ARP 2600 Reborn As TheWarp Semi-modular Synthesizer

thewarp-arp-2600-cloneTheWarp is a modern reinterpretation of the legendary ARP 2600 semimodular synthesizer, produced by ARP Intruments from 1970 to 1981.

TheWarp is based on the original schematics and is built with analogue components in traditional THT mounting and soldering process. According to the developers, the functions and technical specs are identical to those of the original instrument.

TheWarp’s front panel has been modernized to fit within standard 19″ rack size. The new instrument does, though, retain the graphic design, the size of the sections and feel of the original.

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TheWarp Semimodular Analog Synthesizer

Specifications:

  • 3 VCO’s each with sine, triangular, sawtooth and variable pulse waves (all oscillators are identical to VCO 2 of the original instrument), frequency range 0.05 Hz > 20 Khz
  • 1 VCF / Resonator, 24db lowpass-type (2012 submodule version)
  • 1 ADSR Envelope Generator
  • 1 AR Envelope Generator
  • 1 VCA with initial gain
  • Ring Modulator
  • Sample & Hold
  • Noise Generator (low, pink and white noise)
  • CV, Gate and Trig inputs (5-15V)
  • 2 x 4 multiples.

TheWarp is 19″ wide, 12 U high (480 x 520 mm) and 13 cm (approx. 5 inch) deep, so it also fits (without the detachable power cable) in a pop-up mixer rack case like the SKB19-P12U.

Audio demos are available at TheWarp site.

Pricing and Availability

TheWarp is sold on a pre-order basis for CHF 3’400 (equals approx. UR $3,600 / 2800 Euro, plus shipping. TheWarp comes fully calibrated with a 2 years guarantee on defective parts and is shipped worldwide on a direct sales basis. See TheWarp site for details.

58 thoughts on “ARP 2600 Reborn As TheWarp Semi-modular Synthesizer

  1. Awesome! Love that it can fit into a rack. Too expensive though. This needs to be about HALF of what they’re asking for most people to consider with the current state of available synths on the market.

    1. Man, I can’t stand this repetitive “It’s too expensive / Price too high”-BS anymore..
      Each and every post here, be it a 8$ App or a quality built hardware synth like this,
      people start complaining…
      Wake up (or grow up?), folks! You live in way better times now. Appreciate a good work!

      *rant over*

      1. Have to agree with Tobi.

        When you complain about the prices of professional gear, it suggests that you haven’t used great gear before, that you don’t understand the value of great gear and that you’re not dong anything musically that would support the purchase of pro gear.

        This synthesizer is designed to be professional instrument, with professional build quality. There are tons of cheaper synths being made, usually with surface mount PCBs and lower-quality knobs, pots, sliders, etc. This isn’t trying to compete in that market.

        When you look at synths from Moog, Dave Smith, MOTM, MacBeth, Studio Electronics and a lot of other companies, it’s obvious that the companies aren’t trying to build cheap synths – they’re trying to build professional synths.

        Professional gear is always going to cost more, because it uses high-quality parts and processes and because these products are too niche to mass-produce.

        Whether or not I buy a piece of new professional electronic music gear, I’m always happy to see that really nice options, like this one, are available. Because I like the idea that great pro instruments are going to be available as much as I like the fact there are lots of great inexpensive options, too.

        1. What in the world are you even saying?
          Lets take moog modular for example, the top of the line goes for 34k$. The ‘high quality components’ that you are not obviously familiarized with would NEVER EVER cost more than 6k tops! and that is including the enclosure (and that price is way way way exagerated anyway, because moog is a big company who can get all those components way cheaper). that means that they, moog, take aprox 28k$ for the labour time assembling it, wich I find ridiculous. There is nothing else here than stupidity. They are obviously trying to give that modular to the “elite” in order to add value to the name “MOOG”. Discusting.

          1. ..and here you see the difference between craftsmanship and mass-production.
            Sure, Moog is a Big name.. but with 18 employees (afaik) not that of a big company as you might think! They’re not selling smartphones but music instruments, the ratio is a whole different one! And keep in mind, they fabricate the components all by themselves!
            Heck, even with Native Instruments: in their early years, their best selling software has been the B4 and it has only been sold about 1400 copies “worldwide”..

