Brief Voyager Review

More than a month after I ordered it, after receiving a non-working one twice, I finally got my Moog Minimoog Voyager. So far I like it – it sounds and looks great. The walnut is nicely figured and the sound is big and full. I’m not sure it’s as fat as my MOTM modular was — I might have to add some oscillators someday — but the filter sounds great and the presets are killer. I’m not sure a Minimoog needs 896 presets (!), but better to have to many than too few, I suppose.

This one also has a problem: the LFO LED occasionally quits working but comes back if I tap the front panel. But I’m not sending it back again at this rate, not for three weeks and who knows what other problems. Plus, why do people keep using blue LEDs and powering them to be super-blinding? I’m close to taping over that LED anyway. Sheesh.

I’m not going to talk about my problems on Analogue Heaven, Matrixsynth, VintageSynth.org, Musicplayer, etc. I know that can be damaging to a small company and they helped me out. But if someone Googles my unknown website and reads this, then fine. I think that’s a fair review. (Unless Martixsynth posts it…)

Memo to Moog QA department: hire some more people.

Some more random thoughts:

– The square wave is a little weird. It doesn’t sound as hollow as my Super Jupiter or Andromeda, and doesn’t sound much different from the saw wave until you get a pretty small pulse width going. I guess this is the tradeoff with having infinite waveshaping but I’d like to hear a nice meaty squarewave.
– The pitch wheel spring is really stiff. I hope it will break in with time. I can’t imagine that there’s an adjustment for it (in the Master menu?) so I’ll either need to crack it open or live with it.
– The backlight sure is sexy. I’ve been going back and forth with having it on and off, because it’s so distractingly hot.
– You can’t seem to adjust two filter parameters simultaneously. If I sweep a resonant cutoff it’s smooth, but if I change cutoff and spacing at the same time then I hear zippering. So much for that being a selling point over the LP.
– The dual filter/filter spacing thing is something I’m getting used to. I like that you can set one to a super-low highpass and get it out of the way.
– The keyboard feels very nice. It’s identical to the Andromeda below (both Fatar) but the wooden cabinet makes all the difference. I remember when Alesis put a strip of wood in their DG-8 digital piano and the keyboard felt completely different from the metal QS-8.
– I like that I can see where a parameter is set without editing it on the Andromeda (using the View buttons) and miss this feature on the Voyager.
– The thing is in tune the second you turn it on and never drifts. The Andromeda takes 20 minutes to settle into tune and the Super Jupiter takes 5. Pretty impressive.

A keeper? Too soon to say, but almost certainly yes. It makes all of the sounds that the Andromeda can’t, like fat basses and sweet leads. I’m looking forward to trying some of the modular capabilities eventually, but for now it’s everything I wanted.

Edit: Here’s the LED problem. Nice.


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Published on: 11 November 2007
Posted by: jlaity
Discussion: Leave a comment