Behringer Spice Completes Their Moog Knockoff Trilogy

Behringer today announced Spice, a copy of the Moog Subharmonicon in desktop format.

The Moog Subharmonicon

The key visible differences in the design are that the Spice adds MIDI In/Thru, which will make it easier to sync to other MIDI gear; it’s desktop-only format, so it can’t be mounted in a Eurorack system; and it is designed to be cheaper to manufacturer.

The company has not announced specifications or features, presumably because their audience will understand that it’s a copy of the Subharmonicon.

The Behringer Spice completes the company’s Moog knockoff trilogy:

  • The Behringer Crave is designed to be an inexpensive, unofficial copy of the Moog Mother-32;
  • The Behringer Edge is designed to be an inexpensive, unofficial copy of the Moog DFAM; and
  • The Behringer Spice is designed to be an inexpensive, unofficial copy of the Moog Subharmonicon.

Pricing and Availability:

Behringer says that the Spice is “undergoing final beta testing and hopefully will go into production soon”. They are targeting a $249 USD price.

61 thoughts on “Behringer Spice Completes Their Moog Knockoff Trilogy

    1. I don’t understand all of the moral outrage surrounding behringer. They are building hardware synthesisers that people can afford… thats amazing! It doesn’t compete with Moog and if it does that’s fine too.
      Why not moan about soft synths… that is surely the ultimate knockoff business. So cheap they don’t even bother creating the physical hardware. How double dare they.

    1. Why? Because it hurts your feelings or something?

      Making cheap copies is what Behringer does and the only reason anybody buys their stuff.

      They tried making a couple of original synths (DM12, Neutron) and they weren’t hits. So they’ve doubled down and literally every synth they announce is a knockoff.

      No other synth company specializes in knockoffs like Behringer.

  1. Elephant in the room: Moog should be capable of making lower cost versions of their instruments with single board designs and inexpensive cases. The Werkstatt and Mavis were small but flawed pushes in that direction.

    Some careful redesign for mass production will go a long way to enabling them to compete with clone manufacturers, although that probably means Asian manufacturing and expertise generated by working with a larger company.

        1. What leads you to the assumption that they are in financial troubles though? Their instruments seem to sell very well.

          1. Well they were in financial troubles that is why they got bought out by inMusic now see which way they go. Taiwan made circuit boards will just be the begining, no more call in support takes days to get a email back from them how will this effect quality control since they are no longer a employee owned bussiness could be the end of Moog as we know it.

        2. Two different kinds of customers. Moog products are more premium, designed and assembled in the USA. Why would they knock themselves off and make a cheaper and uglier version of their original designs? Ferrari is not at risk because Toyota makes cheaper cars.

        3. No – they need to keep creating original synth designs that people love.

          People love the Mother-32, DFAM and Subharmonicon because they’re great synths, they sound great and they’re good values.

          The only reason anybody cares about the Crave, Edge and Spice is that they’re cheap copies of synths that everybody loves.

        4. Even if Moog were to get their manufacturing costs down to Behringer’s level, their instruments aren’t going to be as cheap because they aren’t ripping off other people’s R&D.

    1. No, Moog shouldn’t cater to poor kids. This industry can easily support cheap, knock off clones as well as professional, well made equipment. Moog is selling very well and they will continue to do so. You can spend $200 for a synth that might last you five years because it’s cheap components and made in slave labor factories or you can spend $2k for a synth that is hand built by professionals that will last you a lifetime and then some. Do the math kids.

      1. I purchased the Subsequent 37 CV one time. It arrived broken. I sent it back and purchased another. Broken again. No joke, I made videos of both and it was incredibly frustrating. Apparently, these were hand built by professionals, but it wasn’t until my 3rd order they got it right. Just sayin’.

        1. I was going to say something similar. It makes for a nice story, to say that Moog is handcrafted and likely to last a long time, and Behringer is mass-produced, low quality and not likely to last long. Whether that story is accurate, I doubt.

          1. Behringer’s quality control is pretty non-existent. It’s obvious that they don’t burn in and calibrate their synths. This has been a huge issue with the Model D. And anybody experienced with synths can tell where they cut corners on build quality.

            I don’t think automated SMT PCBs are a bad thing, and Moog uses this approach in most of their gear. Circuit boards aren’t what makes the difference in cost!

            The bottom line, though, is that most people are going to be happy with a cheap 303 knockoff, and just throw it away if it breaks.

