Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 vs. Oberheim OB-Xa Synthesizer Battle

This video, via RetroSound, takes a look at a variety of patches, on both a vintage Oberheim OX-Xa and a Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 synthesizer.

The Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 does not specifically try to recreate the OB-Xa, but instead has a sound engine ‘inspired by’ Oberheim’s original SEM (the core of his acclaimed 4-voice and 8-voice synthesizers).  new instrument is designed to provide true, vintage SEM tone with the stability and flexibility of modern technology.

You can find out more information on the OB-6 at the DSI site.

11 thoughts on “Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 vs. Oberheim OB-Xa Synthesizer Battle

  1. the OB-6 is massive. but it does not quite reach the richness and grandeur of the OB-Xa. anyway, both are fantastic synths (i only owned the OB-Xa so far, though).

  2. I’d say about 75% of the sounds were spot on. In the other instances, I’d say that the Xa had a slightly gutsier sound that I like, though the 6 was still great and very close. I bet it could be punched up further with a very small touch of distortion in the FX section a la Marc Doty to make it even tougher. I have an OB-8 and have been able to absolutely nail some of the preset sounds on my Prophet-6.

    I actually have to roll some bass response off of the P6 with the high pass filter to more accurately nail the bottom end response of the OB-8. I think the new synths are great.

  3. It sounded to me as if the filter on the OB-XA was more open then on the OB-6, as if the cutoff on the OB-6 was just a tad in the lower frequencies then on the OB-XA.

  4. I thought the OB-XA had a more overall distinct character. Both sounded great, but given the chance I’d want to use the OB-XA.

  5. Seems to me, DSI only uses the phrase “inspired by” to save their ass. Simply because they cant make the OB6 sound identical to the OB-Xa, OB-8 etc. If it were possible, I bet they wouldve done it. Theyd sell twice as many.

  6. How many of those sounds on the Oberheim OB-Xa (12dB or 24dB / octave Curtis LPF) are using the 4-pole filter, which is not present on the Dave Smith OB-6 (12dB / octave SEM-style multimode LPF / HPF / BPF / notch)?

    As the OB-Xa uses Curtis filter ICs, perhaps the Prophet ’08 is a better comparison? (Both have different vintage filters, but similar slopes and sound.)

    Or – perhaps to compare the Four-Voice or Eight-Voice against the OB-6?

  7. It still bugs me that Page 2 is gone! Did the OBX-a have those features? or just the OB8 (which i have!)

    OBX definitely rules in this demo…
    or maybe I’m just saying that to dampen my GAS for the OB6

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