Behringer Teases Plan To Copy Classic ARP 1601 Sequencer

Behringer today shared a sneak preview of its plans for a copy of the classic ARP 1601, a 16-stage step sequencer from 1976.

The original ARP design has a fairly limited feature set for its size, compared to modern step sequencer designs, like the Arturia BeatStep Pro. But the original 1601 is still sought-after, because the sequencer has a straightforward and immediate interface that makes it easy to work with.

Like the original, the Behringer 1601 Sequencer is a sort of what-you-see-is-what-you-get design, where moving a slider up or down adjusts the voltage for that step up or down. A matching set of switches, along the top of the sliders, let you control the gate for each step.

The Behringer version updates the sequencer’s styling to match the entry-level version of their ARP 2600 knockoff, and adds several useful updates, including MIDI out and additional sync options.

Pricing and Availability

While Behringer’s photos may look like a finished piece of gear, they note that the pictures are of a prototype. They have not shared any plans for pricing or availability at this time.

47 thoughts on “Behringer Teases Plan To Copy Classic ARP 1601 Sequencer

    1. Yes, except I think the Behringer plans are even less firm than the article suggests. “Please note that we have not yet decided if we’ll put the 1601 in production and hence we’d like to have your opinion.”

  1. There are so many much better designed and smaller HP 16 step sequencers with all sorts of modern tracks now I think this may be a bit to ‘retro’ – sure, cheap sequencer would be great…but just beacuse its and old design doesn’t make this any good….but I guess if people have the space for this and its super cheap it will get some attention…

    1. I like the fact that all the controls are on the front panel like the 960. I don’t need to ‘flip a midi switch’, ‘dive a menu’, or ‘keep manual handy’ like a Metropolis. Or keep batteries or a SB cable plugged into a SQ-1.

      Some folks like simple, straightforward designs.

      I especially like the gate selector per stage, and the added quantizer is very cool.

    2. These are designed to compliment and expand an Arp 2600 or Odyssey and are pretty amazing when used with either of them. They are not to replace all the other Euro or groove box sequencers you might have already.

      I had to build one from a pcb set for my Korg 2600 as there was not an easily available other option at the time aside from vintage or waiting for a spot in line for the Antonus version. It cost a lot of money all told.

      This is a great piece of gear that Korg likely would never produce again even though it adds so much to a 2600. This is the exact sort of thing Behringer should be cloning despite my reservations about some of their other synths.

      Now they need to do an MS-50, since Korg is sleeping on that one too.

  2. Yeah great. Another Behringer product to wait 2 + years for. I wish they would stop releasing/teasing the market with ideas that take years to come. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if this comes early next year! Still waiting on the BCR32 please….anytime this year? Perhaps I should invest in something else

      1. And the BS-80. And the Uli AKS. And the drum machines they’ve teased.

        Does anybody have a complete list of all the stuff that Behringer has introduced but not released?

        They need to slow down on the teases, up their build quality and figure out how to scale up their manufacturing, so they can ship what they’ve already released.

        1. “They need to slow down on They need to slow down on the teases, up their build quality and figure out how to scale up their manufacturing, so they can ship what they’ve already released.the teases, up their build quality and figure out how to scale up their manufacturing, so they can ship what they’ve already released.”

          So basically you want Behringer to stop doing all the things that are making them as succesful as they’ve been?

          1. “So basically you want Behringer to stop doing all the things that are making them as succesful as they’ve been?”

            No, what made them successful is offering cheap knockoffs of popular gear.

            Their build quality problems have always been a turn-off to people, and now the gap between the teases and delivery are a new turn-off for people.

            1. What build quality problems? I own a Model D and Neutron and have had them for years and use them often. I have had zero problems with these synths. I just picked up a Behringer Odyssey. Can you site any verifiable information indicating/supporting that Behringer synths are plauged with build problems? Along with other synths, I own a Korg MS-20 mini and an Alesia Ion. The build quality on the MS-20 mini and the Ion seems far worse/cheap than the Behringer synths.

