Why Did Behringer Drop The Price Of Its Oberheim OB-Xa Knockoff $300 After A Week?

Why is Behringer slashing pricing of its UB-Xa synthesizer – a knockoff of the Oberheim OB-Xa – barely a week after it was officially introduced?

The Behringer UB-Xa made its official debut last week, with a $1,499 USD price, after nearly six years of teasers and sneak previews. The company is marketing the UB-XA as an “authentic reproduction of the classic OB-Xa, including original factory patches”.

Behringer announced today, though, that it has cut the price of the UB-XA synthesizer by $300, dropping the price to $1,199. The company gave this as the official reason:

“The entire Behringer team has decided to donate their earnings and even more to the charity “Playing for Change” as they share our vision to empower less fortunate people.

We are offering the UB-Xa for a price way below the actual value. If you can, please consider donating the balance or any amount in between to the foundation, and we will double your donation up to an additional $1,000,000.

We believe there’s a musician in every human being. Our mission is to empower those who have not and cannot.”

Based on the company’s message, sales of the UB-Xa will not directly support the non-profit, but Behringer plans to match donations of UB-Xa buyers.

The Playing For Change Foundation is a global nonprofit organization, with the mission of offering creative opportunities for marginalized youth, most specifically in the developing world.

98 thoughts on “Why Did Behringer Drop The Price Of Its Oberheim OB-Xa Knockoff $300 After A Week?

  1. When they say that “The entire Behringer team has decided to donate their earnings”, does that mean that their employees in China are being asked to build the UB-Xa without getting paid?

    The price drop is welcome, but Behringer’s announcement is very strange.

    1. Yeah, Behringer has done so much sketchy stuff that it makes it difficult to take their statements seriously.

      Behringer probably realized people don’t want to pay $1500 for a Behringer synth, so they had to drop the price to drive sales.

      If they were serious about supporting this non-profit, they’d just donate the $1,000,000 dollars they say they’re willing to donate, instead of teasing it.

      1. It’s exactly that as far as i’m concerned. Could be an amazing synth, but dropping $1500 for something with “behringer” written on it just feels entirely wrong.

      2. Behringer ‘just donating’ the 1 milion is not the same. They match the gifts from others up to 1 milion, resulting in a total donation of 2 milion. Doing it like this, they encourage people to donate (because every $ you donate is doubled) resulting in a much larger donation.

  2. Nobody’s mentioned that fact that ASM dropped the price on the Hydrasynth Deluxe last week by exactly $300.

    This made it exactly the same price as the UB-Xa, but with much more power.

    Behringer had to cut the UB-Xa’s price to be competitive.

    1. This seems kind of ASM shill-y. I’m not a Behringer guy but saying the Hydrasynth has “much more power” than an analog bitimbral 16-voice polysynth with MPE/poly aftertouch is kind of silly.

      The Hydrasynth is cool, no doubt, but I don’t think the Hydrasynth has made any hits. The OB-Xa defined a generation of music.

        1. If the UB-xa is to the OB-xa as the Deepmind 12 is to the 106, then it will sound exactly the same as the OB-xa and be able to do everything it did, so those sounds that defined a generation you’ll be able to do on the UB-xa.

    2. Yes, but the Hydrasynth isn’t a 16-voice polyphonic all analog synth. The UB-Xa really isn’t as much of a clone of the OB-Xa as it is a new Behringer polyphonic synth that Uli expects will be compared to the OB-X8. Sure, it looks like the old Oberheim relic, but just look at what it adds to that classic synth. I’ve never been a big fan of post-xpander/Matrix 12 Oberheim synths, but if I had room for another 61-key synth in my studio I’d snap one of these up in a heartbeat. Right now, what I’m most particularly interested in is seeing reviews of this groundbreaking synth from some reliable reviewers.

      1. Not sure where you’re coming from, because Behringer has been hyping this as an OB-Xa knockoff/copy for 5 years.

        The Hydrasynth is directly comparable, because they are both 16-voice polysynths with polyphonic aftertouch, and are in the same price range.

