The Good News Is, The Teenage Engineering OP-1 Is Available Again

Teenage Engineering OP-1

In December of last year, Teenage Engineering made news by announcing that reports of the OP-1’s demise were false, and that no one should pay the high prices that used OP-1 synths were being listed for on Reverb.com & eBay:

Last week, a rumour circulated that the OP-1 was dead. No one was more surprised than us.

However, we’ve been working hard on update the hardware platform in order to keep the product alive for many years to come. This is causing a brief stop in production, but we will be up and running at full speed shortly.

we’ve been working hard on update the hardware platform in order to keep the product alive for many years to come. This is causing a brief stop in production, but we will be up and running at full speed shortly.

Today, Teenage Engineering announced that OP-1 is available again – but with a new price of US $1,299. The OP-1 was $799 when it was originally introduced in 2011.

The updated pricing parallels the trend in used prices for OP-1 synths. A price history chart from Reverb.com sales shows final sale prices for the OP-1 rising from slightly over $800 a year ago to nearly $1,300:

127 thoughts on “The Good News Is, The Teenage Engineering OP-1 Is Available Again

    1. Tool or toy the price increase is certainly a bit cynical. The price elasticity was discovered through the false rumours and now TE is attempting to benefit it from it.

    2. ‘In December of last year, Teenage Engineering made news by announcing that reports of the OP-1’s demise were false, and that no one should pay the high prices that used OP-1 synths were being listed for on Reverb.com & eBay’

      lol

  1. Reissue thats 500 bucks more than the original issue. Thats kind of outstanding. To match the used sites? What if they were going used for 500 bucks? Would they match?

  2. this instrument makes me feel old, fair cop, I ‘m getting there. I see this and I don’t get it at all. Not that it is in any way invalid or drool-worthy to the appropriate audience. Its just fundamentally clear that the audience is not me.

    1. I recently bought a Casio MZ-X500 for 400€. It can do so much more than this thing, which hasn’t even a velocity sensitive keyboard. I once owned an OP-1, but sold it after two years, because the four track tape recorder metapher is a no go for me. You can get a Roland FA-07 or an iPad pro for that price. smh

      1. For an extra $500, you’d think they could at least update the micro-USB to USB-C, or add a new engine or two borrowed from the Pocket Operators. Shipping the exact same hardware from 2011 with a major price hike is… bold.

        1. Most mainstream microcontrollers only support USB 2.0 transport. It’s possible to swap the micro USB connector for a USB-C connector, but the only thing that changes is that the cable costs 4x as much.

  3. I’ve been a fan of TE for a long time and though the original price of the OP-1 was pretty hefty, I thought it was worth it for all it could do but a 50%+ increase without any explanation seems pretty unfair.

    It’s hard not to feel like they helped create a false scarcity only to then jump on the price gouge bandwagon to fuel their own greed.

    1. Oh, they gave an explanation. Greed. Realized they had a winner and then over-valued it. I’m sure the price will come back down when people realize what it used to cost, or they will buy it used when the sellers decrease their price.

  4. i remember back in the 70’s when a mini moog was out of my price range of his is to would love one, i have my mini moog now an ap on the ipad.

  5. Man, totally worth it! Inflation, hype, damn, what a great deal! I can even get it 10% off due to other manufacturing problems with other projects ! Sign me up! /sarcasm off. Well, this is business in a way, it is a way to kill a company. Just bad judgement.

  6. strange strategy. So next time used ones will go up to 2000 bucks: what will they do, we gonna place a list price of 2.500 bucks? I could understand if we talk about a Prophet X, but…come on!

  7. 1. OP1 sells new for $800
    2. Due to fluctuating supply in the new market the price edges up in the used market.
    3. A rumor comes out that the OP1 will no longer be produced
    4. Logically people inflate prices
    5. TE makes a statement after prices inflates, that no one should pay these after market inflated prices and the OP1 will be made again.
    6. TE faces financial loss due to manufacture problem where they need to cancel all orders for one of their modular units.
    7. TE then announces a new OP1 production run and states that, the new price will reflect the inflated after market prices that they initially denounced.

    interesting

  8. lol… ‘the most overhyped, overpriced, apple genius IKEA crap on the market today.’