              1. TimS

                You’re making a straw man argument that’s tangential to my statement:

                “Their build quality problems have always been a turn-off to people, and now the gap between the teases and delivery are a new turn-off for people.

                1. Straw man argument? You’re the one claiming that Behringer synths have build quality problems. Where are you getting the information to make this build quality claim?

                  1. TimS

                    “You’re the one claiming that Behringer synths have build quality problems.”

                    No. I’m not trying to dog you, but if you actually read my comment, I made a general statement about the reputation of Behringer products: “Their build quality problems have always been a turn-off to people.”

                    If you’re not aware of their long-time reputation for build quality issues, read one of the many forum discussions on the topic, like Why is Behringer so hated? (https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?topic=136246.0).

                    YOU are the one making multiple claims endorsing the build quality of Behringer synths. And you’re supporting your claims with nothing more than anecdotal evidence.

                    The build quality of Behringer synths might be amazing, like you suggest. But your claims are tangential to my statement, they’re a strawman argument, and you’ve supported them with only anecdotes.

                    I did state that Behringer should “slow down on the teases, up their build quality and figure out how to scale up their manufacturing.” This is because they are pissing off many potential customers with their inability to deliver on the items that they’ve teased in a timely manner.

                    If I were to claim that Behringer synths do have build quality problem, I’d probably qualify the statement by saying it’s based on my experience with their Model D clone/knockoff.

                    The Behringer D ships without being calibrated properly, because calibration of a vintage analog synth design requires burn-in and then manual adjustment of multiple trim-pots which is time-consuming and requires trained people. The lack of calibration means that the Behringer D may not play octaves accurately when you get it, or it may go out of tune as you play up and down the keyboard. This issue is one I encountered and it’s a well-established complaint about the synth (https://www.google.com/search?q=behringer+d+tuning+issues&oq=behringer+d+tuning+issues).

                    A related build quality issue with the Behringer D is that the trim pots are not accessible. This means that doing the calibration – which should have been done at the factory – is a complicated task that requires DISASSEMBLING YOUR BRAND NEW SYNTHESIZER. This statement is supported by the fact that Behringer had to release a video documenting the hour-long process (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PwSISQrQEM). Synths with better build quality come calibrated, so you don’t have the problem to start with, and make trim pots accessible, so you can calibrate without disassembling your synth.

                    Other obvious issues with the Behringer D are the small, low quality knobs and controls; the cheap pots and switches; and the fact that they’ve mounted the cheap pots to the main circuit board, without attaching the pot shafts to the panel. This means that every time you turn one of the synth’s pots, you’re stressing the solder that attaches the pot to the circuit board. You’re bending soft metal, back and forth, over and over. Over time, this results in cracks in the solder that lead to noisy audio and pots that fail. Better designs use quality pots, attach the pots to the panel or make the pots easily swappable.

                    The above issues are are easily verifiable as factual.

                    I don’t have broad experience with their synths, which is why I did not make a broad statement about their synths, instead just saying that they should ‘up their build quality’. The compromises made with the Behringer D, and the planned obsolesce built into its design, mean that we’re going to have a sea of synths with problems in the next few years that are not worth fixing.

                    You also mention that “I own a Korg MS-20 mini and an Alesia Ion. The build quality on the MS-20 mini and the Ion seems far worse/cheap than the Behringer synths.”

                    I’d suggest getting yourself some decent gear. The issues I’ve pointed out above will become obvious to you as you learn more.

                    1. Most mass produced synths have potentiometers mounted on a PCB as opposed to panel mounting. Adding a hex nut above the panel makes it impossible to mount a small, low profile knob and having to screw several dozen nuts to potentiometer shafts dramatically increases manufacturing time.

                      I agree that the Model D suffers from calibration issues. I plan to spend an hour or so tuning mine sometime before the new year, it’s woefully out of tune right now.

                    2. Yes, I knew / know all about Behringer and their reputation. However, that doesn’t necessarily apply long-term to a given company. Toyota used to make #$*% boxes, and now they are known for their reliable vehicles. The forum link you cited is from 2012 and has nothing to do with synths. Behringer didn’t release any synths until years later.

