Is Sequential reviving the Oberheim OB-X?

Dave Smith’s synth brand has registered for the trademark of OB-X, which could mean we’ll see a modern version of the legendary polysynth

Oberheim OB-X

Paul Epworth’s Oberheim OB-X. Image: MusicTech

Sequential, formerly Dave Smith Instruments, has applied for the trademark of ‘OB-X’, the name of one of Oberheim’s most iconic polyphonic synthesizers. The intention behind this is not immediately clear, but we’d wager that it means a new crossover synth is in the works from the two brands.

This wouldn’t be the first time the two legendary synth makers collaborated – the OB-6 was their first brainchild, met with positive reviews in 2016. And while NAMM’s virtual Believe In Music Week may be too soon to expect any update from Sequential, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for some news.

Tom Oberheim (right) and Dave Smith. Image: Jesse Grant / Getty Images for NAMM

There is the possibility, however, that Sequential is saving the trademark from being snapped up by Behringer. Uli Behringer’s company has released many products that bear striking similarities to coveted synths and drum machines. Just recently, Behringer announced the PRO-800: their take on the Sequential Prophet-600. The brand has been known to register trademarks of other brands’ products, too, notably MonoPoly, previously made by Korg.

Behringer Pro-800
Behringer’s PRO-800.

The original OB-X was a stalwart synth of the 80s, with its notable users including Queen, Herbie Hancock, Jean-Michel Jarre, Prince, Madonna, Van Halen and Depeche Mode. More recently, it’s been found on records from the likes of Paul Epworth. It’s also inspired some free software emulations, including the OB-Xd – learn how to harness its power like it’s 1999 in our Weekend Workshop.

The trademark application is awaiting examination, but we would warmly welcome an OB-X reprise from Sequential and Oberheim. With the Prophet-6 and OB-6 recently getting an MPE upgrade, an OB-X with such modern features would be a treat.

See the trademark application at uspto.report.

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