Oberheim TEO-5 is the most affordable Oberheim synth ever: “The culmination of a synth pioneer’s vision”

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Oberheim TEO-5

Oberheim TEO-5, image: Oberheim

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Oberheim has announced the TEO-5 polysynth, a compact analogue-digital synth with a lower price tag than any other Oberheim instrument in history.

In our interview with Tom Oberheim, the legendary synth maker says that TEO-5 is the synth he’s dreamed of making for five decades. Oberheim adds in a press release that he’s “so proud to be able to make a synth like this… compact and affordable, the Oberheim sound for 2024.”

Tom Oberheim and the TEO-5
Tom Oberheim and the TEO-5. Image: Oberheim

The five-voice synthesizer takes its name from the initials of Thomas Elroy Oberheim but also takes cues from one of the maker’s colleagues. Keen synth fans may liken the TEO-5 to Sequential’s Take-5, one of the final synths created by the legendary Dave Smith, a friend of Oberheim. Like the Take-5, TEO-5 was produced under an alliance with UK brand, Focusrite.

So what’s it packin’? The TEO-5 boasts analogue VCOs and VCFs that are distinctly Oberheim. “But,” assures the brand, “TEO-5 isn’t just a tribute to the past.” More modern features include through-zero FM, which is a new take on the oscillator X-Mod feature found on other OB synths. Plus, a host of digital effects will help you create inspiring patches, with chorus, delay, reverb and recreations of classic Oberheim Ring Mod and Phasor effects.

Elsewhere, a 64-step polyphonic sequencer and multimode arpeggiator let you swiftly build patterns for a track. If you prefer to play the notes yourself, the Fatar keybed ensures “a responsive and inspiring playing experience,” says the brand.

Oberheim TEO-5
Oberheim TEO-5, image: Oberheim

Crucially, the TEO-5 is the most affordable entry to Oberheim hardware. At $1,499/£1,499/€1,699, the brand says it’s a synth primed for “the creative enthusiast who wants pro sound quality on a budget.”

We’ll have a review of the product up next week, too, to let you know how the synth really plays.

But why is the TEO-5 making an appearance now — apart from it being Superbooth week?

“There was a huge surge of interest when Oberheim returned in 2022 with the historically
inspired OB-X8,” says David Gibbons, CEO of Oberheim. We can attest to that — the triumphant synth was crowned MusicTech’s Best Product Of The Year when it was released.

“But Tom and the design team were keen to show that the magic of Oberheim can be within reach for everyone and can bring a distinctive modern flavour. TEO-5 is an exciting addition to the Oberheim legacy.”

Learn more at oberheim.com.


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