                      Behringer manufactures many synths, not just the Model D. Yes, there are tuning issues with Model Ds, but this not unique to this particular analog synth. Behringer provided a video on how to adjust the Model D tuning if needed. Read the user comments that are with this video:

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PwSISQrQEM

                      “Other obvious issues with the Behringer D are the small, low quality knobs and controls; the cheap pots and switches; and the fact that they’ve mounted the cheap pots to the main circuit board, without attaching the pot shafts to the panel.” What do you want for $300? How is this different from the Roland SE-02 and budget synths from other manufacturers? Again, the Korg MS-20 mini is no better (and costs more). The knobs on my Model D and Neutron do not seem like low quality knobs. As I mentioned, I have used my Model D and Neutron for years, and I use them often. I have had zero problems with these synths, including tuning. I just bought a new Behringer Odyssey ($399 on Sweetwater during Black Friday / Cyber Monday). The Odyssey sounds great, and it is built like a tank. Judging by the Sweetwater and Amazon user reviews, it seems that many people are very happy with their Model D, Neutron, and Odyssey. The Neutron is a great piece of gear. If someone wants my Neutron, they’re going to have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. It’s a great synth, especially for the price.

                      “I’d suggest getting yourself some decent gear. The issues I’ve pointed out above will become obvious to you as you learn more.” LOL. Why, when I have no problems with my not decent gear. Many people do just fine without “some decent gear.” Not everyone can or would pay 2-3 grand and up for some “decent” gear. I am not a professional musician. I am a hobbyist like millions of others with an in-home DAW studio. There is no way on earth I would pay $6,000 for a vintage Minimoog (with no MIDI and questionable reliability), and I don’t have to. I have a $300 Model D that sounds great. I also have a $300 Neutron that sounds great and a $399 Odyssey that sounds great. My Korg MS-20 mini and Alesis Ion also sound great, as do my other synths.

                      Have a great Christmas and New Year. May 2022 be a better year for us all.

              2. I’ve also owned a Neutron and it has a ton of problems like unusable delay and overdrive, unstable oscillators, fairly unusable envelopes, bugs with the patch section and on top of that it died four months after I purchased it brand new. With my Klark Teknik EQ things were different, it died a week later, sent it back twice to Thomann for repair and in the end I throw it in the garbage.

                1. That hasn’t been my experience with the Neutron at all. I have had my Neutron for years and use it frequently and have had zero problems with it.

                  What do you mean by “unusable delay and overdrive” and “fairly unusable envelopes?” These sound like personal preferences, not technical problems with the synth. Also, what do you mean by “…died four months after I purchased it brand new?” The synth is under warranty at that point.

                  1. Isn’t it a quality issue if a brand new synth dies? And an EQ from the same brand? And endless posts around the forums that B owners change pots, caps and all kind of stuff as soon as they buy their B stuff because it’s mostly crap there. I’ve owned over 15 synths for the past 7 years from all major brands and none of them gave me any troubles.

                    1. I can only speak from personal experience. I have owned over 20 synths in the last 30 years from major brands. None of them gave me any troubles, including my Behringer synths. I’ve had my Model D for over four years and my Neutron for over three years. They are played regularly, often many times a week, and have given me zero problems. Zip, zero, nadda. Based on the user reviews on Sweetwater and Amazon, it appears that many others have had positive experiences as well with these synths. Maybe I got lucky with these synths. But as mentioned, I can only speak from personal experience.

                  2. TimS

                    It’s humorous how blatantly you just ignore people’s comments and change change the subject to pimp Behringer synths.

                    1. I ignored nothing. I posted a reply in which I responded to the comments point by point. My post never showed up here (at least not yet).

                      Frankly, I’m sick and tired of people who take issue with others who spend money on budget synths (and frankly like them).

          1. Cep6oH’s comment looks like link spam, but goes to a Google Doc spreadsheet that nicely summarizes what Behringer has announced, teased and delivered.

        1. There aren’t far better, modern alternatives that match the design and form factor of the BARP 2600.

          And you’re underestimating the appeal of straightforward, hands-on hardware.

