Behringer UB-Xa Synthesizer Hardware Design Completed (Oberheim OB-Xa Clone)

Behringer head Uli Behringer shared a design update on their upcoming UB-Xa:

We have now completed the entire hardware design, which includes all PCB’s and mechanical aspects.

The next step is to build our first working prototype and we hope to show a physical sample in around a month time.

Please bear in mind that we’re now starting the most time consuming part, which is the firmware development, which will take considerable amount of time.

While we’ll be able to reuse some of the DeepMind firmware, most will be new as we’re moving to a high-performance ARM processor platform. This is especially useful as it allows for us to design upcoming synths in a very efficient manner.

This synth is the real deal:-)

The Behringer UB-Xa is an updated clone of the classic Oberheim OB-Xa, a classic analog polyphonic synthesizer design from 1981. Details on pricing and availability are to be announced.

53 thoughts on “Behringer UB-Xa Synthesizer Hardware Design Completed (Oberheim OB-Xa Clone)

  1. Amazing!

    As an previous owner of an OB-8 who sadly had to give it up due to “life happening” this is really something to see!. I wonder if it will sound anything like an OB! The OB-6 I have is close but it sure would be nice to have this!

  2. Very excited about this latest clone. I’m loving the Model D – I had one of Rick Wakeman’s old Mini Moogs back in the day (had I known it used to belong to him I would never have sold it…). It really captures pretty much everything I remember about the original Mini Moog. If the OBX-a clone is as good I will be in line for one immediately. Great job rekindling these old flames!!!

  3. I can’t stop shedding tears of joy since I saw this. I’ve been blubbering for hours. It got so bad that I had to leave work and go home to continue weeping.

    If this is under my Christmas tree in 2019, I will burst out crying and screaming.

  4. From one of the pictures it seems that Windows is not activated. Come on Uli, use legitimate software and buy their licenses.

    1. What makes you think it’s pirated, dude? That issue pops up all the time even for legit users!

      If you swap out hard drives, or change any kind of hardware configuration (graphics card, other PCIs, etc.), this can happen. If your PC didn’t come with Win 10 pre-installed and you make some kind of change, this can happen. If you create a file in Win10 Pro and try to open it on a version of Win10 Home,this can happen. It’s normal. So much so, that Microsoft has several kb articles addressing the issue.

      Question is, why did you immediately think it was not legit, unless your own personal experience on the matter of using a cracked version of Windows is coming in to play here..? I mean, I get the Uli hate, and to that I say, to each their own. However, this kind of nonsensical Uli-bashing is a bit beyond the pale.

    2. Please. I’ve yet to know someone who didn’t crack or get a cracked Windows at least once in their life. Kudos for Behringer, fellow pirates!

      1. Hey, man. I’m on your side! All I’m trying to point out to this guy is that the likelihood that Behringer pirated Windows software is pretty low, but sure, maybe they did…

        Secondly, I work in IT, and I see that damn activation watermark almost daily with legit copies of Windows; especially when dealing with corporate licenses.

    3. Yeah. I have multiple BOUGHT software products that run only on Windows XP and guess what? A new installation can’t be activated anymore! Windows? Never again.
      If you want’t to ensure your software investments, use UNIX (Linux, FreeBSD, etc.)

  5. I’ve put money away for this but I’m a little bit worried that they have scrapped the desktop module version for some reason as that’s the one I’ll buy. I don’t have place for any more full size keyboards or the means to travel with a lot of unnecessarily big and heavy equipment, and tbh I found the keys on the DM12 VERY lackluster and much would prefer to hook up one of my own controllers.

  6. > Behringer UB-Xa Synthesizer Hardware
    > Design Completed (Oberheim OB-Xa Clone)

    lmao.. its design was “completed” in 1980, for god´s sake!

    1. The voice circuits may be fundamentally the same, but circuit board designs are drastically different today vs. 1981. It’s almost certainly a completely different board design using multiple layers, surface mount components, and a modern control processor and display.

