Advice on Oberheims

Hey guys,
I’m looking for some advice on a possible swap I’m making. My current setup is a Digitone and OB6. I love my Ob6 but I’m really interested in picking up a yamaha montage for the organic libraries and more fm sounds. I want something a little bit fresher in my setup. It hurts my heart to say goodbye to my ob but I only have so much space in my bedroom to work with. Would it be insane to sell my ob and replace with a matrix 1000 to keep the oberheim sound in my music? The single rack space just makes a lot of sense and I’m good with computers and programming sounds so Im not worried about the sound editor. Does anyone have experience with them both? Thanks!!

Would you miss the variable state filter on the OB6? I know I would.

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hahaha yes definetely would :frowning:

I would think the montage would have a decent proximity of OB filter, no? At least a decent state variable filter I’d hope.

The Matrix 1000 is a heck of a bargain, even today. Ditto for the Matrix-6R (assuming the membrane panel is in good shape). They pack a lot of power and with a good editor, you have access to some very powerful modulation options.

Now, having said that, it’s worth noting that the OB6 is patterned after older OB synths like the OBXa, not the later Matrix instruments. Some people don’t like the envelopes on the Matrix series - that’s a personal preference, though. Me, I liked the extra envelope parameter and thought it was a good trade-off for their “less-than-lightning-fast” attacks.

The ‘matrix’ Modulation was years ahead of its time, allowing modular-style routing under software control. The stock unit’s processor was taxed pretty hard, and there are some updates available to get a little more out of it. I have never tried those - the factory units were always fine by me.

I haven’t owned one for some time (I have my last - a Matrix-6R - to a friend 13 years ago), but I often consider picking up another before prices get out of hand. Good analog workhorses, the Matrix-1000/6R.


Any reason you are considering the desktop version of the OB6 if you don’t have the room for keys? I’ve heard that doing too much with midi in the 1000 has lag and can make it choke up and the 6R is supposedly a bit better but not perfect either. So if you want to set up a midi controller you can but it won’t end up being the same as an OB6 in how you use it. You would be more likely to make patches and then play them with out tweaking which can be fine for sure but maybe not ideal these days.

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i highly recommend the newer SEMs for a great mono synth with the best filter and the Matrix 1000 wins Best Presets on any synth i’ve ever played, i never felt annoyed that you basically can’t program it because it sounds so good scrolling thru

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I would but I’m honestly out of desk space too, and just space in general :joy:

Thanks a lot! I might get both then :joy:

AFAIK the Matrix 1000 has no variable state filter like the OB-6, it’s even a 24 dB filter. The Matrix 1000 has DCOs and it’s core is a Curtis chip.

This said the Matrix 1000 sound is very different compared to the OB-6. There are too many critical differences in the sound engines.

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If you love the OB-6 sound, you should keep it. IMO there is no chance to get this particular sound from a typical FM-synth engine. Two very different worlds, they are.

If it’s space only, think about the desktop version. If monophonic is enough you might consider a SEM or a SEM-like synth, like the ones from Tom Carpenter (Analogue Solutions). He offers the Fusebox and the Telemark, which come very close to true Oberheim voices.


Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say. The Matrix-1000 is a good synth for reasons all its own, but it’s not going to replace a “big” Oberheim.

I wouldn’t say this. The Matrix 1000 is a great Oberheim synth - no doubt about it. All the Matrix synths didn’t have the variable state filter of the SEM … not the Matrix 12 nor the Oberheim Xpander, even the OB-Xa didn’t :wink:

The SEM filter having this very special sound was in the SEMs, the Two Voice, Four Voice, Eight Voice and AFAIK in the OB-X. The only Oberheim in the shops of today with a SEM filter is the OB-6.

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Ive done some research into all the oberheims now and you really have me wanting to just skip the montage for now and get an OBxa :joy:

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It’s an awesome instrument - it can cost a pretty penny in upkeep (speaking from experience, here), but sounds absolutely mammoth…

This - got a Telemark v2 a couple of months ago and it’s a beast

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So you have experience with one? That is something I’m considering, is it worth paying the extra amount upfront for one recently serviced and in great condition? If I need repairs would people be able to come to me or would I need to ship it out (that sounds like a nightmare)

Yeah, I have one. I am lucky enough to live within driving distance of a great tech, and also am comfortable repairing stuff on my own. The price of a working vintage OB is quite high. Shipping it would also be very costly and it’s an old, potentially delicate machine. I’ll say the same thing I always say about vintage gear - if you have the money to buy and service it and access to a good tech to keep it up, such an instrument can be rewarding.

However, with high quality modern instruments such as the OB6, P6, Moog One, The River, Deckard’s Dream out there, there are fewer reasons every day to put up with vintage stuff.


I live in la so I’m sure id be able to find repairs nearby. Does this look like a decent deal for an 8 voice?

Also I see the OBXA doesnt have midi ports, but the ob8 does. I prefer the sound of the obxa far more though