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Oberheim OB8 or Jupiter-6??
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Carey M
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#1
11th January 2012
Old 11th January 2012
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Oberheim OB8 or Jupiter-6??

Yeah, that old question, again... I'm trying to make up my mind about which way to go, JP-6 or OB8... The situation: sold all my polysynths (Prophet-600, Polysix, Juno-60) a while ago, bought an Xpander. Liked it, didn't love it. Compared to the saturating ragemonster of P-600, it was just too nice for my needs. If I was doing just atmospherics or soundtrack stuff, I'd have kept it... Now...

I have a Jupiter-4 incoming (really excited about that!) and I'm looking for something to accompany that. I had my eyes set on a Jupiter-6 (minty, no Europa), but I now have a chance to get an OB8 (midi) for only a bit more...

How much do the OB8 and Xpander share in sound? From the demos I've listened (dozens of them), the OB8 seems at least somewhat similar...

Besides the usual synthpop sounds, I'm after darker, "evil", John Carpenter styled stuff.

- CM
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11th January 2012
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Having had a JP6, i can say with confidence that it's a really nice synth. I could program whatever i wanted in secoinds on it. It's a flexible synth, too, since it is very well equipped with all features you'd want on an analog poly.

The downside is that it's not the fattest synth you ever heard. It can sound impressive in it's own way, but if it's instant fatness you're looking for, i guess the OB8 is a better option.

If i had to choose between the 2, i'd go for the OB8. Especially if you want to go for darker sounds, i think it's a lot better. The JP6 is better at sounding bright, whereas the OB 8's sound is more brassy, i think.

Of course the best thing to do is to get both They probably complement eachother very well. A cheaper option might be to give U-He-s Diva a try, since that covers the Jupiter sound pretty well.. then again, a plugin is nothing like the real thing eh?

As far as sounding like a sem.. the OB8 uses a different technology, so it probably sounds different. Still it does sound like an Oberheim, so if you don't like that sound you best look elsewhere.
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11th January 2012
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If you didn't like the Xpander programming, that is one thing. If you didn't love the Xpander sound, then that is important - the OB8 shares much common ground with the *basic* Xpander sounds.

Obviously the OB8 isn't as complex, but there are a lot of options and Page 2 adds more flexibility.

So, if you didn't love the Xpander sound, you will probably not love the OB8 sound.

There is no overlap between the Jupiter-6 and Jupiter-4. I think you will enjoy the JP-6.
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11th January 2012
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I have owned both a JP6 w Europa MIDI and an OB8 at the same time. The JP6 looked cool and had some cool sounds to it but it somehow didn’t work well in a mix. Not that it sounded too fat or warm because it wasn’t. The JP6 sounded quite cold and clean and just didn’t work well in my mixes.
The OB8 on the other hand sounded alive, warm and fat and fitted well in to the mix. The OB8 is pretty advanced with its Page-2 functions. It also is a bit bugy… I had version B5 (latest version) and the OB8 froze and had to be restarted if it got MIDI clock.

My friend has an Oberheim Expander so I have programmed it quite a lot. I don’t like how it sounds. Sure it’s cool with 15 filter types but the envelopes are a bit slow and it doesn’t sound as warm and fat as an OB8 or OB-Xa. It is also too complex to program just to make a basic sound. (just my opinion)

I miss my OB8 and will probably buy one again someday.

Here is a track which uses a lot of OB8, bass, leads and some melody sounds.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/magnus-glad-n-the-other-side

Kind regards
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11th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
Besides the usual synthpop sounds, I'm after darker, "evil", John Carpenter styled stuff.
This is what you need.

Period.



Here's some more. Even more.
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11th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demokid View Post
My friend has an Oberheim Expander so I have programmed it quite a lot. I don’t like how it sounds. Sure it’s cool with 15 filter types but the envelopes are a bit slow and it doesn’t sound as warm and fat as an OB8 or OB-Xa. It is also too complex to program just to make a basic sound. (just my opinion)

I miss my OB8 and will probably buy one again someday.


