The legendary synthesizer manufacturer Moog (if you’re not familiar with it, let Mr. Giorgio Moroder explain how it shaped modern music) is making a mere 40 new units of one of its most legendary designs: the Moog Synthesizer IIIp, a machine originally released in 1969 to the joy of musicians like George Harrison.
Harrison bought an IIIp model to use while the Beatles were recording Abbey Road, where it was chiefly used for classics like “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” “Because,” and my personal favorite “Here Comes The Sun.” This model was also used by many other legendary musicians, from the aforementioned Moroder to Mick Jagger–who didn’t strike me as a Moog type of guy–and Hans Zimmer, the German composer famous for the musical scores of films like The Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar.
The IIIp was designed by founder Bob Moog, but the Asheville, North Carolina, company stopped making the model in 1973–perhaps because these machines were a little bit too expensive for most: the list price tag back then was $7,985, which adjusted for inflation is a whopping $50,000. So $35,000 is really a bargain for one of these classic units, which come mounted in solid wood cabinets wrapped in tolex, a type of waterproof vinyl-style material.
According to Moog, each of these new units will be exactly like the one used by the Beatles, handcrafted with the same schematics and components using “all original documentation, art and circuit board files” and featuring “thirty-seven hand-stuffed, hand-soldered discrete modules including ten 901-Series audio oscillators, the 984 Matrix Mixer, and the 905 Spring Reverb.”
If you’re curious about how it sounds, check this video out: