Teenage Engineering co-founder on ‘Fadergate’: “We guessed there would be transport damage, but not at this rate”

“We’ve been throwing it like a frisbee at work, at the walls, like over and over. And now it doesn’t break.”

Teenage Engineering EP-133 K.O.II. Image: Simon Vinall for MusicTech

Teenage Engineering EP-133 K.O.II. Image: Simon Vinall for MusicTech

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Teenage Engineering co-founder David Eriksson has addressed ‘Fadergate’, a term that was coined online after users reported problems with the fader of the new EP-133 K.O.II sampler.

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Speaking to MusicTech in the latest digital cover feature, Eriksson and music producer Ricky Tinez discuss the impact and community reaction of Teenage Engineering’s new sampler.

Directly addressing the Fadergate issue, Eriksson says, “We tried to predict everything that can go wrong, from production to cosmetics. We’ve built a lot of fixtures, tools and automation to build these [instruments] and to avoid things like this from happening.”

Since the sampler’s release in November 2023, a noticeable number of customers have complained of the effects fader becoming suddenly unresponsive. Several reviews on retail sites such as Thomann, one user said: “Really nice piece… almost perfect if it weren’t for the fact that it’s delivered broken right away (like many buyers)”. Another wrote: “Unfortunately, due to the thin packaging, the device arrived with a bent and non-functional fader.”

Customers have been able to claim exchanges, but have reported long wait times in receiving a replacement.

In response, Eriksson says: “There are a lot of robotics that move the fader up and down and push all the keys and calibrate them, plus we have a log of everything. So we know for sure that they work when they go into the box and leave the factory. We could guess that you get transport damage, but not at this rate.”

Eriksson assures that the next batch of EP-133s should be at a much lower risk of damage during transit.

Speaking on the first batch, he says that “there were a couple of different mistakes from our side with the packaging dimensions

“The size of the box is 10 inches, so some stores thought it was a 10-inch vinyl package and so shipped it without padding. But it was also our little design flaw; we didn’t have any protection, and if something hit the packaging straight on the fader, it would break. Now that’s been changed.

Teenage Engineering EP-133 K.O.II, Simon Vinall for MusicTech
The box for Teenage Engineering’s EP-133 K.O.II. Image: Simon Vinall for MusicTech

“So we have new packaging — now, we’ve been throwing it like a frisbee at work, at the walls, like over and over. And now it doesn’t break.”

Eriksson adds that Teenage Engineering will be pulling back the curtain on their factory with an online tour that shows the machinery they used to build the EP-133 K.O.II.

For those looking to get their hands on one, the TE co-founder says that more features are still in the pipeline for the sampler.

“We have a lot of stuff planned, it’s just we were focusing on stability in the beginning and getting it rock solid,” “[We haven’t even] turned on the CPU’s crazy power-saving features yet”.

Read the full cover story.

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