Is An Oberheim OB-X Reissue Coming From Sequential?

Is Sequential – which has collaborated with Tom Oberheim on the OB-6 and recently introduced a Prophet-5 reissue – going to reissue the classic Oberheim OB-X?

We haven’t seen any official word from Sequential on this yet, but on Jan 5, 2021, the company has filed to trademark ‘OB-X’ for use with ‘Musical instruments, namely, keyboards; music synthesizers’. And the company traditionally introduces a new synthesizer around the time of the NAMM Show, which is scheduled this year for Jan 20-23, as an online event.

The Oberheim OB-X is a pioneering polyphonic analog synthesizer, originally available in 4-, 6- and 8-voice configurations. The OB-X features a dual VCO + VCF + VCA synth voice, with the filter based on the Oberheim S.E.M. The S.E.M. was also the inspiration for Sequential’s OB-6 design.

“It’s not often that you get to revisit your past, retrieve some of its magic, and give it new life,” said Sequential head Dave Smith, on the release of the Prophet-5/10 rev4. “It’s gratifying to rediscover that its sound and aesthetics are just as appealing now as they were then.”

Could a similar reissue be coming for the OB-X? Share your thoughts in the comments!

via Marc Martinez, CPRdave

49 thoughts on “Is An Oberheim OB-X Reissue Coming From Sequential?

    1. Behringer has yet to do anything that competes head to head with synths from people like Moog or Sequential.

      Everything they’ve done has been a cheap knockoff, where Moog & Sequential are clearly targeting the professional (and ‘pro-sumer’) end of the market.

      I’ve got the Model D and, while it’s great for what it is, it’s a smt pcb clone stuffed into a cheap box. So it sounds pretty good, but it’s nothing like the experience of using a really nicely crafted keyboard.

      1. “Behringer has yet to do anything that competes head to head with synths from people like Moog or Sequential.”

        That’s like saying Hyundai has yet to do anything that competes head to head with cars from people like Lamborghini or Ferrari.

        Behringer does compete, where it matters. In the pocketbook. The fact is, most people don’t have $3,000 to $8,000 to plunk down on a “professional” instrument (as if not a single “pro-sumer” uses a Behringer synth).

        “Everything they’ve done has been a cheap knockoff… Really? Go read the Sweetwater reviews from people who bought a Deepmind 12 and / or a Neutron.

        “I’ve got the Model D and, while it’s great for what it is, it’s a smt pcb clone stuffed into a cheap box. So it sounds pretty good, but it’s nothing like the experience of using a really nicely crafted keyboard.”

        So, you admit that it’s great for what it is. Sounds pretty good? It’s $300 and sounds like a Minimoog, and it has more features (and better reliability) than a $5,000 decades old Minimoog on eBay or Reverb. If you want to knock Behringer, why do have a Behringer product? Many people are very happy that they can get a Model D or Wasp or Cat or 2600 etc. where they could not or would not pay thousands of dollars for other instruments.

        “…it’s nothing like the experience of using a really nice crafted keyboard.”

        That’s like telling someone who can only afford Hyundai, “Well, your Hyundai is nothing like the experience of using a really nicely crafted high-end car.”

        And they’ll likely never know that experience, and for most, they don’t care. That’s because they can’t afford a high-end car just like they can’t afford a high-end synth. Yet, they enjoy and get a lot of mileage out of Behringer synths that they can afford.

          1. Not a comparison? There’s a reason that no one is copying a 1990s Ford Taurus schematic in its entirety. 1) Ford still owns some of the intellectual property related to a 1990s Ford Taurus. No one’s intellectual property precludes Behringer from making the Cat or Wasp etc. You could do it too (by the way, Behringer is not the first company to bring back some other synth company’s dead product). 2) There is insufficient demand to bring back a 1990s Ford Taurus.

            You don’t think that Airbus took ideas from Boeing? You don’t think that the company that makes Colossal Crunch took the idea from Cap ‘N Crunch? What about the numerous guitar models that have a shape and features like a Stratocaster or Les Paul? Ford was the first company to install intermittent wipers in a car. How many cars now have this feature?

