The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

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sensorium
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by sensorium » Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:42 pm

Damn! You guys are giving a whole new meaning to the term "splitting hairs". It sounds great....so buy one! ;)

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by stikygum » Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:10 pm

nvbrkr wrote: Such nonsense. Some people are behaving here as if noting that difference would be an insult aimed directly at Tom Oberheim.
I like your analytical thinking. Seriously. And I think there is some truth to your last sentence (everyone wants Tom and his sales to do good). But I don't think that's nonsense in the slightest.

That's all fine and dandy. You're able to discern between the two. I listened to the clips once and that song someone posted twice. I'm not trying to be over-analytical and don't care to be at this point. I think it's fun to make comparisons to hear the difference... between channels. Still, if you are an engineer and want to analyze which sounds better, that's fine. But how does this make a difference to those hearing it. Is it going to sound worse? This will just go on documentation (on the internet) and in turn into people's heads, like you had mentioned conversely. What's the point in being so analytical when there isn't even a major difference like from the Mini to the Voyager? I'm not here to make a long drawn out argument, so Im asking respectfully. It sounds good and at this point doesn't sound like a big difference. I'll listen to more comparisons, just like you will in the future. Sure, my gut tells me if I were to really analyze them side by side I might hear more rawness out of the older SEM, but maybe not. Newer parts in the new SEM, so it probably can't be exactly the same. But the Output module does make a big difference I'm sure. Any type of amp always does. That's a hasty generalization, but still. And if there were a difference, vintage preamps can always make up for it. So all in all, I'm just saying this is nothing to 'split hairs' about. Moreover still, I appreciate the analysis.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by clusterchord » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:09 am

nvbrkr wrote:Yes, exactly the same argument was thrown around first with the Minimoog / Voyager -comparisons and ultimately it proved out to be a flawed one....
+1000 everyhting you wrote.

the variance in old units used as argument that new ones are qually good, always goes hand in hadn with the other flawed argument i mentioned a page ago: about aging components.


and yes, you hit the mark about potentially "insulting" Tom Oberheim too. same kinda argument was tossed when anyone dared to criticize, or even discuss, anything about the new shiny Prophet8 when it came out.


just want to make clear this doesnt mean i wouldnt like the new SEM, i still havent enough data to make that decision. but my comment is directed directly at the above logic/argumentation about natural variance btwn old units.


i played several minimoog, and there is some difference. but its still a minimoog. every time. but when i sat with Voyager, it was clear they were aiming at modern mini, but in the end it is unmistakeably VERY different machine. it sounds like none of the minimoogs i ever come across. im sorry its so hard for some ppl to accept. it doesnt make their Voygers, or themselves any less worth. tho some seem to read it that way.
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by otto » Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:00 am

Canz haz OBX?
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Sir Ruff » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:55 pm

clusterchord wrote:
nvbrkr wrote:Yes, exactly the same argument was thrown around first with the Minimoog / Voyager -comparisons and ultimately it proved out to be a flawed one....
+1000 everyhting you wrote.

the variance in old units used as argument that new ones are qually good, always goes hand in hadn with the other flawed argument i mentioned a page ago: about aging components.


and yes, you hit the mark about potentially "insulting" Tom Oberheim too. same kinda argument was tossed when anyone dared to criticize, or even discuss, anything about the new shiny Prophet8 when it came out.


just want to make clear this doesnt mean i wouldnt like the new SEM, i still havent enough data to make that decision. but my comment is directed directly at the above logic/argumentation about natural variance btwn old units.


i played several minimoog, and there is some difference. but its still a minimoog. every time. but when i sat with Voyager, it was clear they were aiming at modern mini, but in the end it is unmistakeably VERY different machine. it sounds like none of the minimoogs i ever come across. im sorry its so hard for some ppl to accept. it doesnt make their Voygers, or themselves any less worth. tho some seem to read it that way.
Ok, I am inclined to agree about the generalities of two synths-one old, one new-not sounding the same for reasons of choice of component, etc...

But the minimoog/voyager and p08 comparisons are really not applicable. I don't think moog ever claimed this was a "clone" of the of the original mini (how could it be with all that added functionality?) And obviously the circuit designs were very different... DSmith NEVER claimed that the p08 was meant to be a new p5... it was a descendant, but certainly not even a close relative circuit-wise. And from what have read, most people who have played the originals seem to have no problem pointing out that they don't sound the same...

the SEMs on the other hand, are essentially the SAME circuits (as Joey keeps pointing out), and the thing is specifically meant to be a clone. So the circuit design is the same, the functions are identical, and the only difference is the choice of components (I'm ignoring the whole SMT issue)... so the differences people are hearing, perceived or otherwise, are based only on the inherent differences that the components themselves are creating between two versions of the same thing-a SEM. The new SEM does not "sort of" sound like the original the way a voyager or p08 can "sort of" sound like the original mini or p5. We're talking degrees of degrees...

for the record, listening in decent headphones, I could hear barely any differences in Overgear's demos-the one thing I notice is that the new SEM sounds slightly brighter and more hi-fi (which I thought without even hearing the demos and which would be expected). Differences are more audible in WDW's demo, but it seems the higher rez potential on the new one makes up most of the difference...

so aside from those seemingly very minor differences, what else are my ears failing to tell me about how the new and old are different? :dontknow:
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Overgear » Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:45 pm

If the CV price jump is a concern, it appears you have until the 31st, now. That's nice.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by nadafarms » Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:38 pm

thanks for clearing that up ruff,

I agree from the little snippets I've heard an on the youtube video with mitch/tom I can tell that it sounds a little more bright and hifi, exactly what I was thinking ruff.

