Analog Keys vs Analog 4 mk2 - which to keep?

I have both AK and A4 mk2 and I’m interested in hearing what you guys think are the biggest differences between AK and A4 mk2?

Don’t really know the AK that well, I’ve mostly been using the A4 mk2 to sequence external gear, and route it back to the A4 for some post processing, and love it for that workflow!

Someone wants to buy my A4 mk2, so I’m wondering if I should switch to working with AK. Would I regret that decision?

I know this has been talked about before, but quite possibly things have changed with recent firmware updates. So I hope you don’t mind me asking :slight_smile:

So I’ve heard that A4 mk2 is a bit better when it comes to bass. And then we of course have the added buttons that came with the mk2 update. And the screen is so much nicer! Just glancing at the envelopes gives you an overview quickly, much easier than reading the ADSR state on the AK. But regarding CV possibilities I don’t see much of a difference.

MK2 sounds a tad better.
Ergonomics are better to program a patch without the keyboard plus I believe there are added dedicated buttons on the mk2
AK screen is so tiny for such a huge keyboard!
The joystick is so much fun though, the only thing I truly miss

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You have details here? I don’t have the mk2 but have AKs and have had an A4 mk1 prior to them. I remember there being a change to the filter between A4 mk 1 and AK but what are the changes for mk2?

Hmmm interesting. Didn’t know there was a difference between AK and A4 Mk1. Any details on that?

The joystick surely looks promising. And I do like the LEDs above the keyboard on the AK.

You could always rebuy an MKii for the same price you would likely sell it for. The keys are getting harder and harder to find if you decide you miss it.


From the FAQ on Elektron’s own site ( )

"Does the Analog Keys and the Analog Four sound exactly the same?

The Analog Keys uses the same means of analog sound generation as the Analog Four, but features circuits fine-tuned for delivering deep bass."


I’m in this exact position, having recently picked up an Analog Keys to go with my Analog Four mk2 that I’ve had for around 18 months now.

After spending a good bit of time with the Analog Keys, I just find it too frustrating to use compared to the A4mk2.
The display is a big one for me, having the envelopes displayed on the A4mk2 compared to the dials on the Keys slows me down, and, slightly superficial, the OLED display is way nicer to work with.

Another massive one for me is not having the Quick Perf control on the Keys… I never realised just how much I use this on the A4mk2 until I didn’t have it.

I’m going to keep the Keys a while longer and give it a chance, plus, I did by it to potentially use live instead of having to take an A4mk2 and midi keys, so we’ll see.
If I was put on the spot right now though, I’d keep the A4mk2 every time over the Analog Keys.

Spending an hour or two setting up identical patches on both should give you a sense of whether you can easily notice a difference in sound, and also provide a direct comparison of workflow. My sense is that the difference in sound is less important than other factors. But I haven’t used a mk2 myself.

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The MK2 ladder filter opens the top end up more.
I’ve owned all three and the sound of the MK2 is more forward, and you have the option of making it brighter.
Great for saw and pulse waves.


Thanks! Is this documented somewhere to read up on?

I’m just curious, would never trade my AKs for mk2 - they are essential in my setup :slightly_smiling_face:.

I always want a 2nd A4 when i play with it, i would never get rid of another 4 voices if i had them.

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The AK keyboard and joystick is what finally drew me in, and it’s what keeps me hanging on.
The AK is a very unique synth, does SO many things, and sounds wonderful.
I never found the differences in sound between all three to tip me one way or the other.
I do like that they fixed the Overdrive circuit on the AK vs the MKI.

I’m a huge fan of performing with this gear, so the Perf macros incredible.
Took a minute to digest but after getting the AK and understanding the mutimap ability with the keyboard really opened up new possibilities and new way of working.
Like most Elektron boxes they are capable of so much. I tend to pick one things they do well and limit myself to that for a set/project. Then when I want to change things up, I pick something else and limit myself to that.
In that regard the AK is the gift that keep on giving.


I agree, i have the A4 since a long time, and its still one of my most frequently used hardware, and i never felt that i ended exploring it, its just too much functionality. Layering etc.

An AK mk2 would end the discussion.