Behringer Teases ARP 2500 Module Knockoffs In Eurorack Format

Behringer has shared several images of planned ARP 2500 module knockoffs via social media.

Original ARP 2500 Sequencer

Specifications are to be announced, but the modules appear to follow Behringer’s precedent of shrinking vintage synth designs down to fit into Eurorack format, and mimicking the look and feel of the originals.

The knockoffs differ from the original designs in dispensing with arguably the most unique feature of the original ARP 2500, below, the dual rows of sliding matrix switches.

The ARP 2500 matrix switch system allows each module’s output to be connected to any other module’s input, eliminating or minimizing the need for patch cords. This also eliminates the ‘cable spaghetti’, typical of most modular synths, that can often obscures controls.

The modules are also much shorter than the originals, and module panels incorporate patch jacks. This results in controls that are a lot more crowded than on the original modules.

For example, an original 2500 step sequencer module, shown right, has three columns of controls, spaced fairly widely, while the Behringer version, right in the above photo, compresses the knob arrangement into six closely-spaced staggered columns.

The upcoming modules are a collaboration with Rob Keeble of UK-based synth manufacturer AMSynths.

“In June 2019, I joined forces with Behringer to design analog synthesizers that will be manufactured in China and sold to customer across the world,” explains Keeble. “I am working on three projects which Behringer will announce when they are ready. The first is the ARP 2600 replica which I helped design and test…”

Keeble says the modules will be made with surface mount technology, but that they’ve taken care to ensure that ‘the sound is authentic’ to the original designs.

Pricing and Availability

Details on pricing and availability are to be announced. Keeble says that it “Looks like it will get launched later this year…”

ARP 2500 Images: Encyclotronic, ARP 2500 User Group

71 thoughts on “Behringer Teases ARP 2500 Module Knockoffs In Eurorack Format

  1. This is about as exciting as watching Xiaomi release yet another phone that looks like someone else’s high end product. Yeah, they’re cheap. That doesn’t make Uli and his Chinese partners Robin Hood.

    1. They are not “cheap” at all I would say. Their quality is up there with many other manufacturer’s products. They are not premium products, but they have the same or better build quality compared to some much more expensive synths.

  2. I think that these promising new modules for Eurorack look interesting….looking forward to Behringer’s release of the 2600.

  3. Excited to see the headline, but yeah, ARP has great usability and UI design particularly for its time period it was so advanced and hasn’t really been surpassed. The linear sliders and logical layout are brilliant and these are a core part of the overall ARP experience in addition to their sound. The instruments are highly playable.

    The chaotic jumble of tiny round knobs crammed in to max density just isn’t the same.

    I can also get the authentic sound via a plugin, and it is not the same as actual ARP hardware, which this proposed product is simply not.

    Korg did a fantastic reissue of the 2600, keeping all the advantages, and sensibly augmenting them where reasonable. Korg’s reissue I consider to be an actual ARP instrument in the same way I consider Moog Inc’s instruments to be actual Moogs even though the original Moog company like ARP also went bankrupt and was dissolved.

  4. I had no idea there was an ARP 2500.
    I don’t really care, but this might be good news for someone who wanted a 2500 and didn’t have the $20,000 for a complete system in 1970.

    1. The originals pretty much only went to high end studios, university music labs with generous endowments, and a minute number to very wealthy music superstars. Price depended on custom configuration and you could get one bare bones for $7200.

      There was a university lab that I lived near back in the 90s that auctioned off their mint condition mid-range 2500 for $10,000. I went to that auction but had to drop out of bidding after about 30 seconds. $10,000 at the time was probably something like $2800 in 1970, so still a pretty good discount, but way more than I had.

  5. clap
    …… clap
    ………….. clap

    I just can’t envigor myself with the requisite enthusiasm that I would have for a new analog product. Those knobs looks like they are much too close together. Cramming all of it like that into Eurorack, eh, that just doesn’t look right.

  6. To me, the ARP 2500 has always been nothing more than a cool looking curiosity. I’ve never seen one in real life, and I am not aware of any particularly remarkable thing that anybody has done with it. Yeah I know, Pete Townshend, Close Encounters, etc., but in those cases they could have used any patchable synth. Most readers are likely with me on this one!

    Regardless, these are unique, vintage modules that can probably be put to good use and will surely come dirt cheap. I can’t complain about that.

