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INTERNET | eCommerce / Marketplace
reverb.com

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Founded Year

2013

Stage

Acquired | Acquired

Total Raised

$46.99M

Valuation

$0000 

Revenue

$0000 

About Reverb

Reverb is an online marketplace where anyone can buy and sell musical instruments.

Reverb Headquarter Location

3345 N. Lincoln Ave. 2nd Floor

Chicago, Illinois, 60657,

United States

312-617-8237

Latest Reverb News

How Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 synth went from cult to classic

Jan 18, 2022

[Photo: courtesy of Teenage Engineering] 6 minute Read Last year on the music gear trading site Reverb, the most sought after instrument (both new and used) was a little white synthesizer called the OP-1, made by the Swedish tech developer and design house Teenage Engineering . It was the second year in a row that this honor belonged to the OP-1, which debuted a decade ago and remains Teenage Engineering’s centerpiece product. advertisement advertisement The OP-1 put Teenage Engineering on the map in music tech circles, and sales of the device powered the company’s move into an array of other weird and wonderful gadgets, including a minimalist home speaker , a series of “ pocket ” synthesizers, a Bauhaus-inspired modular speaker-and-light system (in collaboration with Ikea), and the Playdate handheld gaming device, which it designed for Panic. Meanwhile, musicians began catching on to the OP-1’s audio and design aesthetic–including such  famous ones as John Mayer, Thom Yorke, Deadmau5, Skrillex, and Trent Reznor. What is it about the diminutive keyboard that’s pushing it rapidly from a cult item to a classic? advertisement advertisement The OP-1’s looks are deceiving. Its size and simplicity of design make it seem toy-like, similar to the little Casio VL-1 keyboard-calculator combos that arrived from Japan in the 1980s. (Actually, one of Teenage’s cofounders, Jesper Kouthoofd, has said the VL-1 had influenced the design of the OP-1.) [Photo: courtesy of Teenage Engineering] But similarities between the VL-1 and the OP-1 end at the surface. Teenage Engineering borrowed new, miniaturized hardware developments from the mobile and gaming industries to squeeze a powerful synthesizer inside the OP-1–actually, 11 different synth engines, each with its own distinct character. The synth sounds are anything but toy-like–they’re high quality and production-ready, good enough to be used in commercial recordings. ‘Because we wanted one’ The OP-1 was one of those special tech products that the world didn’t know it needed until it arrived. Teenage Engineering held no focus groups before committing to building and marketing the OP-1. They just had a hunch. advertisement David Möllerstedt [Photo: courtesy of Teenage Engineering] “Back then, there wasn’t really a market for these kinds of products,” says Teenage Engineering cofounder, VP, and software lead David Möllerstedt. “Small, portable synthesizers didn’t really exist.” “I think we very much did it because it was something we wanted ourselves, and then we hoped there would be some other similar people out there,” Möllerstedt adds. “I mean, we really hadn’t any clue how many we would [sell] and what would happen.” Teenage Engineering, which was founded in 2005, originally announced the OP-1 at the Frankfurt Musikmesse show in 2009. The following year, the company showed off a prototype of the device at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. Excitement over the product began to build. At the time, Engadget said the little OP-1 “might just be the most anticipated synthesizer in the history of mankind.” advertisement The OP-1 was finally released the following year, when Teenage had all of nine employees. In the beginning, Möllerstedt tells me, the company assembled and packaged all outgoing devices at its offices in Sweden. As the order numbers grew, it became clear that the “hunch” of Möllerstedt and his cofounders (Kouthoofd, David Eriksson, and Jens Rudberg) had been correct. Even after the OP-1’s launch, people compared it to a toy, and they still do. But Möllerstedt and company hardly take this as an insult–quite the opposite. “I think that’s great, because toys are fun, but it’s serious toys that you can create serious stuff with, and they’re well-built, and built to last,” he says. The first hint consumers got that the OP-1 was not a toy was its $849 price tag at launch. advertisement [Photo: courtesy of Teenage Engineering] The price of the device would remain an issue. Teenage Engineering had to stop making the OP-1 in 2017 because it was having trouble obtaining the component parts. Rumors spread that the OP-1 was gone for good, at which time resale prices shot up. There were reports of OP-1s being sold for $8,000. Teenage Engineering was horrified that people were having to pay so much to get an OP-1, and resumed production in 2018. But by then, the components costs had increased, and Teenage had invested in revamping the OP-1’s software. So the cost of the device increased to $1,299 , and has since increased to $1,399 . Even still, the market for the OP-1 continues to thrive. A gadget released more than a decade ago that still remains so relevant–technically and musically–is a rarity. A creativity machine More than anything else, Teenage Engineering, which now has more than 50 employees, meant the OP-1 to be a creativity machine, a device musicians and producers can grab to quickly capture musical ideas. In an age when almost all music is recorded using software on computers, the OP-1 lets musicians perform and record on a single self-contained device. It even has its own speaker. advertisement

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Research containing Reverb

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CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Reverb in 1 CB Insights research brief, most recently on Jul 24, 2019.

Expert Collections containing Reverb

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Reverb is included in 1 Expert Collection, including E-Commerce.

E

E-Commerce

9,049 items

Reverb Patents

Reverb has filed 2 patents.

patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

9/23/2014

Contract law, Visual novels, Supply chain management, Business law, Seinen manga

Application

Application Date

9/23/2014

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Contract law, Visual novels, Supply chain management, Business law, Seinen manga

Status

Application

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