          Most modern step sequencers pack in features and complexity. You don’t need a manual with something like this, you can just move a control and hear what happens.

          I’ve got the Synthesizers.com clone of the Moog 960 sequencer and it’s a blast to use, because it’s big and knobby and does what it does.

          1. As the above article states, “The original ARP design has a fairly limited feature set for its size, compared to modern step sequencer designs…”

            I suppose if someone doesn’t mind the limitations of a 1970s era 16 step sequencer, this would be a good, fun purchase. Can this sequencer sync to a MIDI clock?

          2. There really are, though?

            There are -so- many wysiwyg / set-of-faders analog sequencers in eurorack it’s hard to even keep track of. The idea that they’re all too complex and can’t be operated without a manual is just horseshit.

            Sure, won’t have that fake ‘vintage’ look, but that’s really the only thing setting this apart.

          3. I have four Behringer 960’s. They’re even better when chained together, or run in parallel. I use two on a DFAM to modulate six DFAM params.

            A simple sequencer is all I ever want in sequencers. And lots of them. :0) loooooots of them.

  3. Looks good. Seems like 80HP – just right for a 19 inch eurorack carrier to match the B2600. Wish the made the Odyssey the same width though. A interesting alternative to the B102, if they ever ship it.

    Apparently there’s a v/oct to v/hz converter.

  4. For those who are always complaining about the delay in new products. The products are not being released due to lack of chips. This is written in several comments, the products are ready, but there are no chips.

  5. ahh, the behringer dipswitches. have fun choosing a new midi channel after you’ve mounted it in your euro case. is it a monphonic 1 track 16 step sequencer? so like $59 would be overpriced? how many steps is the sequencer in their $129 303 clone?

  6. Behringer’s MS-1, the SH-101 clone took away the 100 step memory and took away a working portamento. I don’t really trust that this would work right.

  7. due to the facts that xi jinping left out a display and that uli puts uyghurs into concentration camps, i won´t buy it… oh, i mean vice versa.

  8. I got to fiddle with the original hooked to a 2600. It was great fun learning some basics that way, but now, a tracker makes more sense. 16 steps loosely pushes you towards the Berlin school too much, IMO. You can ‘play’ it up to a point, but synth clones make more sense than a Bronze Age sequencer.

  9. I’m just one reader but Symthopia’s coverage of Behringer has become too politicized for my taste. No other manufacturer is being held to the same standard and this bias breathes into the discussion exactly the unpleasantness in the media that I hope to escape when visiting this site. Again, I’m just a reader, but You definitely spoiled it for me on this one.

    1. GeigerC

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Let us know what you think is ‘too politicized’ about this article or where you think the article is biased.

      The only subjective or critical statement in the article is this one: “The original ARP design has a fairly limited feature set for its size, compared to modern step sequencer designs”.

      Most readers will agree, though, that most modern sequencers pack more function into less space than this design. The article also notes that the Behringer version “adds several useful updates, including MIDI out and additional sync options.”

      Behringer coverage does tend to polarize readers. Some readers have commented that we should not cover the company because of their business practices, and others argue that we’re ‘shilling’ for the company. On the other end of the spectrum, some readers take issue with us stating the fact that many of Behringer’s designs are copies of popular gear.

      This reader polarization is less a reflection of our coverage and more a reflection of the fact that Behringer is a polarizing company.

      If you don’t like the polarized views that people share in comments, we can understand that. We grew up reading Keyboard magazine every month and it offered a few hours of ‘escape’ from the real world into a cool world synths.

      Unfortunately, the world is full of polarized views, these days, and sometimes angry views. As long as we allow comments on the site, some of that polarization and anger is going to seep into the site. We don’t have an answer for that, so we just cover the things that we think are newsworthy to electronic musicians.

  10. There are better places to discuss Behringer; where you can get some help, or a modification, or an upgrade, or a considered helpful opinion; it ain’t here.

    I like the Sinevibes coverage though. Awesome products for Prologue. And the odd performance video tends to be worth the click. I never read the text of the article though, sorry.

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