            1. I don’t have anything nice to say about the Moog modulars, but they cost what they cost because they had to re-create many of the old parts. The inductors, for example (and each of those are chock full of ’em) are absolutely unobtanium these days. Moog had to have them custom made.

              The prices are fair, and taking inflation in to account, they’re fair cheaper than they were originally. As are most modern equivalents of vintage analogs.

      2. Remember this is generation Y.
        Y do I have to pay more?
        Y should I work hard?
        Y Can’t I have it now?
        Y Don’t I have talent?
        Y am I so envious?

          1. Yeah cos 35 year olds are coffin dodgers to 12 year olds!

            Totally agree with these responses – well said! It is about time folks grew up and realised that quality instruments are not cheap to produce and the reality is we’ve never had it so good and it only stands to get better!

            Revel in your time 🙂

    2. Considering that original ARP 2600s are going for $11,000 and $12,000 today, and a new Minimoog Voyager XL is $5,000, I don’t see much to complain about.

      1. But you forget a major difference here: this is NOT an original 2600. Apples and oranges. That’s like me building a vintage Ferrari replica in my garage and telling you not to wince about my $90k starting price because the cost of the original was $1mil.

    1. Needs less, since they’re displaying it quite disrespectfully. Upside down and backwards, used as a table cloth and with an object on top of it; all no-nos. You would think people patriotic enough to own a flag and include it in an advertisement would know the basic protocol.

  2. awesome so suck so bad! moog are recreating all thier modulars starting at $10,000! this is a damn good price. Can you build me one for less you ****ing pr**k

    1. Can you get a book on English grammar? And as for your question, the answer is YES. The kit is called the TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED, also known on this thread as the TTSH.

  3. I think they’ve actually underpriced it. They will have a hard time clearing any profit at this price. In 1975, the 2600 had a MSRP of about $3300. Converted to 2014 dollars, that would be $14,521.

    1. Thats a terrible comparison. In 1970, this was cutting edge technology. Now its 40+ year vintage technology…that ARP did all the original R&D on.

        1. What is terrible is your lack of reading comprehension skills. Who helped you with the big words like “adjective”, “subjective” and “persuasive”?

    1. This version is also missing the craptacular speakers that are on the original, so I would assume they have removed all that part of the output section. No loss in my mind.

    1. I just packed up smoking the stuff so that I can afford some of the great gear now available (seriously!)…So you’re going to have one less potential client, sorry (LOL).

  4. I am hoping that sales of the Korg Odyssey go so well, they consider making a 2600 mini.
    I would guess Korg could make it in the 1800$-2200$ range.

  5. I bought the original for 2000 bucks, the Odyssey for 1000 bucks.

    Lower the price.

    500 bucks gets you more bang for the buck and four of them blows away one of these.

  6. Arp 2600 is the holy grail for me, moreso than any other synth…

    And PROFESSIONAL instrument is the key children…go price out a Grand Piano and see how expensive they are? How about a vintage Violin or any such instrument…

    Synths are cheap, even the crazy expensive ones!

  7. Well, its not cheap, but that’s because its not CHEAP. Let’s say you are savvy enough to know the deal and you buy this for $2800. If you use it for 10 years, is it worth $280 a year to you? We often pay more for less. Only you can decide where the line is between a serious labor of love and a boutique novelty you won’t really wring out. When I bought that first workstation, I made a budget, discussed it with the WIFE, made sure she didn’t get skinned over MY goals and soon the day came when it clicked. I got the right tool at the right time and wore it out happily. So in this weird realm, its really not as much about the high price of a serious instrument as it is finding a core item with which you’ll really grow. While not a modular maven, I’ve had the chances to lay hands to every single ARP synth except the Solus and the 2500. IMO, if they really do offer a faithful 2600 of that quality, it doesn’t matter if Korg offers a mini-model. Its a quirky bastard, but its also sort of a Top Ten 70s-80s legend with good reason. Buying the mil-spec version is a smart leap of faith if you’re that kind of Serious.

  8. There’s no CV processor or reverb!
    How can they say ‘the functions and technical specs are identical to those of the original instrument.’?
    It’s not even close to the usefulness of the original.. what a waste.

