MF-102 Ring Modulator review by Moog

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (3 votes)
Moog: MF-102 Ring Modulator

Price paid: $ 225

Purchased from: alpha music virginia beach

Sound — 10
I use this pedal as part of my 'expanded' rig, it's purpose was mentioned before: to make synth-trippy sounds. I do this by using 3 amps: one dry, and the other 2 amps in stereo 'wet' [with effects], I then place the dry and wet setups on an a/b. I usually use the effect in conjunction with distortion (for more sustain in the signal) and/or mutron bi-phase (for depth and 'taming', sound very deep) and/or stereo delay (depth in stereo field, layering). I also run an expression pedal for the 'frequency' and the 'rate' of the MF-102. This allows for absolutely control over mixing my signal with as much ring modulator as want, when I want it, as I want it. Highly flexible. The sound is also incredible: deep, not shrill like many other ring mods of have heard. Incredible rich 'bleep' and 'blop' as well as lush trems, stereo delay flying saucer landings; and all these sounds are available on 1 pass of the 'frequency' expression pedal. Imo this pedal provides unparalleled complexity with incredible flexibility and a very desirable sound. All these work together to provide not just the sound you want but also all the control to get them out there too.

Overall Impression — 9
I like to play eclectic improvisational music, this pedal lends me access to a larger tonal palette than it's footprint implies, I love it. I have been playing about 13/14 years now, I own lots of gear, more specifically I have spent some time looking for a good ring modulator and this thing kept researching higher than the competition, when I borrowed it from a friend for a gig for a weekend I fell in love. I would immediately buy another if I needed it, but wouldn't be so important if I wasn't trying to access crazy 'synth' tones. What I don't/didn't like about the pedal: there is so much crap going on, how do you ever get a tone back that you like? The answer is you don't, you get over it, and be happy that it makes awesome noises all over the place. You learn how to use the pedal and coax similar things out. You'll never 'bottle' this pedal, and many people will grow frustrated at that fact. Conclusion: I love this pedal, I have lots of flexibility now, but I never mentioned my other moogerfoogers and how the interact with it (kick drum into freq box with envelope out to 'rate' on ring mod?). It only potential only increases with a CP-251, etc. Nothing else out there does this, nothing.

Reliability & Durability — 9
All Moog equipment (as far as I know) is made in North Carolina, by hand, by analog tone geeks that use oscilloscopes as pillows. I have never had an issue with any Moog product, they all sound phenomenal out the box. It is nice to know you can get what you pay for with some companies and Moog is one of them.

Ease of Use — 9
This is not an 'easy' pedal to use. The concept of a ring modulator is pretty heavy for the layman to begin with; but trying to understand the huge range of effects the ring modulator is capable of is without a good background is intimidating. I feel this is the reason most ring modulators add certain 'constants' to the circuit so they can tune their ring modulators to behave within certain 'predictable' ranges. It works, they're simpler, easier to use and sound crazy. The Moogerfooger MF-102 is NOT that ring modulator mentioned above, this is essentially a 'synth module' ring modulator plopped onto your feet in wood trimmed pedal form. This is THE MOST wide open ring modulator pedal I have seen on the market. The MF-102 is loaded with VC/expression controlled parameters as well as a few other options not normally available (like a line in for you OWN carrier signal? And an oscillator out VC? damn!) If you are looking for a nice predictable ring modulator that operates within the parameters of it's knobs then look elsewhere. If you want a endlessly crazy/corruptable/flexible/expandable ring modulator, than this pedal can't be beat right now. This is an adult's ring modulator, you don't see college Freshman drinking 18 year aged scotch just like you don't see a 40 year old drinking high gravity malt liguors (they'd be dead by 40 if they drank high gravity malt beverages anyway) I recommend doing your research on this effect and identifying by ear what the effect is doing where, you will get much more out of the pedal by becoming very intimate with it's workings. It gets a 9, because I know how to work it, and I consider it my 'easy' button for blowing my tone away to the electro-weak psychedelic fusion synth dimension.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ring modulators are like Ebows: So much fun, but not really useful unless you're in a prog rock band or something..
    I use the freqbox and the lpf but eventualy I just wanted a little phatty. awesome sounding pedals though.
    I own this as well. Great pedal, BUT NOT for everybody. If you know how and why you are using it, then this pedal will be great. If you dont know what it is, or exactly how to use it, it will be a giant waste of money. I also have the footswitch for it. Makes things so much funner.
    EpiExplorer wrote: Ring modulators are like Ebows: So much fun, but not really useful unless you're in a prog rock band or something..
    which lots of people are... I have a ring filter on my ME-50 multi-effects pedal, and it pretty much only has one parameter... and that alone provides me with an arsenal of interesting sounds. I shudder to think what I could do with this pedal. Sounds interesting, may look into it.
    great review. i have the MuRF and i love it. for a guitarist, moog is where its at for weird trippy sounds
    As a side note, this is the exact unit currently used by the BBC to provide voices for the Daleks in Doctor Who. Just thought that would be cool to mention. =)
    I got one of these for dirt cheap a few months ago. I didn't know how to use it, but I'm still able to get some awesome sounds. It just takes some getting used to and there's a definite learning curve to it.