      The result should be something that is smaller and more reliable, and a new ARM processor should be much more responsive than a 1970s 8-bit processor for any software-based parts.

    2. Car designs are also known for decades now, but designing a new one still costs in the billions.
      Just try to clone a VW Beetle from scratch in your garage.

  7. Why is this news? The “design” for it is finished? Perhaps newsworthy once the hardware prototype is finished and it behaves according to plan, but Synthtopia: you don’t need to publish EVERY press release Behringer releases.

    1. tdtdtdtdt

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Behringer does not publish press releases about their synth plans, and none of our coverage has been based on info from their official news announcements:

      Behringer generally shares status updates on its electronic music gear via various social media channels. We cover these status updates when we think they will be of interest to many Synthtopia readers.

      Whether or not you consider this type of information newsworthy, the many comments and views this coverage receives give us a clear metric for reader interest.

      1. I quite like when Synthtopia covers product development milestones, especially for products as interesting as an OB-Xa clone.

        There are other articles on Synthtopia that don’t interest me, but to remedy that I generally just don’t click them.

        Keep up the good work. In general, I’d rather see more articles than less.

        1. > There are other articles on Synthtopia that don’t interest me, but to remedy that I generally just don’t click them.

          But… but… how do you post in the comment section saying “THIS IS RUBBISH GET IT OFF THE SITE” if you don’t click?


  8. I wish Behringer would stop announcing upcoming products and actually get on with finishing them and brining them to market.
    eg. the copy of the Sequential Circuits – Pro-1.

    1. The same stupid complaints were posted before the Model D arrived. Also many complained and still complain Behringer can only do copies, when they actually produced the Deep Mind and Neutron synth. Can you please stop complaining and post somwhere else?

  9. Let’s start an office pool for the future date when you can build a classic prog rock stack made entirely of B-clones. Coming up: a 49-key Bupiter-88.

  10. i wander if NAMM coming up in a few weeks and the other companies launching new products then has anything to do with the timing of this…”see look we got something moving forward with the project we have promised…”.

    any info is good news in my book…Go Behringer!!!

    1. 808 and 909 clones will be out soon. Both will be at NAMM. Also, MS-101 and Odyssey clones will be at NAMM and are launching soon. Rest is gonna ne more of a wait…….

      1. amazing times were are living in eh DAD! in 20 years time i think there will be no hardware manufacturing and all analog synths made from this time will be revered and treasured! Buy them now whilst you have a second chance i say. All of these will just go up in value as well

        1. No way, synths are here to stay….it is a mainstream instrument now. Like a guitar or a tuba.

          The types of synths built will vary over time though.

          Also, ill be 100% for sure building synths in 20 years. Going to start up sometime this year.
          Wont be mass produced though. Will be all 1 off unique synths… day it may grow into something bigger but I doubt it.

          1. Life can throw you a quick curve ball. 100% is quite a step.
            I wish you all the best but also, people said CDs were here to stay and now, NO CDs but oddly enough, one of the worst mediums ever, the cassette tape, is back in full force. I can understand vinyl to some extent but the cassette tape was sub par to the reel and the 8-track.

            I am a huge huge synth fan and anyone who knows me knows I have (ahem) just a “few” of them.
            This range is quite varying in type.

            Anyhow… I have seen people ditch analogue for digital and then ditch digital for analogue…. I have also seen people talk down about folks like me who were using pro-tools in the early 90s as well as folks with guitar amps and such thinking I was odd for using rack effects and going DI and using in ear monitoring….. times change…..

            Right now synths are the rage, which I do love….. the fad has been electronic music and it is highly encouraged as the big companies have realized instead of an album costing a few hundred thousand to put together, the cost now is just a few thousand or so.

            Nearly everything is in the box.
            (Apart from maybe a glitzy piece of outboard gear to make it “official”)

            Less session musicians, less equipment, less studios… a song can be produced within hours from start to finish and the folks involved can self-“produce” and use software to “master” the deliverable product so that the label / distribution network can now use the money that would have gone into the music, instead into payola and favors for placement and tons of marketing and fake social media accounts to boost the “fame” of the “creators” of the product….

