OB-Xa and Prophet 5... redundant?

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Non-Digital Tom
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OB-Xa and Prophet 5... redundant?

Post by Non-Digital Tom » Fri May 09, 2008 4:58 am

I need the input of the most discerning of you synth explorers here... :) I have an Oberheim OB-Xa, which I love. But I'd like to add another vintage analog poly to the mix. I've always thought I'd like to get a P5 someday, but I'm wondering if these two cover too much of the same ground, and would there be something else that would be more complimentary to the Obie. Any thoughts?

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Post by V301H » Fri May 09, 2008 6:31 am

The P5 is undoubtedly a classic sound being the first programmable polyphonic synth to really make a major impact. If that's the sound you want then there is no other choice. However, if you are looking for something to complement your OBX-a there are other choices to consider that offer more advanced features possibly at a lower price. My recommendation is either the Jupiter 8 or Jupiter 6. Either of these is sonically unique enough to go into territory not covered by the OBX-a. The JP-8 will most likely cost much more than a P5 and the JP-6 will generally cost somewhat less. Definitely consider these before you buy a P5.
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Post by memo » Fri May 09, 2008 7:59 am

V301H wrote:My recommendation is either the Jupiter 8 or Jupiter
+1

The Prophet 5 has a more aggressive hard sync sound than the OBXa, PolyMod, and a bit more punch, but a Jupiter offers a tighter sound, cross modulation, expanded filter options, and would ultimately offer more sonic possibilities.
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Post by shaft9000 » Fri May 09, 2008 5:03 pm

a Rev2 would be quite nice alongside an OB.
a Rev3 not as much, since there's CEM chips in both this P5 & the OB-Xa. Both would be on the brighter, more cutting side rather than a balance of sharp/smooth. They still can sound quite different, but not as much as the Rev2 will due to this similarity.

i second the Jupiter 8 reco... as a P5 Rev3+OB-Xa might lead to 80's brass-overkill, unless of course that's your thing!

or better yet try one of these for buttery-smooth goodness next to the angry Xa:

MemoryMoog+
Cs-80 or 60
Chroma
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

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Post by clusterchord » Fri May 09, 2008 10:31 pm

i second most being said already.

there's resemblance btwn Rev3 Prophet5 and OB-Xa due to several parts of Curtis (CEM) circuitry they share. however their filters and amplifiers are much different circuits, so it depends on the patch used, or application. a friend of mine uses them in combo and loves both to death.

however when looking for a CEM-based synth, after playin both of his machines, i choose to get OB-Xa. i much prefer its 12dB filter as its unique being a S.E.M. style circuit but based on CEM, which neither P5 or OB-8 or other CEM poys have.

anyways, bottom line, u shoulf probably get away from CEM boards to get more versatility in the second polysynth:

so buttery smooth n organic SSM-based Prophet5 Rev2 (totally diff character from Xa), if u can find one, and of course majestic Jupiter8. i use all three together quite often and more or less overlap is - ZERO. 8)
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Post by goom » Sat May 10, 2008 6:23 am

clusterchord wrote: anyways, bottom line, u shoulf probably get away from CEM boards to get more versatility in the second polysynth:
I think clusterchord hit the nail on the head - try to find something different from the OBXa so that you can cover more sonic territory.

I had an OBXa and a P5 rev 3.3. I sold the OBXa because well...it was huge. ;) But more than that, I though it was slightly limited in comparison to the range of sounds attainable on the P5, IMO. A rev 2 P5 might be a nice match though.

At any rate, if you like the OBX-a, I'd say keep it. It's a nice synth.

Have you considered adding a monosynth? If you can swing the bucks, a Minimoog or Moog Source would be killer with an OBXa.

