Behringer Says Their Copy Of The RSF Kobol, aka ‘The French Minimoog’, Is Now Scheduled For Production

Behringer today shared an update on their plans to manufacture a copy of the RSF Kobol, a dual oscillator monophonic synth from 1978 that’s been described as ‘the French Minimoog’.

RSF was a French synth maker, founded by Ruben and Serge Fernandez. The RSF Kobol offered some unique features for its day, including patch memory and a built-in step sequencer. It’s very rare, with less than 200 thought to have been made.

Behringer had previously announced plans for a Kobol knockoff, along with a Euro version of the Kobol Expander synthesizer module, calling them #hardvaporware, because they had no plans to move the designs into production at that time.

Here’s what they have to say about the Behringer Kobol:

“The Kobol synthesizer is a true legendary synthesizer, designed by the long extinct company RSF. It’s so addictive that you’ll never want to put it down. It has amazing morphing features, but also full patch memory.

The Kobol is now fully developed and scheduled for production. “

Pricing and Availability for the Behringer Kobol is to be announced.

48 thoughts on “Behringer Says Their Copy Of The RSF Kobol, aka ‘The French Minimoog’, Is Now Scheduled For Production

  1. Behringer has either released or announced knockoff copies of all the synth classics, which is good for buyers, because there’s now an option that average people can buy.

    With stuff like this, though, it seems like they’re getting into the weeds a bit, and they’re making stuff that nobody has ever heard of and didn’t really have much of an impact on music.

    Is the Kobol really so unique that it should deserves space in our studios?

    1. yes. it has CV controlled envelopes for starters, with nice variable waveform VCO’s. I have a special spot for this one, the expander and the poly kobol – if they get that far.

      I’m sure you all have space for a garbage consumer PC, so why not this too.

      1. A “garbage consumer PC” like my Mac mini is much more useful in a studio than yet another subtractive monosynth.

    2. it actually has me pretty interested
      I think this follows like the Cat and the Wasp of making modern affordable versions of things that are not just expensive but harder to find in the wild

    3. personally, I prefer the odd balls. just because some guy or gal didn’t use it on 75% of his albums meaningful to me other than they were in a rut.

    4. At this rate, they just use random components from around the gigantic factory and tell you it’s a “clone”. Very few consumers will perform due diligence in comparing the synths to the original.

      The result: it will sound like another generic analog synth, unidentifiable in a mix, held up by its history and namesake alone.

      1. you are wrong, like for the Solina, their try to be faithful to the original, as they can.
        And for the kobol, it is so true that because they did not found a good modern 2040 chipfor getting the sound of the kobol , they have build their own version of the a 2040 filter with discrete components.
        In the video of presentation of the kobol expander, peoples notice the quality of the filter and oscillator , the same as the original, and not a random analog synth without character.

    5. Yeah, my first thought was “a wuh?” On the other hand introducing people to something that was never popular isn’t all bad. One could argue that cloning obscure unobtanium has more value than copying something that is otherwise readily available (and well-known).

    6. moog had to fold and sell to mega conglomerate InMusic because they keep putting money into R&D, employees/owners making a living, only to have Behringer rip off their IP. This is good for no one. You fail to see the long-term effects.

      1. The consequences of disruptive competition is that companies that fail to adapt will have to close up shop.

        People want to blame Moog for not adapting to the times for this, or blame Behringer for copying all Moog’s products.

        The bottom line, though, is that the pandemic and global supply chain issues have made it hard for companies like Moog to manufacturer anything, it’s also hiked up their component costs, all while Behringer has made the synth marketplace more competitive than it has ever been in history.

        This is a once-in-a-lifetime type of business environment, worse than in the 80s when the shift to digital instruments killed off all the US analog synth makers.

      2. Funny how there are a thousand Stratocaster clones out there and no one complains…
        Someone clones a 40 year old synth and then they scream IP theft (40+ year old IP tha has long had its patent expired.)

    1. because design is a learning experience – and a poly is an order of magnitude more complicated and subject to customer criticism. they have *already* made several Duo and Para phonics already.

    2. Because this one is a legend, like it is said, it was the “french miniMoog” but with some innovations like variable waveform and patch memory (very few synths had memories at this time).
      Because it is rare because of artisanal production., and only 200 were produced. Some of them were in the hand of famous musicians.

      Because it has a good sound, and well viewed by musicians, it has its place among the other mono synths from Behringer.

      A lot of peoples are expecting it from Behringer, and even more the polyphonic version , one of the best sounding polyphonic , when it works , but sold in around 30 units , and a technical nightmare where all the features were not finished , and only one or two units are really working now.

      But the polyphonic version, the polykobol is more complex to do.

