MiniMoog SN history
Mini
The Voyager
SN# 1000 to 4000
SN# 4000 to 7000
SN# 7000 to 10175
SN# 10175 to 13XXX
Pictures & FORUM
Links

There were not only 2 versions of the Minimoog D but 6 !

1/ For the very first R.A Moog model D (1970), there was a kind of “pre production run”. This model looks like the Model “C”. VCO Board entirely discrete but unstable. Most probably have no name plate, no modulation wheels but switches and sliders (like model C), metal front panel. Serial number 1001-10??.


Minimoog D, RA Moog (1st version)

3/ Minimoog D Musonic.(1971) R.A Moog Cie became Musonic Cie when R.A had to merge with Musonic cie. Electronic circuits are the same than R.A. models, very rare like the R.A Mini. Name plate Musonic, metal panel, modulation wheels are transparent. Serial number 11??-13??.

Minimoog D Musonic

5/ Moog perfected the Minimoog by issuing a revised osc. circuit board wich gave far improved stability and added a new “buffer board”, wich gave better stability. All Mini with serial number greater than 10175 have the newer osc. board. These new osc board could be installed in older version. Full plastic panel, white ribbed modulation wheels. Serial number 10175-13233.
How can you know if your version is an old one upgraded? The way to check is to look at the metal back cover to control panel. On the right side you’ll see 2 vertical rows of 3 access holes (6) or 3 vertical rows of 3 (9). If your Mini has got 9 holes, it’s a new osc version. But don’t look only at the modulation wheels because they may have been changed. Even the front panel may have been changed (metal/plastic).

Different Knobs:

All Minimoogs made by Moog have been fitted with regular pointed (arrow) knobs on the octave and waveshape pots.

But, the arrow knobs break very very easily because they're made of bakelite, like old wall telephones. Moog switched to the other kinda knobs for his Multimoog and Micromoog since they are made of plastic, they last longer and they cost much much less! That’s the reason why sometimes the knobs on the octave and waveform pots are the same kind of the ones used by Moog for Multimoog and Micromoog synths but not exactly the same.

The "other" knobs that were used on minis are not the same as micromoogs.They are different altogether. The micromoog used non-setscrew, press-on "half shaft" knobs.All of the mini knobs, whether the familar pointer knob or the "other" type with the straight piece through them, used setscrews and no minis used half-shaft selector switches, so Micro knobs wouldn't fit anyways.

These knobs were a good replacement for arrow Mini knobs too and probably the only ones available at that time, late '70s. Moog run out of stock on the arrow knobs when he stopped Mini and Modular productions.
Aestetically speaking they do not match the original large and small round knobs put on the other Minimoog pots by Moog, because of the drastically different shape and for the round silver disk in the middle which does not shine like the one on the bakelite knobs. And plastic too does not shine like bakelite. Moog would have never switched one kinda knob only on his Minis. He would have switched the complete set of knobs, as he did for the Multis and Micros. All Minis produced have been fitted with bakelite knobs.
Moog produced more than 13,000 Minimoogs. Some have been fitted with those plastic knobs by the owners after they got broken. There are 7 in the 4XXX range. And there could be 10 in the 5XXX range and 23 in the 6XXX range and 14 in the 7XXX range... all together could be a couple hundreds Minis. Is less than 2% of the total production. Pics of theese knobs at :
http://minimoog2.monsite.wanadoo.fr/http://monsite-orange.fr/MiniMoog/page6/index.html

There's actually all sorts of little changes here and there to the boards and everything else as production went higher. Nothing really stayed constant in any section through production.

Also, and rarely remarked, is that Moog changed the resistor feeding the filter through production.This lowered the distortion on later units. Several changes were made on this.

Other changes from early ones:

1/ later models had switchable power,

2/ very late models had some of the edge connector pins (on the sockets) gold plated to increase reliability, better resistors, etc.

3/The mod section cinch jones connectors were also gold plated in the last rev or production or so.

4/ The rectifier board in the mini went through at least 3 changes too.
Very early metal panel minis used all sealed pots, later ones used both open and sealed pots.

5/ Later minis also used double-contact rocker switches and wired them up in double where possible to improve reliability.