I don't mind a little extra res!
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by jaypodesta » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:33 pm



Might be of interest to someone...

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Primal Drive » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:53 am

Humans are such interesting creatures. 8) They oft times polarize against one another in debates which, on the surface, seem like vast chasms of difference, when in reality they argue over minutia. In the 70's there was an argument between which sounded better between a Minimoog and an ARP Odyssey. In the 80"s there was the debate between analog and the (then new) FM synths. In the 90's there was the great debate between VA vs RA (which unfortunately continues to this day amongst novice synth buyers). In the new millennia with the resurgence of new analog synths there's the debate between the old originals and the new designs.

Well, Minimoogs sound different that Odysseys, analog sounds different than FM synths, VAs sound different than RAs, and new analog circuits sound different than older circuits.

Excuse me, but this deserves a resounding "DUH!"

With that said, I have to ask; Is it really that important to anyone on the planet that the new SEMs sound exactly like the original SEMs? Tom Oberheim's design is a marvelous and beautiful sounding synth. Is the slight sound differences that only a small select few can detect that important when the fact is that any listener to a song produce with said instrument won't notice (or care)?

I'm honestly confounded by this. Do the old synth elitist just sit in their studios fapping off to their drifty, temperamental synths oblivious to who may give a s**t?

Yes, that was a bit harsh. But really, I'm glad Tom Oberheim produced the new SEM, and I hope it's in my budget soon to purchase one. It's his honest attempt to recreate a marvelous design using modern components and that's all that matters to me. =D>
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by sensorium » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:52 am

I really wanted to read the last post until I got to the word "oft". I mustered enough strength to read on, but was completely derailed by the word "minutia".

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by stikygum » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:57 am

Thanks for posting that. What a great sounding synth. Just from listening makes me want to buy one. To be fair, I think if I owned a original SEM I would hear some sort of difference and be extra picky too. The SEM has been loved, as some say, as the most organic sounding analog. And it does indeed sound quite organic. But since I've only heard the original a couple handful of times on the net, the difference doesn't stick out to me as much and the awesome sonics coming out of this new one overpowers any doubts I would have. Obviously, I'm here to make music and not look at this from an engineering perspective. But it kind of is irrelevant to musicians if it sounds good. To make a modern analog with modern components sound this good is definitely what the doctor ordered!
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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:53 am

Mooger5 wrote:
Thanks. The photos are revealing. Anyone care to comment on the SMTs and the SMPS?
A switchmode power supply isn't a problem if it's external and there's decent smoothing caps on the input. In fact that's probably quieter than having a transformer inside the case. All the SMD stuff is are resistors and the small caps, no reason why they should sound any different. The board is still laid out discretely and the transistors are discrete, no reason I can see that it'd sound any different. It's actually a very old-school design, just realised with modern components.

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by MarcinP78 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:12 am

I've noticed this SEM is different from the ones I've seen on the web before. It's got a Patch Panel on the left hand side. I liked the one with MIDI to CV panel much more because it had the portamento knob. Can you chose which panel you want when buying the new SEM or is the one in the video the final version?

[edit] Ok a visit to tomoberheim.com gave me the answer. Phew...

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by b3groover » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:26 am

sensorium wrote:I really wanted to read the last post until I got to the word "oft". I mustered enough strength to read on, but was completely derailed by the word "minutia".
That's ok. You are from Ohio, after all. :)

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Re: The New Tom Oberheim SEM Thread

Post by Primal Drive » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:00 pm

sensorium wrote:I really wanted to read the last post until I got to the word "oft". I mustered enough strength to read on, but was completely derailed by the word "minutia".
Wow. I'd forgotten I wrote all that nonsense. :shock: I've been dealing with a fever and nausea the past few days, but I didn't mean to spew all over the thread.

I think the point I was trying to make was/is that the small (YOMV) differences between the old and new SEMs shouldn't be such a critical issue. Tom Oberheim built the new SEMs as close as possible using components that are currently available. I don't think it's possible to clone an original any better than that (though I may be wrong).

As to why I used to word "oft" I've no idea (my brain was really frying). I think it's time to add to my "Never post while drunk" rule, and that's "Never post while knocking at deaths' door." :roll:

But I'm gettin' better... :wink:
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