Oberheim OB-X8, ‘An Amazing-Sounding Instrument’, Now Shipping

Tom Oberheim announced today that the new Oberheim OB-X8 is now shipping.

The Oberheim OB-X8 is a new design that combines the three different voice architectures of the classic OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8 synths into a single instrument. The individual filter types and other unique characteristics of each model have been faithfully reproduced, along with an 100% analog signal path.

“It’s an exciting day for Oberheim and for musicians anxiously waiting for the OB-X8,” said company founder Tom Oberheim. “We’re proud to reintroduce the Oberheim sound in a new instrument. But even more, we’re proud that we’ve been able to combine the voice architectures of the various original OB series synths in a way that gives players unique new sounds and capabilities that even the originals didn’t have. It’s an amazing-sounding instrument.”

The Oberheim OB-X8 offers broader synthesis options and expressive capabilities than its predecessors, including:

  • Additional SEM filter modes add high-pass, band-pass, and notch functions to the classic OB-X filter
  • Vintage knob allows variable amounts of voice-to-voice variability to emulate the behavior of vintage instruments
  • Velocity sensitivity adds expressiveness to volume and filter
  • Channel Aftertouch adds real-time performance-based modulation
  • Enhanced unison allows variable voice stacking from 1-8 voices
  • Variable triangle wave cross-modulation
  • Over 600 user-programmable preset locations
  • Programmable per-program pan allows wider stereo presence
  • Variable oscillator and noise levels

Features:

  • 8-voice, pure-analog polyphony with saw, square/pulse, triangle, and noise
  • Two discrete SEM/OB-X-lineage VCOs per voice deliver classic Oberheim tone
  • Discrete SEM-lineage VCFs deliver authentic OB-X-style tone and presence
  • Genuine Curtis filters add bold OB-Xa/OB-8 character
  • Meticulously modeled envelope responses match each OB model: OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8
  • The 61-key FATAR velocity- and touch-sensitive keyboard offers expanded expression and responsiveness
  • Bi-timbral capability allows two presets simultaneously for splits and doubles
  • 400-plus factory programs, including the full set of factory sounds for the OB-X, OB-SX, OB-Xa, and OB-8
  • Integral, fanless, heatsink-free power supply
  • Real walnut end cheeks
  • High-resolution OLED display enables patch management and easy access to advanced features
  • Classic Oberheim Pitch and Mod levers allow expressive note bending, vibrato, and access to arpeggiator functions

Oberheim OB-X8 Audio Demo:

Pricing and Availability

The Oberheim OB-X8 is now shipping, with a retail price of $4,999.

33 thoughts on “Oberheim OB-X8, ‘An Amazing-Sounding Instrument’, Now Shipping

  1. $5,000 is a lot of money, to just about anyone.

    But it’s amazing that you can get a brand-new Prophet 5, a brand-new MS-20 and now a brand new Oberheim polysynth that’s the best thing he’s ever designed.

    I hope that there’s more to come from Tom Oberheim!

  2. Well, a new OB-8 sold for $4395 in 1985 – equivalent to more than $12K today after adjusting for inflation.

    And the OB-X8 is more versatile.

    If only it had the polyphonic aftertouch (and 16-voice polyphony?) of the UB-Xa… 😉

    1. True. It’s synthesis capabilities will run circles around the UB-Xa, but more polyphony and polyaftertouch will appeal to a lot of people, too.

    2. The OB-X8 will appeal to people who want the deepest Oberheim ever and like supporting the guy who actually designed the synth.

      The Behringer knockoff will be a good option for people with nostalgia for old synth that don’t want to pay for the real thing.

      1. > “for people … that don’t want to pay for the real thing.“

        correction: can’t afford to pay for the real thing.

        1. Whether you can afford a high-end synth is matter of your priorities.

          Even at $5k, the Oberheim is cheaper in today’s dollars than just about any synth was in the ’70s – which just goes to show that there were a lot of musicians that were willing to sacrifice to save up for a Minimoog, Prophet 5 or an Oberheim back then.

          High-end synths have really never been cheaper than they are today.

          There are obviously tons of budget options available and this has opened up synths to casual musicians and hobbyists. $5k may seem crazy unaffordable and even unjustifiable to you, if you’re in that category.

          1. > Whether you can afford a high-end synth is matter of your priorities
            we are in a new era — priorities are no longer about choosing to go on a luxury vacation or buy a new toy — right now priorities are deciding to buy groceries VS to pay for gas/heat while trying to not get evicted or default on mortgage!

            example: boomer priorities: how am I going to spend my Christmas Bonus? designer suit vs luxury watch vs luxury handbag for missus vs high-end synth or trip to Europe?— yes a matter of priorities — but not all generations have this luxury!