6/ Later minis had the brackets for the pots in the mod section with pressed in nuts, eliminating the separate washer and nuts used on the earlier ones.

7/ The early minis didn't mount their power transformers very well and they could move or break off- later ones added a piece of aluminum bar to help this from happening.


Minimoog Moog Music SN# > 10175

2/ The next ones “D” are still R.A Moog Model, always have discrete VCO (1970) but are cosmetically a little bit different from the first ones. R.A Model D are considered by collectors as the best and fattest sounding of all versions of the Mini. They are very hard to keep in tune. Most of the oscillator boards have been upgraded.
The original oscillators in the first Minimoog R.A. Moog versions (They were the oscillators that had matched pairs of transistors with metal heatsinks) did sound richer than the later versions. Like the original modular oscillators, they used a exponential current source and a unijunction transistor to generate a sawtooth wave. At the time these were designed, opamps like the 741 were just coming available but at $7.00 ( $7.00 in 1970 is like $35.00 today) were just too expensive, all the circuitry in the Minimoog was built using discrete transistors.Even with hand matched transistors, it was impossible to make the oscillator really stable or to track that well. But, the tracking variations combine with the rich harmonics from the unijunction transistors added to the overall richness of the sound.
Logo plate R.A MOOG (white or black), metal front panel, modulation wheels are transparent. Serial number 10??-11??.

4/ Minimoog D Moog Music (1972). These ones are the “famous” old osc. board but these osc board are not at all the same as the RA & Musonic. This is the common version of the Mini D. Their tunning was better than the first models (RA & Musonic). All serial numbers until SN 10175 were issued with this “original” oscillator board. If you remove the back metal cover (few screws) you’ll find the completion date of your Mini. First Moog Music models have metal panel (not only the RA and the Musonic). The later one (but before SN 10175) have full plastic panel. Modulation wheels are smooth white and perhaps the last models (but before 10175) the white ribbed plastic. Inscriptions around knobs are different than on the RA & Musonic models.


Minimoog D < SN# 10175

6/ The last 25 Minimoog were “de luxe version" with illuminated wheels, and numbered brass plaques. The lastest one (SN 13259) was given to Bob Moog. Serial number 13234-13259.

So, what about the sound?

Bob Moog said that the sound is the same between old and new osc board and seems to prefer the last version…. because it has been improved. I think it’s an Engineer point of vue: the latest product is always better than the earlier version.
Collectors say that the better sounding version is the RA or Musonic model.
Most of people say that the old osc board versions are warm, fat, silky, raw… and newer osc board versions have a lack of warmth and human feeling and sound thinner, close to an ARP.

First 1300 Minimoogs had entirely discrete...and unstable VCO Board.
Minimoogs made from 1972 to 1978 used the 3046 oscillator board but most of them have been upgraded to the 726 oscillator board version wich is the latest version.

But not only the oscillator board have been changed during those years. Even the filters have changed.

Minimoogs before 1972 (RA & Muso) had matched transistor pairs through the entire ladder.
Minimoogs made after 1973: only the top and the bottom pairs of the ladder filter are matched.

So there is a difference in the sound of the filters even with the same oscillator board version...

I’ve got both osc board versions, SN 2041, and SN 12779 (original separate keyboard version ). Between those two models, even my wife (sorry honey…) can hear the difference. The old one is warmer.

But you should never forget that in fact all Minimoog sound unique. And sometimes the difference is due to the way of tuning the oscillators. They all sound a little bit different from each other even in the same osc board version.

But I really love both. Both sound Moog and are real Minimoog. The old one is not more difficult to tune than a guitar. And I think that only 3 things are important:

1/ that your mini sounds great
2/ that you love it
3/ that it inspires you to make your music

You’ll find pictures showing the differences between the 6 versions of the D model (RA 1, RA 2, Musonic, last 25…)
in the “Old/New” Album of PHOTO section of:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Lords_of_the_Mini/
Yahougroup in "GuestBook & Forum" page.

Oh….hum….just a question: When people say that the Voyager sounds 80% close to the old Mini…..what does it mean please?

Minimoog VIDEOs:
http://minimaintenance.monsite.wanadoo.fr/http://monsite-orange.fr/MiniMoog/page7/index.html


Final 25 Minimoog...

MiniMoog
16/04/03