Siel Opera 6

Siel Opera 6 Image

The Opera 6 is a classic, early eighties analog 6-voice polyphonic synthesizer that was in the same class as the Roland Juno series. The Opera 6 came in three versions as it was developing during its lifetime. First there was a totally analog version with an Oberheim-style pin-stripe control panel and one modulation wheel. A matrix of push-buttons enabled program selection. The later versions replaced the VCOs with DCOs. This meant more stable tuning without compromising the analog sound. Then, MIDI was also added (with velocity response ability). Also onboard the Opera were 3 LFOs for lots of modulation and effects. Its design was intuitive, but quirky - ie: the Pitch/Mod wheels are far away from the keyboard.

A working Juno-106 will smoke the Opera 6 when it comes to features and MIDI, but sometimes the alternative (Italian) sound of the Opera 6 may be what you need. It's great for swooshy pads, analog strings, and analog effects. Bass is OK, brass is "iffy", lead sounds are pretty weak as well are percussive/noise sounds and effects. Unfortunately, there are no effects, not even a Chorus to thicken up your sounds. MIDI is only 1-part multitimbral and always in OMNI mode, so it's quite limited. But the velocity responsiveness can control the VCF or ADSR. In the end it makes a nice piece of collector's kit and can offer some unique analog pads and sounds - that don't sound like the common Juno!

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7 Visitor comments
March 31, 2014 @ 10:05 am
The Kiwi sounds the Opera 6, but the DK600 sounds different from both of them, with smoother sound. This means the commonly read "Siel DK600 was a rebadged Opera 6" is wrong - it's the KIWI and the Opera 6 that must have more in common.
January 10, 2012 @ 3:13 am
The Opera 6 can certainly hold its own against a Juno. The output signal is quite thin - certainly compared to the instant warmth of a Juno 60 - so it needs to beefed up with a good preamp and perhaps a bit of chorus to stand out in the mix. The combination of two LFO's (not three) makes for interesting possibilities, especially since the second LFO can be set to a very slow rate. I wouldn't trade it in for a 106, ever.
November 26, 2009 @ 3:38 pm
I use the KIWI Version which is technicly the same, maybee alittle bit better build, but soundwise the same, it´s a complete different story than a 106, with a CV to Midi Controller connected to the filter, it becomes a real power system, better sounding bass, very short percussiv stuff and great resonance , very underrated synthesizer...
September 3, 2009 @ 3:18 am
A working Juno will not "smoke" the Opera-6 in any way. The Juno has only one oscillator per voice. The Siel has two, and doesn't need chorus to sound fat. In the 80's another band was recording in the same studio. They had a Roland JX-8P. The keyboardist was incredibly impressed with the sound of the Opera-6 and asked "Where is the chorus?". He didn't believe my reply that "There is none" and started to look for outboards. There were none.
May 12, 2009 @ 5:02 pm
My ever first true synthesizer.I wasn't aware what analogue meant then,i wish i kept it.I sold it because some notes didn't play from time to time.
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 6 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 DCOs per voice (12 osc. total), sawtooth and pulse waveforms; (6 VCOs on original versions)
  • LFO - 3 LFOs can control DCO, VCO or both
  • Filter - Resonant w/ ADSR
  • VCA - ADSR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (responds to velocity)
  • Memory - 95 patches
  • Control - MIDI (1-part only, and found in later models only)
  • Date Produced - 1983 - 1985

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