      2. This is it – I have a crave and it is in bad shape – it’s case is bent, some of the keyboard buttons have failed, there are audio artifacts when you twist certain knobs, the gain knob runs incredibly hot (can’t have it at more than 10 o’clock), there is noise coming through the line output, the list goes on. It sounds great and there are work arounds for most the issues, but it’s very clear you are working with a low quality product. I’m a poor uni student but in the future when I have the money I would upgrade to M32 no questions asked. I would never spend any serious money on behringer but it’s good when you have no other option. Services a different market than the moog. I don’t think many are choosing to replace moog with behringer if they already have the former.

        1. All manufacturers can have issues with production leading to failty units. I had 3 faulty roland fantom 6 synthesisers in a row all with a poorly connected interal component. They replaced the synthesizer with another one from the same batch 3 times. In the end i got a working unit.
          If your behringer crave is faulty send it back.

    2. Moog is a relatively small company that does all their production in house in Asheville. They have around 100 employees total including HR, customer service, marketing, industrial design, engineers, techs, and warehouse/production staff. it doesn’t make any sense for them to change towards a mass production model. Go your the factory and you’ll see that their operation is an order of magnitude smaller than Behringer and their parent company. Part of the price is their attention to detail, original designs, and paying livable wages to their employees.

      1. “Moog is only interested in the rich people that will and can offord thier products,”

        Have to call bullshit on that statement. Moog has professional-grade synths available for every part of the market – from $20 to $20k.

        Moog has one of the best lineups of inexpensive iOS apps and effects around. Animoog is the best iOS synth available and it’s dirt cheap for what it does.

        Moog’s Euro line is a bargain when you look at the functionality that you get for the price and the design/build. Behringer’s knockoffs are cheaper, but they’ve cut a lot of corners to make their knockoffs cheap, like Euro compatibility, design, build, etc – and, of course, they’re ripping off Moog’s designs, so Behringer doesn’t have to employ world-class synth designers.

        Synths like the Grandmother & Subsequent are great designs and priced fairly.

        Anybody can afford these synths.

        Then there’s all the high end pro gear. It’s not meant for hobbyists and bedroom studios. It’s meant for professional musicians, recording studios and universities. It’s for people that will invest in gear, with the understanding that it will be used for decades.

        Behringer fanboys want to be gatekeepers about what gear people should buy, when knockoff synths represent the same part of the market that buys cheap fake strats for $200.

        There’s obviously a big market for cheap knockoffs, but that doesn’t mean that everything should be be cheap knockoff quality.

  2. If you keep buying books from the big box discount store, that cool little book shop you dip into occasionally is no longer going to be there.

    1. That’s what Sweetwater and Musician’s Friend have done to many small “cool little” music stores that are no longer there.

  3. If they were really smart, they would combine all 3 into one device and sell it as a semi-modular analog groovebox…like a more portable and convenient ripoff of the moog sound studio.

  4. honestly the larger knobs for the sequencer on the spice are also a notable benefit. the layout feels pretty messy compared to the elegantly arranged subharmonicon tho tbh. broadly don’t like B’s practices but at least there was… idk… some kind of attempt to add value here? eh.

    1. The reason that the Subharmonicon looks better and is more functional is that the interface reflects the importance and requirements of the synth’s architecture.

      Controls that are more important, or that you need more fine-grain control over, are large and prominently placed on the Subharmonicon. Controls that less important, that you’re less likely to tweak in a performance, are smaller and less prominently placed.

      The Subharmonicon is a complex synth, but the panel makes obvious how the sequence buttons relate to the Rhythm controls, it uses three different sizes of knobs to show a hierarchy, and controls are logically grouped around oscillators, oscillators levels, sequencer controls and sound controls.

      And, even though the panel is black and white, it’s immediately recognizable as a Subharmonicon because of the great panel design.

      With the Spice, all the controls are the same size, and they’re laid out indiscriminately in even rows. So the controls look consistent across the three knockoffs, but the synth panels are just a black blur. Behringer has to use the random bright color backgrounds so that you can tell the three synths apart.

      With the originals, it’s obvious that Moog designers spent a lot of time figuring out all the details to make each synth great, but also part of a consistent line.

      There are a lot of other places where it’s obvious that Behringer cut corners, but that’s probably obvious to knowledgeable readers.

      1. Exactly right. It’s almost as if when playing the Spice one would need an image of a Subharmonicon — its controls lay-out — to understand how the Spice is supposed to work.

        I’m generally not triggered by Behringer, and really like their 2600, but somehow the Spice really turns me off. They took a complex and beautiful idea and just butchered it.

