Moog just announced the new XL version of their Voyager synth. This is pretty exciting news considering the dearth of manufacturers these days willing to go out on a limb with a fully analog design. When I first saw the press shots I was really hoping it was going to be polyphonic, a modern Memorymoog maybe. But after checking the specs I was disappointed to learn that it’s just a mono synth like it’s Voyager brethren. What was even more disappointing was the price: $5,000 USD. While this is a beautiful piece of equipment and I appreciate the fact that they are produced on a small scale, that just seems like a lot for a larger — albeit still mono — Voyager with VX and CV tacked on. From what I can tell the same functionality could be had by getting a Voyager Rack and the expander boxes.
Also like the previous Voyagers, it’s pretty much in line visually with the original Model D design cues, which I adore. But I have a Voyager Rack and have always been disappointed by the body. The original Minimoogs had an incredible paint job and color scheme. Even the typography was amazing. The new stuff has a big sticker for the interface, as opposed to being screened directly on to the metal. It’s details like this that can really undercut an otherwise quality design. That being said, I’d have to say it’s still one of the prettiest synths out there, save for the Virus TI2 of course.
At any rate it’s still one of the most beautiful sounding musical instruments that you’ll ever hear.