From ‘Banaheim’, Behringer today introduced knockoffs of the classic ARP 2600 ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ synthesizers.
The original ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ synths are rare early versions of the ARP 2600. They differed in terms of styling from later 2600s. They also had some electronic differences from later models that affect how they sound, but arguably not as much as the later move from a Moog clone filter to the so-called ‘post-lawsuit’ filter design.
Here’s what Behringer has to say about their two new variations on their 2600:
“Featuring carefully selected high-grade components for improved performance, a mechanical spring reverb and unicolor fader LED’s, the Behringer Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie look back at the rarest first editions of the 2600 that was released in 1971.
We further added some very useful features such as a dual filter, an additional LFO, VCO syncs, USB MIDI, and much more.
Rumoured that only 25 Blue Marvin’s and 35 Gray Meanie’s were ever made, these modern-day and authentic recreations bring you closer than ever before to these rarities that have always been so out of reach. This time, at a price within reach.”
Based on what Behringer has said, it sounds like the build changes in the new 2600s are not to align with the unique electronics designs of the original Blue Marvin and Gray Meanie synths, but to address complaints some had with the sound and build of the Behringer 2600s. For many buyers, though, paying an extra $100 for improved components and a real spring reverb (vs the emulation used on Behringer’s earlier 2600s) will be a no-brainer upgrade.
Update: Synth designer Rob Keeble (AM Synths, Behringer) says that the changes in the two new Behringer 2600s “are to improve the sound quality in the filters, which align further to the original ARP design and vision, and to include a reverb tank.”
Pricing and Availability
Behringer says that they will be shipping their ‘Blue Marvin’ and ‘Gray Meanie’ 2600s in February 2021, priced at US$ 699.