Oberheim Electronics has announced its return to operation to meet the rising global demand for its instruments. Launching its first new synth in 35 year, the OB-X8 is an eight-voice polyphonic analog synth that combines all of the key features of the legendary OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8 products from the 1980s, including all the original presets that gave them their signature sounds.

“I wanted to come back strong with a new design that brings together the sounds of the greatest instruments from across the OB range, together with the distinctive sound and styling of those synths,” said Tom Oberheim. “But we took it even further. You can now combine the various OB voice architectures in ways that produce unique and interesting new sounds and capabilities.”

Originally founded by Tom Oberheim in 1969, Oberheim Electronics created ground-breaking products that fueled the electronic music revolution throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s. After ceasing operations in 1985, these instruments attained near-mythical status, with highly prized vintage models selling for many times their original price on the secondhand market.

Since that time, Tom Oberheim had created a handful of limited-production instruments and co-designs with various partners under other names. But in a recent significant development, he regained control of the Oberheim trademarks and IP, and now, in partnership with Focusrite PLC, has decided to once again introduce new products under the Oberheim brand name for first time in more than 35 years.

Oberheim OB X8 Front Angle

“I’ve always had a very optimistic outlook on our industry and the future in general. I felt that one day, when the time was right, Oberheim would return. A big part of this was the fact that so many musicians have contacted me over the years to ask how to get hold of an original Oberheim. So when I finally reacquired the Oberheim name, it was clear that the time was finally here,” said Oberheim.

OB-X8 features

  • 8-voice, pure-analog polyphony with saw, square/pulse, triangle, and noise.
  • Two discrete SEM/OB-X-lineage VCOs per voice deliver classic punchy 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 allows unparalleled 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.
  • 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.

The OB-X8 eight-voice analog synthesizer will be available at the end of June with a US MAP of $4,999 USD.

More information: Oberheim