    I would recommend however that Behringer consider smaller knobs (but with the same look). That sequencer layout simply makes no sense in practical use, and they already managed to cram 8 pots per column into the 182 sequencer module.

    PS: Hey Synthhead, yes those are columns, not rows 🙂

    1. Having used an ARP 2600 extensively at University, my experience is that it was very cool for its time and valuable as a part of synth history, but not that interesting as a synthesizer.

      Your typical Eurorack system is WAY more powerful than one of these huge 2500 systems.

      The control keyboard and cabinetry are absolutely gorgeous, though.

      1. To each their own. I use my 2600 on a daily basis and find it invaluable. I’ve spent a lot of time refurbishing it as caps and opamps and sliders go down, but worth it I suppose. I have my own custom modifications to my instrument and its very powerful.

        The 2500 is not interesting is crazy talk? Ignorant? Total madness? Who knows. Maybe for a preset jockey looking for programmed one-key-press wonder soundscapes what you say is true. And a CD player even better. The 2500 slider matrix was unique and to this day has not been replicated in hardware AFAIK. A mini version of the design philosophy definitely exists in the 2600’s design and is part of its brilliance.

        This all said the present instrument is not a 2500 where it counts AFAIAC.

        And my personally augmented 2600 is probably 20x more powerful than a fully loaded 2500 anyway. Still I wish I’d got that one 2500 that slipped from my fingers. It was just not meant to be. Pity as I would have loved it as no one else can.

    2. check out Eliane Radigue – somewhat undersung genius of the 2500, she understood something magical about time and sonority and the instrument’s capabilities

      1. I am a big fan of Eliane Radigue, she made the 2500 sing like nothing else. So yes, very remarkable things were made with the 2500.

  7. if they do an accurate 1047 filter that would be pretty cool, i wonder how it will compare to the instruo 1047 clone.

  8. Behringer is letting us have real historical experiences here. He is also growing worldwide interest in synth, thus helping all brands.

    1. “Behringer is letting us have real historical experiences here.”

      Except that the experience will be nothing like using a real ARP 2500, and the 2500 is really not that exceptional in terms of synthesis capabilities.

    2. Behringer really only offers the experience of using a cheap knockoff.

      If you want to have ‘real historical experiences’, you’ll have to go to something like Korg’s ARP 2600 clone. It’s priced as a real instrument, but is also the real thing.

      I’d have a lot less problem with Behringer making so many knockoffs if they would disavow and eliminate their sleazy practices. I would have considered the Behringer Poly D, for example, if the Behringer name wasn’t synonymous with harassing journalists and bloggers, suing Dave Smith frivolously, suing Gearslutz members to harass them, hate speech, etc. That’s some heavy-duty bad karma that you don’t want to be associated with.

      1. ” It’s priced as a real instrument,”

        Because it almost 4 grand? Why does an instrument have to be ridiculously expensive to be considered “Real”? Because god forbid someone with a low income might actually be able to make music.

        “That’s some heavy-duty bad karma that you don’t want to be associated with.”

        As you hypocritically type this on a device from a company that probably uses child slave labor, covers up harassment in the workplace, doesn’t compensate developers, doesn’t pay federal income tax and has an employee roll over every year.

      1. They don’t. They’ve been very clear these are recreations. They never claimed they came up with these designs. This is why Patents exist and have expiration dates,

  9. NEVER BUY Behringer! Can you support a company that does HATE ATTACKS? Racism is Racism! And your money help to keep racism alive. So stop the hate and DO NOT BUY from this company!
    I really wonder how Alan R. Pearlman aka ‘ARP’ would feel about this, I do believe he would never let this company touch any of his synth designs. I feel bad for Dina Pearlman, Alan Pearlman’s daughter because a ceo of hate is now making clones of her father’s beautiful work.


    1. Better stop watching Disney movies… and attack your family and friends who do watch Disney movies… Walt Disney was a racist!……

  10. The monoculture enjoys slashing people too much. None of us is A-1 all the time. I don’t want to hear about peoples’ moral lapses or that they’re a Nazi Furry on the weekends. Not all that much, anyway.:P

    I’m here for things like the AAS Ultra Analog VA-3. I was a little dubious, but its turned out to be impressive. The customer service has been- whaddaya call it?- oh yeah, exemplary. I didn’t know physical modeling was that broad, so its a great addition. The 2 main company heads worked at IRCAM and it shows.

