First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

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

First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby thinkingbeat » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:56 am

I'm considering a Micromoog for sale but not sure of it's the best move. It looks good, but I'm not sure all the electronics are working 100% I can tweak knobs and move sliders, but response seems a bit slow - especially in keys and the pitch touchstrip. 1 slider is missing & 1 is loose; 1 knob is way loose. It also sounds like some static is coming over the line - not just scratchy pots but in signal as well. On the other hand it sounds gritty and can get freaky! The seller wants $475, but IMHO it will need some work by a tech before all functions are working properly.

On the other hand, I came across a Little Phatty Tribute (w/o the CV mod) for a good price & in like-new condition. Yep, 2 stable VCOs instead of one that's probably unstable, but doesn't have some of the modulation options nor sound as unruly out of the gate.

Which would you get? Would you go for vintage & built-in modulation in need of repair, or choose modern stability with room to expand (with the CV mod)?

Would it make a difference if the Little Phatty were a Stage II?
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby guitarsandsynths » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:48 pm

I would prefer the micromoog. If you know a good tech...
Try to get the price down a little. Maybe it only needs cleaning and calibration.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby nadafarms » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:59 pm

the micromoog sounds great but they were built poorly to begin with so people have unrealistic expectations for them. they is always something off about a micro...
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby thinkingbeat » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:13 pm

nadafarms wrote:always something off about a micro...


I would think nearly any mid-70's synth that was hand-wired would need some work. But I have heard enough doubts about Micromoog build quality that it does make me wonder. :?:

There's a good YouTube vid of one of a Micromoog in great working condition. If a repair got me to this level of functionality I'd be OK with it. But what if it was still a hunk-o-junk?

Here's the vid if anyone's interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er8Gnxywo5o
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby meatballfulton » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:26 pm

$475 plus ongoing maintenance for a 35 year old synth with less features than the LP?

Not a good choice in my opinion.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby thinkingbeat » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:10 pm

meatballfulton wrote:$475 plus ongoing maintenance for a 35 year old synth with less features than the LP?

Not a good choice in my opinion.


I'm beginning to lean that way, Mr. Fulton.

I like that the Micromoog takes little tweaking to "quack" & "mwaap;" but I wouldn't be happy unless it was in solid working order. Does the LP quack & mwaap? Can it get raunchy?
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby Christopher Winkels » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:47 pm

meatballfulton wrote:$475 plus ongoing maintenance for a 35 year old synth with less features than the LP?

Not a good choice in my opinion.


My thoughts exactly. I know I'm a LP partisan (in the past I've gone so far as to say it's - for me - the best synth I've ever owned), but I can't see one giving up anything other than some extra dollars by springing for the LP instead of the Micro.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby shaft9000 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:27 am

get the tribute LP because it's got robust build, 2 audioOSC, 2 ADSRs, switchable filter poles, MIDI and patch memory

get the micro if you're obsessed with crusty raw vintage tone...and ONLY because of that. or because it's cheap.
be sure you have access to a tech that can fix the micro.
and you'll probably find a MIDI-to-CV converter useful.
and reasonably fast programming skills to overcome the lack of presets.

Ideally you get both 'cause they sound different enough - you won't care that they're the same badge. they're different eras and only things they share in common in their parts is a Moog brand, afaik.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby Stab Frenzy » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:56 am

Seems like a no-brainer to me, the LP sounds fantastic and is going to be reliable for years to come, the Micro is going to be a royal headache and you're gonna spend ages wishing you got the LP when the Micro is off getting repaired and you can't use it.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby thinkingbeat » Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:15 am

What is a good price used for an LP, especially the Tribute?

I see a bunch that didn't sell on eBay - is the market soft on these or something?
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby Automatic Gainsay » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:18 am

My experience with Moogs is that if you get one with problems, it will always have problems. I know that isn't particularly scientific, but that's been my experience.

As for the Micromoog, everyone is quick to dismiss it... but it is absolutely bursting with really cool and relatively uncommon functionality. It is not a simple synth, and it makes a diversity of sound which blows away pretty much any other cheap vintage 70s monosynth (yes, even some with two oscs). It is a fantastic synth, and there is more to it than just it's admittedly gorgeous big warm fat (which can get really distorted) tone.

But yeah, I'd have to agree regarding the LP in this instance. Don't buy a synth with a lot of problems unless it's really cheap and you have a good tech. And whether you would want an LP over a Micro depends on what you're looking for in sound and functionality.
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby thinkingbeat » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:12 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:My experience with Moogs is that if you get one with problems, it will always have problems. I know that isn't particularly scientific, but that's been my experience.


I agree it's not scientific, and yet that advice rings true for so many things.... certainly in this case. 8-)

Automatic Gainsay wrote: As for the Micromoog, everyone is quick to dismiss it... but it is absolutely bursting with really cool and relatively uncommon functionality. It is not a simple synth, and it makes a diversity of sound which blows away pretty much any other cheap vintage 70s monosynth (yes, even some with two oscs). It is a fantastic synth, and there is more to it than just it's admittedly gorgeous big warm fat (which can get really distorted) tone.


And anyone who disagrees should check out your YouTube video. That's the primary reason I got interested in this one for sale!

But yeah, since this Micro has issues I should pass. The LP is an opportunity buy & doesn't seem to have a downside. I will be on the lookout for another Micromoog though...

Thanks for posting!
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby thinkingbeat » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:16 am

Christopher, Shaft & Stab, your advice sounds spot-on. The seller got the Micro for next to nothing; if I were in his shoes I would spend the bucks to restore what could be a great instrument - if I had a good tech.

But in my shoes as the buyer, it's hard to justify this particular Micro when there's a perfectly good LP on offer for a great price.

Many thanks to all for the input! :)
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby Tsarik » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:06 pm

the micromoog has obese dwat and dwow wavs
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Re: First Moog - Micromoog vs Little Phatty

Postby OriginalJambo » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:15 am

The LP was the right choice IMO. Enjoy!
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