Our friend Gracie is back! She is guarding an Arp Omni-2, PPG Wave, and sundry other synths in the laboratories of Synthetic Dreamscapes, where my friend Alison works magic on these old synths (including our own Octave CAT and Yamaha RX5). You can find more at https://www.syntheticdreamscapes.com/
To see more of Gracie’s many appearances on CatSynth, please check out her tag.
This Oberheim OB-Xa is not totally rebuilt yet, but our Quality Manager just had to get in on the action early!
The OB-Xa is one of the classic Oberheim analog synths and was featured in lots of early 1980s synth-heavy pop music. For me personally, it would probably be more interesting to have the SEM filter to complement the other instruments, but it still has a sound that would be instantly familiar to fans of this era.
The OB-Xa is a massive analog synthesizer with a very familiar and classic Oberheim sound. Its sound, size and power are very similar to the Prophet 5 from Sequential. However this one has up to 8 voices which can be split, layered and stored!
The OB-X was very similar to the OB-Xa except that its voices could not be split or layered and, more significantly, the OB-X had a lowpass-only discrete SEM 12dB/oct state variable filter, which had a great and classic Oberheim sound. The OB-Xa changed that in an attempt to economize manufacturing and increase stability by switching to CEM3320 Curtis chips for its filters. The Xa offered two switchable filter modes: 12 dB/oct (2-pole) or 24 dB/oct (4-pole). This hardware change resulted in a more agressive sound, not quite as creamy as the OBX original, but what still became a “bread and butter” sound of the Oberheim line.
Gracie is back, this time with a Korg Poly 61 synthesizer. From Alsún Ní Chasaide (Alison Cassidy) of Synthetic Dreamscapes, who repaired the instrument.
This unusual Korg Poly-61 with factory MIDI retrofit (not Poly-61m) is finally finished and working perfectly. As usual, the last 20% takes 50% of the time!
In this case, the non-working panel buttons were traced to severe oxidation around two connectors on the MIDI board. Both pin headers *and* connectors had to be completely replaced / rebuilt for this to be long-term reliable. Also, one new rubber key contact set was needed, and Andrej’s new CPU board from yesterday.
And after a tune-up – perfect!! Ready to go back to its local owner 👍🏼😊
Gracie is the Quality Engineer for these repair projects 😸🎹
Gracie is back, and inspecting the current crop of repaired instruments, including a Moog Subsequent 37, LinnDrum, PPG Wave, and what appears to be an Arp Odyssey (1st version). She always has quite the collection.
From Alsún Ní Chasaide (Alison Cassidy) via Facebook.