            I am off on a rant as it is time to eat but my point is that who knows what the future holds….
            The synths I was able to get for less than $30 in the early 90s (TB-303, SH-101, MC-202, etc.) are now super expensive while the high-end ones, (Korg Workstations, Yamaha S series, Kurzweil K2500S) are now a few hundred, if that.

            My other point is, I am going to eat now…. I may make a shake or devour some mac n cheese.
            What did you have to eat today 😉

            I will see a number of you at NAMM as per usual.

            Happy New Year and hugs to Elisabeth / Synthmastress for the dedication to sharing awesome news daily!

            Lastly, check out the Behringer TRUTH speakers if you dig Genelec.
            I have both and the Behringer sounds great! (please excuse me to my Genelec folks)

  11. It looks like they used those micro components, I hope you can access the trimmers for the filters on each voice board. I’ve developed some amazing configurations altering the res and filter tracking on each board under the hood on my OBxa. Sadly, it’s getting hard to maintain in its old age.
    Also, it looks like Uli is going with the fricking fan again to cool the synth off. The original OBxa used heat sinks on the back- and it worked just fine and was absolutely silent. Fans worry me, they can fail, they introduce noise to the studio. They seem like a thoughtless, easy go to answer to energy dissipation that requires little creativity. What do you think? Aren’t we at a technological point where a fan in a synth seems lame?

    1. Korg Kronos has fans. In a recording environment it’s not a an issue; it’s white noise, synths go direct, much noisier sources during live recording. Heat sinks increase weight; although not much, the compound dries out, their almost always custom in such an application – their more expensive.

  12. I will say that I like how they’ve reduced the profile of the original to a more conventional size. I don’t dislike how big the OB-Xa is (it’s very nice to look at) but this will likely be more giggable.

    1. If it sells well they most likely will develop one. Thats a formula some synth manufacturers follow. Reduces the blow if your synth does not do well on the market.

  13. i see a very small Main board pcb in the middle of an ocean of empty metal case.

    i also see a FAN on the back in the Behringer tradition. Come on seriously. It cant be that hard to lose the fan with some smart power supply design. Fans last 2 years tops in my PCs before they blow out, annoying and thats separate from the noise issue in the studio they add.

    Behringer are you really designing this thing to last well into the future with a fan in it? or just thinking up to the day after the warranty expiry date?

  14. Chris, not a very smart comment. Have you seen how many fans Moog One uses? 4!!!! There is perhaps a reason? Behringer is using switch mode power supplies in all their designs (at least the DM12 has one) but with the huge component count in analog designs (I read something like 5,000 components on the UBXA) there is massive amount of heat and you need to maintain a constant temperature to retain tuning stability. In the DM12 you can switch it off which will not affect longevity but only tuning. Relax!

  15. Moog One has noisy fans. Many are pissed. Terrible design choice here to include them. Cut-rate engineering, and thinking the mechanical engineer who thoroughly understands heat transfer is too high a cost can all do that.

  16. Moug – Nonsense !

    The original OBXa didn’t have a fan. It is all analog under CPU control. Old-school through-hole components, no SMT. The entire internal space was taken up with circuit boards including the power supply board.
    It has a large heat sink attached to the back end, to which the power supply voltage regulators are mounted. This adds to the weight but longetivith is not compromised.

    I had a Roland -JP6 the same type of design.

    1. Complain complain complain , who cares if it’s not like the original , will it sound good? that’s the only that matters.
      They can give it the old synths name that’s just to get people interested , even if it sounds about 70% as good as the original most people will be happy.

    1. yezzir, they’re called “bob moog’s original circuit designs from the 60’s.” Several dozen companies use this software to employ hundreds of people and make millions of dollars.

  17. More rubbish to avoid. At least it isn’t another Roland rip. Oh, wait – there’s always more of that.

    People don’t bother suing anymore, but if this guy turns up in a river somewhere it would not surprise anyone.

    Free the engineers to do something different – or pay for an actual idea.

    Or don’t.


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