Chuck McQuillan’s Corner

Chuck is one of those "case" guys that chooses to mount his power supply inside the
case as opposed to rail mounting (ala MOTM-900). Here is a photo of his power supply
as he has it rigged with a couple of MOTM-900 power jumper PCBs. Maybe if you ask
him nice he will give us a description of his work and I will capture the text for the page
with the photo. This is a power one supply that several of use were fortunate enough to
find surplus a while back for a great price. Any Power One supply of the correct voltage
and current rating for your system could be used.

Power Supply for inside cabinet mounting

Chuck also is building a 1 row high 24U wide wood cabinet for MOTM modules. Here is a link to his construction plans and explanation:

Chuck’s cabinet plans

Here’s a little background information from Chuck:

I started with synths back in the seventies, building Paia and Aries systems. Then came
the eighties, cheap polyphonic synths and MIDI. The Dark Ages of Analog. The Aries
ended up in a closet, along with my soldering iron. Years later, in celebration of the New
Millennium, I decided to reanimate the Aries, and while searching the web for info, I was
referred to and MOTM. I was struck by the similarity in panel layout with
the Aries, what with the jack field on the bottom, Moog-style knobs on top, and black
panels in the same proportion as the monolith in "2001".

So, I sent Paul S. an email, and was answered within the hour, with a JPEG attachment
of Paul posed, Devo style, with an Aries system hooked up to a TRS-80 Model 1
computer (The picture can be seen at Please
don't laugh at his hair; this was the seventies, after all). "Aha", I thought. "So there IS a
connection." That's where the similarity ends, however. The quality of MOTM is so far
beyond the Aries, comparisons are a joke. Nowadays around here at Studio Q, if the
Aries is used at all, it's as a control voltage mangler for a 3 oscillator MOTM system.

The Aries appears to be a fairly rare bird in the synth world, even though there are
pictures of two different configurations in Mark Vail's book, "Vintage Synthesizers". Paul
S. once estimated that there were around 2000 Aries modules produced during the life
of the company, and I have 12 of them. So, for what it's worth, if anyone out there has
any information/history/funny stories concerning Aries and/or Rivera Music Systems,
send me a note at I've scanned my schematics and old
catalogs, and will submit all this stuff to eventually.

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