    ‘and it’s meant for yuppies to place on the shelf next to their Apple Watch stand and Amazon echo.’
    omg, too funny.

  9. If you consider this a ‘work of art’ (an object of desire) as opposed to just a musical tool then it may still be worth it. I had an OP-1 (paid 580 GBP new but the novelty wore off pretty quick working with fake tape) and now I have a an OP-Z, I like TE, but they can be style over content and they are procing themselves in to the ‘for the elites’ category. TE are the opposite of Behringer in so many ways!

    1. I hated the tape side (no quantize or undo?) and lack of real sequencing options, but i loved the form factor and portability – I ultimately sold it and never regretted it. Do you feel like the OP-Z is worth looking into for me? I’m really intrigued by its full featured sequencer and much more fair price point

      1. I also hated the 4 track tape thing and the awkward sequencers but I have an OP-Z now and I absolutely love it. I think you should give it a try.

        1. I also bought an OP-Z just on a whim after not liking the tape tracking thing of the OP-1 a friend lent me for a week. Figured I could flip it on Reverb quickly if I didn’t like it.

          Something about the OP-Z just seems to make everything flow easily. It is very intuitive to use and only takes a few pleasant hours of messing with it to figure it out. I was really surprised and have not even gotten around to loading my own sounds yet.

          Check out the red means recording, cuckoo, and bruno kramm vids.

  10. I do not agree. Aftermarket prices should reflect the balance between demand & supply. A “public”, list price given from Company should cover their costs, R&D, margin and so on. There should be an “ethics, in addition to the normal profit. And this does not seem to me a good commercial strategy. It was expensive before, now this price is completely out of mind..

  11. I am disgusted by the new price scheme. Was thinking about getting it, but now its the last thing that I will ever buy. Hope people wont fall for that overpriced hype bull… so they get their lesson.

  12. Sounds like your more upset with Apple and Ikea then the OP-1. Its portable, has multiple synth engines, records tracks, sends and receives midi, has built in FX, multiple ways to sequence and a drum sampler and engine.

    All the things people ask for when something comes out and doesn’t have it. “Does it sample, if not im not buying it”. We know that routine. Just boggles my mind when you get a strong feature set into a great product thats lasted me for about 3-4 years with no issue only to have it torn down because its small, white and the buttons have colors. I really do think its just the look cause anyone who plays it instantly see its value. And if you hate it that much, im sure you never touched it so whats the argument.

    The internet is awesome.

  13. Overhyped? Overpriced? Over-engineered? Check, check, and check. But the argument that the OP-1 is not a real musical instrument is flawed. You may not like the OP-1 or the musicians who can afford the excessively inflated price. But if you can write a tune on it, it’s a real musical instrument.

    1. Most likely. I like the OP-Z concept of more interactive sequencing, but sequencing nerds have other options (most with MIDI ports already attached) and I’m not sure how many buyers of musical toys want to put in the work.

  14. I have an OP-1 and after having it for 5 years or so, my opinion is that it’s value is faraway from real. Even the 800€ of before were a bit too much. It’s fun and cute but so is other instruments

  15. At one point they seemed to be countering the false rumours and ridiculous second hand prices and then lo and behold they do this. I don’t want one but I feel sorry for those that do. It is an obscene price rise that reflects badly on their ethos and respect for customers. Apples to Oranges but some naufiacturers should take a leaf out of Korg’s book in terms of value. Being hip and different will only take you so far if you rip people off.

  16. I believe it was originally “discontinued” due to an issue with sourcing parts, and that this new version would have some hardware revisions/improvements to account for that.

    Maybe with all of the issues with global trade & electronics manufacturing the more easily available components are more expensive?

  17. well with this announcement you will now start to see the downfall of this guy. awesome machine but that is a very high price imo, keep the price the same maybe a firmware upgrade and new features software update for 25$ or something.

  18. TE only has one good product – the OP-1. I don’t care if they charge $10,000 because it is simply none of my business what they charge. At some price, nobody will buy it and this causes a natural limit on it.

    One would think that the natural limit on the Pocket Operator series is $10.99 but it blows my mind that anyone would pay more for something akin to a Donkey Kong keychain in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart. Again, if they can get $100 for one it is none of my business and more power to them.

    1. So, because you’re not interested in their products you don’t care what the price is so no one else should or?

      I don’t understand the point of your comment.

