MOTM Front Panel 'look'

Paul Schreiber synth1 at
Sat Jan 24 10:27:01 CET 1998

One last user input needed as I get ready to 'turn the crank' on the first set of MOTM modules (I got the
packing/shipping boxes yesterday, fogot to tell my wife, she had quite a surprise!!).

I have 2 choices for the look of the front panel. Both are about the same 'raw' material cost, but with constraints.

TYPE 1 - Moog exact (I do mean EXACT replacement)

This would emulate the Moog modular front panel. They are 2.125" multiples wide and 8.75" tall. The panels
are black, with a unpainted stripe along each side (silver, where the alum. shows through). The panels
are formed by taking a flat piece, and bending a small (0.25") piece back along each side. This greatly
strengthens the panel, since they are 0.062" thick. The visual effect is that from a distance (say 3 feet),
the panels have nice borders between each module. I'm sure most of you are familiar with this 'look'

Also, the 0.062" is easier to drill, you would have to be a little careful, since you are drilling with the 2 'flanges'
as supports.

Of course, all of my panels are pre-drilled. Now the lettering. The Moog panels are "reverse silkscreened",
(or to be exact, reverse anodized). The lettering is silver, which is the alum. peeking through since no ink
is applied. The modern silkscreen ink is epoxy-based, so there is not a problem with scratches.

DOWNSIDE - the Moog width increment of 2.125" is pretty narrow. Moog used 1.00" jack spacing (all 1/4")
so this means only 2 across (of course, he went 2-4 rows). Using original Moog knobs (1" diameter), you
can get 1 vertical row with 4-5 knobs and 4/6 jacks. 

So, this means either wider modules, or I would split-up the designs into small, cheaper modules. So the
first MOTM modules, in a Moog environment, would something like

S/H & Noise
Ring Mod
Mic/Instrument Pre-amp & Compressor
Cross-Product (double-wide)

I could offer "more" modules, at a LOWER average price. Note that the TOTAL investment would be about 15%
MORE over time.....just smaller chunks!

An interesting aside - the Moog wood cabinets didn't have metal mounting rails to hold the modules, they are
screwed right into the wood!

TYPE 2 - 3U and 5U Flat panels, 0.125" thick, 8.75" high

This was my first choice, black painted panels, white lettering, Moog knobs. The "small" panel is wider, so I
can offer FEWER modules, but more functions. The AVERAGE price per module is higher, but the overall
cost is LOWER if you by 5-10 of these.

So, the designs are done, parts are rolling in. Everybody vote. I need input, I'm only
going to build whay YOU will buy.

Here is how the relative pricing would compare.

Moog Scheme - first module would average $85, there are 5 = $425
Flat panel - 3 modules, average $120 = $360

Paul Schreiber
Synthesis Technology

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