Behringer clones

I’ve never had any problems with Beringer gear. (Had a soundcard and an echo park clone, now sold) But having read that article, as much as the 808 copy and the oddesy appeal I’ll not be going near them again.

https://www.midifan.com/modulenews-detailview-29955.htm

Though the page is in chinese, its basically musiXboy response and rather funny at it. I have no idea why, but the term he used for copy cat is copy dog in mandarin for the literal translation

He did 3 point apologies, 1 amendment and it roughly translated to

  1. Solemn apology in regard to the term copy dog. Dogs are men best friend and dogs don’t copy, thus wrong in calling behringer that. Sorry

  2. Solemn apology in regard to the word shameless. Behringer is a company and not individual, thus wrong in calling them shameless. Sorry

  3. Solemn apology in regard to refering behringer product as copies. The political correct term should be 'learnt" and “paying respect”. Such behaviour is not copy. Sorry.

  4. Amendment to all behringer related posts but not limited to the term copy dog and shameless.

anyway, whats hilarious is that all the behringer posts on midi fan, they really changed the copy term to “paying respect”, “reproduce”, “re-edition” etc

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What’s particularly egregious about Behringer’s approach isn’t that they just clone the functionality, but the whole layout and aesthetic of what they’re cloning. It seems they’d avoid a lot of the bad rep they get (not to mention law suits) if they were just a little less shameless…

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wow, the pettiness is strong

I hadn’t realised they had this role. So are they the only place to acquire certain parts? the cheapest? most reliable?

My limited, nontechnical understanding is CoolAudio (owned by Behringer) produces many ICs useful for synthesizers, including the THAT VCA ICs that are in, say, Veils, Tangle Quartet (and probably everybody’s VCAs unless they say otherwise), BBD chips for use in ‘analog’ delays or choruses, etc. They even make VCO and VCF chips!

Probably by turns the various ICs they make are all three.

I believe THAT is a completely separate company from Cool Audio / Behringer. I think you’re thinking of the V2164 VCA chip, which is a clone of the SSM2164. There are also cool audio clones of the CEM3340 oscillator chip, and the CEM3320 filter chip: https://electricdruid.net/analog-renaissance/

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Oops, it does look like you’re right! My bad.

In any case it feels like a strange situation - that small companies rely on Behringer for this and that there are no alternatives. I would have assumed that everyone would have gone elsewhere if possible.

There’s the response at CDM btw:

I don’t know. I think on the one hand, people really want to hate Behringer. There seems to be a lot of exaggeration about quality issues and Chinese manufacturing as if other large companies didn’t do the same (I have never owned a Korg product that didn’t break or fail in some way, sometimes spectacularly, though to be fair I haven’t owned any more recent ones; my one Keith McMillen product also was a big disappointment and failed far sooner than anyone should expect, and a couple of indie-built devices were completely unreliable – while my Behringer mixer seems like a tank. I don’t believe anecdotes are really that useful in assessing overall quality though, so it’s not like I’d avoid Korg in the future for instance.). And many people unfairly seem to dismiss products like the Deepmind and Neutron as being irrelevant or not creative enough or simply “ugly” or, again, predict low quality due to the low cost.

On the other hand: they definitely give the impression of being really sketchy with some of their marketing stunts, and with (ahem) strong “coincidental” similarity to the visual layout and aesthetics of the products they are (ahem) “inspired by.”

I had been planning on getting a Neutron, but changed my mind for other reasons. Then I planend on getting at least a VD400, but I think I can resist. I’ve got plenty of delays, even if none are analog BBDs…

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Yep, this nails it for me. I’ve generally been cautiously in favour of Behringer: I think that lowering the cost of entry and thus broadening access to electronic music is fundamentally a good thing.

But it’s clear that Behringer believe those ends justify cutting an increasing number of ethical corners. Not really sure how I can continue to support them given their actions.

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just read uli’s response via cdm.

behringer’s business model is the antithesis of everything i believe in.

you all probably knew that already.

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It’s worth recalling that reverse engineering brought us the IBM PC clone and is specifically protected by most countries’ IP legal structures–and for good reason.

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The thing is here is that Behringer is not just doing reverse engineering but copying everything from existing products, including visual design, names, etc. The goal is not to make something new built on other existing products but to clone products and make users think it’s the same thing as the original (they lost a law suit with Roland about 10 years ago when they started their mostly Boss clones pedals and had to change the shape of the pedals).

I tend to go look this stuff up. I guess it’s because I did forensics in school? They didn’t lose the lawsuit, it was settled:

Some interesting back story here:

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It’s pretty crazy. Basically comes down to “we sue people because that’s what big companies do”.

i bought a “Bro-one” a Behringer Pro-One Clone. My First ‘real’ synthesizer was a Sequential Circuits Pro One that i got a Garage Sale for 150$. I had to replace the OpAmp/Chip for like 100$ which came from Wine Country Sequential back in 1993/4 [if memory serves me well and at one point when in was in this silly Prog rock group “Trismegistus” i had a Pro-one & a Prophet 600] but my first love was always the Pro. I used it alot on my 2nd LP around 1996 but it slowly started to shit the bed time and time again until i could no longer afford to fix it or trust it in a live setting so finally i sold it as is on Ebay for 1500$ because i was broke and going through a D-I-V-O-R-C-E. So when i heard about it i was like sure I’ll try it and as luck had it i had saved a virtual shitton of points at Detroit Modular and i hopped on the Holiday discount and cashed them all in and with the discount i paid around 230$ for the thing.

If they make a Synthi things may get very interesting around these parts. I love and hate behringer. I love their cheap diffusers and their clones sound pretty good on demos but i am yet to receive it and let my ears be the judge

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Whats the issue with what Behringer are doing? Why is it different to people blatantly ripping off the iPhone and selling it cheap?

They are doing what every big business does, which may not be what the community wants but as they are successful we can assume it’s what the majority want.

Is it just the way they do it?

Serious questions, no dog in this fight.

They’ve been cloning designs currently used by their creators (and not just old and impossible to find) for decades. They clone the aesthetics as well as the inside as much as they can, they famously had to change the enclosure of their effect pedals (all clones, nothing new) because of a lawsuit by Boss.

They have a few original products that are decent but they’re lost in the sea of copies… Being inspired by other products is fine, but the way they always try to bank on existing products’ recognition is shady at best

There are also potential issues about working conditions in their factories in China but I don’t know if these are true or not.

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