Teenage Engineering open up about the OP-1 price hike
At the same time as they were cancelling orders on their new 170 modular and 16 keyboard due to manufacturing problems, Teenage Engineering put new stock of their OP-1 sequencer synthesizer on sale. This was great news until we saw that the price had risen by about 50%.
The internet was quite shocked (which doesn’t happen very often)!
At the end of last year it was rumoured that the OP-1 was discontinued as it had been out of stock for quite a while on the Teenage Engineering website. This triggered some very alarmingly high prices for second-hand OP-1s that set various synthesizer forums aflame. Teenage Engineering stepped in and told us all not to worry; they’d just had to re-tool for the next batch and they would be along soon. A few months later here we are and the price has lept from £800 to £1199. A company can charge what they like for their gear but it just feels a bit odd.
According to Teenage Engineering via Synthanatomy here’s why:
We have had to face other costs than the actual components’ costs of course. The currency conversion, inflation, sourcing of the new component, re-coding the display, re-designing the mounting, new tools etc. are just a few of the “why”. When Teenage Engineering faced the reality of the OP-1’s future, there were only 2 choices: kill or save. We decided to save it. I understand that the new price is a disappointment to many of our fans. But I do hope some are happy that we did not kill it.
Certainly, that handful of people who were going to pay ridiculous prices for a second-hand OP-1 should be very happy, unless of course, this news comes too late for them. But otherwise, the majority of armchair commenters have given the news short shrift. We understand that the main manufacturing problem has been to do with the screen and that’s the reason for all the new tooling and coding. But even so the price rise seems high and out of character for this groovy company of enthusiastic and creatively daring inventors.
The OP-1 is a unique product and so hopefully it will continue to serve the niché of pocket-sized synths and sequencers. And if that works for you then the price should probably be secondary….. it’s a lot though.
- Teenage Engineering OP-1 page.
This is absurd, whilst I do not have an OP-1 nor have any interest, their explanation is a bit hollow. They the price elasticity was discovered during the recent false rumours and subsequent secondary marketplace price surge. Whilst tooling costs and programming played a role, the near 50% price hike is more a product of capitalising on the perceived demand than the factors they cited.
And of course they reserve the right to charge any amount they see fit, however the explanation seems suspect at best.
Interesting that the price of the unit went up rather than down when they outsourced manufacturing to Asia. So if it is priced on re-tooling, cost of components and manufacture. You would have expected it to have previously gone down in price. How strange that it never happened that way.
Can anyone do a comparison between an old old and retooled OP-1? It sounds like they are making some major claims for what looks like no change in the features of the product. Does quality change in the retooled models?
This is disappointing. Would have bought one but simply cannot rationalize it at this new price. Seems cynical. I’ll look elsewhere.
Never send a boy to do a mans job.