        The Hydrasynth, though, has infinitely deeper synthesis capabilities, a big ribbon controller, CV/Gate capabilities, and one of the best effects sections you’ll find on a synth.

        Behringer’s milking the pockets of analog snobs on a budget.

        1. My point was that the UB-Xa was marketed as a clone of the OB-Xa, but, in reality, it is much more competitive with the currently available OB-X8 than it is with the OB-Xa with 16 polyphonic voices and almost $4k cheaper. I don’t need to be lectured on the Hydrasynth. I own two of them (49-key and Explorer). If I didn’t think they were a great synth I wouldn’t own any. I won’t be purchasing the UB-Xa because I don’t have room for it, and also because I’ve never been enamored with the OB “sound” in their polyphonic synths released after after the 4-voice/8-voice except for the Matrix-12 and Xpander. However, for people who do like that one-trick-pony “Jump-type analog sound” (consider all of the accolades here when the OB-X8 was released), it seems that getting it for $4k less than Oberheim clone costs makes a lot of sense.

          1. Where do I compare analog to digital synths? The only comparisons I made were between the UB-Xa and the OB-Xa/OB-X8, all three of which are analog synths. It was Wentworth who was comparing analog (UB-Xa) to digital (Hydrasynth) synths.

    3. Yes they did mention it – it was posted here and every other synth blog I visit

      ASM didn’t drop the price

      The outlets droppped the price

      It only happened in the US anyways so wasn’t of any benefit to anyone outside the US

      1. The retailers passed along a limited time factory-to-dealer incentive. They didn’t just spontaneously wake up one morning and decide to lose margin on the product, that’s not the way things work.

    4. You are delusional, you can get the same exact sound engine from the Explorer, an entry level synth at best, where can you get 16 voices of analog for asking of the UB Xa?

      1. Korg Prologue, which has a much more powerful voice architecture, effects and user-loadable oscillators and effects.

        Behringer is just milking the nostalgia collector market.

        1. Prologue is nice (and I like its loadable digital oscillator) but the Ub-Xa has my holy grail feature for synth keyboards: polyphonic aftertouch.

          On the digital side I am tempted by the Hydrasynth(s) (and the Iridium keyboard, if I decide I want to spend a lot more.)

  3. It was always going to go down. It’s common sales tactics. When they first posted about it they said there would be a ‘surprise’ and for people to stay alert.

    “List Price: $1,499 (stay tuned for a little surprise)”

    It’s the same tactic airlines use on flight delays. They announce it will be a four hour delay and there’s a huge sigh of disappointment, endless tweeting and social media complaints, then suddenly they fix the issue in ‘just’ two hours and everyone is happy again! All along it was only going to take two hours, but they’ve convinced you of something really special! They are still horribly delayed but the bad feelings towards the company are replaced by the sense that they really care :slight_smile:

    It’s clever really, and an often used tactic.

    1. Robin are you performing concerts in 2024.
      I meant to attend your concerts Kate 90s yet somehow seemed to miss them.
      Also I would gladly read in a blog on your website
      how your euroracks have done what they have done for you musically also compared to before euroack.

      Much appreciated Robin.

  4. When you see the words Diversity, Marginalized or Inclusion connected to a organization..its a scam. And probably going to a money laundering NGO.

  5. Thank you, this is solely because of me….I said I couldn’t afford it and they dropped the price because of that, you are all welcome.

    1. Exactly. They’re trying to maximize sales by making it appear that they’re selling an instrument “valued at $5,000” for a bargain price that they’d targeted from the start.

        1. The OB-X8 has more versatile filter options and can emulate the OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8. I suspect the Sequential instrument features is a better built machine, but we’ll have to wait until someone does an A/B test between both. You usually get what you pay for.

          1. I want to play my Sequential/DSI synths with a polyphonic aftertouch keyboard. (Actually I already do, with the Xkey and the Qunexus, but they aren’t regular synth keyboards.)

