Behringer UB-Xa vs Oberheim OB-X8 Head-To-Head Comparison

In his latest video, Starsky Carr takes a look at two modern synths descended from the classic Oberheim OB-Xa, the Behringer UB-Xa vs Oberheim OB-X8.

The two designs take very different approaches and are at very different price points:

  • The Behringer UB-Xa is an modern take on the OB-Xa, copying the original’s look, name and voice architecture and updating it with expanded polyphony and a keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch.
  • The Oberheim OB-X8 is a modern synth design, created by Tom Oberheim. The OB-X8 builds on the capabilities of three of his classic synths – the OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8. It works as a modern take of those synths, but it’s an original Oberheim design that offers better synthesis options and expressive capabilities than its predecessors.

Carr focuses on comparing these synths as a modern OB-Xa. If that’s what you’re looking for, Carr argues that that the Oberheim ‘has more presence’, but the UB-Xa offers a great option that’s much cheaper. On the other hand, if you want a modern Oberheim synth, the OB-X8 not only “nails the sound” of the synths that it builds on, but offers much better synthesis options than its predecessors.

Check out the video and share your thoughts on the two synths in the comments!

15 thoughts on “Behringer UB-Xa vs Oberheim OB-X8 Head-To-Head Comparison

  1. If the CS-80 clone turns out as nice, I will pick it up too. Had my UB-Xa for four days now and have not turned it off yet. Sounds fabulous. Thanks to the engineers as I would not be able to own one, otherwise.

    1. This is why I don’t understand why fanboys freak out about the idea that Behringer specializes in making knockoffs.

      The fact that they make good, cheap copies of vintage synths available is literally the only reason anybody cares about Behringer’s synths.

      I’m not a fan of Behringer harassing journalists and using lawsuits to stifle free speech, but I’ll still be on the waiting list for their ‘BS-80’, and probably their VCS3 knockoff, too, because they are going to be the only hardware options I can afford.

  2. just got my UB-Xa yesterday. sounds wonderful. put an Eventide H9 Big Clone on it and yummmmmmmmmm! one thing though, that red display is horrible for color blind folks like me. luckily there is a range of great replacement displays. ordered a white on black to swap it out.

    SH: thank you for allowing moderated posts to be seen and edited again.

  3. X8 clearly sounds better and, of course, is built to last. Are those things and associated authenticity worth the price of 2x of these kind of Behringer synths (it’s not 1:1 since the X8 is more than one synth model)? Personal choice.

    I’m going with… neither, as I don’t really love the sound of them enough to take up what little space I have for hardware.

    1. What do you mean by better under the point of “built to last”?

      From my understanding is the main parts made in China, the difference here is that the parts at Oberheim is send to US for final assembly, so they can add this ” assembly in US” as a quality statement, similar to Apple.

  4. I’m surprised and a little bummed that the UB-Xa lacks cross-mod, but it sure does seem like a remarkable value proposition. Very curious to see how they fare with the 16-voice Prophet 5 model.

  5. Big plank synths aint my thing but I would get the desktop version and go at it with a Push 3 along with all the chord cheat stuff it has it would be cool af. That said, I think by now its well understood Behringer can provide 90%+ of the experience at 1/5 +/- of the price and for me it works. Synth freaks will go for the ultimate experience but pragmatism will not allow me such thing. Now for the Behringer Linndrum because the one going for $35k in Reverb for me is quite a few years of rent.

    1. same here. i really only have room for one surfboard – the Prologue 16. if they desktop the UBXa, i’ll swap out the keyboard version for it (on a stand naturally). in fact, I’m hoping the desktop all their big board models. personally, I find the keybed action a bit too light, but i love the mod matrix for trimming attacks and decay with pitch, a a slight vibrato speed change. the AT is ok, but not really my style atm. would prefer it on the Prologue digital engine, but that’s a bit of work I dug far into as yet.

      linndrum would go great with it – they both remind me a lot of The Time, and Prince/TR tunes.

      1. out of my around 30 keyboards, around half are 61 keys…. my god the room they take up…..I have to sleep with them..

        but I am synthsexual, so it is fine.

    2. You seem to not understand what the OB-X8 is. There is no 1:1 Berhinger synth. The OB-Xa is just one mode of the OB-X8. It’s still more expensive no matter the math, but your math was incomplete.

  6. Many of the B-synth sounds are creditable enough, which is all anyone was asking for in the first place. I’m just curious about the build. My Rolands and the like were all good for 10 years+, with a few repairs I considered reasonable. Since B is stepping up into a mostly-new realm for them (slab-synth+patch memory), with a Big Name Synth, I just wonder if they’ll still deliver after 10 years of basic use. See you in 2034! Arf.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *