New owner here

New owner here
« on: February 24, 2024, 12:23:05 AM »
Hello gang.

Finally got my hands on a B stock demo unit (keyboard version) from a local music store at a substantial rebate (but still a lot of money).
It came with V1.0.0.3 firmware. So I updated it to the latest one. Of course, I forgot to reset the Globals, and started to have weird behaviors (voices going silent randomly). Then I read the forum and got reminded to clear the globals, and also clear the calibration tables, and do a full calibration. Since then everything seems to be okay.

One thing puzzles me, the intensity of the various LEDs of the buttons is quite uneven. I would have expected more uniformity on a synth at this price point. But my OB6 is the same, not all LEDs light up with the same brightness.

There are also a couple of strange things like only 1 octave transpose up/down range? And the front of the synth has a metal plate that runs the whole width which creates a space underneath the keys where dirt and stuff can get trapped making it very difficult to clean underneath the front of the keys. I've never seen something like that on any other synth before. A bit weird.
 
The keyboard feels identical to the one on my Prophet REV2 (probably the same FATAR keybed?) and is a little stiff for my taste. Surprisingly, I prefer the touch of the keyboard on my UB-Xa.

But all that being said, the sound is why I got the OB-X8 and so far it delivers in spades.
Oberheim OB-X8, Minimoog D (vintage), OB6 (Desktop), Oberheim Matrix-6 (MIDI Controller for OB6), VC340

Re: New owner here
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2024, 01:16:14 AM »
One thing puzzles me, the intensity of the various LEDs of the buttons is quite uneven. I would have expected more uniformity on a synth at this price point. But my OB6 is the same, not all LEDs light up with the same brightness.

….I also have this  LED situation on my P5 Rev4… and it’s from the same stable…

Re: New owner here
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2024, 10:06:42 AM »
One thing puzzles me, the intensity of the various LEDs of the buttons is quite uneven. I would have expected more uniformity on a synth at this price point. But my OB6 is the same, not all LEDs light up with the same brightness.

LED brightness varies between units by nature, it is a product of the fabrication process where they are built and can't be controlled.  Oberheim, Sequential, and others aren't going to allocate labor expense for a selection process to select and bin LEDs by brightness, ain't gonna happen.  LEDs have been like this for decades, all synths with them do this.  It has zero impact on the function and the sound.

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There are also a couple of strange things like only 1 octave transpose up/down range?

It has MIDI I/O.  Not happy with the keyboard range?  Hook up an 88 key MIDI controller.

If Oberheim elected to install a longer keybed for the extra range, it would be too expensive.  Besides the expense of the keybed, there is the expense of the extra metalwork to house the longer keybed.  And the whole unit would be heavier.

Be thankful that MIDI was included.
 
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And the front of the synth has a metal plate that runs the whole width which creates a space underneath the keys where dirt and stuff can get trapped making it very difficult to clean underneath the front of the keys. I've never seen something like that on any other synth before. A bit weird.

Afraid that is not uncommon for any keyboard product, even pianos.
 
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The keyboard feels identical to the one on my Prophet REV2 (probably the same FATAR keybed?) and is a little stiff for my taste.

Entirely subjective.  I happen to like the OB-X8 keybed.  I'm a piano player and I can't stand the featherlight feel of many keypads.

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But all that being said, the sound is why I got the OB-X8 and so far it delivers in spades.

You'll be very happy with the sound.  Hard to make a bad sound on these.

Re: New owner here
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2024, 12:27:11 PM »
I've got many other products with LEDs, and none of them (except the OB6) have such uneven brightness. Heck, even my relatively inexpensive UB-Xa has perfectly uniform lighting on its 44 LEDs.

It makes the OB-X8 look kind of a cheap product for a $7K CDN synth, that's all I'm saying. And in 2022 there was no excuse for that. The OSC 2 DETUNE LED on my unit is so bright compared to others, that it's not even the same red color as the rest of them (more orangy than red)! It looks like an overpowered red LED that could fail at any moment.

But as for the keybed you're right, the keyboard feel is an entirely subjective thing and I'll get used to it, much like I did on my Prophet REV2.

I completely understand the goal behind the Oberheim OB-X8, it was to provide a modern version of 3 classic synths from the eighties in a single unit, at a fraction of the cost of getting, fixing, and maintaining an old vintage OB-X, OB-Xa, OB-SX, OB-8. And I think they've mainly succeeded. I simply wish they could have paid more attention to details, like the LEDs.
Oberheim OB-X8, Minimoog D (vintage), OB6 (Desktop), Oberheim Matrix-6 (MIDI Controller for OB6), VC340

Re: New owner here
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2024, 04:50:57 PM »
It makes the OB-X8 look kind of a cheap product for a $7K CDN synth, that's all I'm saying. And in 2022 there was no excuse for that.

Do unequal LED brightness make the OB-X8 go out of tune?
Make the L/R output levels uneven?
Make too much noise in the audio?
Make the VCF lose bass with high resonance?
Make the firmware crash/unreliable?
Make the USB control stop working?
Make the OLED display fade in and out?
Make the synth less fat sounding?
Make voices cut in and out?
Make the front panel controls stop working?
Make the OB-X8 malfunction in any way?

