Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 Desktop Poly Synth Review

The latest Sonic Lab video takes a look at the Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 Desktop analog synthesizer.

The module has the same controls as the keyboard version, and DSI says that the OB-6 module is exactly the same internally as the keyboard version — the same VCOs, VCFs, and VCAs and the same Oberheim poly sound.

They’ve also added a poly chain feature, so that any two OB-6s can be paired for 12-voice polyphony.

Pricing and Availability

The Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 Desktop is available for US $2,299. See the DSI site for more info.

33 thoughts on “Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 Desktop Poly Synth Review

      1. The DeepMind has absolutely no microtonal support whatsoever and therefore is completely useless for serious music by anyone who knows what they are doing. It’s great though as a cheap toy for disadvantaged children and otherwise challenged.

        The OB-6 has 100% full keyboard MTS microtonal support. Multiple tunings, instantaneous tuning swaps, everything you need to match the intonation of real instruments in the real world, and to work with musics outside the tiny tinny sounding ghetto of european art music and its culturally impoverished descendants including the blight that is contemporary pop music.

        Thumb up 7
        1. I always get amused by the contempt of such comment. There is always one person pretending to need microtonal instrument and saying that regular tuning are therefore “useless”. If you look for microtonal instrument, get a real one, like a Sitar, and learn to play it or even better, a fret less guitar or bass so you can go beyond that limitation of European scale ! It’s pretty obvious that Behringer will aim the western countries for their first analog synth and stick to the historical western scale inherited from classical music. Just because western countries are the biggest market for such synthetic instrument.

          Saying that non microtonal music aren’t “serious music” is a silly judgment. If you love microtonal instrument and music that much, get to learn a real instrument instead of complaining that one instrument isn’t like another. Also, the so called “disadvantaged children” interested in the Deepmind 12 will get the best effect section featured in an analog synth. So good that it goes beyond the possibility of the OB6. You can’t argue with that.

          And last but not least, music lovers don’t care at all about your gear. They really don’t. They care about what you are able to convey through the music and emotions you can create from the sounds, melodies and sonic textures you make. I never bought an album just because the keyboard player had a Minimoog, but because the artist or band was inspiring me something. It’s probably something you lack since you entitle yourself to insult people with different point of view than yours. You can be as frustrated as you want, but even the synth of your dream couldn’t make you an artist. You’re probably more like a fake geek ranting from his mom’s basement.

          Thumb up 47
        2. hahaha funny. I release records internationally for over 10 years and never used microtonal. And my music is dead serious. And I will be getting a DeepMind 12, thank you. If I could afford it, I would buy the OB6 instead as it has a better, true VCO sound quality.

          Thumb up 12
        3. Dude Rabid Bat! Share some of your microtonal wonders with the world! I and probably most of the other kids reading synthtopia have probably no idea what they are missing.

          Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
        4. Microtonal support sucks.
          There are very few musicians / composers actually using it or doing anything sensible with it. There are even less listeners appreciating the results of microtonal work.

          Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
        1. Yeah, will be interesting to see if Behringer will be able to meet demand. I have always wanted an Oberheim synth, but wow that’s a lot of dough for me… And I would first prefer a Prophet VS desktop!!!

          Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
      1. I think Dave or Tom or one of their coworkers or co-funders need to figure out how to get cheap foreign construction of high quality synths to get their prices down like Korg or a small number of other small synth makers. Dispense with the hand-made old-school synths and just put variety of nice vcos and various parts in boxes for as cheap as possible. Experiment in a grand fashion! Sure there’s market for niceh rich synth buyers but they’d make more nad have more fun if they could really get them cheap by any means necessary but keep good sounds. Minilogue is going in the right direction and we could have a dozen more similar synths with UNIQUE features as experiments. People would still buy lots of them even weird ones!

        Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
        1. Hmmm no thank you. If people want synths built as cheaply as possible they already have options from the likes of Korg. DSI and Moog sell plenty of synths at their current price points and those of us that want quality hand built instruments are willing to pay what they are asking.

          Thumb up 5
          1. Moog and DSI’s price points even aren’t that expensive! There are plenty of reasonably priced ones, these goobers just want flagships at Volca prices.

            Like this comment?: Thumb up 4
        2. “I think Dave or Tom or one of their coworkers or co-funders need to figure out how to get cheap foreign construction of high quality synths”

          No, stop trying to “help”. Buy cheap synths. Leave the high quality ones alone.

          PS: They can already make cheap Mother32s, buy those. Even if you’re a teenager who mows lawns, you can have it in a summer.

          Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
    1. “they would make more money if they priced this shit at $800”

      Why are audio forums filled with children who live off their parents’ allowances?

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 3
  1. Why do i now like the OB6 so much more than a P6? Wonderful test, exactly pointing out the strengths of this beast.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
  2. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks and it is superb. There is a 2nd LFO, its called X-Mod. With 12 analog VCO’s you are not going to miss a dedicated “2nd LFO”. As the reviewer said (paraphrasing), you get what you pay for. People who think they could produce and then sell an instrument like this for $800 are utterly clueless. End of story. Get one!!

    Thumb up 5
  3. I always feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth with a desktop version of a synth available with a keyboard.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    1. Some of us, even if adept at playing keys, have limited studio space, need to travel with a minimal performance setup, or simply prefer sequencing to playing keys. I’m definitely interested in the desktop version but wouldn’t spring for the keyboard version. You don’t get it because you’re not the target market, but DSI will sell a ton of these.

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 2

Leave a Reply