by Robin Vincent | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Behringer RD-8 MKII

Behringer RD-8 MKII  ·  Source: Behringer

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The pursuit of perfection and authenticity has brought 4 black buttons to the RD-8 MKII and a lot of redesigning under the hood.

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Update 25/3/22: Back in stock at Thomann.
Originally published 28/6/21

Behringer RD-8 MKII

Behringer RD-8 MKII

Price334.00 €

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RD-8 MKII

I’m pretty sure the original RD-8 was supposed to be the most authentic version of the TR-808 ever produced but apparently, there’s always room for improvement. Behringer has announced the RD-8 MKII and other than replacing the 4 white buttons with 4 black buttons you’d be hard pushed to spot any differences between this and the original.

Behringer says the differences are in the components and the new RD-8 has been re-designed from the ground up to dramatically improve the sound of the voices as well as the noise and phase response across both the main and individual outputs.

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The most important development is the recreation of the 40-year-old BA662 chip with Coolaudio. It’s this chip that provides the most authentic sound generation and it wasn’t in the original RD-8.

What else is different is hard to say but you have to assume that they took on board the criticism of users and went back to the drawing board to make the RD-8 sound better. I thought the RD-8 sounded pretty decent in the first place. I am slightly disappointed that they didn’t take the opportunity to bolt in some extras like effects or different filter types, something to make a MKII an attractive upgrade for more than just a slightly more authentic than the previously authentic sound.

The RD-8 MKII will directly replace the RD-8 for $329 and is shipping now. Will it be worth the upgrade for current RD-8 owners? Difficult to say. I mean the video of the new one sounds a lot like an 808 but so did the video for the other one. It’s going to require a bit of an independent side-by-side comparison. But it won’t matter for long because the RD-8 MKII will be the only one available. I’m going to hang on to my RD-8 for its authentic Behringer sound.

More information from Behringer

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7 responses to “Behringer plays spot the difference with the RD-8 MKII”

  1. iixorb says:

    Hmm. Interesting indeed but now I’m thinking should I hold off getting the RD-9, in case an RD-9 mkII is coming later down the line ? I can easily wait another year or two 😉

  2. E.B.C. says:

    Maybe Behringer used this opportunity to fix the MS-1 trigger issue. The RD-8 ‘s trigger is a tiny-width pulse which in many cases did not trigger Behringer’s own MS-1 (there were youtube videos on this and a modular env. generator solution to this).

    • Robin Vincent says:

      Hey E.B.C. that was in fact my video pointing out the triggering problem but with successive firmware updates to both the RD-8 and MS-1 the problem no longer exists. I mean to do a new video on it at some point! 😀 The RD-8 MKII seems to be all about the sound.

  3. Drumboi says:

    As a complete newb to drum machines: What’s the difference between the rd8 mk2 and the rd9? I’m looking for my first drum machine and I’ve stumbled upon those two.

    • Robin Vincent says:

      That would be the sound, otherwise, they are pretty much identical in terms of features. If you like 808 sounds (from the Roland TR-808 drum machine) then get the RD-8, if you like 909 sounds (from the Roland TR-909 drum machine) then get an RD-9. YouTube is full of demos of both so you should go and do a bit of listening and see which one floats your boat.

  4. Choice says:

    It’s nice to see all the old classic drum machines finally remade in their original format. It’s amusing also that Roland’s TR8s, both an ACB clone of most Roland machines and a sampling/FM drum machine, is widely touted as ‘Roland’s best ever drum machine’, and available at the same time! But, whatever it is that you want, at least there is now an inexpensive (relatively) version of it

  5. David says:

    Still no real-time record unsnap from grid???? C’mon dudes please tell me you can unsnap from grid!!?

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