Experienced users - Mk I vs II thoughts

Looking for opinions/comments from anyone with a lot of time on the Mk I that upgraded to a Mk II. I’ve been using my OT (Mk I) a lot more recently and was wondering if the added buttons and other changes were worth the upgrade cost.

(quick math says sell the Mk I for around $700, buy a Mk II for around $1300)

I know my way around the Mk I for the most part, but sometimes I still have to pause and think/try some button combos. Not so concerned with the audio upgrade aspect; would like to hear about the screen change (size and OLED vs. LCD) as well as the added controls.


1 Like

No opinions, since I only still have my Mk I’s, but you would obviously have to change your name to “newgearguy” if you went that route! :joy:


Input headroom is actually a huge step up, also much prefer the new encoders. Screen and extra buttons are cool but more cosmetic


Not an experienced user – but I have been using my MK2 quite a bit and my friend has the MK1.

For a $600 upgrade, if you dont care about the improved outputs and inputs (which is actually pretty huge to me), its sort of a luxury.

The screen is way better (IMO), i think it is a bit smaller than the MK1, but much “snappier”. The MK1 backlight LED seems to have a bit of a fade in/out associated with fast GUI transitions to my eyes. You will have a bit of OLED “ghosting” (search the forum for pics), but in my experience this has 0 impact on usability. Much better readability in more angles and lighting situations.

The buttons feels much better, and the high-res encoders are actually quite a big deal as well. Spending a small amount of time on my friends MK1 makes me very very glad the MK2 has the new encoders. Much faster / easier to dial stuff in (though the DT was my first Elektron).

1 Like

I immediately jumped on the MK2 and I haven’t looked back. The backlit trig buttons and the extra buttons, plus (however embarrassing it may sound for a $600 upgrade) the labels on the encoders denoting their functionality in the audio editor have made this, quite a few manufacturing issues aside, a worthy upgrade. I’m aware of the decadence, though. It is a hefty price difference.


Also (this could be because I learned on the MKII), using my friends MKI was very awkward without all of the extra buttons for audio editor, pattern settings, etc. Subtle changes in the UX but they seem to have a big impact on usability.

1 Like

Hmm, I ended up keeping my mkI when I got the mkII Octatrack, I do not personally think the price difference between what you could sell a mkI for and the price of a new mkII is worth it, the extra buttons and faster encoders are nice, I think I prefer LCD to OLED due to burn in and longevity concerns, I prefer the round buttons on the mkI.

Not to say the mkII isn’t nice, and if I could only keep one it would be the mkII, but at the end of the day they are more similar than different, after all they run almost identical OS, unless stuff gets added to the mkII and not the mkI - but then Elektron have hinted that no new features are planned anyway.

In summary I’d say if you are reasonably comfortable with the mkI, stick with it, you could always grab a mkII when price differences are closer, the extra buttons give a small UI improvement and if you don’t remember the button combos to get into the menus it night be worthwhile to get the mkII

Edit - build quality: the mkI is built like a tank, the mkII is built more like a armoured car, still hefty but doesn’t feel as solid/substantial, almost as if the metal is thinner.


If you have no issues with the mk I sound q, not much ooint in upgrading IMO. I upgraded due to the promise of improved sound quality when using the OT as a digital mixer, and have been satisfied to find what I was looking for in the mk II. I felt the sound was the only major drawback in the mk I for me. But the OT sound q is a heavily debated and YMMV kinda thing so I cannot blindly recommend doing the same to anyone, subjective.

Regarding the new UI of the mk II - I like the screen, backlit trigs and the backlit track buttons, but dislike the new encoders. Very much preferred the old mk I’s stiffer encoders. I still find dialing in small changes to param values (like a value change of 1 unit) to be a bit fiddly on the mk II, annoying.

1 Like

Agreed, also for fast parameters you can get a bit of “bounce”, but for moderate speed turning it can make the mkI feel a bit sluggish, I guess somewhere between mkI and mkII would be ideal :wink:

I’m sure I read that they didn’t touch the outputs, just the inputs? Someone correct me if I’m wrong though

Even this seems subjective then, as I love the mk I encoder feel. I am very used to using the push+turn when things need to move faster, so the unpushed state being abit sluggish is only a plus in my book, as it makes easier to +1/-1

Slight improvement on mkII 440ohms/104db vs mkI 560ohm/102db.


Interesting. Does it actually sound much better? I’m still waiting for something to push me into upgrading but honestly I just think I wish mk2 was a bit better. I think I would have upgraded if it was exactly as it is but done properly, things like thinner metal and the seemingly extremely common QC issues put me off. If I’m spending that much on essentially a cosmetic upgrade and a slight touch better I/O I’d be a bit pissed if it came and felt like a downgrade. I think I’d sooner spend the money on a DT

To be perfectly honest I have not noticed any difference in sound quality between the mkI and mkII, either sampling or playing back, but then I never had a problem with the mkI in this regard anyway. I will say though that I have not done any critical comparison between the two, but given the specs I’d be surprised if there was that much difference.

1 Like

Its more shiny and the knobs feel beter, also some short cuts which are nice. I swapped mk1 for mk2 and not so much different else from the looks.

Although i find the screen much more pleasant to watch.

Stay happy with your mk1’s. They are as great.

Funny side note: my mkI had the protective film on from new, when I got the mkII the film was a bit opaque so I removed it, I then thought I might as well remove the film from all my other gear too including the mkI, have to say it made them all look so much better :rofl: Should have done it years ago!


Thanks to all the thoughtful responses. That’s exactly the type of feedback I was hoping i’d get on this forum. I think the advice to sit back and use what I have and watch the pricing over time is very sound. The impetus for even considering it is that I’ve been using a lot more of the nooks and crannies of the OT and wondered if the extra buttons and labels would save time/brain cells.

the lights alone were enough for me because I can’t see shit in the dark feels nice to not worry about bringing a little light


I’m just wondering. The extra buttons on the MK2 compared to the MK1, would it be possible to use an external MIDI controller to function as those buttons? I assume not, but doesn’t hurt to ask :slight_smile:

Can someone explain the how the differences in the inputs and outputs actually affect real-world usage?