Kind regards
Demokid
Like another poster wrote, if you hear the Xpander as being not enough "warm"-sounding, then you will hardly find the OB8 to be warm!
I am confused. I have owned an Xpander for the last 26 years. It can definitely sound *very* warm, and can produce very deep basses. It is a wonderfully organic machine, my honeymoon with it has never ended...
Having said that, if the original poster found it tedious to program, he obviously did the right thing getting rid of the Xpander. That synth is pure joy to program, and extremely intuitive, once you have learned its basic architecture. It is in fact a programmer's dream in many folks' opinion.
If you are more performance/live-tweaking oriented, it may easily not be your thing, as manual filter cutoff sweeps are audibly stepped, like the Studio Electronics SE1. But that's another story...

best regards
Massimo
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Carey M
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11th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
This is what you need.

Period.
Tell me about it! The P5 is basically my dream synth, but nowadays the prices are just too much for my budget. I wouldn't mind owning an OB-X either, but those are getting even more expensive. Maybe I should sell my blue 101 and get a Pro-1

Regarding my short time with the Xpander... Total joy to use. Naturally not as fast to work with as more simple knob/function synths, but I think they really nailed that interface. Especially loved how effortless the multimode was. But the sound... Even though it shared the same VCF/VCA chips with the P-600, and obviously could sound very much like it, it just didn't have the same "mojo", or "balls". It had a "sheen", it sounded "nice".

Now, if the basic OB8 sound indeed shares a lot with the Xpander, I don't know if I'll be happy with it. And I'm a bit concerned about the lack of cross mod or filter fm. But it is a legendary BIG polysynth... and the price is nice...

- CM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
But the sound... Even though it shared the same VCF/VCA chips with the P-600, and obviously could sound very much like it, it just didn't have the same "mojo", or "balls". It had a "sheen", it sounded "nice".
I've never played an Xpander, but I did own a Prophet 600 before acquiring an OB-8, and given what you write, I fear that you may be disappointed with the OB-8. I certainly prefer my OB-8 to the Prophet 600--esp. for soft/warm pads and classic Obie brass sounds--but for "dark" sounds and aggressive analog "growl," the P600 is superior, I think.

Why not pick up that Jupiter 6, sell the SH-101, and replace it with a Pro-One? You could cover a lot of bases with Pro-One, Jupiter 4, and Jupiter 6...
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11th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
Yeah, that old question, again... I'm trying to make up my mind about which way to go, JP-6 or OB8... The situation: sold all my polysynths (Prophet-600, Polysix, Juno-60) a while ago, bought an Xpander. Liked it, didn't love it. Compared to the saturating ragemonster of P-600, it was just too nice for my needs. If I was doing just atmospherics or soundtrack stuff, I'd have kept it... Now...

I have a Jupiter-4 incoming (really excited about that!) and I'm looking for something to accompany that. I had my eyes set on a Jupiter-6 (minty, no Europa), but I now have a chance to get an OB8 (midi) for only a bit more...

How much do the OB8 and Xpander share in sound? From the demos I've listened (dozens of them), the OB8 seems at least somewhat similar...

Besides the usual synthpop sounds, I'm after darker, "evil", John Carpenter styled stuff.

- CM
I don't have an OB-8, but I do have an OB-Xa which makes an excellent companion to the Jupiter-4! If the Oberheim is the beef, then the JP-4 is the sushi.

No experience with the JP-6, but I'd agree with Don that the P-5 is the ticket for the evil John Carpenter stuff.
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11th January 2012
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The ob8 can definitely get sinister...
But i do think the p5 gets ballzier & more badass tones.... My ob8 is a very interesting synth....can give many flavors....but im not totally satsfied.... Been thinking if a p5 to replace it.......potentially
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11th January 2012
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Well, here is an interesting GS thread.

Happy to chime in as a current owner of all three synths being discussed here: I have 2 x Prophet 5 rev 3, 1 x OB-8, 1 x Xpander, 1 x Jupiter 4, and 1 x Jupiter-6.

Yeah, for Carpenter/Moricone type stuff, rev 3 Prophet 5 for sure. I really like the P5, and it will never leave my studio... just about to acquire a T8 as well so that I have all my Sequential bases covered.

