What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

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What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by drummy » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:21 am

Hey guys. I'm thinking about buying an OB-X, but I have no idea what prices of them go for. I only know of the one that Heath sold (missed it by a night, nuts!), and that was a good price, but I bet they go for more considering the all the ones I saw a few months ago were in need of repair and still went for about $2,500. Any thoughts? I'd like to know prices on the 4, 6, and 8 voice models. Thanks.

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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by spookyman » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:06 pm

I found mine for 600 bucks, here in Switzerland...

A friend of mine bought an Oberheim OB-Xa in perfect shape for 1600$. With 120 memories, and the great Oberheim Sound.

In therm of price, i would put the OB-X around the same price tag like the OB-Xa. The sound is more warm, organic and vintage on the OB-X than on the OB-Xa, but this one has more modulation possibilities, a powerfull 24 dB/oct VCF, so at the end, it's only a matter of preference.

So 1'500$ for a optically used OB-X is correct, and 2'000 $ if it's in mint conditions. But these day, it's hard to find an OB-X in perfect shape. The reputation of realibility of Oberheim boards is not the best...in comparison with japanse one, like Jupiter 6 or Jupiter 8.
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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by drummy » Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:58 pm

spookyman wrote:I found mine for 600 bucks, here in Switzerland...

A friend of mine bought an Oberheim OB-Xa in perfect shape for 1600$. With 120 memories, and the great Oberheim Sound.

In therm of price, i would put the OB-X around the same price tag like the OB-Xa. The sound is more warm, organic and vintage on the OB-X than on the OB-Xa, but this one has more modulation possibilities, a powerfull 24 dB/oct VCF, so at the end, it's only a matter of preference.

So 1'500$ for a optically used OB-X is correct, and 2'000 $ if it's in mint conditions. But these day, it's hard to find an OB-X in perfect shape. The reputation of realibility of Oberheim boards is not the best...in comparison with japanse one, like Jupiter 6 or Jupiter 8.
Thanks Spooky. Reliability aside, from the demos I heard, the OB-X is perfect for what I want to do...warmest pads I've ever heard. It also has cross-mod, which is a plus. I just need to find one...

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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by hfinn » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:17 pm

the cross mod is one of the most disappointing features on it. To me it's missing two crucial features to be a good cross mod. First off you can't put the modulation VCO into Lfo mode, second you can't disconnect it from keyboard CV. Jupiter 8 and Prophet 5 do cross mod correctly.
Last edited by hfinn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by urgetoplay » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:58 pm

OBXs seem to be significantly rarer than OBXa s. I've seen perhaps three come up for sale in the last 3-5 years. None of them was under $2k.
OBXa s I've seen run the gamut from $1200-2400. Of course your mileage may vary :wink:
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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by Rangoon » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:58 am

hfinn wrote:the cross mod is one of the most disappointing features on it. To me it's missing two crucial features to be a good cross mod. First off you can't put the modulation VCO into Lfo mode, second you can't disconnect it from keyboard CV. Jupiter 8 and Prophet 5 do cross mod correctly.
Although this may be true, to be fair cross modulation was never really part of the signature Oberheim sound. Similarily, the two-pole filter sound is not a signature of the Prophet 5 and "huge and thick" is not particularily a signature of the Jupiter 8.

In my opinion, the OBX was the pinnacle of the Oberheims striking a balance between shear sound and programmability. Relative to its CEM-based successors, I would characterize it as having more lows, more highs, more definition, and in general more analog girth. Other notables in my experience would be a harder sync between the two osscilators, more range in the pulse width, and more "thump" in the envelope generators for lack of a better word (and yes, I know it has the same CEM3310 EGs as the later OBs)...

Regarding the lack of a 24db filter mode, there were actually dual filter versions of the OBX put out by J. L. Cooper (who was Oberheim's chief engineer) that provided 24db mode using CEM3320 filters on daughterboards and retaining the SEM based filters for 12db mode. In 24db mode it retains all the characteristics listed above...which proves to me that it is largely the SEM based osscilators that distinguish the OBX from its successors. Actually, the stock OBX with just the 12db filter is quite fine on its own. After all, that two-pole filter is what Oberheims are really all about.

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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by hfinn » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:26 pm

Rangoon wrote:
hfinn wrote:the cross mod is one of the most disappointing features on it. To me it's missing two crucial features to be a good cross mod. First off you can't put the modulation VCO into Lfo mode, second you can't disconnect it from keyboard CV. Jupiter 8 and Prophet 5 do cross mod correctly.
Although this may be true, to be fair cross modulation was never really part of the signature Oberheim sound. Similarily, the two-pole filter sound is not a signature of the Prophet 5 and "huge and thick" is not particularily a signature of the Jupiter 8.
I never said it was meant to be the signature of their sound. That being said, if you're going to do a cross mod don't do it half assed. My main point was that cross mod should not be the main reason to seek out an OBX. If cross mod is one of the main features you are looking for on a (vintage) polysynth, the P5 and JP8 would be better choices. I know they all sound different.

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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by clusterchord » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:49 am

spookyman wrote:In therm of price, i would put the OB-X around the same price tag like the OB-Xa. The sound is more warm, organic and vintage on the OB-X than on the OB-Xa, but this one has more modulation possibilities, a powerfull 24 dB/oct VCF, so at the end, it's only a matter of preference.
OBXA is less organic n warm, then again it has a different character to an extent, featuring that trademark "Curtis" sizzle and sparkle. sound a lot more agressive and raw than OBX. so its a nice variant on classic OB sound to have. i love both to death.

OBXA is by far, my favorite Curtis-based polysynth. however, i have to tell you, its 24dB filter, apart form a few synth pop bass lines, is really nothing to write home about. it is indeed using 3320 same as P5 rev3, but the actual filter circuit is different. if u want a GREAT sounding 24dB filter with 3320, then Prophet is the place to look. OBXA absolutely does not compare here.

that being said, its strenght really lays in its 12dB filter, a separate circuit from 24dB, with its own separate 3320. it is nothing short of phenomenal. i use 12dB mode about 99% of the time. as already stated, this is why you buy an Oberheim in the first place.
Rangoon wrote:Regarding the lack of a 24db filter mode, there were actually dual filter versions of the OBX put out by J. L. Cooper (who was Oberheim's chief engineer) that provided 24db mode using CEM3320 filters on daughterboards and retaining the SEM based filters for 12db mode. In 24db mode it retains all the characteristics listed above...which proves to me that it is largely the SEM based osscilators that distinguish the OBX from its successors. Actually, the stock OBX with just the 12db filter is quite fine on its own. After all, that two-pole filter is what Oberheims are really all about.
as already hinted, i would have to disagree that 3320@24dB sounds anything like the SEM@12dB. not even OBXA's 3320@12dB sounds like SEM. it behaves similarly (as OBXA indeed imitated the state variable filter circuit from SEM ), but never the less CEMs bring their trademark soundprint wherever they go. imo both discrete VCOs and VCFs on OBX are equally responsible for its huge sound.
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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by Rangoon » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:56 am

clusterchord wrote: as already hinted, i would have to disagree that 3320@24dB sounds anything like the SEM@12dB.
I didn't mean to imply that 3320@24db sounds anything like SEM@12db, although it may have come across that way in my long-winded post. What I really meant to say is there is as much difference between 24db OBX and 24db OBXa as there is difference between 12db OBX and 12db OBXa...

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Re: What is an Oberheim OB-X (4-8 voice) worth these days?

Post by urgetoplay » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:50 pm

Has anyone here actually had/performed the mod on their OBXa ? It'd be interesting to add a little sonic flexibility to the synth.
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