Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson reportedly quite pleased with this turn of events!
50 years ago, at its first introduction, the Moog modular synthesizer revolutionized the music industry. Today, Moog Music Inc. announced their plans to re-commence the limited run manufacturing of three of their most sought after 5U large format modular synthesizers: The System 55, the System 35 and the Model 15. These three modular synthesizer systems were originally created and manufactured by Moog in 1973.
To commemorate the announcement, Moog shot a short film at their factory about the inspiring and multifaceted relationship artists have with modular synthesizers. The video features electronic music pioneers such as Suzanne Ciani, Malcolm Cecil, David Borden, Dick Hyman and Herb Deutsch alongside performances by contemporary modular artists like Holy Ghost! (DFA), Gavin Russom (ECSTATIC/Entropy Trax), Max Ravitz AKA Patricia (L.I.E.S./Spectral Sound/Opal Tapes), Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (Western Vinyl), Jacques Greene (Vase/LuckyMe) and M. Geddes Gengras (Stones Throw). Each artist played a patch live, in one take, with no overdubs on one or more of the new Moog Modular systems.
In deference to the unique character and appeal of the original instruments, these systems will be made entirely to their original product specifications and manufacturing techniques and processes. Working from the 1970s schematics, the System 55, the System 35 and the Model 15 will be meticulously handcrafted, as a true recreation of the original. The modules are built from the original circuit board films – just as they were in 1973- by hand-stuffing and hand-soldering components to circuit boards, and using traditional wiring methods. The front panels are photo-etched aluminum, a classic process rarely still used in today’s synthesizer manufacturing, to maintain the classic and durable look of vintage Moog modules.
The units will come in extremely limited quantities. There will be 55 units of the System 55, priced at $35,000 per instrument; 35 of units of the System 35, priced at $22,000 per instrument; and 150 units of the Model 15, priced at $10,000 per instrument. Alongside these Moog Modular Systems will be the Sequencer Complement B Expansion Cabinet, a dual 960 Sequential Controller, an accompaniment to the System 35 and System 55, that has been out of production for over 30 years– as well as an optional 5-Octave duo phonic keyboard.