Saturday, March 22, 2014


A good friend and collaborator recently purchased a REALISTIC MG-1 SYNTHESIZER (by Moog). These little sh*ts were sold through Radio Shack and other low end retailers and suffer from poor materials. The switches and faders are flimsy and the thing is stuffed with foam that degrades into conductive muck over time.
I advised that it would be a fun intro synth since the store said that it had just had the black gunk (dissolved foam etc) removed by the previous owner and a full replacement fader kit had been installed. Unfortunately there were some intermittent problems with many of the faders  when wiggled. I thought that this was just poor soldering and told him I would fix it in half an hour.

He bought it and enjoyed the sonic possibilities (he is primarily a freejazz sax player and drummer but is broadly creative) but was frustrated by the minor problems. I whizzed it upstairs to my lair and opened it up only to find a bit of a mess.

Whoever had done the fader repair had apparently never soldered (or desoldered, more likely) before and had managed to lift almost every pad. There were no cold solder or cracked joint problems, just a dozen lifted pads. He/she had fully burnt and removed the extra pads that provide physical stability to the faders as well, meaning they were much more vulnerable to movement-based cracking.

I had to spend more time in there working around these issues and would still like to physically reinforce the faders in some way so they don't break in a few months. These machines are flimsy and the price has now climbed near to that of a much more robust synthesizer. They seem to sell well nonetheless on account of their petite dimensions. After working on the ROGUE last month I would have to say, get a ROGUE if you can, they are small and built better.