That said, I am also a big fan of the OB-8 and Jupiter 6 sound. The OB-8 is more balsy and in your face, the Jupiter 6 is a programmer's synth and has some very cool functions (mine has Europa and gets used a lot in my tracks). I will say that the Jupiter 6 is a colder synth, and in the way somewhat akin to the Prophet 5; but if I were going for what you seem to be, I would do the Prophet 5. I actually am selling one of mine in the classifieds...!
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11th January 2012
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Well, even though the P5 is a dream synth of mine, I'm not necessarily looking for a P5 sound-a-like (and I can't afford a P5). And I still have access to my old P-600 (sold to a friend), if I really need that sound for a track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demokid View Post
Here is a track which uses a lot of OB8, bass, leads and some melody sounds.

http://soundcloud.com/demokid/magnus-glad-n-the-other-side
Hey, Magnus, loved your tracks. Really. Great stuff!


At the moment I'm leaning slightly towards the JP-6, seems a bit more aggressive than the OB8, at least more "forward" and "tighter".

Like this, this or this.

- CM
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Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
This is what you need.
Argh, GS is horrible. I knew what you were going to link to before I clicked it, and not by looking at the video ID.
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11th January 2012
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OB8 is a nice warm synth. J6 is thinner (Osc are not fat) and more 'spikey' due to its fast envelopes. The demos on YouTube are a pretty good representation of what the OB8 is like...I had an MKS80 which I sold for a OB8 and I much prefer it - but I like a warm fat sound. They are both nice synths-but quite different. The OB8 is certainly bigger sounding than the Xpander. The Xa is slightly more brash than the OB8 - maybe something to consider...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
Well, even though the P5 is a dream synth of mine, I'm not necessarily looking for a P5 sound-a-like. And I still have access to my old P-600 (sold to a friend), if I really need that sound for a track.

At the moment I'm leaning slightly towards the JP-6, seems a bit more aggressive than the OB8, at least more "forward" and "tighter".


- CM
Well, a Prophet 600 is quite a bit different sound-wise from a Prophet 5 rev 3, the latter being used by Moricone under Carpenter's direction to do the soundtrack for the original 'The Thing' film. Talk about creepy! I love that stuff!

Sure, cost is an issue... and you could probably get a Jupiter 6 for around 2K whereas a Prophet 5 in top shape would be more like $3200-3800 USD. For what you want I would agree that a JP-6 is a better option than an OB-8, for what it's worth.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
So, if you didn't love the Xpander sound, you will probably not love the OB8 sound.
don't agree .. I hate the Xpander sound.. and love the OB8.

OB8 was the only synth that could replace my Crumar Orchestrator. It's only downside is it's so f'ing big!! Jupiter 6 wins in that regard. Much better Gigging synth.
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Originally Posted by djugel View Post
don't agree .. I hate the Xpander sound.. and love the OB8.
I have OBXa, 2x OB8 and Xpander .....

I like Xpander .. but dont love it ( time will tell) .. OB8 and OBXa dont sound like xpander...

not even close!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roginator View Post
I have OBXa, 2x OB8 and Xpander .....

I like Xpander .. but dont love it ( time will tell) .. OB8 and OBXa dont sound like xpander...

not even close!
I agree completely... different beasts, the OB-8 and Xpander. OB-8 is a player's synth, more in your face, balsy and warm sound... Xpander is a programmer's dream, more polished sound...

Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel View Post
OB8 was the only synth that could replace my Crumar Orchestrator. It's only downside is it's so f'ing big!! Jupiter 6 wins in that regard. Much better Gigging synth.
While I agree that the OB-8 is on the bulky side, it is very light! My gigging days are over, but I wouldn't expect that it would present too much of a problem hoisting 'er to and from gigs...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
At the moment I'm leaning slightly towards the JP-6, seems a bit more aggressive than the OB8, at least more "forward" and "tighter".
Based on some of the other things you've said, I think this would be the right decision.

