Oberheim OB-Xk

Oberheim OB-Xk Image

The Oberheim OB-Xk is a MIDI keyboard controller from the mid-eighties. Originally designed to control the Matrix and Xpander modules, it uses MIDI and works fine as a controller for any MIDI gear. It's got 61 keys that respond to velocity and aftertouch, two OB-style Pitch/Mod controllers, and one assignable continuous control slider. From the front panel you can directly access the first 100 single patches and/or 100 multi patches of your MIDI module. Any additional patches must be selected by another MIDI controller.

Other features include the ability to transpose up or down by up to 2 octaves or by half steps. The keyboard can be split into 3 zones. There are basic Hold and Chord memory functions and an Arpeggiator section with pretty decent features (it can use internal or external clock). The OB-Xk can also send a sequencer Song Select, Start and Stop commands. It's built with Oberheim's classic & vintage look: solid black metal case with wood end-cheeks. Definitely a unique controller to have around, although severely limited by today's standards.

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18 Visitor comments
Boot
October 26, 2011 @ 11:07 am
Craig Who? That's not Craig Anderton, is it?
Seg
August 28, 2011 @ 2:42 pm
I remember my dad decided to get into MIDI music somewhere around 1987. (Making me ~6 years old at the time) After briefly toying with Bank Street Music Writer, he sold off the Apple IIe and bought an Atari 1040ST, a Roland MT-32, and an OB-Xk. Over the years he expanded his home studio to include a TG-55, a TX-81Z, an Akai S-612 sampler, and even got the MT-32 upgraded with the Robin Whittle de-crapification mods.

He used all that up until ~1998. Sold it all off in favor of a generic PC, a Montego II card and a DLS patch editor.

... Except for the OB-Xk. He's still using it to this day.
Aredant
January 29, 2011 @ 1:55 pm
I bought my Xk in 1998 and used it as part of an ersatz Hammond organ setup. I gave oak side panels like a B-3, integrated the power supply and a new paint job - but masked the decals. It looks great but tooling was minimal so it may have been costly to build. I like the shape and feel of it and the arpeggiator is a treat but I wish it had better pushbuttons. The ICs are a bit stressed - sometimes it seems to lose it's mind or won't turn on. Such is the fate of old electronics. Capacitors dry up, contacts corrode, ESD/EMT damages chips and batteries go dead. It's kind of a museum piece now.
Craig
December 22, 2010 @ 1:49 pm
It is a Oberheim Dual Manual 8 voice - it is the only one in Black. There are (4) others in white. Only (5) of the Dual Manual exsist.
iw
October 1, 2010 @ 2:28 pm
Thank you for the information, Craig, much appreciated!

But what is/was that keyboard?!? Was that for Oberheim? Is that related to the XK? It sure has a whole lot more knobs. ;-)

Also, if convenient, I'd wager that others would also find the schematics of interest.

Again, thank you for your insights...it's phenomenally cool to hear from someone who actually designed and built the gear!
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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 - n/a
  • Oscillators - n/a
  • Effects - n/a
  • Filter - n/a
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator with internal/external clock sources
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity, after-touch)
  • Memory - 100 single patches, 100 multi patches, 3 zones
  • Control - MIDI Out (1 channel at a time)
  • Date Produced - 1986
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Synth Site

    Thanks to Scott Marcotte for providing information.

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