I couldn’t really mention the OP-1 (and sneakily the OP-Z) without mentioning the PO Series (eBay Link) from Teenage engineering too. I have the first set, and may consider the next lot when I’ve got some cash in my pocket.
These are, without a doubt (or at least without a doubt in my mind anyway), some of the most fun, and also innovative, tiny little music making machines around. They’re entirely pocketable, and their diminutive form disguises the massive amount of enjoyment that can be had from them. Whether you have one, two, or 6 of these they will be great fun, both to learn how to use them, and to create some sounds from them.
I couldn’t really let this opportunity slip to mention the OP-1. It is simply a work of genius, and, unlike many hardware devices, in continuous development by its makers. In fact, according to recent NAMM coverage, Teenage Engineering have a new OS in the works. I’m always impressed by that.
It is both a source of inspiration and frustration as well for me. At times I love it, I love the design aesthetic, the execution and the joy of the device, and at other times I find myself completely frustrated by not seeming to be able to actually finish anything with it!
Even so, it has to be on my list, and I suspect that when the OP-Z arrives, that’ll probably be on a subsequent list too.
Of course, the one downside to the OP-1 is it’s price. Getting one from Teenage Engineering will set you back around €949 (about £700). However, the OP-1 can be had on eBay for less.