Is it worth getting A4 Mk1 for 60% of Mk2?


Wow, this sounds like a great idea, gonna try it out :+1:


I stole the Idea from the Vermona PerFourmer which offers this too. But the A4 Has a way more flexible Synthesis engine and more Voice settings. Try to Combine this with neighbour track settings too, for advanced experimentation.


I honestly never tried neighbours. Don’t know why. Good reminder


hey thanks! =^-^=


I was on the trigger to re-acquire an A4- initially I thought about getting the mk2 for the extra features- but I didn’t care for the demos of the machine. All the sounds seemed to be in your face, and the mk1s seemed more apt to be chill. Maybe it was just my romantic memories of playing on my old A4s— but I opted to buy the mk1 for cheap, because I preferred the sound of the mk1.

Try listening to demos to both- maybe you’re the same way, which will be a win-win. Otherwise, you might prefer the altered sound of the mk2, in which you’ve got to weigh out if you want to spend that extra money for what the mk2 offers


The agressive tone from mk2 comes from the right side distorsion. Mk2 left side distorsion being closer (but not exactly) to mk1 right one.

Because you CAN get more agressive with mk2 doesn’t mean you have to crank the distorsion to full level :wink:
It just offers interesting different territories.

Mk1 left side distorsion never really was my taste anyway…


Never used MKII but as soon as it came out, I looked for cheap MKI. The screen doesn’t bother me. I like the form factor. Individual outs would be preferable but I can live without that. Personally I think the sound is great on the MKI. As another poster mentioned, buy what YOU think sounds good. You certainly get bang for buck! Plus you can afford to get one of the other units with the spare cash.


My experience of the overdrive parameter on the Mk1 is that its effect really varies depending on the Osc and filter parameters.

There seems to be three possible results; it merely attenuates the sound irrespective of being turned left or right, it alters the sound but the change is the same going left or right, or it alters the sound and there is a difference between going left or right.


I love my OG A4. If I were going to buy one now, and I had the extra cash, I’d opt for the mkII version.


Speaking as someone who just picked up Mk1 versions of both the A4 and the RYTM, I think they are both totally worth the price, and hold up as contemporary instruments. I’m not an overbridge user, so that may shape some of my feelings here, as I was able to upgrade both to the latest firmware immediately.

The RYTM had significantly more changes from MK1 to MK2 than the A4, and that can make the decision easier for some people in a way, as it’s much more clear what the tradeoffs are (sampling and pad responsiveness seem to be the big two for most people)

The A4 changes aren’t quite as quantifiable or significant, outside of the physical differences in layout/size and the individual outs. There are plenty of ways to shape the sound of the synth outside of the A4 chain, and those have the advantage of working for other instruments as well. I wouldn’t sweat the differences - and as others have said, that “bassier” sound by default isn’t always an advantage, and you can dial it back in via one way or another.

For me, the size was a factor - The MK1s fit perfectly in my space, whereas I’d either need a new desk for the MKIIs, or have to pare down a bit. :slight_smile: Plus, siting next to the digitone, the boxes all match in color.

I personally think that the A4 at the price you are seeing is a bargain… There are few analog polysynths at that price point, and certainly none quite as capable that I’m aware of. If you aren’t performing in a setup that really could make use of the individual outs, or if you don’t require both the latest firmware and IMMEDIATE access to overbridge, I would highly recommend the MK1. I found myself hesitating at the price of a MKII A4, but all of the same features at the price you are looking at - similar to what I paid - made it a total no-brainer for me. I have zero regrets over mine.

Purely as a guess, I really doubt the price is going to go down substantially, so it will likely hold its value - I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see a little spike on the used market once the new overbridge is out.


I see what you mean when you prefer the sound of the mkI. It is somewhat static, more distant. Not in your face. Like samples.
What about a digitakt with analog samples? I think it could be a good alternative to the mkI.


I’m new to Elektron gear and picked up a mint used Analog Keys for an insanely good price. I’d been considering one for a couple of years and it had been near the top of my GAS list. Have not played on an A4 Mk2 but I can say I’m totally blown away with the AK sounds and functions, like others say, the joystick is highly fun and addictive! Loaded up all the packs from Elektron’s website and purchased the Floppy Disk Pirates packs. I’ve got a lot of learning to do but as far as bang for buck and fun goes, I’d say it’s an unbelievable sounding beauty of a synth and a purchase that you sure couldn’t go wrong with. Wish I’d done it years ago. Don’t try the Mk 2, just get the Mk1 and don’t look back !


so far from each other though and not really an alternative, a separate choice yes but certainly not comparable in either direction

you’re swapping analogue processing for digital, you are losing a lot of (most) control of the base sound in addition etc


i do wonder if Elektron will end up halting the updates on the a4 and focus any extra functions on mk2 only to gain back some sales , that is a reason to get a mk2 that i don’t think has been mentioned

maybe that is just my cynical side showing through


Hope not, because I just got my A4 Mk1 (I’m the OP :)). But out of curiosity, what would be the “extra functions on Mk2” that you’re mentioning? I’m only aware of separate audio outs and - supposedly - deeper sound, especially the overdrive. Those do not sound like extra functions?


if they’d gone digi-size with the A4 mk2 rather than larger I’d probably have got one.


The A4 mk1 is my favourite, will never part with it.


To the unsuspecting persons this means something about the A4 :smiley:


bigger display, more and extra buttons


if you plan to use the CV tracks for sequencing modular/semi modular or the FX for external processing you get A LOT of bang for your buck and also easily 19" rack mountable =)