Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

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themilford
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Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by themilford » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:42 pm

So my recently (July 20014) serviced OB-8 is acting up again. This is after a major $1k repair from Analog Lab in NYC. The thing was completely DOA when I got it so it needed major repair work… but for the last year and a half it's been for the most part problem free.

Now I'm trying to understand what kinda s**t I may be in for for the long haul if I decide to keep this thing up and running…

So basically one voice has stopped triggering… although if I run the voice test in Page 2 they all seem to work individually. Also, the jacks and pam pots have become a tad scratchy...

The patches seem to drift slightly in value… where they don't sound exactly the same when we come back to them say a week later. Anybody experience this?

The release envelope on the EG has never seemed quite right even after the last repair. It's hard to dial in that release rolloff slope to do "that thing" that we all want from synths… that ubiquitous "Wwwhhhheeooouuhh" synth filter release thing. Also, the filter in general never seemed as juicy as some of the OB-8 demos out there. Again, anybody know the deal here?

I feel a little trapped because I don't think I'm qualified to repair this myself, even though I repair and tech a lot of other stuff I own. But Analog Lab are pricey and a hike to get to and I'm not sure they are really getting this thing quite to spec. Plus not to mention I already paid them a ton.

Anybody else in NYC area know how to work on these things and get them optimal?

themilford
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Re: Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by themilford » Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:58 am

Nothin?

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Re: Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by Zamise » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:56 am

I've an OB-SX, not quite the same or as sophisticated of an interface and expensive as the OB-8 but my expectation is pretty low for it to stay in tune and the pots to not be scratchy. I'd think it be pretty similar with the OB-8 design and build quality etc.. That is part of their vintage character and charm for me I guess. Also the SX is sooo wonderful sounding in unison since every card is going to be somewhat a bit out of tune from the other voice cards even after pushing the autotune button. I think if I wanted stability and more precision with envelopes etc., I'd be better off sampling it to another sampler/synth. In fact a lot of my pcm based synths have their own, very clean sounding, OB voices already built in to them as presets so I haven't even needed to bother with sampling my OB. I think a lot of VAs will have a staple of OB voice patches too, however in unison nothing really seems to compares really well without some manual fine detuning and other trickery to get them closer to the large beefy sound of an actual OB in unison. That being said, even the other synths with an OB voice/patch are still some of my favorite voices to often use and may be a viable alternative for you if you decide to get rid of your OB-8, or set it aside to collect dust. Probably not a good answer or one that you were hoping for, sorry.
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Re: Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by synthparts » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:45 am

The OB-8 is one of the most reliable vintage synths (much more so than the previous OB polys). There's a few common failures that an experienced OB-8 tech should know like replacing the 5V bridge rectifier, CMOS chip replacements (mostly 4051s), and general pot/button cleaning. They should also be aware of the error in the service manual with regards to calibrating the EG offsets and should have replaced the battery...
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Re: Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by theanaloglab » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:13 pm

Please contact The Analog Lab to discus your problem.
They stand by there work.

themilford
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Re: Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by themilford » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:31 am

theanaloglab wrote:Please contact The Analog Lab to discus your problem.
They stand by there work.
You guys have my OB8... My faith is in your hands. 8-)

themilford
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Re: Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by themilford » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:30 am

Well, I got her home today and she was sounding great at first but now the voices seem to have drifted out again... some of the voices are noticeably quieter with less "oomph". Is it possible that something simple needs checking before I bother Analog Lab again and lug this thing an hour away for another calibration?

I know Analog Lab is good for the warranty on the repair... I would just like to avoid not having the thing again.
Besides, I think I'm ready to tackle the calibration myself anyway... because I can't keep this up, bringing it in every time it drifts out of whack.

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Re: Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by synthroom » Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:01 am

Don't touch a thing and call them in the morning!
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Re: Oberheim OB-8 Frustrations

Post by madtheory » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:57 pm

synthroom wrote:Don't touch a thing and call them in the morning!
+1,000,000,000!!!

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