TE Pricing and Rights

I’ve been thinking this more and more as I as I see debates about TE products. Especially the pricing. They tend to become cyclical or scattered in their points. I don’t believe in brand loyalism, but I also don’t believe in trying to dictate someone elses subjective opinion (as long as they’re aware it’s subjective).

Beyond material and production costs for a product, the final dollar amount landed on is at the discretion of the business, and they’re within their right to do so. Are many of Teenage Engineering’s products expensive? It’s subjective. As a consumer with rights, you have right to evaluate if the value asked is greater than the experience it would provide you. As a consumer with financial commitments and responsibilities, it is your right to come to a conclusion, of your own volition, if a product on the free market is worth the price to YOU.

It is your right to buy it.
It is your right to not buy it.
For each side of the argument, you can only speak for your own experience; and arguing other peoples experiences and circumstances, doesn’t make sense.

It is important to be a smart consumer.
TE is a brand with the rights of a business on a free market with an understanding of the binary results of their pricing. The experience being sold to the consumer is either too expensive, or not too expensive. If the price is that value, it means that the business can operate with prices at that value (i.e. the experience being offered is great enough to combat the price of entry). If you can’t buy it, that has been taken into account.

Buying a product when you’re uninformed on its capabilities is not being a smart consumer. Use it in person, read the manual or inform yourself in anyway you can, so that you’re not just buying something you have no idea about. There’s often alot of dissapointment from people when they buy a product based of arbitrary expectations which weren’t expressed by the companies marketing, which is subject to consumer law. A company misrepresenting a product is illegal and there are genuine ramifications for doing as such. Form your own subjective opinion, not based on others from different backgrounds and use cases.

TE is a design company who designs products and experiences. If there is a better alternative in your subjective view, it is your right to spend your money on experiences that are worth it to you, and not on TE hardware. That being said, trying to shape other peoples opinion based on what you think is better (due to price or otherwise) is forcing an opinion as fact.

Do you want the OP-1 Field but it’s “crazy expensive”?
Same, but I’m not going to get it because the experience wouldn’t be greater than the asking price, and I just moved on with loving the gear that I already have; but most importantly, I see those who did get it and understand that it must have subjectively been worth it for them, and I’m really happy to see people enjoying it.

Now there are genuine critisisms of TE in terms of item replacement and repairing which sound incredibly frustrating. Again, as a consumer with rights, you can contact your countries agency for consumer protection, understand your rights and if there are any legal issues with their actions, find out what can be done because abuse of consumer rights is illegal.

TE can and will price things literally anyway they want to.
You have to right to give them money or not.
You don’t owe them anything, they dont owe you anything.
Thats business, baby.

Be a smart consumer.
Don’t get frustrated when others opinions don’t reflect your own.


I own the OP-1 Field. I love it. I will heartily explain its pros, and its cons. It is NOT the best product for many people, possibly most people. However if it aligns with what you desire it may be worth it - as there is nothing else like it. Naturally many products have similar facets - but nothing is the same. A bit like a Fuji X100 series camera in that regard.

The TX-6 and their recorder (I forget what it’s called) are very cool little products but I honestly wouldn’t find a use for them, myself. I could use the mixer if I had it, but there is nothing “must have” about it for me.


That’s awesome to hear you’re enjoying it :slight_smile:
I love hearing how people interpret the different personalities and quirks that each of the devices have. It’s so interesting one person can find an aspect a limitation, and another can see it as it’s main draw. I usually work with Ableton, and it’s limitless potential is why I use it, but I’ve always come back to my OG-1 because it encourages playing with sound, over needing a perfect final product. The lack of exact values is really frustrating to some, but when I’ve been obsessing over an EQ or comp all day, it’s the exact reason I reach for it.

I think you’re right about how it aligns with personal desires. They’re functional pieces of art, so it makes alot of sense that there would be different take aways from the same work. If it’s designed around user experience, and the user cares more about the output than the interaction; is reasonable that the disharmony in needs would be a deal breaker.

(I just checked out the Fuji X100, that camera is gorgeous. The prime lens would be a really fun challenge to navigate).


Yes! Thank you! I’ve drafted SO MANY soapbox posts trying to express what you’re saying here.

I wholeheartedly agree: I have no idea why people get angry about TE gear. Especially when their main complaint is like “I assumed the OP-Z had more than 1 page of steps and it doesn’t!”

I think a lot of it comes from a strange part of online electronic music culture.

Contrast it with guitar:

  • You want to buy $2,000 6-string electric that isn’t very different than the ones you already have? Sweet, let us know how you like it!
  • All you want to do is sit on the couch, noodle around, and play the chords to your favorite songs? No aspirations to make and record original songs? That’s super common; have fun!
  • You only want to play a 6-string and not an 8-string, even though there are fewer notes available? Yeah, that makes sense–an 8-string is a whole different experience.

I see a lot of critiques of TE gear on Reddit and in comments on my videos. They mostly revolve around this idea that “it’s a toy and not serious enough.”

Maybe I’m biased because the first instrument I took seriously was diatonic harmonica so I’m pretty used to extreme limitations, and I’m completely immune to “it’s just a toy!” critiques.

But honestly? HONESTLY? If you take yourself so damn seriously that you’re more concerned with all your gear being top-notch pro gear than you are with having fun, I don’t really care what advice you have about what I buy since we clearly have totally different goals.

PS: Why do people comment on my OP-Z deep dives to tell me they don’t like the OP-Z? I’m not offended, just baffled. Like I have no interest in buying a Prophet-6 but couldn’t EVER imagine going to a Prophet-6 video tutorial to talk about how much I dislike it.

