This video, via RetroSound, pits a Casio CZ-101 vs an Oberheim OB-Xa that’s worth 10+ times as much.
Can the CZ-101 match the OB-Xa? We’ll let your ears be the judge, but will note that a bit of Lexicon MPX delay and Roland SRV reverb sound good with any synth.
27 thoughts on “Casio CZ-101 vs Oberheim OB-Xa”
I’m not sure you need to watch a video to know the answer is a resounding no!
This is ridiculous, the OB is a professional quality instrument, the Casio is a toy. Worthless article, why even bother putting this online~
clearly you’ve never tried to program one of these lil’ bastards. it’s a dumb comparison but because it’s apples and oranges, not because of an objective quality difference.
Impressive; there is ultimately little difference between the sound of these instruments.
CZ synths are vastly underrated. They’re more analog sounding than DX/FM synths, and have this amazing ooze that comes close to my Oberheim M6R.
it sounds very close nothing what an eq not can fix…
Well, obviously they don’t sound the same, but I used to own a CZ 101 and they can sound RIDICULOUSLY FAT for a 400 buck digisynth. And the envelopes on the CZ series are second to none; I never liked envelopes that much again until I started working with Serum.
I have always wanted a CZ101 – I wish someone would make it or a similar phase dist. synth inexpensively with modern features (like USB – control encoders, etc)
Take a look at the Casio XW-G1 or P1. They seem to offer just that.
My live set-up long ago was a Juno-60, a Prophet 600, 2 Pro-Ones and 2 CZ1000s(the full size key version of the CZ-101). My guess is anyone who thinks the CZ-101 was just “a toy” obviously has never owned or programmed one of these little beasts, or are clueless about phase distortion. Dr. T made an editor/librarian for the CZ that I used a lot once upon a time. The video was just a demo showing how to simulate an Obie patch with a CZ.
CZ for the win. Prince used this on purple rain. Analog is making a comeback but you can get the same thing with tape.
Mr Bob a CZ-101 can do a bunch of sounds you can´t imagine, a lot more.. A toy for you, but is a serius syntheser tool for people who dont discrimine synths for the kind of technology used.
Vince Clark had no problem making and selling a TON of records using multiple CZ-101s.
I rented a 101 for my travels in the 80’s.
Although I had a JP-6 and P5 at home, I was highly impressed with the sound quality of the 101…although a bit of a swine to edit.
If I saw one in vgc now I would buy it.
How good is an Obie at sounding like a Casio? They are different synths with different engines and price points. Bollox to making synths sound the same!!
I played a piece of my music to a friend who is a very good guitar player. He said “I didn’t know you played guitar”. It was a CZ-101 through a RAT distortion and an EHX Memory Man. Once you get your head around programming it (not really that hard) there’s a lot it can do. I was able to get some very fat basses, pads and leads out of it. I wish the iPad app was as good as the hardware but it just doesn’t sound the same.
I was able to get a cool formant/talking effect out of a CZ-1000, but man it’s a pain to program. I need to get a librarian app that puts more controls in your face instead of menuing through it all on the CZ.
Get the coffeeshop iPad editor, makes it REALLY easy.
CZ win’s and sounds better. OB is the toy.
I think the point here is that most synths are similar in more ways than they’re different.
I own a CZ-1 and CZ-101. They are very impressive synths. If you call it a toy then you’re just being naive – they are serious powerhouses once you learn them. The OB is also extremely cool and awesome. They are both great synths. And just because one sells for way over-inflated prices doesn’t mean it’s better or worse.
Pretty cool you can get a CZ to sound that fat and big. It’s even fatter if you have 16-voice CZ-1 that can layer and detune TWO CZ-101 sounds at one time – or layer a OB type sound and DX type sound (try that on a OB!).
Some of these Synth Snob comments reminds me of when I raced cars in SCCA Spec Miata – Yeah the 911 guys would always look down at the Miata guys, calling them “girl toy cars”, no respect, etc – until they got spanked by a bunch of well driven and prepped Miatas. Meaning, having the 911 doesn’t make you a better driver, nor does owning a OB make you better synth player.
Would be nice to see a CZ synth with a good programming interface.
The Virtual CZ on a large touchscreen could perhaps be that… would be interesting to try that out.
The hardware CZ interface is much easier to navigate than the iPad app. Once I learned it I could fly. It’s mostly just choosing a parameter and incrementing values up or down. Holding down the navigation buttons steps through the values pretty quickly.
I was thinking of the VST version, and something more in size of a 27″ monitor.
hmmm that casio has a nice wobble all of its own. this is good for letting ppl know that actually most of the sounds you can hear on records can be replicated by any digital synth…. but myself i always wanted those crazy warped fuzzy sounds i could never achieve with a digital synth
..did the CZ-101 just go up in price..?
Sadly the CZ-101/1000 is only a 4-voice (though multitimbral!) instrument in dual oscillator/detuned mode, and it doesn’t have a mod wheel or velocity sensitivity (on the keyboard at least.)
But it is pretty fantastic sounding, and it has these awesome 8-step envelopes which allow you to do some neat things that you can’t do with ADSR.