Alison Stout of Bell Tone Synth Works has done it again, this time restoring the Minimoog Model D, an immortal of the analog era.
As the owner of Philadelphia born company, Bell Tone Synth Works, Alison Stout has over ten years of electronic repairs experience and it is clear she enjoys giving new life to old equipment (case in point, this incredible restoration of a Mellotron). Her latest project, giving new life to the “saddest Minimoog in the world.”
Back in the day, the Minimoog Model D laid down the blueprint for all future keyboard-based synths. As anyone more advanced in years can attest, things get a bit creaky as you get older. So let’s see how Alison Stout brought restored this legendary synth to its former glory.
“When this Minimoog Model D arrived a couple of years ago, it was probably the absolute most thoroughly wrecked synth I had ever agreed to work on,” says Stout who makes a living out of servicing vintage production equipment.
According to Stout, upon its arrival, the synth did not work at all and hadn’t done so in about thirty years. She says, “the entire circuit board removed and lost, been sat on, taped together with duct tape, gotten wet, and then sat untouched since the late 80s…very, very dirty.”
Stout documents her work on the company website and let me tell you, her restorations involve a heck of a lot of love and commitment. The keyboard had been completely modified with a ‘sloppy’ re-wiring wrap of the circuit, with some wires soldered directly onto the gold fingers and others completely ripped off.
The left-hand controller connector had been removed and more wires had been twisted and spliced together. This thing was not good in shape.
Yet, Stout makes sure to mindfully recount the timely process with a step by step guide of how she repaired the old school synth and the end results are damn impressive.
From repairing the damaged wiring to replacing the card edge connectors and meticulously re-routing and soldering on new mods and controls, Stout practically rebuilds the Minimoog from the ground up.
The results? An old school synth brought back to life, replenished and left in a pristine condition.
Here’s how she recounts the experience, “Darian said I had been hired to “turn a pile of garbage into a Minimoog” and I think that’s a pretty good way of describing it … it was an “enriching” experience.”
Head over to the Bell Tone Synth Works website to check out the full story.