      1. No, exactly not!
        So funny when haters don’t even know what they’re hating 😀 You’re agreeing with wrong information. Did you even open the article? I guess not, but even the link should give you enough clues; it ends with: behringer-announces-plans-for-1199-oberheim-ob-x-knockoff. Yes, an OB-X (without the a) knock-off. NOT the UB-Xa.
        But don’t feel sad about it, you’re not the first to agree with dumb or non-existing arguments…

      2. Exactly NOT, you mean!
        So funny when haters don’t even know what they’re agreeing with with other haters ?
        I bet you didn’t even read the referred to article? But even if you didn’t, the last part of the URL should have given it away: behringer-announces-plans-for-1199-oberheim-ob-x-knockoff. Yes, that’s right, the OB-X (without the a).

        But don’t feel sad about it, you’re not the first to blindly agree with dumb or non-existing arguments…

    2. No, it wasn’t!
      The article you’re referring to is about the UB-X, not the UB-Xa.
      “now that we have fully developed the firmware platform for the UB-Xa, we can reuse up to 80% for the next Poly synths such as the UB-X, which will tremendously speed up the development.”
      Because they made the UB-Xa, they can speed up developing of the UB-X (and therefor reduce costs).
      So funny when haters don’t even know what they’re hating 😀 But don’t feel sad about it, you’re not the first to come with dumb arguments…

  6. Welll, they probably have seen that the pre-orders were dangerously low compared to their estimations, so they had to adjust the price to keep the money rolling.

  7. after a not so successful first weeks of sales and presales, the future seems not be so bright for a “b” instrument that cost 1.5K$,
    so they cut the prices and present it like something they do for the “community”
    like they knock off others and present it as a “robin hood service” to the community.
    this “donation” thing to make instruments more “accessible” is the same lie they use over and over again. It works on most people who don’t know synths well, them and their history. the same lie could work on me with things I don’t know much about (like if I would buy a new iron or hoover).

  8. Half a year or so from now it will be interesting see if the workers were indeed on board with this and fine with relinquishing their wages (or just commanded to do so by management) and how much money the Playing For Change Foundation actually got from Behringer in the end.

    Good intentions are one thing, but given Behringers’ past reputation this just sounds heavily like a marketing stunt to my ears.

  9. What sort of boss would allow their employees to do that? I’d say, amazing gesture guys, keep you salary, the company will make the donation.

    1. True. The Deepmind 12 is a much more sophisticated synth, even if it has kind of cheap build quality. And they’re both robotically assembled surface mount parts on the inside.

      The main thing the UB-Xa adds is polyphonic aftertouch, which IS a huge deal, from my perspective.

  10. Every body has a comment only one that counts is do you get 300,- refunded if you already bought it.
    A lot of people by their gear if your negative about it don’t buy it but let others do
    Don’t bitch about it do not keep comparing
    It’s a choice of using their gear it’s not a must
    A lot of negativity sounds a bit like envy
    I am fortunate to buy other gear but a lot of
    Starters ar not

    1. pointing out what b is doesn’t prevent anyone from buying their gear, i would be surprised if most b customers even read/comment at comment sections, and the one that do will probably not change their opinion because of what others write.
      I actually wish exposing their methode could impact some people’s decision to buy into it since b is basically a leech who manipulates people who don’t know better but present themself like a contributor to the community. their negative effect on other small brands is huge and degrading to our beloved acupation. we lose from their existence (and there are many alternatives today for the same prices) some choose not to see that (and just make music and it’s absolutely fine) but I don’t see any issue with exposing what they truly are, they did so many bad things in the last 25 years, they deserve that.

      1. No, I read these comments and am quite knowledgeable about gear.
        I’ve bought Behringer gear because it’s cheap.
        I have the Crave (Mother 32 knock-off) and the Edge (DFAM knock-off) because they cost a quarter of what the Moog ones do. And in the Edge’s case add MIDI functionality to it.
        I also have the RD-6 because there is no other analog drum machine with individual outs for that price. In fact I’ve hacked and modded mine to suit my needs. I wouldn’t do that with my other drum machines. But because the cost is so is so low I’m not afraid off getting into it and experimenting with things.
        I have lots of gear by the big names, eurorack too, but Behringer has its place.
        I’m not a fan of their practices, but to say that only people who don’t know better buy their products is wrong.
        I do know better, and will buy certain products if it suits my needs.