  2. would much rather they resurrect and knock off things that are out of production and interesting/niche than continue to rip off existing tools that are in production. this is genuinely a positive for studios and offers something fresh and new rather than a cheapened shortcut to sales.

    as an aside, i don’t think it’s particularly helpful celebrating the fact that they make existing things more affordably because there simply isn’t some kind of right to have instruments that one can’t afford. while i broadly think things exist in different markets/price categories for entirely legitimate reasons and don’t usually impact each other, i think that arguing for wider access provided by behringer does usually ignore some market realities and consequences, and the (sometimes underhanded) approach.

      1. It sounds pretty neat and lush, but it’s not the Kobol. MOS-Lab plays the Polykobol in the demo.We can compare with this original once Behringer brings out their poly version.

        And yes, it remains a good idea to recreate old classics which aren’t in production anymore by the original makers or their official successors.

  3. I’ll be waiting for the upcoming Kijimi MK2 instead. I think the architecture of the RSF Kobol has its place for those who like a dedicated analog bass synth, that doesn’t sound entirely like everything else that’s available in hardware. Fingers crossed Black Corporation will add pan spread, as modding the MK1 to add individual outs seems popular.

    Oh wait, yeah. It’s about Behringer. Hmm. I’m not poor, so I don’t care.

  4. Imagining a future episode of Hoarders with somebody who’s become entrapped by their accumulation of Behringer synth reproductions. Hoping it’s not me.

    1. I think they are going to incorporate more voices ie the PolyKobol. There are audio demos of the original PolyKobol on YouTube. It is one of the warmest sounding synths ever made without effects.

    2. A mono synth with innovative features and good sound.

      If there was a brand to recreate by Behringer it is RSF , because they were innovative, with good sound, but with limited number of production , and a lot of technical problems from the polyphonic version.

  5. This feels like a B-choice simply because its so esoteric. 200 doesn’t seem like enough to have even gotten the tone of it in people’s ears. There were only 150 Chroma expanders made, but at least people knew what the Chroma was to begin with, despite its rarity. I’ve pecked at a lot of synthesizers, but this one is 110% unknown to me, sound-wise. We’ll see, if it appears at all.

  6. An original recently sold for around $15k on Reverb. There’s more to RSF synths than some commenters here seem to be aware of. They were highly desirable in their day but RSF was a small company that couldn’t keep up with the large-scale manufacturing that others could do.

        1. I think that Polivoks is on the scope as Behringer teasted that they teamed up with Vladimir Kuzmin some time back.

      1. There are many synths that. “…were highly desirable in their day” and are still desirable in 2023. There are also some synths that were maybe not as desirable in their day but are still desirable now. When I was a teenager, I bought a Maxi-Korg for $250 way back in the early 1980s and sold it a few years later for, I think, $250. Have you seen what this synth goes for nowadays? I should have kept it. But in a similar vein, decades ago, who would have thought that VW Beetles and AMC Gremlins would ever be collector cars. I remember where I live when you could buy a Beetle or Gremlin in decent shape for around $500.

        1. I recall walking away from a Moog Source for $150. I couldn’t stand the membrane buttons. Mind you I did have the honor of owning a Micro Moog and Multi Moog for similar prices. Ah those were the days.

    1. The reason that a vintage Kobol might sell for $15k is that less than 200 were made, not because it provides $15k of value as an instrument.

      Behringer is preying on the collectors on a budget with this one. Based on how they’ve priced their other monosynth keyboards, the Kobol is going to be much more expensive than a BassStation, with a fraction of the capability.

  7. I think this will be a neat oddity with some buyers for the niche and curiosity and some buyers for the features. It could be a nice upgrade adding patch memory to something like the poly-d or mono-poly, or the also-recently-announced SH-5 or possible Two-Voice in the future..

  8. The RSF Kobol had a very similar layout as the Minimoog, but sounds different (i.e. it’s got an electronically different design). However – it did have an extensive patchbay on its left for CV controls. I cannot see that on the Behringer faceplate – hopefully it’s there at the back. If it’s not, then Behringer have just made a lookalike.

  9. A huge part of the Kobol sound is the SSM2040 VCF, what is Behringer using? SSI2140 is available now, and perfect for this, but Berhinger doesn’t like to buy chips from others.

    1. hello
      from a guy involved in the building of the synth , they have made their own version of the 2040 with discrete components for getting the original sound of the kobol. They did not found a good model of 2040 on the market for this.

  10. Thank you Behringer R&D and production teams, personally it seems most of the target public would want a polysynth over a mono synth at this time and the original Polykobol sounds so good, Poykobol, Polykobol, Polykobol…

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