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Behringer MS-1

Behringer MS-1  ·  Source: Behringer

Behringer’s fanatical cloning activities always generate a bit of controversy and can often seem a bit brazen. Armed with the good intentions of wanting to fill the world with affordable versions of classic synthesizers they are sometimes a bit near the knuckle in terms of taking clearly recognisable designs and names that are owned by other companies.


Behringer has quietly changed the name of their SH-101 clone from MS-101 to MS-1 and we wonder whether this is in response to pressure from Roland, or perhaps because they believe it’s a good thing to do, or maybe it’s marketing and consistency across their product lines.

We recently saw a new demonstration of the (still) forthcoming RD-808 on the SonicState channel (see below) and it was interesting to see that they had renamed it the RD-8. No explanation was given but earlier in the year Roland had trademarked the look of the TR-808 and TB-303. That might also explain why the colours on the RD-8 buttons are in reverse to the TR-808.

There’s nothing specific about the name though. So perhaps Behringer feels that they need to differentiate themselves a bit more or give their critics less things to moan about. Although the names of other products like the ODYSSEY and Pro-1 might indicate that it’s only Roland that’s getting the renewed respect from Behringer. What it does mean is that people who were able to get whole of an MS-101 from the first run now have a very limited edition version on their hands that might well hold onto its value over time.

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If they keep the design shown in the photo, I see an emerging market for “01” stickers, decals and templates.