  11. Intrigued to know how so many people know that preorders for the first week were really low. I only saw it come up for preorder yesterday, and that was at the new price.

  12. If Behringer found a cure for all cancers, there would still be nothing but negative comments here. Groove Synthesis 3rd Wave is a copy of PPG 2.3 with many additions and upgrades. They have now added all the waves from the Prophet VS to the instrument. One keyboard clones 2 other keyboards, but you’ll not find the vitriol and hate for it here.

    1. No hate, just pointing out their ways,

      – Stealing other successful brands designs that are still being made (from the 90’s till now, too much to mention but starting with mackie’s, genelec, krk, cme, arturia…)
      – Using other one man tech that is not defended by patent, showing no respect.
      – Poor and unsafe working conditions at the factories,
      – Registering trademarks actively used by their competitors
      – Trademark the name KIRN,
      – Harassing journalist with fake racist product (KIRN),
      – Apologies and delete the apologie,
      – Threatened a chinese gear news site with legal action calling their product copycat,
      – Wrongly blaming youtubers for not cooperating with this behavior,
      – Try to intimidate by suing other brands (dave smith) and lost,
      – Suing commenters from gearspace for pointing out the obvious (the knockoff cable tester),
      – Presenting themself has robin hood helping the poors who can’t use vst’s.

      This is just a partial list, too many wrong doing to count.
      But It’s not hate, it’s something worth pointing out for whoever doesn’t know what supporting them means. They deserve it.

      1. You’re still on that bullshit, saying the cork sniffer is racist? Touch grass, sweaty…..
        It’s a term us chefs use for a nitpicking wine sommelier… hence all of the fucking knobs being wine corks…. for that glaringly obvious reference to be completely lost on the majority of the synth community is just idiotic, in my opinion.

    2. Just so you know the guy who owns this site is battling cancer. So maybe cut down on the bs comparisons when you try to convert a parasite to a hero just because he stole designs you like.

    1. Yeah, but you have to look really, really, really hard to find it and then it only appears for a micro second then disappears again.

  13. Most manufacturers are dropping price at this point. Its unusual not to. Behringer is trying to spin this as them being kind to users, etc. Its nonsense, its what businesses are doing right now to keep sales moving.

  14. ARP 2600, Mono/Poly, now this! Love it! CS80 is the last on my checklist! Makes me so happy that such rare and expensive synths can actually be accessible to normal people, even if in clone form

    1. Thankfully, not everything being released is a synth from decades ago. I wish there was more emphasis on moving the industry forward instead of moving back.

  15. They just lowered the price, advising customers to donate that $300 to charity. In this case, the buyers will be those who would eventually give to charity, but certainly not the Behringer company.
    It’s not very clear

    1. It seems sleazy that they asked their employees to donate their salaries and customers to donate money, yet Behringer want to act like they’re the benefactors.

    1. Heh, these Behringer / Teenage Engineering / Hardware vs software discussions are as useless as the one’s on mommy blogs about breast feeding vs formula and similar two camp online opposition. No one ever wins, everyone finally loses, to the detriment of their limited time on earth that cold. Online discussions don’t yield results.

      Opinions are like assholes, …

  16. Behringer’s r&d department is an desk with a pile of keyboard magazines and (i am guessing here) cheap coffe. . Comparing them to the people who actually brought an original product in the market (Hydrasynth) is ridiculous. They are not in the same league.

  17. You couldn’t stop yourself could you, no respect whatsoever for a manufacturer who bring us for those with *only* enough money to buy an Obxa. Cheap knock off right? Poor shaming from your high horse more like

  18. It will be easy to dismiss it as hate but these are the facts. B bad practices against brands, sites, journalists, youtubers and commenters are well documented and worth maintaining on every B post. people should know what they support if they buy into them, and if you don’t care you don’t care…. its a choice.