            The point was/is that many people can’t afford the expensive synthesizers from companies that are often touted by some people here as better crafted, for professionals, worthy of their name, not cheaters, etc etc. The point of comparison was/is also that many people can’t afford a high-end car and are therefore relegated to driving a Hyundai or something similar. Many people can’t afford a high-end synth but are happy that Behringer is making synths available at relatively modest prices. If you can afford a $2,000 to $8,000 synth, then more power to you. If you can afford a high-end synth and hate Behringer, more power to you. For those of us who can’t or don’t want to spend thousand of dollars on a synth, Behringer provides some very good options. Behringer is not selling to the high-end crowd. Behringer is selling to the “Hyundai” crowd.

            1. Not to car nerd the conversation or anything, but I’m just going to say Hyundai’s really not the right comparison (the Palisade and Veloster N are both extremely well-liked, and the latter’s particularly unique).

              Comparing Behringer to one of the Chinese manufacturers that makes knock-offs of foreign cars with only minor changes would be more accurate; technically legal in the given market but maybe not the best idea. Or if you stick with Hyundai, maybe Casio; both had kind of a joke reputation for awhile (Casio’s toy keyboards from the ’90s…Hyundai Excels that only excelled at sucking), but now both simply offer similar products to competitors at lower prices (though prices for both seem to be creeping up).

              1. “Similar”? Swing KeyStep anyone? How about a Hyundai 250 GTO in Rosso Cina? They wouldn’t do it – for so many reasons. If you don’t understand why, you are lost. And yet we have Uli OB-Xa/Odyssey/Model D/Pro One/MonoPoly/2600/VP330/MS-20/etc/etc with tiny name/color/layout changes – East Asian Ferraris for the masses. Just because some of them sell doesn’t make it right. Arturia, Korg, Yamaha, Roland etc. continue to invest, innovate and release tons of original synths “at relatively modest prices”. But hey, perhaps the recent KIRN was a form of innovation? Troll on Behrs.

    2. Squier VS Fender = Behringer VS Sequential

      I would never wear a T-shirt with Behringer’s logo on it but would proudly wear one with Sequential. Sequential earned it.

  1. It would be totally hilarious and amazing if they did so, beat to the punchline the b-word company’s long ago announced and unfulfilled plans to do so, and it was an authorized next-generation issue like the P5r4.

    I am positive that whatever they do if they do it will totally outclass any other models from unlicensed rivals, either run by sociopaths or otherwise.

    BTW, the OB-6 uses much of the same circuitry as the OB-X, but has been revised, modernized, and in consultation with the inventor. It’s a superior instrument. But some may want something in the exact same panel format, and with more limited options, and that’s reasonable.

    1. It sounds like they’re going to do something similar to the Prophet-5/10 reissue, a full-size reissue of the original design.

      On one hand, I love this, because it means that this classic synth will be available – with the original design & build quality – for the price of a professional synth, vs the price of a collector’s item. The consensus on the Prophet-5/10 is that it’s an excellent synth with build and sound worthy of calling it ‘Rev4’.

      On the other hand, though, I’d love to see another modern synth design from Tom Oberheim. It’s too bad that the OB-12 has already been done, because something like the OB-6 – but with more polyphony, splits, layers etc – would be awesome.

      Excited to see what Sequential does. They literally have the best lineup of synths of any company, ever, and you know a Sequential OB-X will be golden.

  2. I already have an OB-6, but would happily add the OB-X and Prophet-10 to finish up my synth collection. Oh yeah, CS-80 reissue as well!

    1. OB-X has a very different sound, arguably more ‘analog’ and unique.

      The OB-Xa uses Curtis chips, if I remember correctly, which made it cheaper to build and probably more reliable. But the OB-X sound is its own thing, and many people prefer it.

      1. “Arguably more analog” is subjective. The OB-Xa added features like split/layer. And the filter had a switch for 12db/24db. Those features alone are extremely important in real world use. One of the features that was lost was cross mod of VCO 1 to VCO 2. That can be added. And with all the stink about Behringer cloning Curtis chips, they must be pretty good. I would venture to guess that many people prefer having split/layer and a filter that has switchable slopes.

      2. “Arguably more analog” is subjective. Why is there such a furor over Behringer copying Curtis chips, unless many people like their sound? The OB-Xa had features the OB-X did not, like split and layer. In addition, the VCF could be switched from 12db per octave to 24db. I am pretty sure there are many people who prefer having those features. One of the features that was dropped was cross mod between VCO 1 and VCO 2. There’s no reason why a modern version of the OB-Xa couldn’t have that feature.

