Score one for “old school” on the Theremin – minus one for “old school” on the Minimoog keyboard.

There’s plenty of debate about whether or not you can justify splurging on the extra cash for the Moog name on synths and effects – no one questions Moog’s quality, but there is other great boutique gear out there that gets far less attention. But one area where the Moog line is unquestionably superior is on the Theremin. And the Etherwave Plus at US$519 is an instrument you can really sink your musical teeth into over a period of years. With the addition of a Control Voltage output, you can control other instruments and effects, too. (Reader velocipede checked out a demo with Theremin controlling a guitar filter.) CV outs for pitch and volume are separated, so each hand gets isolated control. It’s a lovely setup, and I wouldn’t hesitate to get the Plus version.

Etherwave Plus Theremin [Moog Music]

So, the Theremin gets a little more old school with the Etherwave Plus. But meanwhile, Moog Music has announced they’re building only 200 more units of the Minimoog Voyager Old School model, which we admired at last year’s NAMM. This keyboard added retro wood-paneled styling, but took “old school” literally by eliminating patch memory and MIDI – the very features added to the Voyager that gave it more modern appeal. I expect the Old School may never have been intended for a longer run, but I’m not sure any of our readers will mourn its loss – the response to losing MIDI was a resounding “huh?”, and the Old School still costs US$2595.

Minimoog Voyager Old School

Still, you have to give props to the Old School for having the best slogan ever, even if it was only used internally: “Got Balls?”

How many products dare you to use them based on features they don’t have? (Too bad Moog didn’t use this as the official slogan, suggesting their answer was “Nope.” Well, at least as far as marketing. They’re no Synthi.)

I’d still love to see a Moog product that’s not an effects unit but does bring a little something to bargain-minded synth lovers. Maybe a NanoPhatty?