  19. It will be easy to dismiss it as hate but these are the facts. B bad practices against brands, sites, journalists, youtubers and commenters are well documented and worth maintaining on every B post. people should know what they support if they buy into them, and if you don’t care you don’t care…. its a choice.

  20. I could guide you to several options that $1199 would cover nicely. That loosely assumes that you want the *sound* more than the hardware. There’s a big gray area when you debate the character of one polysynth against another. There are several capable software versions or (just imagine this) you could save for a few more months and land something far more substantial. I know that sounds nervy, but I learned the benefits of patience over jumping on the new shiny thing of the month.

    Another tip: check out the repair technicians in your area and ask THEM which products show up only rarely and which ones they hate trying to fix at all because they’re ill-made money sinks. You may need them later, so buy them lunch for the consultation, too. Its a good investment.

      1. lala – why do you think that it’s OK for billionaires and corporations to harass people?

        Behringer’s done tons of crappy things, and Behringer apologists are like “YOU CAN’T PROVE THAT BEHRINGER’S HATE ATTACKS ARE ANTI-SEMETIC!!!!!!”

        1. “why do you think that it’s OK for billionaires and corporations to harass people?”

          Mr. Kirn is a public figure.
          If you are a public figure you have to deal with that kind of s***.

          1. Are you are saying that you want to pay billionaires and corporations to harass people?

            That’s the crux of it. Behringer can sue Dave Smith and Gearslutz users and harass Peter Kirn. But you don’t have to support that kind of sh** with your purchases.

            Also, what other instrument maker, besides Behringer, is creating products to mock people and using lawsuits to stifle free speech discussion about their products?

            Apologists always come up with whataboutistm excuses, but Behringer is really in a class of its own when it comes to sketchy business moves.

            1. Yeah, Uli is showing many signs of being emotionally immature in several ways, probably a fair bit of personality disorder in the works there.

              Not worse than any of the big banks ruining people’s lives every time there’s a financial crash, not worse than Nestle trying to sell their baby formula as crucial for babies and more important than breastfeeding as well as fighting for putting a price on water for the ordinary people (so they can monopolize that too), and not worse than any of the companies manufacturing your devices used to read and comment here moving their manufacturing around in Asia to the cheapest labour when country after country is developing and putting higher demand on them.

              Not excusing Uli, I hope at some point he will be under the supervision by more hardcore board members, and let the company grow up. Everyone of us are choosing our battles, and personally I don’t think Uli is that bad seeing the situation in a larger perspective in the global corporate race for domination.

              Tbh I am much more worried about c**tz like Mark Suckerberg who is in power of a media machine controlling how this world is perceived, and is blinded by his own success not taking the responsibility required (as that would mean losing a lot of business….).

  21. Note to self; OB-X8, $4800 with 8 voices, UB-Xa $1200 with 16 voices, hmmmm… I think I’ll buy two, always liked the idea of having a procrastination synth in the living room (Yes, divorced living alone)… And then the other $2400… saving for the DS-80 release, just need to order stackers for the living room synth stand….

  22. I often wonder where my life has gone when on a daily basis I wake up, take a dump, and in that moment get excited to go on synthtopia and pray for more Behringer news so that I may stay longer reading the comments so I can delay going to work. Thank you Behringer! Thank you synthtopia! Thank you fellow synthesists.

    Always wait 3 months. I’ve seen soo many products drop hundreds of dollars after initial release. Who cares why they do it tbh. It’s probably just to make a quick buck on the suckers.

    For instance, I bought the System 55 (~$3,000) right after it came out. A few months later they almost halved the price. If you want a new behringer product, wait a month at least.

    1. Indeed, and for the UB-Xa, being a all new poly platform and all there will for sure be firmware updates needed for a while until it’s all bugfree and stable, as with any brand where hardware/software integration is complex and important.

      I will wait until summer 2024 with the UB-Xa, mostly because I have other things to focus on in my life until then, but also because of the above mentioned reason. Though I am almost like a little kid longing for it already, well acquinted with both OB-8, X, and XA, as I was around using those beasts once upon a time, never owned one but had access to them, this will be incredibly exciting having one of these in my set up!

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