    Most of you know your stuff. Let’s hear less about Uli’s aroma and more about what works well. If someone buys his UB-X and loves it, I’d still like to know its not a total POS.

    1. Hi S-Trigger Dave. How are you? I personally am the only person in this thread that made a “Na*zi” comment as you referred to, and it was very well justified and reasonable based on documented and proven antisemitic attacks.

      What is interesting is my post was instantly deleted by the board management here. No one saw it. But YOU saw it. So … your account is an alias for the board owners. You outted yourself, Synthtopia management. And that’s fine, but it would be better to be honest and use your own identity when doing this stuff. Don’t be a coward when being racist, right? Is that not common courtesy? Wear your swastikas proudly Synthtopia owners. Proudly support the racist antisemitic anti-worker Uli and his agenda. Be open, not dodgy and secretive and deceptive about it. Let us all see the real you.

        1. zaphod, my dodgy two headed spaceship stealing friend, I am the only reasonable and clear headed person here at the moment.

          Perhaps the rest of you cult addicts should pause and take those deep breaths? Wouldn’t that make more sense?

          Uli’s radical hard core anti-semitism and sociopathy are well documented. Kirn was not Jewish but Uli believed he was when he gleefully globally happy-merchant memed. Dumb move by a drunk guy! Supporting Uli’s attacks against Jews, DSI, chinese factory workers, and others, is not a sane position for any kind and reasonable person.

          1. Rabid bat I’ll side with you here but would like to add if anything this clone is an attack on Eliane Radigue’s legacy as by far the best 2500 user. And I’m not astonished nobody has noticed so far.

          2. Not sure where you get the idea that I’m eager to rush out to buy Chinese made copies of ancient ARP instruments. Although I haven’t seen him for a few years, Peter Kirn is a friend of mine. Uli isn’t.

      1. Eh, you’re full of rusty capacitor caps! It was just a casual use of the term for cheap effect, not a jihad against All That Is Good. Would it be better if I’d said a “Rosicrucian Furry?” 😀

        I’m not affiliated with Synthtopia, I’m just a synth fan. I like posts about the special madness of modular players or those who build their own wild instruments. What can seem like odd angles on things inspires me. I’m a piano player who grew into synths, so someone who started on organ, a Roland SH-2 or a soldering iron has something to teach me. If I was a Synthopia plant, I’d have one of their promo t-shirts and a complimentary Volca on a neck chain.

  11. should we get excited about it? probably no… their moog and roland eurorack clones turned out to be miles away from the originals, plus build quality is extremely poor. they really need to stop thinking only about the price.

  12. Love it!

    I’d really like to see the slider/matrix switch system modules too for those of us that would like to recreate something resembling the original but in a more space friendly manner. Maybe duplicate sockets internally to a ribbon cable to separate matrix modules if this is even possible or workable?

    I just hope the knobs end up a little better spaced than in the photos as they look a bit too close together at the moment.

    It is still great news as far as I’m concerned and I’ll be buying this as soon as it’s available.

    1. I found a dead squirrel on my lawn last week. Looks like he fell from a tree, was plopped in the grass hard. When I picked him up, the tail started wiggling, freaked me out. Thought he was just sleeping, nope, was super dead….Squirrel stories!

  13. People sat wearing their sweatshop produced nikes, levi jeans and gap Tshirts, having just eaten a battery farmed chicken fillet, followed by a starbucks coffee, typing away on their not so ethically produced apple macs are preaching about business practice lol.

    Behringer makes instruments for people who want to make music. People who want to make music just want to get on and make music. Personally, im more interested in what listeners to my music think than kudos points from the synth community.

  14. We haven’t even seen their 2600 clone yet and now they are teasing us with this. It’s cool, but nobody likes promises. Let’s see some products in the shops first

  15. You know, despite the author’s bias, using the word “knockoff” in
    An article about a product is highly unprofessional. Good job at
    “Knocking off” your own credibility as a writer.

    1. Knockoff (n.): “a copy or imitation, especially of an expensive or designer product.”

      Behringer makes inexpensive copies of other people’s vintage (and therefore now expensive) products. The Manilla-based company has a massive Chinese factory that allows them to maximize profit from these copies.

