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Moog Music's synths are beloved for their sound, playability, and quality standards . . . and the fact that they're not ugly and boring. As true analog synths, they produce sound by directly controlling the electrical voltage that courses through their innards, something that is difficult to translate to digital instruments. But Moog keyboards are usually a luxury item, even though the late synth builder Bob Moog himself wanted to build a more affordable option. The Little Phatty is the "Moog nano" everyone has been waiting for, a basic but uncompromising mono synth that emphasizes live playing. Even if you can't afford the $1500 limited edition with extras like Bob Moog's name signed across the back, a $1000 "stage" option is coming later this spring. If this isn't your thing, you had better accept that you won't be able to shut up your local synth fanboy or girl for the next 12 months. Just lock them in a room with one of these for the year and drop off baloney sandwiches. They'll be happier that way.

Moog's New Little Phatty: Inside Details Revealed, Pricing $1000-1500 [Create Digital Music]