OP-Z vs OP-1 post sampling update

I’m brand new to the synth/sampler/sequencer realm, and looking for an inspiring on-the-go sketchpad/playground. My wallet wants me to get the OP-Z but I haven’t found any videos that make it seem as inspiring as the OP-1.

Since the op-z can now sample, what (if anything) sets the op-1 apart from it?

I’m basically wondering if the op-1 is worth the price hike.

Thank you!

Hey, Welcome to the forum.

We made a video comparison between the OP1 and OPZ. However, that was before the sampling feature was added. We are working on a follow up. However, check out this video as it still has plenty of information about the two.


the op-1 has been around way longer and there are 100x more videos with it over the op-z.

I find the op-1 is better for playing the keys, but the op-z is better for sequencing. The sampler on both devices have similar limitations.

If you want to dip your toes in the TE synth/sampler/sequencer relm and be friendly to your wallet look at picking up a couple of the PO line. Grab a po-32 a sick drum synth, a po-33 for a sweet sampler, and one more po synth that speaks to you. I would go for the po-14. You should be able to get each device for undr $100.

I have owned a op-1 since 2011 and never thought about selling it. If it was stolen or broken I would definitely buy a new one at the higher price. I would be mad about it but still would figure out a way to pay for it.


I think if you liked the op1 videos more you probably should get the op1.
Seems that these two are very different. I never get my hands on the op1 but it seems that quite some op-1 lovers are not fans of the z.
Best would be to go to a music store and try both.
If you don‘t want to spend that much maybe watch some videos of other synth like elektron digitakt or model samples or electribe2 1010 music box roland tr8s. See what seems cool to you. Assuming you wanna do what you see and hear… get that one.

That didn‘t answer your question… sorry


Op1 is a complete workstation/studio in a box. OP-Z is a groove box sequencer. Op1 is better in the studio and OP-Z is better for live/jamming sets, IMO.


Ultimately bon iver is a huge motivator for me getting one of these devices, (he uses the op1) and I haven’t found anything remotely similar to that style on the opz. (More chill, organic samples, minimal drums)

I was thinking about the op 33. Thing is, I know I’d like the op1 and unless the opz turns out able to do what i need, ill probably end up with the op1 at some point. So I’m thinking I’ll just save all the cash for the big purchase.

Thank you! I have seen your video but was mainly curious if the sampling update changed anything since that assessment. However, that was the most helpful video I have come across so far! :slight_smile:

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sequencing the OP-1 from the OP-Z: thazz ma shiiiit!

The sampling feature has changed my assessment. I think sampling has added tremendous value to the OPZ. The added input selection feature is also a nice update. If TE continues to update the device with features like this, its value and usefulness will continue to increase. And I think that makes the OPZ more versatile and well rounded compared to the OP1. As someone’s first device, the OPZ is a great place to fall into the rabbit hole of synthesizers and drum machines. I hope that helps.

I feel like the opz is good at drums, sequencing, and controlling…
The op1 is good at jamming and sound design.
With the op1 you use a bunch of different machines to make little bits and pieces and then put it in order like a collage.
With the opz you creat these real intricate drum passages and put little melodies over them, the sampler is nice bonus but really it’s not too good at sound design, but you can use those sounds to switch them with your synths in your studio and the beat comes alive.
So if you like to program more get the opz, if you like to play music and go back and build layers over it then get the op1… they both are really awesome and I don’t think there is a wrong answer.


Having both, I love the OP-1 for playing with sounds/sound design, creating melodic phrases and (unquantized) overdub recording, as well as live keyboard playing. For me the strength of the OP-Z, on the other hand, lies in its advanced and versatile sequencer, allowing to build powerful loops and performances. It is strongly step-oriented, whereas the OP-1 leads to more melodic expression for me. I also see the OP-Z as more performance-oriented, for example with mutes and punch-in effects.


the similarity comes when you leave the 16step grid and play it like an 8 track tape recorder! the unquantized recording is as flawless as the OP-1 tape, one thing that I hated with the Elektron boxes as the grid doesn‘t allow you to play your riffs as you wish to. I requested a free running track a lot, like the one you‘ll use in a DAW which was able to record and playback the pressure movement etc.

with OP-Z it’s more like: I feel it, I play it and it’s recorded like it’s meant to be. :muscle:


I love this too. It also records MIDI from logic, live.

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In terms of sampling, the two instruments behave differently. But both are powerful samplers. One pro to the OP-1 is the ability to sample to the 6 minutes of tape. The OP-Z is limited to it’s sample space in seconds to the synth and drum side, same as the OP-1.

Second is the ability for the OP-Z to sample directly over USB-C, meaning no generational loss or inclusion of analogue noise in the sample. Although at the cost of an analogue input, mic/line input which the OP-1 has.

As instruments, they really do not compare equally. They are meant for different parts in a way. Some others here have pointed that out. I have both and would part with NEITHER!



So I suppose since 22, a million is what inspired me to buy an OP-1, could you all see the OP-Z inspiring such a project? Or is that type of sound/workflow not what it lends itself to?

I’m okay with spending the money on an OP-1, but don’t want to find out the OP-Z is just as inspiring in a cheaper, more compact package.

I think this question is ultimately what decides my purchase.

read both manuals! come back…

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I’m the hugest bon iver fan in the world, and I can tell you very confidently that although Justin Vernon does use the op-1 and has talked about it, 22 a million has a lot of stuff beside the op-1 going on. I have both op1 and op-z, and if I had to keep only one it would definitely be the op1. this is probably already being asked but won’t you go to the store which has both and try them out for a couple of hours.

Yeah I get that there’s way more stuff going on, I’m mainly looking for a fun and portable workstation, I know the op 1 is that and I was hoping the op z might be a viable substitute, but it’s not really looking that way.

I’d love to go try one, but there aren’t any anywhere close. Believe me, I’d be at the music store hogging those synths in all my free time :sweat_smile:.

It seems to me that the op z lends itself to complex drum patterns/sequences and the op1 is more of an organic instrument, which is what I’m looking for.

devices are really what you make of them
not the other way around