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I agree. It’s a frustrating conversation when TE gear gets singled out, especially when its to express the product is “lesser-than” through comparison with other gear.

A good example is the OP-1F getting compared to the new MPC’s. The argument is that they have more features and they’re portable.Therefore better.

But where I live atleast, for the price of an MPC Live 2, you can buy a MacBook and a copy of Logic that objectively does more. So the argument kinda degrades under it’s own inferences.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t get an MPC Live 2, if you prefer the workflow and it brings you more joy, that’s great!

It’s a really good thing you have that choice to pick a music making device, that you love, to make the thing you love. Because when you’re by yourself using it, you’re not looking at a spec sheet or the receipt.

The same sentiment should be shared with TE gear. It’s more expensive than a computer and DAW, but if you love it and it’s workflow, that’s what it’s all about!

The conversations should be more about highlighting your opinion on why you love it, not affirming your own purchase and needing others to align to your view point.

When the original OP-1 came out I was seriously tempted but the price put me off. So I bought other cheaper gear. Now over 10 years later I saw the OP-1 Field, even more expensive. But in the 10 years I watched lots of YouTube videos made by owners, I saw the limitations but realised that I quite liked the quirks, it made me think outside of the box (DAW).

So I bit the bullet and bought the Field, it took me some time to get my head around it, but I learnt a lot in the process. Being able to take it anywhere and not being tied to a DAW changed the way I make music, it’s different, fresher.

Something is only worth what you are willing to pay, Bitching about stuff you have no intention of buying is pointless. Bitching about limitations after you bought it is also pointless. There are masses of YouTube videos out there which explain the OP-1 Field in minute detail. I would recommend SynthDawgs manual, so detailed, and also cheap.

I love TE products, to date I have the field, TX-6 and the EP-133. I would love the TP-7 but right now I’m not ready to buy, no doubt I will at some point. I also love the CM-15 but have no use for it.

I love TE gear, yes it has quirks, needs a few updates to features etc. I think it’s the limitations I love also, yet time after time someone on this forum finds a way around them.

I guess the simple answer is if you don’t like TE gear or think it is too expensive then don’t buy it. You are only bitching to yourself, the rest of us love the stuff and bitching is unlikely to change that any time soon.

P.S. That other cheaper gear I bought, most of it got sold or is languishing in a cupboard.

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I may be in the minority here but I think TE pricing is normal for the day. Maybe a few years ago i would have thought it too expensive but after owning the op-z, and buying the field, comparing the competition and alternative options, nothing is quite like what TE offers. From their minimalistic workflow and form factor, to their elegant design and accompanying apps, to their seemingly outstanding customer service and support, I think it’s priced what it should be. Sure, the greedy part of me says the field could be $500 less, but I also don’t see anything else even remotely close to what TE op-xx offers, the best mini, midi hardware you can buy is the op-z and the best standalone DAW is the op-1 field. They were far ahead of their time on release so they aren’t too crazy priced to me, objectively speaking in my view.

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Synthdawg is the GOAT. His manuals are incredible. That being said, after his OP-1 manual, it made me understand why TE present the manuals like they do. They leave alot to be discovered on your own, just through “playing with it” which aligns with their design philosophy. But, at no point are they misrepresenting the product. If anything, their documentation consistently undersells their products.

I found pairing their products with other gear is where they blew me away . Their quirks and “limitations” highlight what you already love about the gear you do have. For example, I got the K.O. II and loved how concentrated the workflow is, and how much fun it is to interact with. It’s so focussed that I felt like it was “missing” some features like resampling, Punch-In FX with live audio in, etc…, but I knew that buying it.

Just playing with it, and feeling that bit of a roadblock, reminded me that my SP-404, that I hadn’t used in years, filled every pitfall. I spent the next day learning the SP-404, to use with the K.O. II and they excel at different things, but together are just magic.

As situational as the annecdote is, their laser focus on what makes the given product great, makes pairing with other gear feel like unlocking another layer of what’s possible with it.

If anyone is interested I did a deep dive into using the K.O. II, OG-1 and SP-404 Dawless, here:

As much as they have limitations, it generally feels like it’s in service to a creative process they’re trying to instill in the user.

I’m glad you’re loving them :slight_smile:
Its weird that TE get’s singled out when the competion are slowly creeping up in price aswell. I think you’re right that the price isn’t ridiculous relative to other workstation synths, that just happen to be bigger.

For the sake of objectivity, there isn’t a best DAW.
If someone wanted a portable sequencer, neither of the OP-XX would be the right choice. Or, if you wanted to record vocals with a vocal chain. Or if you needed many tracks per project without needing to resample. If you prefer a tracking workflow, it’s definitely not the right choice.

The best DAW/DAW in a box is subjective, as there are many specific use cases where someone could reasonably, and justifiably say any of the following are perfect for their exact use case:
Maschine Plus
MPC range
Polyend Tracker/Mini
Synthstrom Deluge
Ableton Push 3
Sonicware Smpltrek
Laptop with a DAW

The OP-1’s are a different breed, which is why we love them. But, everyone has different needs and make different music. That’s why making music is as personal and expressive as it is. What ever sparks and enables your creativity is the best (for you).

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Thanks! Objectively speaking there is no single, best DAW, you’re right. I certainly never would be able to adopt a tracker workflow but for some it’s perfect. Also the MPC and synthstrom are super powerful for sure; maybe even more powerful than the field objectively speaking.

I just mean in terms of what the field and Z can do, especially for their size and workflow, nothing else compares to what they do respectively. Maybe that would’ve been the better way to put it. They are truly unique all in one solutions (to me).