  3. Is it really the sound of the OB family or the vintage thrill of owning one? Softsynth versions are so hardware-accurate, I’m amazed. A decent multi-mode filter = being able to build OBs or lush Jupiters easily. Just my .02. I had a real Jupiter-8 for six months, so I get it, but the number of clones and reissues is a bit of a yawn. The OB-6 is the one to get; it advances the cause the best.

    1. VST’s don’t figure into this conversation when people want actual HARDWARE in their hands, with the size and form factor of the original OBX.

    1. It’s should be obvious that Sequential’s Prophet 5/10 is more comparable to the type of reissues that Moog has been doing for 5 or 6 years than the cheap knockoffs that Behringer has been doing for the entire length of their existence.

      1. Other than their $3,500 Model D reissue and the mega expensive modular systems, what other reissues has Moog done in the last 5 to 6 years? What reissue have they ever done that is affordable to most people?

        As a side note, one could argue that these “reissues” are also clones. Other than the name Moog, they were sold by an entirely different company.

        1. Behringer’s synths are not ‘clones’ – they’re knockoffs.

          A clone is essentially identical to the original. So you could argue that recent Moog’s Model D rerelease was a clone, because they worked so hard to match the original build. But it’s really more of a reissue of the original, since they made some small improvements to the design.

          The fact that the Moog corporation of 2021 is not the same corporation founded 68 years ago as R. A. Moog Co. doesn’t make it an ‘entirely different company’. It’s a different corporation, but they were both founded by Bob Moog, and he founded the modern ‘Moog Music’ to continue the work he started with his early companies.

          This is completely different than, for example, Behringer trademarking the Oberheim name so they could release knockoffs using the ‘Oberheim’ brand, but without any input from Tom Oberheim or involvement from anyone associated with the original company.

          1. How are Behringer synths the Cat, Wasp, Monopoly, Pro-1, MS-1, VC340, and others knockoffs when the the original versions of these synths are no longer manufactured and haven’t been for decades?

        2. Mate you are embarrassing yourself here. I suggest you spend more time at B forums and leave us alone. Greatly appreciate it.

          1. Mate, you are embarrassing yourself here. I suggest you spend more time at forums that deal with expensive $2,000 – $8,000 synths and leave your judgements of those of us who can’t afford these synths alone. We’d greatly appreciate it.

        3. Behringer can cater to most people. Moog caters to people who care about quality, IP laws, support after the fact, and a company that pays its employees fairly. I doubt Behringer’s line workers have literal equity in the company like the Moog ones do since it is employee owned and new employees can buy in.

  4. Possibly next year? Jan 5 seems awfully late to file for a trademark on something they aim to release (or even announce) 20 days later. Though, we’re all human and forgetful so who knows.

  5. As long as the reissues of old synth-chip designs continues, reissued old polys that use them will flood the markets. It’s odd that nobody mentions how easy it is to construct synths with these ics.

  6. This is very likely and expected. Great for those who only want the pure legacy stuff and wiling to pay for product in Sequential (price) premium line of products even when it might have less functionality than OB6. REV2 function/price wise was a ‘sweet’ spot, this would likely fall in the ‘sour’ spot for many. :-).

  7. It would be nice to have this complementary kind of sound to the Prophet 5/10. It would be a nice way to celebrate the life and legacy of Tom Oberheim too.

  8. I’d love to see an OB-X in a Tetra form factor …at a Tetra price point.
    Would be nice if good ol’ Dave filled the entry-level tier with a Tetra successor. Pretty please! 😉

  9. There is actually no competition here. Like it or not Behringer are here, if you only have or only want to spend $300 on a synth in a plastic box much like you might have with their guitar pedal ‘knock-offs’ then go for it. Quoting a car analogy here is disingenuous, it’s not about a manufacturer who makes cars for $15k competing against one that makes cars for ten times that. It’s a reflection of how segmented the market is based on what people cannot or will not pay for a product or service. It’s about reminding people that this point of difference always exists. Sequential releasing an OB-X is NOT competing against Behringer, they are doing it to remind people that they can and they are not Behringer, that’s the point of difference. Competition is when you are attempting to sell a product at roughly the same price point and specs. That does not apply here.

