Differences between mk1, keys and mk2


Around the time Elektron introduced the analog keys, there’s been several discussions about differences in overall sound between the units. I believe I read about differently calibrated filters, different filter circuitry altogether, bass-boosting hard eq at the end of the signal path and what not.

Is there a general consensus or better yet - official confirmation of the changes made to the signal path between the three units?

Also, I wonder if this is the case with Analog Rytm mk1 vs. mk2.


I’ve had experience with all three. My opinion? Minimal changes. Once you’ve EQ’d and mastered your track there’s very little difference.

IIRC, there isn’t any change to the Rytm mk2’s circuitry.


maybe you find some answers here:


the product page on the A4mk2 states:
“-Reworked analog circuitry delivering very deep and defined bass
-Enhanced analog overdrive for more bite and growl”

I’m just curious how does this marketing speak translate to actual changes :wink: and correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it the same thing when they introduced the AK?


I think the fact that this topic comes up every few weeks on Elektronauts or r/synthesizers is all the answer we need to the differences :slight_smile:


yeah, uhm, ok. so how about I add “definitive thread” to the topic? will it make it more palatable to you?

Or try to look at this topic from a different perspective: Elektron is basically selling the same product for the third time, each time making slight changes - in connectivity, interfece, enclosure etc. Now consider an Elektron enthusiast like myself, saving up to buy the Octatrack, then the A4, then - oh shit - they just released a keyboard version! and people are saying it’s got better bass! but fuck it my A4 is cool anyway; then the Rytm. I take my sweet time to embrace the many quirks (or as some people see it - shortcomings) of the devices to make the best possible music with them.
And suddenly, 3 LPs almost entirely produced on the three black elektron boxes later, I find myself having ‘legacy instruments’, because all three boxes got repackaged in those new grey buckets.
Now the way I see it, especially given the practice of making end users essentially beta testers by selling products in 0.xx versions, promising all sorts of new shit in future upgrades, sometimes delivering on those promises, sometimes not and sometimes going sideways (when I bought my A4 nobody knew it had a +drive inside, nobody expected the now-coveted trig conditions or polyphony), I think it’s pretty fair to ask expecting answers a bit more substantial than “the question pops up every week”.
On a personal sidenote - I felt really cheated by the sudden release of the mk2s, especially given Elektron’s noble history of retrofitting the machinedrum and that made less of a frequent guest to these boards, so pardon my ignorance of this matter being touched upon every few weeks…


I wasn’t having a go at you, just pointing out that there’s very little in the way of a consensus or definitive position on the differences. Which doesn’t mean there isn’t one, but it’s subtle, not life changing.


One has bass, other has deep bass, then the other has even deeper bass.
Just a question of how deep you want to go?


Let’s put it this way. The sound of the AF MK1 didn’t do it for me enough to buy one. The AF MK2 sounds noticeably rounder, deeper, and stronger. I’m pretty tempted, but Rytm MK2 is first on my shopping list.


Had all 3.

To my ears, Mk1 and AK were identical. That will as much down to how shit my hearing is getting as much as how I used it.

This is a lazy was of putting it but I found the Mk2 to be “rawer”. An even poorer way of putting it would be to say it is more analogue. I guess what I mean is a harsher, sharper sound if that makes sense.

Mk2 has a slightly wider range but I found the Mk1 easier to fit in a mix without tweaking a little bit.


I’ve been comparing the sounds of the mk1 vs the mk2- while the mk1 prices are too cheap to not buy, the mk2 has those workflow and overbridge enhancements in addition to the screen and encoders.

I gotta say, I prefer the sound of the A4 mk1 from what I’ve heard- it’s the sound I fell in love with. It’s the sound I still love.

Looks like I’m going to be getting another synth soon.