            – a large majority of OBX8 buyers are casual musician and hobbyists who happen to be from a certain demographic ( Boomer )

            – I am not saying OBX8 is expensive, or why is it at the price it is — for an Iconic synth MADE in the USA it is definitely worth the asking price — I am just addressing that majority of people who want Behringer do not have the finances to afford OBX8. even if they have $5K in the bank, that $5K is not going to a luxury toy — not because they want to spend it on a luxury watch — no, because that is a rainy day fund to carry them over when they get laid off, or to be able to afford getting some dental work done or able to afford some back surgery, etc …

            for many it’s all about SURVIVAL now

    3. “A new OB-8 sold for $4395 in 1985 – equivalent to more than $12K today after adjusting for inflation.”

      But the synths those days were built to last, and four decades later, an OB-8 would be worth more than what you paid for it. Even adjusting for inflation.

      What else can you say that about? Especially when it comes to electronics.

      1. I have some 20 years old synth that looks and play like new, they may need some repair 20 years from now but they don’t seem to go anywhere. some of them sold now for double or triple the price.

      2. If you had bought $4395 of Apple stock at the end of December 1985, you’d have $6,722,152. That would buy a lifetime of synths.

        And consumer goods in the past weren’t built to last. They were just built to the best of our ability. Many ICs from the early 1980s were extremely static sensitive and failed. Capacitors leak. Foam and plastic degrades (black goo, anyone?).

        1. they were built to meet the cost, serviceability and reliability targets. no magic ‘best ability’, nothing more than average engineering for the times.

          you guys romanticize the f*ck out of some guys paycheck.

    1. Strange that there is still no manual and it’s already shipping, I think its saying something about the target audience.

        1. Perpetual licenses of high quality code could only be construed as nothing by the most closed of minds.
          My aging laptop can run 4 instances of Obxtreme with 4x oversampling.
          That’s £20k of equivalent hardware synth that take up no space and have meagre power requirements.
          But most vitally they sound so magnificent that they need no effects.

          1. +1

            Sunrizer still running perfectly on my old iPhone 4 made my JP-8000 obsolete long ago lol.
            After $1,000 in various repairs my beloved Triton Studio(serial # in the low 500s) died and the repair place said they couldn’t get parts anymore. My Kronos X88, Triton Pro, Jupiter80 and Karma sit in the corner, about 10 various modules live in boxes. Even my lowly old Dell laptop runs cooler stuff than any of my hardware can produce. The last few years my synth rig has morphed into multiple computers all running into Soundforge, then bounced around one of my DAWs, and ACID and then back again with whatever combos meet my needs. An old Dell, 2 MacBook airs, and a new MacBook Pro can all be recorded into a Creation Station from Sweetwater running Windows 10. Can swap any files between all the computers in any workflow I want. For me it’s the most powerful and most comfortable setup I have ever had. JMO and experiences. YMMV.

      1. Thank you so much for this link!!! I just went nuts recently and about all the Arturia, Cherry Audio, and U-he synths but none sound like this!

  3. Personally, I’m waiting for the Behringer. Sometimes I wonder about the nostalgia that surrounds many “vintage” synths and their manufacturers. I’m guessing that many people who keep drooling over the latest Oberheim, Sequential and Moog stuff aren’t even old enough to be truly nostalgic about the vintage synths.

    1. I’ve got the complete opposite perspective.

      If you’re buying knockoffs, nostalgia is controlling your purchase. You’re essentially lusting after a copy of a synth that’s valuable because it’s rare and collectible, instead of lusting after a modern synth that can do more and do it better than any vintage synth.

      1. > “ You’re essentially lusting after a copy of a synth that’s valuable because it’s rare and collectible “

        correction: lusting after the sound signature of a synth that was used on iconic hits of the yesteryear

        example: gen-z synthwave — happy doing it with a VST. might pick up a used desktop UB-Xa off Reverb for experimentation before selling it to pay grocery bills. forget about budget, no space for OBX8 in a tiny shoebox closet of a living space for gen z. gen-z doesnt care if it is 99.99% vintage accurate (OBX8) or 75% authentic (Ub-Xa), because anything above a korg volca and Roland boutique is a luxury for them.

        1. I’m Gen X and anything above a volca or Roland Boutique is a luxury. The Arturia V Collection is about the only way I can get my hands on something approximating a vintage synth.

          I’m okay with that. I have a new lawnmower to buy.

    2. I’m waiting for Behringer too. I don’t care about the ‘vintage’ nonsense. I want a cheap big analog I can modify for my wants and needs, not an off the shelf ‘me too’ synth.

      1. “vintage’ nonsense off the shelf ‘me too’ synth”

        sounds like the definition of most of beringer synth’s 🙂

  4. As much as the OB-X8 is a colossal, high-quality thrill, I think I’d prefer to use that $5K for an OB-6 and some additional gear. I got to demo real Eight-Voices and OBs, so I get the great leap here. I can’t forget the tears that came to my eyes when I hear about it. I also can’t forget how my nipples hurt when I saw the price tag. 😛

  5. The best demonstration of this instrument will come from a real musician – please give this instrument to Matt Johnson from Jamiroquai band.

    1. people like Matt Johnson can make nice sounds out of a cheap sounding VST — so is this the standard?

      1. yes! i want to know what the instrument is capable of…
        dry oscs, filter sweep or people playing stranger things are meaningless to me.

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