BTW I know the guy who made those JP-6 tracks you linked to, namely "Noise Professor." He lives just up the road from me!
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Originally Posted by ttown23 View Post
Well, a Prophet 600 is quite a bit different sound-wise from a Prophet 5 rev 3, the latter being used by Moricone under Carpenter's direction to do the soundtrack for the original 'The Thing' film. Talk about creepy! I love that stuff!
Yeah, I know. I have most classic Carpenter soundtracks on vinyl. The man is an inspiration. (And Morricone.. that man is a genius).

But as you own all the synths discussed here, would you describe the OB or the JP6 being closer to the P5? But I see you recommend the JP6..

Quote:
Originally Posted by roginator
OB8 and OBXa dont sound like xpander...

not even close!
Well hi there, mr. Rogina

- CM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
Yeah, I know. I have most classic Carpenter soundtracks on vinyl. The man is an inspiration. (And Morricone.. that man is a genius).

But as you own all the synths discussed here, would you describe the OB or the JP6 being closer to the P5? But I see you recommend the JP6..


- CM
Hmm. That's a tough question to answer, because neither the OB-8 nor the JP-6 sound like a P5. The best I could tell you is what I think has already been stated in this thread, which is that the JP-6 is the colder of the two. But JP-6 'coldness' is different from that of the P5. Somehow the JP-6 is more polished than the P5 and has more of a sheen to it, whereas the P5 is more grainy... at least to my ears.

It's crazy, I do music for a major TV show and they want 'upbeat techno tracks' Well, I'm a dark electro type at heart, so I have to work some of that in there So basically, I started doing techno stabs on the P5.... PURE DELICIOUS DARK MAGIC!!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
... the P5 is a dream synth of mine ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
I have most classic Carpenter soundtracks on vinyl. The man is an inspiration.
All this talk about Carpenter inspired me to go put some on. Very inspiring stuff, indeed.

Your OP was about an OB-8 vs. JP-6, in which case, again, I would say you'd probably enjoy the JP-6 more than the OB-8 taking everything you've said into consideration. HOWEVER...

...you need a Prophet-5, man. There's no alternative. Life is too short. I wouldn't say that to just anyone.

If you've got enough money now for a JP-6 or an OB-8, then you are well on your way to a P-5. Why not sit on the cash for awhile... dig into that JP-4... continuing saving... and get that dream synth?
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11th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
Tell me about it! The P5 is basically my dream synth, but nowadays the prices are just too much for my budget. I wouldn't mind owning an OB-X either, but those are getting even more expensive. Maybe I should sell my blue 101 and get a Pro-1
In that case, you should go MKS-80 rev4. It has a certain neutral emotional vibe, thus can be used for the things you plan (i'd skip JP-6, cause it's thinner sounding). MKS-80 can sound.... "dangerous", i.e:

Babic - MKS-80r4.mp3

Prophet 5 r3.1 isn't so expensive, AFAIK. You can later upgrade to 3.3. A funny anecdote - I bought mine as 3.1 on eBay auction. So... one day it finally comes to my home, i was just to replace the caps. So i open it up and to my delightful surprise, someone already upgraded it to 3.3. LOL! If others on eBay knew - i'm sure it would end in different territory.

If you still can't find it, second best thing that could get you there is IMO an MKS-80. OB-8 is a story of its own. Has that classic Oberheim sound which can sound sad at moments, great in mono mode @24dB, particularly for Acid stuff - overall definitely a synth with emotional character in its tone and a ton of modulation possibilities.

Writing this from my own experience with these synths, since i have them (aside from JP-6 which opinion i base on recordings).


Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
BTW I know the guy who made those JP-6 tracks you linked to, namely "Noise Professor." He lives just up the road from me!
Ha! I know him. Send my regards to your neighbor and tell him that it would be nice he comes to the GS. Very nice guy!
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Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Like another poster wrote, if you hear the Xpander as being not enough "warm"-sounding, then you will hardly find the OB8 to be warm!
I am confused. I have owned an Xpander for the last 26 years. It can definitely sound *very* warm, and can produce very deep basses. It is a wonderfully organic machine, my honeymoon with it has never ended...
Having said that, if the original poster found it tedious to program, he obviously did the right thing getting rid of the Xpander. That synth is pure joy to program, and extremely intuitive, once you have learned its basic architecture. It is in fact a programmer's dream in many folks' opinion.
If you are more performance/live-tweaking oriented, it may easily not be your thing, as manual filter cutoff sweeps are audibly stepped, like the Studio Electronics SE1. But that's another story...

best regards
Massimo
The OB8 and Expander use different CEM chips. These synth-in-a-chip chips 3374 and 3372 do sound different. The same as synthesizers like the OB-X which uses discrete circuitry sounds different then a synth that uses SSM or CEM.

OB-8 & OB-Xa: CEM3360 Dual VCA, CEM3340 VCO, CEM3310 EG, CEM3320 VCF
Xpander: 3374 Dual VCO, CEM3372 Filter/Mix/VCA,

Other synths which use 3372 are:
T8: CEM3340 VCO, CEM3372 Filter/Mix/VCA
Prophet 600: CEM3340 VCO, CEM3372 VCF/VCA and CEM3360 Dual VCA

Kind regards
Demokid

Last edited by Don Solaris; 11th January 2012 at 08:42 PM.. Reason: OB-Xa, not OBX-a. Changed it now.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
Well, even though the P5 is a dream synth of mine, I'm not necessarily looking for a P5 sound-a-like (and I can't afford a P5). And I still have access to my old P-600 (sold to a friend), if I really need that sound for a track.



Hey, Magnus, loved your tracks. Really. Great stuff!


At the moment I'm leaning slightly towards the JP-6, seems a bit more aggressive than the OB8, at least more "forward" and "tighter".

Like this, this or this.

- CM
Wow the JP6 sounds greate!!! :D
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11th January 2012
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Ha! I know him. Send my regards and tell him that it would be nice he comes to the GS. Very nice guy!
Yes, indeed he is! He helped me a lot on my last album. He has an incredible sensibility towards music and production. I will definitely mention it to him.
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11th January 2012
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So i open it up and to my delightful surprise, someone already upgraded it to 3.3. LOL!
Something like this? (see attachment)
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Oberheim OB8 or Jupiter-6??-rev3_3mod.jpg  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demokid View Post
The OB8 and Expander use different CEM chips. These synth-in-a-chip chips 3374 and 3372 do sound different. The same as synthesizers like the OB-X which uses discrete circuitry sounds different then a synth that uses SSM or CEM.

OB-8 & OB-Xa: CEM3360 Dual VCA, CEM3340 VCO, CEM3310 EG, CEM3320 VCF
Xpander: 3374 Dual VCO, CEM3372 Filter/Mix/VCA,

Other synths which use 3372 are:
T8: CEM3340 VCO, CEM3372 Filter/Mix/VCA
Prophet 600: CEM3340 VCO, CEM3372 VCF/VCA and CEM3360 Dual VCA

Kind regards
Demokid
Thanks Demokid for your technical note As far as I can recall from my sparse encounters with an OB8 over the years (I only own the Xpander), I would not say that the sonic distance between the OB8 and the Xpander is at all comparable to the distance between the OB8 and the OBX, which in my opinion is far more noticeable. I did not quote any technical facts in my post BTW, just wrote that the OB8 and Xpander do share a lot of sonic ground to my ears, and that it is impossible (at least to the same ears- mine) not to call the Xpander a warm/rich/Oberheim-fat-sounding synth (and then some...).

best regards
Massimo
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11th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
All this talk about Carpenter inspired me to go put some on. Very inspiring stuff, indeed.

...you need a Prophet-5, man. There's no alternative. Life is too short. I wouldn't say that to just anyone.

If you've got enough money now for a JP-6 or an OB-8, then you are well on your way to a P-5. Why not sit on the cash for awhile... dig into that JP-4... continuing saving... and get that dream synth?
+1 to this. I honestly couldn't agree more!!!
BM0
#30
11th January 2012
Old 11th January 2012
  #30
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I'll add that OB-8 can still be found for under two grand and they are really easy to service and calibrate.
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