Teenage Engineering announced it was adding modular options to its Pocket Operator line back in January. A month later, the company cited manufacturing issues when it cancelled pre-orders for the 170 analog synth and the 16 keyboard designed to be used with it. In an email this morning, Teenage Engineering says those two pieces of gear are shipping via its website. Indeed both are now listed as in stock when you add them to your cart.
At Superbooth in May, the company explained to MusicRadar that it wasn't happy with the way the keyboard turned out. Instead of putting out a product it wasn't completely thrilled about (in terms of functionality), it decided to pull both the 170 synth and 16 keyboard until it could remedy the issue. Almost five months after the initial delay was announced, Teenage Engineering is shipping both units.
The Pocket Operator Modular 170 is an analog monophonic synthesizer with a built-in programmable sequencer and speaker. And living up to its name, the front panel includes plenty of room for patching. The 16 is a keyboard/controller for both the 170 and the more robust 400 model. It features tuneable keys and a programmable sequencer, but it isn't a standalone instrument -- you have to pair it with a synth. Like the 400, the 170 and 16 ship disassembled, so you get the full experience of folding the panels and putting all the pieces together. In true Pocket Operator fashion, the trio also runs on AA batteries, though you can purchase a power adapter for the 400 and 170 if you'd prefer.
The 170 synth costs $399 while the 16 keyboard is $199. And that power adapter will cost you an extra $25.