My Dave Smith Instruments OB-6 Synthesizer Review
About Dave Smith Instruments
DSI is helmed by legendary instrument designer Dave Smith, the original founder of Sequential Circuits in the mid-1970s.
Dave designed the Prophet-5, the world’s first fully-programmable synthesizer and the first musical instrument with an embedded microprocessor.
My Initial Thoughts
Dave Smith is well known for making fantastic synths that come packed with features.
However, this time, the company decided to collaborate with another synth master- Tom Oberheim.
The final product is an incredible analog synthesizer that represents fantastic value for money.
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Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations
Right off the bat, I loved the exterior of this synth.
It seems to me that they wanted to make a product that will incorporate both classic and modern details.
They have certainly done so, and OB-6 sounds and feels like you are stepping into a different age.
However, it does not mean that it lacks contemporary features.
This collaboration might cost a bit more, but there are multiple options to choose from.
It is an all-analog polyphonic synth that comes with six voices and oscillators to control them.
Tom Oberheim also had a few things to add to the design, so it is no wonder that this product sounds like one of his synths.
The amplifiers are voltage-controlled, similar to his SEM design.
OB-6 also features a few recreations of Oberheim phase shifter.
However, it comes with only four octaves, which means that you are a bit limited when it comes to creating custom sounds.
It is a bulkier synth, but it does not weigh that much - you can easily carry it with you, or place it in your studio.
This is also one of those instruments which you can use for live performances as well - it is perfect for the stage, and for live performances.
Advanced Features and Performance
When it comes to using it, this is not a synth for the faint-hearted.
Beginners might feel a bit intimidated once they see all the knobs and controls.
However, if you are like me and you know your way around keyboards, it should not be a problem.
It feels like a sturdy product, and I found it to be extremely reliable.
However, even though it is not the largest one on the market, it still offers high-quality features.
I found myself intrigued while using it, and it is an inspirational synth for those of us who can get bored easily with the basic options.
The sound of it is what immediately made me pay more attention.
It can pretty much do anything you want it to - aggressive sounds, deep basses, or higher pitched vocals - you name it.
In addition to that, it does not feel like you are playing an older instrument.
While there are some vintage details to it, I’m glad that the manufacturer decided to integrate a few modern additions.
Pros & Cons of OB-6
Feels nice to the touch, and it is easy to use if you know your way around keyboards
The sounds are powerful and easily manipulated
It comes with a decent front panel that has many features
Not really suitable for beginners. You may need to read the manual several times
The price is rather high and not something everybody can afford
It comes with just four octaves, so there are a few limitations
My Final Thoughts
Although it might not be the most affordable synth on the market, this is a once in a lifetime collaboration that I did not want to miss.
The synth did not disappoint me and, although small, it is almost as powerful as its bigger counterparts.