Behringer gives its 808 drum machine a complete revamp with the RD-8 MKII

When it comes to recreations of vintage equipment, Behringer has proven itself an outstanding frontrunner this past year and beyond. Especially in more recent months, the company has proven again and again how unafraid it is to make design improvements and re-release where necessary. While Behringer has found itself in hot water with this practice before, it seemingly appears to pull itself up every time with product popularity. The most recent ‘improvement’ project comes with a focus on its own model, the RD-8 Rhythm Designer. Originally released as a modernized clone of the vintage TR-808 machine, Behringer has now made vast improvements, and re-released it as the RD-8 MKII.

Behringer RD-8 (MKII) Rhythm Designer

Days before this new piece of gear dropped, Behringer put out a short teaser video with 808 sounds. In the hours and days following, fans everywhere began speculating a multitude of possibilities. In the end though, the company revealed, in actuality, it was a simple remake of the RD-8. However, Behringer made it very clear that its MKII does not come with a light load of differences. In fact, the machine comes as a result of what the company describes as a complete redesign “from the ground-up.”

Standing out as arguably the most significant diversion from the first edition, is the new inclusion of the 40-year old V662A chip found in the original 808. While small, this chip plays a big role in the MKII sounding and performing more true to its inspiration. Aside from this, Behringer made a valiant effort at an even more precisely mirrored design to the TR-808. As a result, the company claims the RD-8 MKII brings more improved phase and noise responses from the back end.

If you happen to be someone who was considering purchasing an original RD-8 machine, it appears your intuition may have been correct in holding off. From the complete design overhaul, to the inclusion of the vintage TR-808 chip, Behringer seemingly had a lot of plans for its re-release. Additionally, the MKII is priced similarly to the original, at $349, and available to order now, replacing original MKI stock. To learn more about the RD-8, other products, or to find a list of dealers, head over to Behringer’s website.