Moog Music is known for making some of the most popular synthesizers ever. Its portable, more modern units can still be seen in clubs and arena shows every night around the world. But its early modular units from the 1970s were massive — over two feet tall and as wide as an upright piano.
The company is releasing a limited run of newly-manufactured versions of its most popular modular synthesizers: the System 55, System 35, and the Model 15. Each synthesizer will be hand-made according to the original 1970s schematics. These big, modular synthesizers allow for more natural variations in the sound they're producing thanks to the number and type of components it takes to make them work. The giant cabinets actually help resonate the sound themselves, akin to how an acoustic guitar resonates the sound of its strings. As electronic instruments have become more portable, most of this phenomenon has been lost.
These throwbacks won't come cheap
Accompanying the release is an 18-minute documentary (seen above) about the history of Moog's modular synths, which features a performances on the instruments alongside commentary from musicians, composers, and Herb Deutsch, one of the inventors of the original Moog.
Musicians and collectors alike will have to offer up some serious cash to own one of the three revived synthesizers. Just 55 units of the System 55 will be made and sold at $35,000 apiece, while 35 units of the System 35 will be made available at $22,000 per instrument. The smallest and most plentiful will be the "affordable" Model 15, 150 of which will be sold $10,000 per synthesizer.