  10. Interesting conversation. But a lot of false equivalencies are being made here. The reality is Behringer used to have a bad name for being cheap products that didn’t last. But if you still feel that way, you haven’ t been around Behringer much lately. The bought both Midas and Klark Technic and that is who is doing most of their engineering/design these days. If you think Behringer is such crap, I can only imagine what you think of Roland and Korg and Yamaha. “boutique” synths with tiny keyboards and a mere 4 note polyphony in plastic boxes. I have an Arturia MiniBrute and a Behringer Deepmind 12 desktop unit. While the end pieces on the Aruria are plastic, other than that it is built like a tank. The the rest is metal. And I love it! The Behringer is also built like a tank and even has nicely finished wood end pieces. Arturia also gives you plans for making wood end pieces. The point here is someone mentioned Arturia as being one of the companies that does it right. And I agree, although I could easily say the MiniBrute is a knock off of the Roland SH 101. But it is even better.

    I also feel the same about the Behringer. It is easily as well built as the Arturia. And I didn’t ned the keyboard so I got the desktop unit. It too is built like a tank. For a little under $600, it has 12 note polyphony, a feature set that is massive, right down to being able to adjust the drift and slew rates for the oscillators. And it sounds INCREDIBLE! With that one synth I can recreate far more than just Juno sounds. I can get the sound of just about any synth from the 70’s through the 90’s. It even does a good Oberheim.

    Now; lets get down to brass tacks. It is specious to declare Behringer is making “cheap plastic knock offs”. They may be inexpensive, but they aren’t cheap. Cheap implies not just inexpensive but also bad design that usually fails quickly. The Behringer is metal and wood essentially, except for button and faders, but we don’t count them. And as I stated, it is built like a tank. Thank god Behringer has come out with well made but inexpensive copies, clones, knock offs, whatever you want to call them. They are allowing thousands of musicians the ability to play and make music and sounds with some of the most revered synths out there because they are affordable and because Behringer has gone to such great lengths to duplicate the original’s sound. Any difference is not much more than the normal difference between to units of the same model synth. All Juno’s and all Model D’s just as all Sequentials and any other analogue synth do not sound a like. The are very close and the difference is often extremely subtle. But due to the nature of analogue components, no two will ever sound exactly alike. Which brings me to my final point. One of the biggest reasons for the price difference between Behringer and a multi thousand dollar vintage or new synth is all about Brand. Just like you pay an average 30% more for Apple products because they have the Apple logo, when you buy a “real” Oberheim or Prophet, a substantial part of the cost has nothing to do with build or quality. You are paying for the name. I for one can’t afford to spend $1500 buying one of my friends vintage Junos,. nor could I afford the upkeep it will require. So I wouldn;t be buying a brand name Moog or Prophet or Oberheim to begin with, But I will gladly pay a reasonable price for a “knock off” that is essentially the same only better because feature such as MIDI, etc. have been added and it is new so reliability won’t be a problem for many years.I am glad Sequential and Oberheim are going to do a new OB whatever. But i will never be able to plop down that kind of money for one. o I will happily spend my money with Uli. Right now I have two incredible synths that cost me as much as a single of the others would.

    1. Yes, and at least we can thank Behringer for giving the synth market a well-deserved kick up the behind. Even if you don’t buy their stuff, you have to admit we’re in a better place now with really exciting options and new synths coming out every few weeks.

  11. It’s good to have choice. If the Sequential OBX sounds great and seems worth the investment, I’ll save up for a couple of years and get one. If it’s just a hairs difference in sound between this and a cheaper competing model, I’ll get the Abstrakt Instruments clone. If the Behringer OBXa sounds as good (albeit with different filters), I might look at that., particularly as the sound design options on it will be better than anything else. The Sequential will probably be the closest thing to the original in terms of experience as they won’t downscale the physical size or put the synth in a rack unit. I hope Sequential talk to Abstrakt as they have been making OBX replacement parts for years.

  12. I had a DM12 for about 6 months but ended up selling it. I thought that it was built like a tank even if the display was slightly angled downwards right to left but it still functioned ok. I have got through a number of RX1602 line mixers in my time but, never having anything to compare it to, I can’t really comment as to whether it’s more or less reliable than anything else. They are, in my opinion, relatively inexpensive. Price is absolute, value is subjective as they say.

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