“There is no collaboration between us”: Tom Oberheim on Behringer’s UB-Xa

The brand previously alleged that it has “discussed the UB-Xa with Tom Oberheim and got his consent.”

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Tom Oberheim

Image: Jesse Grant / Getty Images

Tom Oberheim, synth designer and founder of Oberheim Electronics, has addressed recent claims by Behringer that its UB-Xa synthesizer was created with his “consent”, saying “there is no collaboration between us.”

Earlier this week, Behringer announced that the UB-Xa has officially taken the top spot as German mega-retailer Thomann’s best-selling synth. Responding to comments under a post celebrating the milestone, the brand alleges that it had “discussed the UB-Xa with Tom Oberheim and got his consent” to build an instrument inspired by Oberheim designs.

A claim that has been called into question by the man himself.

Addressing the matter in a Facebook post this morning, Tom wrote: “You may have seen the recent stories online where Behringer is claiming that they have my ‘consent’ to make UB-XA, and that I ‘know their plans’. There is, of course, no collaboration between us and no discussions of their plans for synths or anything else.”

He clarified that Behringer “do have limited rights to use the name UB-XA, but not the Oberheim name. So they have permission under certain conditions to release a product using the UB-XA name, but that’s all.”

“I hope this doesn’t cause any confusion about the real Oberheim products like OB-X8 and TEO-5 and the others we plan to release!”

The brand recently announced the TEO-5 polysynth, a compact analogue-digital synth with a much more affordable price tag ($1,499) than any other Oberheim instrument in history.

In the past six years or so, Behringer has faced considerable criticism for releasing audio instruments that are ‘inspired by’ or replicas of classic designs from renowned brands, often at significantly lower prices.


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