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Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 synth is Reverb’s best-selling music tech product of the year again, so what’s going on?

Teenage Engineering OP-1
(Image credit: Future)

It might have celebrated its 10th birthday this year, but the popularity of Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 shows no sign of dwindling. Online marketplace Reverb has confirmed that, yet again, the diminutive synth/sampler is its best-selling piece of music tech gear of the year, which is a pretty remarkable achievement.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why the OP-1 remains so popular, but its Reverb ranking is certainly helped by the fact that the platform sells both new and used gear, and the OP-1 is in huge demand in both market sectors.

It’s also fair to say that Teenage Engineering’s instrument has become something of a contemporary icon. Artists frequently rave about it - and film their children playing with it - so bedroom producers are desperate to find out what all the fuss is about.

What’s more, it’s still getting new features; back in July, Teenage Engineering added the option to use the OP-1 as a USB audio interface.

Best synths

(Image credit: Arturia)

Sitting just behind the OP-1 in both the ‘overall’ and synth categories is Arturia’s MicroFreak, another portable synth, but one that’s considerably more affordable.

Like the OP-1, this has a quirky vibe to it - the Buchla Easel-style 25-key capacitive keyboard immediately makes it stand out - and again demonstrates that synth manufacturers can benefit from doing something slightly different.

Sitting third in both the overall list and the best-selling drum machines, samplers and grooveboxes chart is Elektron’s Digitakt, a sampling groovebox that hits a price sweet spot between Elektron’s super-affordable Model:Samples and its more expensive hardware. 

Elektron Digitakt

(Image credit: Future)

Interestingly, this means that all three of Reverb’s best-selling products are primarily digital, confirming that there are limits to the extent of the much talked about ‘analogue revival’. 

Coming in at number four in the overall chart and topping the list of best-selling Eurorack modules is Make Noise’s Maths, a function generator that’s often described as the Swiss Army Knife of modular gear. This is something of a staple in the world of Eurorack, so its continued success (it was released back in 2012) comes as no great surprise.

Check out the full lists of best-selling music tech gear on the Reverb website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. 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, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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