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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.
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Technical Specifications
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
Pricing
Used Price: $2,000 - $3,000 - convert
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