The story of the sad & now happy minimoog

The minimoog from outside didn’t look so sad. But from inside?

The Pratt & Read Keyboard

New Bushings: You can see that the black metal rack is very rusty and dirty and the metal legs have to be alligned.

Removed old Bushings

After playing with my newly arrived minimoog, I immediately realized that this synth wasn’t happy for a long time. All the three oscillators were completely out of tune and the keys were noisy, loose, and very sloppy. I really felt sad about it’s condition, so I began to solve these problems by reading the minimoog operation and service manual, and many other useful and informative webpages. Thanks for putting this up!
The first thing I’ve done was tuning the oscillators. This is not very hard to do if you follow step by step as written in the manual.
I bought new Pratt & Read bushings from Archive Sound, WD-40 and Cramolin® Contaclean and spray. But for what Vaseline?

First I was scared and didn’t feel ready for it. After checking all out and comparing photos on the web, I started to take off the keyboard. There are a few manuals and photos from people who had the same problems, so I followed their descriptions. I was very shocked when I looked into the Pratt & Read mechanism after I removed each keys (first the white ones). The black painted metal rack was very rusty and full of dirt. The minimoog must have stooden in a very humid room for a long time! The key mechanism with the little red springs were very noisy, you could hear while moving them up and down. Even one red little spring was missing (the lowest key), so I replaced it. I sprayed these mechanism parts with the WD-40 spray.
Some of the rubber keycaps weren’t on it’s right place, but sticked under the metal keyholder. The keycaps need a litte greasy material, so that the metal keyholder get in smooth touch with the keycap. And yeah, this is why I used Vaseline ;-).
Replacing the bushings was the easiest part of the whole job, thanks Richard. I just had to be sure to put them all the same way.
More tricky was to put back the springs which hold the metal keyholders. I realized later that there are different ones. Some of them are stronger. I found out, that these must be for the 2 white (H/C) keys, which are next to each other.
I always was aware not to touch the golden bus bars and springs on the back with my oily fingers and the WD-40 liquid.
After replacing the bushings and putting back all 44 keys I was ready to put back the keyboard into it’s wooden case.
Then I cleaned with Cramolin® Contaclean the dirty, conlaminated and corroded golden bus bars, which generated the howling tunes, while playing the instrument.
The result after 8 hours of hard work: No howling tunes, no sloppy and noisy keys, my moog became happy, me too! Now it’s play time!


One thought on “The story of the sad & now happy minimoog

  1. Hello there !!!
    I’m Jakey from Deuce , a Japanese rental company in Tokyo .
    Thank you for posting such useful information .
    Our company has a good Minimoog that is clean and sounds good .
    We have a really important festival rental job coming up .
    Bernie Worrel will use it at the weekend .
    I was very glad to get the tuning instructions and I could easily follow them .
    Thanks once again , the old fella sounds great !
    Cheers !!!!

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