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I simply wish they could have paid more attention to details, like the LEDs.

I missed the part where the OB-X8 product promo hyped equal LED brightness, red palette of LED optimized for getting your SO in the mood, proper shade of gray panel color for spiritual enlightenment, assembled by unionized elves fed on diet free of artificial ingredients and glutens, wood side panels cut from renewable forests, font of the panel lettering selected for minimum eye strain, careful selection of buttons with yellow LEDs for that perfect pastel not too orange not too pale.

Really... we're not making wardrobe products with proper color pastel coordination here.  if unequal LED brightness interferes with your music making process, then maybe you should learn the violin.

Go.
Make.
Some.
Music.

Elric

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Re: New owner here
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2024, 05:28:25 PM »
Finally got my hands on a B stock demo unit ...

the intensity of the various LEDs of the buttons is quite uneven...

That's probably why it was a "B stock" unit?

As long as the sound is fine, enjoy your awesome B stock Oberheim?
:Elric:
Kurzweil K, Pro3, TX81z, K1r, Triton w/MOSS, Wavestation EX in a bag in the corner.

LPF83

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Re: New owner here
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2024, 06:20:48 PM »
Finally got my hands on a B stock demo unit ...

the intensity of the various LEDs of the buttons is quite uneven...

That's probably why it was a "B stock" unit?

As long as the sound is fine, enjoy your awesome B stock Oberheim?

This was what struck me as the likely cause of button LED differences -- I don't see inconsistency in LED brightness on all the synths I have.  Seems to me B stock means accepting manufacturing tolerance anomalies in exchange for a lesser price.  If LEDs were to be repaired, will the overall price be same as A stock?  I don't know that answer.  But I don't think you can buy B stock then review it on the same A stock benchmark or expect that.  I've always felt buying B stock means "I can live with the imperfections without complaint".
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Korg Polysix, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: New owner here
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2024, 09:55:11 PM »
...good to know that I have a "B-stock" unit that was sold as new, when "unevenly" lit LEDs on a Sequential/Oberheim synthesiser should be sold as B-stock... but somehow I doubt that, as they even state that the wobbly knobs (e.g. on an OB-6) are normal/expected in some of their synths...   
« Last Edit: February 24, 2024, 10:41:38 PM by waxdoctor »

Re: New owner here
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2024, 12:51:19 AM »
Perhaps I mispoke when I wrote B Stock, because it is a brand new unit that was used as an in store floor demo for a few months that was sold to me at a rebate. And looking at some video demos of other OB-X8 synths I noticed the same phenomenon of the uneven brightness of their LEDs also. No big deal then, just peculiar that’s all… I do love the sounds of this machine!
Oberheim OB-X8, Minimoog D (vintage), OB6 (Desktop), Oberheim Matrix-6 (MIDI Controller for OB6), VC340

Re: New owner here
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2024, 05:26:15 PM »
Small update, I just sold my UB-Xa. The OB-X8 does a better job of recreating the classic OB series synths from my youth.
Sure it's expensive, but you get what you pay for. And still a lot cheaper than buying, repairing, and maintaining a vintage Oberheim, let alone 3 of them!

Has anyone here bought an overlay from Synth Overlays? If so what do you think of it? I'd like very much to have the look of the OB-Xa on my OB-X8. Thanks.
Oberheim OB-X8, Minimoog D (vintage), OB6 (Desktop), Oberheim Matrix-6 (MIDI Controller for OB6), VC340

Re: New owner here
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2024, 05:57:20 PM »
I ordered the synth overlay, and I’ve been happy with it. In the instructions, they suggest taking a black sharpie along the edges. It is well worth your time to do this for a better appearance. Good luck!
Prophet 10 Rev4, OB-X8, Moog One, Rhodes Mk8, Osmose, OB-6 desktop, Trigon 6 Desktop, Kawai VPC-1, Steinway D

Re: New owner here
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2024, 02:06:45 PM »
Small update, I just sold my UB-Xa. The OB-X8 does a better job of recreating the classic OB series synths from my youth.
Sure it's expensive, but you get what you pay for. And still a lot cheaper than buying, repairing, and maintaining a vintage Oberheim, let alone 3 of them!

Has anyone here bought an overlay from Synth Overlays? If so what do you think of it? I'd like very much to have the look of the OB-Xa on my OB-X8. Thanks.
you're right to say what you think about the leds, ...
yes overlay is a good thing, fit perfectly and make a look more pleasant.

Re: New owner here
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2024, 05:57:53 PM »
The only thing about the overlay is it is not magnetic, there is nothing to secure it to the panel.  Not a problem if you don't move the OB-X8.

I have two modules for gigging, one set to Split the other is non-Double/Split.  I put the overlay on the one designated for Split so I could quickly tell one from the other.  Since they are being gigged, I have to find a way to secure the overlay.

g3o2

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Re: New owner here
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2024, 01:05:20 PM »
slightly sticky duct tape should work, not the most aesthetic solution, but who cares when you’re gigging