"Immaculate condition for its age": There’s an original Linn LM-1 drum machine for sale on Reverb, but if you want it, you might have to pay around $35,000

Linn LM-1 Reverb
(Image credit: Reverb/LFOO)

Given that only around 500 of them were ever made, it’s no surprise that Linn LM-1 drum machines don’t come up for sale very often, and that when they do, they usually fetch a hefty price.

Which brings us to the Reverb seller who is currently trying to shift an LM-1 for £28,000 (around $35,000). That’s a pretty eye-watering sum, though the good news is that, depending on where you live, you might get free delivery.

Manufactured between 1980 and 1983, the LM-1 was the first first programmable drum machine to play samples of real drums, becoming a particular favourite of Prince. You’ll also hear it on records by the likes of The Human League, Gary Numan, Michael Jackson and Roxy Music, to name but a few.

The one for sale on Reverb - serial number 382 - is said to be in “immaculate condition for its age” and fully functional. There have already been three offers on it (none have been accepted, presumably) and 59 people have their eye on it. We’re told that it’s “predicted to sell soon”, though whether that prediction is based on anything more than a hunch isn't clear.

Linn LM-1 Reverb

(Image credit: Reverb/LFOO)

It’s a big investment, for sure, but we’re guessing that the value is only going to increase over the years, so it might not be a totally crazy one.

That said, we’re still going to stick with one of the excellent software emulations that are available, such as Aly James Lab’s VProm.

If you are still desperate for a slightly more affordable version of the LM-1, though, check out the Luma1, a new version of the machine that’s currently in prototype and is being made with Roger Linn’s blessing. This is still expected to cost around $5,000, though, so when we say ‘slightly’ more affordable, we really mean it…

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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