  9. The comments on most posts on this site are enough to give a guy cancer. You either like it and you buy it, or you dont. No amount of whinging is going to change the manufacturers mind on price point or change the fact that you cant believe it hasnt got pulse width mod on a sine wave and 4 differen filter models like the new korg fandangle.

    These guys put their arses on the line to design and manufacture new products and are part of a new synth culture brewing which is producing and ushering in a golden age for synths – and all you lot do is whinge.

  10. I’m coming in late to this, but I really like what The Warp offers. Love to have one in my studio. Even at $3,600, I doubt TheWarpers are making much profit on this modern take on one of the finest synthesizers ever made.

    To find an all-functional, original 2600 with clean pots and switches is like the Search For The Holy Grail. There are a few clean original ones out in the world and they are prized by their owners. As mentioned, the few that show up on bid sites are offered for very big bucks.

  11. Works out at about $4,000 AUD. But…only a limited production run of up to 100 units. So pretty much no chance I’d be in a position to get one. In any case, I am tipping Korg will do something awesome to follow the Odyssey and produce a re-issue 2600, and do it at a lower price. I’m happy to wait for that…or a Quadra. In the meantime, I have a purchase of an Odyssey penciled in for May/June, so I’ll focus on that. I’d love to have a 2600, but I’d also want it to ‘look’ like a 2600 and have the EXACT same functionality and specifications. From what I’ve read the Warp lacks some components of the original.

    1. The website says it’s to be built in batches of 50-100 at a time, not 100 maximum. I’m sure they’ll be happy to build as many batches as they get orders for.

  12. Not bad! More of a revision than a replica, but I like. I would’ve liked to have seen more of the original’s features included (inverters, lag processor, preamp and envelope follower), but I see why they cut what they did to fit the rack format, and there are other modular options for those things. All three VCOs the same as VCO2 is a welcome improvement, as is double the multiples. I think the price is fair and I wonder if there are other “legends” they are planning on bringing back to life.

  13. @jgeoa– I have a restored 2600 and I built a TTSH. Both are great instruments.
    This WArp rack looks like it could be fun. It’s less than half the $$ I paid for the 2600 and 3 times the cost of my TTSH (though I built it myself).
    I guess, people, it all depends on what you want…

  14. obviously after Korg has done the Arp Oddysey, they would do the Arp 2600 next.

    i think announcement is just to try and pre-empt Korgs impending release and jump the gun. i will bet that this Wasp thing is a long way off from shipping. They just want to put the kibosh on it

  15. YES IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE. Why you ask? If they changed the VCOs so that they are all like VCO 2 on the original (to make it better than the original), then they should have ALSO put TWO ADSRs on it instead of the stupid and useless AR envelope. When Moog brought out a modern version of the Minimoog, they were smart enough to put two ADSRs instead of the original ADS envelopes of the original Minimoog. Didn’t someone else come out with a kit that recreated the 2600 called the Two Thousand Six Hundred? And wasn’t this a lot CHEAPER than this?

    1. Yes, the TTSH is cheaper, but only because you have to assemble, build and solder the whole thing by yourself and I can tell you, if you’re not used to this you would destroy the kit very fast!

  16. Not about to buy this, a TTSH or a vintage 2600, but personally if I were hellbent on having that instrument/sound I’d hold out for an option that includes the spring reverb. Sorry, The Warp!

  17. Looks good and the demos sound like you’d expect them to sound given the pedigree.
    As for price…. Things are always too expensive if you can’t afford them I suppose. The original was also out of the reach of a lot of musicians back in the day, the difference being that it was easier to make money with music than it is now. Record companies would pay big advances to musicians and bands, studios would hire session players and this enabled us to pay for expensive gear as a professional. There are a lot more people trying to take a bite out of a pie that’s a lot smaller now than it was in the past when synths like the ARP’s were released. Hobbyists with good jobs might find the price appealing as will die hard enthusiasts but to someone like me who has a seen a huge change in clients willingness to pay a decent fee for good work, it’s a lot of money that will take a lot of time to recoup.

  18. TTSH costs $3200 built by builders, so the $400 markup on this one can easily explained by different case format and Swiss origin where sourcing components IS more expensive. ie. price of two totally independent 2600 clones is roughly the same, so it does sound about right …

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