; but with vintage gear like the Micromoog it could take an hour of time ($100) and they
still might not have a clear answer. Parts may or may not be available. (I've heard it's hard to find the replacement slider buttons.)

At $500 for the Micromoog plus $200-$400+ for repairs, I still didn't know whether I'd have an instrument in solid working order. I relayed all this to the seller and suggested two possibilities: 1) I make an offer that builds in
the repair risk, which would be substantially less than his asking price; or 2) have him take it in for repairs and let me know when I could check it out again. He wasn't so keen on either. His take was that a vintage unit is not going to be NIB, that there is always some tinkering involved. My take was the unit's problems were well beyond general age & wear. He offered to split the first $200 of repair, in which case I'd be looking at a cost of $500 for the unit, plus a minimum $100 in repairs and probably more.

If I am going to take the risk and go through the bother of fixing, my feeling is there should be an upside. In other words, if the repairs are less than expected I should profit on the deal, just as I'd lose money if the repairs ran to $500. I'm not a tech, and I don't have a buddy who tinkers. So, I walked.

I hope this is some use to others as they consider buying vintage gear for the first time. If it's a rare piece or the price is right, I can see buying something in less than great shape. But I also like the advice someone else on this thread gave, that if an older synth has enough issues, it's likely to continue having issues.

Good luck and caveat emptor!
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby tyrannosaurus mark » Mon May 03, 2010 3:01 am

I 've owned both of these synths at once. The micro is way cooler and rawer and the LP is smoother, reliable and feature laden. They sound excellent together!
Moog LP + Casio SK1 and MT-75 + tube amp = good tone.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby snogroove » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:48 am

just in general, repairs typically cost way more than you think. no good tech is going to d1ck around with some ancient synth for at least a day and a half for anything like 200 unless he's your brother. guaranteed the cost would have been 400-700.

as a follow up, are all micro parts available AT ALL OR IS IT A BOAT ANCHOR RISK?
OOPS CAPS Sorry.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby Automatic Gainsay » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:28 am

I have to agree that if you buy a synth with problems, they tend to continue to have problems. I have bought a lot of synths with no problems that never have had any problems. Most vintage synths, at some point, are going to have a problem (although I have had quite a few which haven't).
All of that being said, the general fear that buying a vintage synth means problems is exaggerated.

I never had a vintage synth repair that cost less than $300. However, I only had one that went beyond $500, and it required replacement of a lot of card slots in a PS-3100. I don't think it was much more than $700, and it was a lot of work. That was done by Good Guys in Saint Paul.

While I'm not a tech, and I'm sure every tech will want to punch me in the face for saying this, I think the "I don't know how long it'll take me to find the problem, but you're paying me for that research, and paying me for the repair on top of it" is sort of bullshit. (it reminds me of how not long ago, you took your cat into the vet, and it was $75 for some medicine that would probably work... now you have to pay hundreds of dollars for the diagnosis, and then hundreds of dollars for the treatment. When I took my cat in, they said "it'll cost $378 to diagnose him... and he'll probably die during the diagnosis..." which he did. Awesome. I'm paying you for my cat's corpse.) Now, of course, someone's going to say "I shouldn't get paid for my time?" and yes, you absolutely should get paid for your time. However, it wasn't that long ago that any repair person anywhere would diagnose the problem for free to entice a customer, and keep a customer. The relationship between a repairperson and a customer used to be a sort of symbiotic relationship. Now, it is more like "pay through the nose... and if you're not happy with that, bye." This is totally against the concept of keeping customers, which is proven to be far more valuable than getting new customers. When I took my stuff to Mark at Good Guys, he'd look at it, and tell me what was wrong. There was none of this "I'll have to figure it out" shit. Did he charge me for the diagnosis? No. This is ironic, as he is so skilled and knowledgeable that it is his skill and knowledge that allows him to discern problems which is exactly what many techs will say they are charging for... and yet he did not charge for that. Of course, his services of repair weren't cheap, and they did take a long time... but I felt like he was a guy helping me get my synth fixed with his talents as opposed to someone trying to suck me dry when I needed help. And what happened? I went back time and again to have him repair synths... and he made a lot of money.
And now, for the glowing moment we've all been waiting for... How This is Germaine: He repaired my Micromoog's contour generator.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:56 am

I got lucky and got a repair person through buying from him. That's the best way to keep a customer ;) He actually brought my Olivia back to life before I even knew her :D
bonne chance
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