So tell me about Oberheims: Matrix12/Xpander

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Joey
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So tell me about Oberheims: Matrix12/Xpander

Post by Joey » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:27 pm

Lately I've grown an interest in the Oberheim synths, and i have a couple of questions I hope you guys can help me with

Outside of the obvious extra capabilites the xpander/matrix 12 have, do they sound much different from the ob8/xa/x?

Does the matrix 12 still have that characteristic oberheim sound? or is that only found in the older models?

Can anyone point me to any sound examples or comparisons of the two series of synths?

Thanks guys
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Post by hfinn » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:59 pm

I have had an OB-X, Xa and 8 (along with a two and four voice) and still have a Matrix-12.

They all share some of the same characteristics and I would say that the M-12/Xpander certainly share the same 'Oberheim" sound. Of all the oberheim's the M-12 is the top of the line (to me).

Here are some sound clips (Ob-X):

OBX

Matrix-12:

Matrix-12

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Post by Joey » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:11 pm

those are some great demos heath!

thanks
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Post by Sir Ruff » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:20 am

a pretty basic answer is that they all sound slightly different because they all use different osc and filter chips. the obx's vcos were discrete with curtis filters, the obxa used curtis vcos and vcfs, as did the 8 and matrix/xpander but different versions... but I guess they all used curtis chips and so they still have some running sound similarity...
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Post by hfinn » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:36 am

Sir Ruff wrote: the obx's vcos were discrete with curtis filters,
Thats actually not true. The only curtis chips in the OB-X are the envelopes.

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Post by urgetoplay » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:12 am

Personally the OBXa and the OB8 sound closest; excepting of course the Xpander and Matrix 12. The OBX sounds the most different to me, slightly sweeter in tone. Heath's definitely the man for this one as he's had most of them side by side at one time or another. Leroy J is another Oberheim owner w/ several pieces and Mr. Rich,should he be around, could also give you a good comparison.
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Post by code green » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:46 am

hfinn wrote:I have had an OB-X, Xa and 8 (along with a two and four voice) and still have a Matrix-12.

They all share some of the same characteristics and I would say that the M-12/Xpander certainly share the same 'Oberheim" sound. Of all the oberheim's the M-12 is the top of the line (to me).

Here are some sound clips (Ob-X):

OBX

Matrix-12:

Matrix-12
great--now i "need" a matrix 12. thanks for the gas, pal! :wink: :twisted:

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Post by sam » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:46 pm

Yes the Xpander/M12 have the obersound....The OBX has discrete osc/filters and sounds more organic.

Both are great synths.... :D
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Post by Leeroy Jenkins » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:38 pm

As an owner of both the Matrix-12 and OB8 and Xa, I think Hfinn's demo's do an excellent job showcasing the sonic capabilities of the M12 and the OBX.

Now, forget everything you've learned about Curtis chips, filter types, old versus new Oberheim, etc. etc, blah blah blah....what do your ears tell you?

I think they both sound great. You know the M12 can provide a wider palette of sounds than the OBX. I think that is a factually true statement. And you know the majority of tonal differences can be made up in pre or post FX, which I also think is a factually true statement.

So that said, what does your ears and your budget tell you? Then go with whatever you can afford.

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Post by chamomileshark » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:40 pm

I've heard there are issues of encoders going bad on Xpanders..anyone of you that has one care to comment on that? Are they a reasonably safe bet to buy?

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Post by Leeroy Jenkins » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:45 pm

Nah, the encoders are fine. Mine are original 1985 issue, and I've never had any problems with them. They key is to turn the encoders slowly instead of zipping them at full throttle.

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Post by chamomileshark » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:16 pm

Leeroy, are you saying they can be permanently damaged by rough handling..or that they simply need to be turned slowly to work properly?

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Post by hfinn » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:29 pm

I've had an issue with my encoders, but a quick shot of contact cleaner and they have been like new ever since. AND they are open pots so it was super easy. It took me all of five minutes to get mine like new again.

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Post by Joey » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:05 am

thanks for all the info guys!

I'm actually thinking of either an ob8 or a jupiter 6 now... they both run around the same price range

what are your thoughts on those?
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Post by hfinn » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:11 am

I personally would go with the OB-8 in a heartbeat. I was never a big fan of the Jupiter 6 really. I know some swear by it though...

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