The x0xb0x 303 clone has become somewhat legendary — a legend that’s likely to grow now that you can’t get one. Photo (CC) bdu. I need to start labeling my gear.

The x0xb0x, the open-source Roland TB-303 clone by Limor “Lady Ada” Fried, has been officially discontinued edit: unofficially end-of-lifed? Made less than widely available? It’s actually unclear. That makes this already hard-to-find kit tougher still to get. Because it’s open-source hardware, you can source the components yourself and build it, but some of the parts are very hard to find — which may be why it was discontinued in the first place. has been difficult to get a hold of in full kit form.

Our friends over at the awesome trash_audio (music blog with home studio voyeurism added in) pick up the story:

x0xb0x: Kits Discontinued

So, what’s next? It seems to me that, should the open source hardware argument really hold for music gear, the x0xb0x needs some successors — the more, the merrier. First off, perhaps it’s time to re-conceive the x0xb0x in a version that uses more easily-sourced parts. (Call it the Socks Box, dropping the l33t spelling as a metaphor for more accessibility?) And I’m eager to see the Next Great Open Instrument. Nominees?

Update: Okay, as my corrections above concede, it seems that the x0xb0x is not fully discontinued, just hard to get and between production runs. (I thought about applying a question mark to the original story, and now regret not doing that.) But maybe it’s time to declare what’s been obvious to many for a long time: the backlog for the x0xb0x is so huge, and there are so few signs of any increase in production rate, that they’ve effectively become impossible to get.

And that raises another question to me: is it possible for open-source music hardware to reach bigger quantities? Could they keep their cool factor even if everyone had one? (The answer, I suspect, is a huge yes, because greater availability almost encourages users to make their gear their own. Witness the hugely-successful Arduino, arguably music hardware itself.)

If you do get one shipped to you, though, do let us know.

Official word from Lady Ada in comments:

peter, the x0xb0x is not discontinued. the waiting list is long enough that i suggest ‘self sourcing’. i am still making kits but it is slow going.