  19. This seems cynical at best. The timing does seem to coincide with their production problems elsewhere. Although not a perfect analogy, what if Behringer started applying this pricing strategy to it clones?

  20. lmao for that price you could buy one of every cool lil synth shown off at NAMM – I think Arturia, Korg, and Behringer have my money instead.

  21. this company is a joke…its about the money…and the term teenage has not much to do with their products… a person can get a Prophet REV2 8 voice for that money

  22. T.E. are being very cynical and cut throat on the pricing here. Very, very shallow and dishonourable. Checking the inflated 2nd hand prices (which they complained about) and then jacking up the price accordingly. Shame on you T.E.

  23. I would never part with mine, and felt the $750 or so I paid was fair for such a versatile little tool. I wonder if the price increase has to do with the Tariffs?

  24. Bah, the 1s and 0s in the original issue are warmer than those in the reissue, I bet. A/B ’em and you’ll spot the difference.

  25. I owned an OP-1 and considered getting a new one, but at this rate I’ll happily move on to a more reasonably priced option for polyphonic sample playback. It’s a beautiful piece of design, but more of a lifestyle product than an actual instrument anyway. It certainly is damn cool, but I’m a musician – I don’t need cool, I need affordable instruments.

    1. Ha! Hey Beavis, you said “lifestyle product,” which kind of applies to 3/4 of the synth biz anyway. There’s a big crossover between toys and tools. If you’re mostly dabbling, you go for the small-fry items. If you’re really serious, you save up for a Waldorf Quantum or start buying Eurorack pieces. I’m a little more of a Quantum type who doesn’t really need a pocket anything. I haven’t seen their ledgers, so I can’t say TE didn’t have a vendor issue or an exchange rate problem. If they’d had cut the original price by $50 for a while, they might easily have turned a nice profit, just from the psychological advantage of an apparent bargain.

      1. I didn’t say it’s too expensive or overpriced. It’s just not worth that amount of money to me. I have a studio and no need for a portable all-in-one device. I like it for its sampling capabilities, but not for the price TE are charging right now. There is nothing wrong with toys by the way, I have a lot and will keep adding new ones if they spark inspiration or joy. OP-1 however is sort of a status symbol in certain circles at this point. People get it just to have it and show it off on Instagram like a pair of new sneakers. That’s what I meant with „lifestyle product“. It’s totally cool if with me, to each according to their needs. Also, my name is Dacci. Not Beavis.

  26. Like many of you, I’m incredibly shocked about this news. What a bunch of greed f#$%ers!! I just sent TE my thoughts via their contact page and I encourage you to do the same.

    I’ve never been sold on the OP1 and frankly the OPZ doesn’t look any more interesting. I was slightly interested in their new modular stuff, but it seems a little gimmicky. Anyway, they’ve completely lost a customer for life with this latest move.

      1. Personally I was thinking of buying one lately and surely won’t if the price stays stupidly high. Especially when I received the mail from them about that, I thought this is the moment then…

      2. I was never going to be a customer for their OP1, you’re right. I think I say that when I state, “I’ve never been sold on the OP1…..”. Duh. But I was coming around to them with modular stuff, but with these shenanigans on the pricing, they lost me.

  27. My least favorite synth company just got worse….I could understand a more expensive “V2” but the same product which was already a little pricey going overboard like this is a joke. I feel sorry for everyone who gets baited into buying TE products.

  28. Totally turned off by Teenage Engineering for doing this. Was seriously considering purchasing their modular synth stuff but am now not going to bother. Greed bunnies the lot of them!

  29. I looked up some websites, so this thing is about USD$100 shy from an Elektron Octatrak MK II and USD$200 shy from the newly released Akai Force. Just a rough comparison.

  30. Seriously, Teenage Engineering? Jacking up the price by $500 when the R&D has long since been amortized and production costs have been optimized?

    Imagine if Apple had tried to sell the same 2011 iPad 2 (an excellent portable music device btw) for 8 years without any price drops or hardware improvements, and then decided to raise the price by 60%?

    OP-1 is a cool device, but $1300 goes a long way in the synth world of 2019.

  31. In a more sane market, consumers would immediately turn on such a low-brow maneuver, but since so much is now driven by youtube-inspired gear lust, TE will continue to sell their gadgets. At least this one allows you to use the full chromatic scale.

