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.