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Post by Non-Digital Tom » Tue May 13, 2008 5:07 am

goom wrote: Have you considered adding a monosynth? If you can swing the bucks, a Minimoog or Moog Source would be killer with an OBXa.
Yes, I have a Mini and a couple others... me wants another poly. :bounce:

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Post by JJQ » Tue May 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Then a Jupiter-8 wont be a bad choice. :idea:
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Post by Juno6 » Tue May 13, 2008 6:33 pm

I had the chance to compare a rev3 Prophet 5 and an OB-Xa... I thouth they´d sound identical due to the same chips used. But NO! They sound quite different. I also had the chance to compare a rev 2 and rev 3 Prophets and it happened the opposite, they sounded surprisingly similar.
Anyway, in your case I´d buy a Jupiter-8 instead simply because I prefer it´s sound to the Prophet´s. The OB-x also sounds much better (IMO) than both P5 and OB-Xa. And I´d also consider the Andromeda, which can sound vintage if you erase all the presets and start programming it from scratch.

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Post by Leeroy Jenkins » Fri May 16, 2008 2:26 pm

Uhh...why would you have ever thought the OBXa and Prophet-5 would sound the same because they "use the same chips"? That's like saying a Les Paul would sound the same as a Stratocaster because they "use the same strings." Sorry, just not really grasping that philosophy.

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Post by Juno6 » Fri May 16, 2008 4:23 pm

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:Uhh...why would you have ever thought the OBXa and Prophet-5 would sound the same because they "use the same chips"? That's like saying a Les Paul would sound the same as a Stratocaster because they "use the same strings." Sorry, just not really grasping that philosophy.
It´s not a philosophy.

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Post by XpanderXt » Fri May 16, 2008 10:42 pm

The OBXa and Prophet 5 would make great partners.
They sound very different.
I have a Prophet 5 3.2, Prophet T8, Oberheim Xpander, Akai AX80, and Pro 1. All use Curtis chips, all sound very different.

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Post by Juno6 » Fri May 16, 2008 10:59 pm

XpanderXt wrote:The OBXa and Prophet 5 would make great partners.
They sound very different.
I have a Prophet 5 3.2, Prophet T8, Oberheim Xpander, Akai AX80, and Pro 1. All use Curtis chips, all sound very different.
Nice collection! They all use CEM chips, but most use different CEM models. The interesting thing about the OBXa and Prophet-5 (rev3) is that they use the same oscillator, same filter and same envelope CEM chips models, so it´s fair to think they may sound identical or really similar, as "Non-Digital Tom" rightly questioned.

In my experience the T8 sounds better than Prophet-5, but in that case they use different chips. How do you compare the P5 and the Pro One?

(I used them both, but never put them side by side)

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Post by memo » Mon May 19, 2008 11:41 am

Juno6 wrote:They all use CEM chips, but most use different CEM models. The interesting thing about the OBXa and Prophet-5 (rev3) is that they use the same oscillator, same filter and same envelope CEM chips models, so it´s fair to think they may sound identical or really similar, as "Non-Digital Tom" rightly questioned.
Chips aren't the only part of a synthesizer that imparts a sonic imprint - there are many other components on each of the OBXa voice cards that are different than the Prophet 5.

Oberheim did a fantastic job in creating their own sound using the Curtis chips. I think the OBXa is the smoothest sounding Curtis-based synth.
In my experience the T8 sounds better than Prophet-5, but in that case they use different chips. How do you compare the P5 and the Pro One?
I don't know if it's just me, but the Pro-One is slightly beefier sounding. The Pro-One isn't exactly the same - there are different circuits in there. But the biggest thing for me is the portamento implementation and the superior routing options that make the Pro-One better for bass.
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Post by Leeroy Jenkins » Mon May 19, 2008 3:23 pm

I have both a rev 3 P5 and a Pro-One. I would agree that for some reason the Pro-One has a stronger, more powerful sound than the P5. The oscillators seem to be thicker and stronger, the EGs are a bit snappier, and the pulse mod is waaay fat. I would also agree that the Pro-One is a fantastic bass generating synth, second only IMO to the Minimoog.

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