Help confirming Monome edition? (I think I was misled by an eBay seller) [SOLVED]

I bought a monome 256 that was supposed to be 2011 edition (which is supposed to have varibright). Looking at the “editions” descriptions I am suspecting it is older.
I am testing it in monome Home and pressing the varibright button does nothing. I imagine normally this should display some sort of varibright test sequence (ive never used a varibright monome before).
It also has “sticky” buttons, compared to other monomes I have used; meaning that I often have to press the button a few times to get it to trigger correctly. I know the buttons have been updated over time (when in the monome timeline did the button trigger issue get smoothed out by the way, I know they changed the way these work at some point.

Wooden sides, silver metal plate
Orange LEDs
Buttons slightly larger than Grayscale buttons
“monome” branded on back
Non-varibright (I think)
External power supply (I think these were bus powered by 2011)
Serial in monome home: m256-099

Thanks in advance for any info

Perhaps a photo would be helpful

here is the listing, you can see the photos here

I had a 256 from 2009 that looked like that with the external power supply. I know in July of 2010 Brian started offering bus power upgrades for older 128 and 256s, so I think everything after then was bus powered. So if I had to guess I’d say your is from 2009, maybe earlier. Not sure if that helps…

I actually tried bidding on this exact monome on a previous listing by gplugo which I lost. I’m not too sure this person is very honest let alone I kept bidding in 10$ increments which I kept being outbid by some other unknown ebayer, possibly the seller. I can just a about gauruntee this is a previous model to 2011 based upon the description from the monome site.

I think the 4 level varibright ones (that look similar to these) had single piece milled enclosures also.

I agree that you have been misled

yeah, that looks like an original series 256.
the 64,128 +256 from that era all had mitered corners.
I believe the 2011 were milled out of a solid block of walnut.

I feel like $520 is still a killer deal on a 256 (a fraction of what they cost new) but if it wasn’t what you wanted or thought your were buying then I would take it up with the seller or eBay.


thanks everyone. yeah ill probably keep this for now but ultimately i hope to have a varibright someday.

I’ll probably check back at the “Trade” section of this forum to see if anyone sells for a good price. However, how do the transactions work here? I assume its all user initiated, so how do you know you wont get burnt? The thing I like about ebay is that if you give them your money and they dont send you anything, ebay will reimburse you (because they want a good user experience). For personal paypal exchanges on forums, aren’t you taking a bit of risk? Just curious of how it works

to confirm, that’s a 2009/earlier model. and $520, dang.

These are a real beauty. The orange LEDs are so warm. You can’t go wrong.

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I have one from the same era/edition. Paid over three times that for it. Replaced the button pads on it (via tehn, they were a little unresponsive), works beautifully still. Have considered selling it a few times but have never been able to part with it. Even after acquiring a varibright 64.

yeah I’m messing with it and its the first 256 ive used so i’m definitely going to keep it for awhile… but I have to say it was a bit disappointing when I started figuring out it wasnt the 2011 varibright model that I supposedly “won” in the auction.

as for the buttons… yeah they are a bit finicky, you have to press them real hard to make sure they trigger. I upgraded a grayscale 64 with better pads a couple years ago, and it was $50 for the 64 pads. I thought it was slightly pricy but went through with it… however If the cost is the same, the $200 it would cost to replace all the buttons on the 256 is way out of my budget.
The buttons are actually slightly bigger than the grayscale buttons, so maybe these are different and possibly cheaper (fingers crossed)? You mentioned you got them from tehn directly, may I ask what this cost you?

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I’d try to clean the contacts on the board first. Time can be cruel, and who knows how they stored it (when misled from the start it’s hard to hold any following as truth).

256 keys is $120-- there’s a discount for volume. these keypads are not cheap to make.

also the keys are the same size as the greyscale. if you really think they are larger, something is suspect with your grid, post an actual photo

If you open an eBay dispute there’s a chance you could get an additional discount/partial refund since the ad was misleading.

thanks, I will consider that upgrade in the future. I image everything about monome is a bit pricey because of the hand made / small scale aspect of the production. But thats also part of what makes it special.

I never understood why you don’t simply charge per pad. I felt so strongly about it that it kept me from upgrading the pads on my gs64. That and hoping to find a varibright… :smile:

cant speak for tehn but it sounds like they are expensive to start with and basically the more you buy the closer it is to the actual production cost. And they probably dont make too much money off selling replacement pads, but need to charge some additional to make it worth the effort and keep the monome factory open. I agree it feels a little pricey, but I think thats because we are used to mass produced products (MPC sampler replacement pads would be cheaper, etc) and monome is more of a handmade specialty item