  5. Moog’s entire business model is to be a top-tier producer of American-made boutique instruments. They do not need to compete on price because they compete on NAME and brand value associated with the name, which includes quality manufacturing and certain qualities to their sound (the ladder filter). As Apple proved, you don’t need to be bigger than Ford or GM to survive, you simply need to be as big as Audi or Porsche or Ferrari.

  6. I am hoping this round of Behringer knockoffs drives Moog to release v2 versions of these, at least for the DFAM. Theres definitely some improvements to be made, which is something Behringer sometimes can’t be bothered to do. (Thanks for the LFO, Sync, and PWM on the 2600 though!)

    Also it seems like Behringer’s proposed UBXa design might have pushed that OB-X8 into production sooner than it would have, or i could just be imagining things.

  7. I just purchased a subharmonicon from Moog. Very happy to be supporting them, hopefully enough people will continue to do so that they keep creating instruments to be copied.

  8. Behringer is so blatant about ripping off everybody that it’s laughable that anyone would get triggered if you point it out.

    Behringer doesn’t even bother doing audio demos. Everybody knows that Behringer just copies the circuit boards of everybody else’s synths, so you know what it’s going to sound like. lol

  9. I guess on top of creating shameless clones of garbage quality, this explains why their support is so awful. They use Slave Labor! From Behringer’s FB page: “To all the critics who claim that we’re driven by profit, let us clearly state that everything we earn gets reinvested back into the Tribe. We pay no dividends and Uli doesn’t even take a salary. Ask any of our Tribers.” Free Uli!!

  10. I wonder why people get so mad about Behringer cloning stuff. Moog, as well as other equipment makers, need to educate themselves, lawyer up and get stuff patented among other adult stuff.

    Like someone said: “Synths seem to be like any other consumer appliance like a TV, dvd player or am/fm radio: no one owns the patent and anyone can make the best version or the crappiest version. You can buy whatever version fit your needs and no one can stop you. If anything this is just classism with a lot of virtue signaling. Let people buy off brand stuff and move on”

    If you care so much about this, open a GoFundMe for Moog + other manufacturers legal representation, because it is by now pretty clear they wont do it for whatever reason, or stfu about it… better yet, go do some music with your expensive (or not) equipment, chances are no one will notice nor care.

    1. To my knowledge IP is handled differently based on what country you’re operating in. If Behringer was making these in the US (lol as if) then moog would have a really good case against them but unless you haven’t figured it out yet, China doesn’t give a flying fuck about intellectual property or patents. Happens in every industry. Someone made a good YouTube video about how they designed and sold a game controller accessory for throwing the controller and two days later a Chinese knockoff was available on Amazon too

    2. Nah that will never happen. People like to endlessly complain about this because it makes them feel as a part of “a bigger cause” and gives them a feelgood sense of superior morality. So they will never ever stop the endless nagging about behringer and morales and stuff. At the end of the day, just vote with your wallet. if you feel like behringer products are the devil just don’t buy them

    3. It’s kind of sad that you base your entire argument on a made-up quote from ‘someone’.

      It’s even sadder that Boron & John think you’ve made some sort of clever argument. lol

      Let’s be honest – Everybody knows that Behringer is making blatant knockoffs of everything Moog makes, because Moog actually invested the time and money needed to design cool instruments that people want.

      The truth is – you just want cheap synths, and Behringer’s synths are cheaper because they don’t have to pay engineers, designers and marketers for a year to come up with something awesome.

      Fine, but when you say that everybody that disagrees with you is ‘virtue signalling’ and should shut the fuck up, you make Behringer owners look like a bunch of douche nozzles.

      As a Behringer owner, this shit is just embarrassing.

      1. circuit design *isn’t* music.

        someone becomes a circuit designer by copying what other folks have done; in school, professional training, app notes, design reviews, OJT, asking your designer buddy; *none* of it is like making music.

        end this stupid false equivalency; *anyone* can make music. circuit design takes *years of of hard work*. as evidenced by the ratio of a very few number of engineer here vs the overwhelming preponderance of misinformed musicians.

  11. The brilliant subharmonicon is simply a modern firmware controlled update of trautonium/rhythmicon (as moog acknowledges the use of that technology on their site I think).
    It is a little cheeky of Uli to do a similar update of this synth. Though Uli’s is differently looking and functioning with midi.
    A point about Far Eastern synth collectibles: tb303 Far Eastern produced, highly collectible, cheap plastic manufacturing, still around today.
    If you don’t like something, don’t buy it.

  12. So funny reading this in retrospect – Ohhh the Moog employees didnt own the business, Ohhh Moog sold out to inMusic. Ohh no Cheaper moog prices, not a boutique comapny any more boohoo.
    Behold the Moog TimbreWolfe 🙂

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