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Oberheim OB-SX

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    Description
    The OB-SX was envisioned by designers to be a smaller, lighter, more durable "live performance" version of their (then) flagship OB-X. The OB-SX featured the same VCO/VCF/VCAs of the OB-X and a voice card design similar to the OB-Xa in which polyphony was based on the number of 2-voice PCB cards installed (using CEM/Curtis chips). Sacrifices were made to the OB-X's "knob for each function" programming interface (replaced in the "SX" by a few realtime only filter and envelope controls), the ability to save patches (all sounds were preset in ROM) and the last octave of the keyboard ("chopped" to 48 notes).

    Despite the sacrifices, the OB-SX faithfully reproduces the character (and at times the "ill temper" of an all analog design) of the OB-X and OB-Xa. The preset sounds are a bit dated (e.g. early funk & late prog rock), but still usable and the realtime controls allow a good amount of "shaping" to be done. It's important to note that like all Oberheim synths, the OB-SX was a continual work in progress and there were many different revisions made to the OB-SX during its life time. Major revisions included: Early units had 24 presets and mid units had 48 presets and late units had 56 presets (later units had a slide switch on the back to change between banks of presets). The color/case design was changed from the (early units) black & gray of the OB-X to the (later units) black & blue pinstripes of the OB-Xa and OB-8.
    Images
    Architecture
    Type: Analog
    Synthesis: Subtractive
    Oscillators
    Oscillators: 2
    Osc Modulation: Glide / Portamento
    Envelopes
    Envelopes: 2
    Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Sustain, Release
    Filters
    Filters: 1
    Types: Low Pass
    LFO
    LFO: 1
    Polyphony & Tuning
    Polyphony: 6
    Timbrality: 1
    Tuning: Standard
    Modes: Polyphonic
    Patches
    Patches RAM: 56
    Storage: Internal, Tape
    Chips and Operating System
    Curtis CEM Chips:
    VCO: CEM3340
    ENV: CEM3310
    VCF: CEM3320 (2-pole)
    Case
    Case: Keyboard
    Case Details: 48 keys
    Keyboard: Non-weighted, Plastic
    Controls: Buttons, Knobs, Switches, Mod - Wheel, Pitch - Lever, Modulation 1/8" Jacks, Pedal - Control, Pedal - Filter, Pedal - Sustain
    Display Type: LED
    Connections
    Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out
    Audio Output Count: 1
    CV Ports: CV IN, CV OUT, Gate In, Gate Out
    Power: 120 V AC
    Production
    Year Released: 1980
    Year Discontinued: 1983
    Manuals & Documents
    Pricing
    Used Price: $2,000 - $3,000 - convert
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    References & Sources
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