  32. worth mentioning “dreadbox” here:

    Updated their Erebus to v3 with a LOT of new features and kept the price the same.
    Simply because they wanted to!

  33. The bad news is TE is selling them at the ebay inflated price point

    What the fuck is wrong with them?? this is some twisted marketing mind fuck
    “Why pay these prices when we can match them ….!!!”

  34. Except for the little pocket gizmos. TE has NEVER been able to have a supply of OP-1 to satisfy potential buyers appetites. What is the point of even having a company (just because you’re some cool Swedish design firm) no negatives to Swedes in General) if your gonna have such a piss poor record of suppling product. This is a foolish operation as far as i’m concerned. People, go spend your money on things you can actually get your hands on. There are plenty of great choices out there today. I think a boycott of all TE products might just teach them a lesson. Or maybe, just make them go away. btw. I actually owned an OP-1 years ago. The USB port failed and there was no way to fix it, other than sending it to Sweden. I would have had to pay duty just to get the thing sent back to me, after who knows how long. That is not counting the shipping charges in both directions. with a dead USB port, there was no way of saving or load external files. Not to mention, not being able to do a firmware update. TE fail whale (mino)

    1. It’s like Harley Davidson motorcycles. Making less product than there’s demand for seems to be their business model.

      Because of the mistique and an apparent shortage of supply, they command a premium price even though their technology is old. Very old.

      “It’s a Harley” is all the justification a Harley owner needs.

  35. The only right thing to do would have been an upgraded model. OP-1 mark II or OP-2 if you like. Pressure sensitive keys, more processing power, some extra engines and more sequencing/editing options besides the looper. Would have been great.

  36. “Teenage” Engineering, an immature name making immature marketing decisions. someone should start a company called Adult Engineering and sell the OP-1 for $800 like a mature and wise company would.

  37. Wow make a statement about no one having to pay those prices then sell product for same insane price. Logic fail can’t see anyone in there right mind buying this other than trust fund kids who have 0 talent.

  38. Well, think of it this way: A Stradivarius also rises in price over time. So there is still room for TE to discover

  39. they even announced it with: “OP-1 synth is back in stock, here to stay”

    … probably right that it will stay in stock with that price tag 😉

  40. Y’all are ridiculous. Do what you gotta do TE. All the fussy wimps who can’t deal can go suck a volca. I heard y’all go real deep on those volca knobs..

  41. This is fine. OP-1 is a special niche device that has its own unique creative work-flow in a very fun environment. It forces creative decisions in new ways (for me, via the tape) which result in lots of fresh stuff going on. I love mine to death and if I dropped it into a crevasse / volcano I might have to drop these kinds of dollars for a new one. It doesn’t add to my studio or even get used there. It is its own thing and is one of the most fun musical devices I own.

    1. I wouldn’t call it fine. I also think it was kind of a dumb move. Other than that I can 100% agree with everything you wrote. OP-1 isn’t for everyone. You either love it or maybe just can’t figure out how to use it … I paid 679,– Euro from the TE-store when they still did “Black Friday” sales. Six years later it’s twice as much: I wouldn’t pay that, to be honest. Although I love my OP-1 …

  42. For $1,399 you can buy a Elektron Octatrack MKII or $1,299 for the MK1. This company has a reputation for great products and you can actually buy them. Oh, and they are a Swedish company as well. The upgrade to the MKII was only about $100. Now what was it for the OP-1 ??? Same version. Crazy TE, your pissing off the music community with your nonsense.

  43. When designers do instruments… First the modular-stop, now this… TE… go and make graphics, design or what ever, but keep your hands of from building Instruments. No one need overpriced crazy toys with reduced functions, but „design“ and this kind of company policy.
    Musicians, you need a small solution?
    Buy an iPad and a some apps… sounds better, works better, is better… and cheaper!

  44. It looks like a $200 synth, doesnt sound great in its tiny speaker, and its number one appeal is its small size. Typically a small size goes with a small price. I hear reading the above, that it doesn’t have a velocity sensitive keypad. Maybe $300 at most. I liked the multicolored display but it didn’t win me over in my 3 minute trial. It’d be a nice Christmas toy for the kids at $200 but I’d rather buy a microfreak.

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