  16. vjX, I’m surprised the mods have let your comment stay up. The hate attack on Kirn was wrong and also imagery like that should never be used. But as far as I understand, the attack cannot have been intended to be racist, because Kirn is not of a minority race. It is important to rid of hate and racism. But we mustn’t accuse people or acts of being racist unless they actually are.

    1. So it’s okay for massive companies to attack unpaid bloggers on the Internet as long as they’re not being racist?! Give me a break.

      Behringer is trying to paint a picture of a world in which there are two kinds of people: cork-sniffing snobs who want to keep expensive things to themselves, and wonderful, benevolent CEOs who want to produce affordable copies of expensive things that everyone can afford.

      Kirn’s thesis was simply that copying other people’s stuff and selling it as your own work is wrong.

      1. Hi Zaphod. No, it’s not ok for massive companies to attack bloggers. It’s was very wrong. I totally agree. But we should be careful about calling people racist.

        1. It’s not racism, its antisemitism. The happy merchant reference is used by antisemites to disparage Jews. It is not used in any other context other than discussion of the reference. Uli used it against Kirn and in an attack usage not an academic discussion reference. It’s not relevant whether or not the target is actually found out to be Jewish or not and such a distinction is only used by those seeking to justify and explain away clear hate speech.

          1. Hi Rabid Bat, I already wrote, imagery like that should never be used. We will never know for sure whether the marketing team intended that reference. They have claimed that they didn’t, and you are free to disbelieve them. But either way, imagery like that should never be used, even by accident.

    1. This community? Some here obviously do not belong to “this community” and are not interested in joining. You are, however, free to “Boycott Behringer!” Best wishes.

    2. Because most of us can see something like that and through actual research and basic common sense conclude what they did wasn’t actually racist. Dumb and unnecessary yes but not racist. Of course that doesn’t fit peoples narrative that Behringer is as bad as Hitler.

  17. whoa, calm down everyone. these beh*** posts mostly just make people thirsty for a real, non cheap, actually lasts through multiple performances synth. don’t hate on the messenger, synth head is just bringing you the synth news

  18. I just want a roaring synth that sounds like Armageddon, operates like Iron Man’s tuxedo & looks as gaudy as a Ru Paul wet dream. Is that so much to ask?

  19. Anyway…. as someone with actual experience with Behringer B55’s stuff. It’s pretty good! Yeah, it’s not exactly the same, some stuff is way off, some stuff is completely different. But it WORKS. And that’s why I’ll buy more of it.

    The more the merrier I say!

  20. Hi
    Power to the people who believe don’t spend money on HATE or RACIST or PREJUDICE thinking companies.

    I get it you all want wonderful cheap synth gear, I do too but when a CEO of a company attacks on a fellow synthhead and journalist. I think we all need to let that person and/or company know that its not fine. Now how ever you see what this CEO did in the world of common sense it was WRONG.

    An affective feeling towards a person based on their perceived group membership. The word is often used to refer to a preconceived, usually unfavourable, evaluation of another person based on that person’s political affiliation, sex, gender, beliefs, values, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, beauty, occupation, education, criminality, sport team affiliation or other personal characteristics.

    Hate speech
    Hate speech is an act that expresses or incites hatred toward people on the basis of some aspect of their identity.

    Hate speech is speech, writing, behaviour, text or commentary, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language towards a person or a group on the basis of identity. It can be based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, culture, colour, descent, class, sexuality, gender or other identity factors.

    Racism is the result of a complex interplay of individual attitudes, social values and institutional practices. It may be expressed in the actions of individuals and institutions and takes a range of forms.

    I found this to be interesting…..
    Behringer did nothing wrong.
    Wrong it was Behringer marketing team that was the media Army! so yes its wrong!

    #WLM(what do you think this AMERICA was built on the theory that only white lives matter and no one else, if you don’t believe we call it Jim Crow!)

    My comment is facts not fiction, the truth shall live and lies must die.

    Kirn’s thesis was simply that copying other people’s stuff and selling it as your own work is wrong.
    There is a word for that called Plagiarism

    Thanks Dave

    Whether any of you like it or not there is tons of prejudice in the music industry
    I do believe it is important not to support people companies who show and do this kind of behavior.

    The way I see this synth stuff, people are acting like a bunch of meth users wanting their fix and it does not matter who or where it comes or who gets hurt from it as long as it CHEAP! Now smoke those thoughts

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