Shear Electronics were at NAMM with an hours-old prototype of their potential new product, the Relic-6.
Designed by 18-year-old Jacob Brashears his OB-X remake has taken 3 years to get to this point. It’s based completely upon a schematic of the OB-X but with a very modern digital control front-end. It has 6 voices, with 2 VCO’s and 12dB, 2-pole LPF. He’s only had time to build a couple of presets but in the video it sounds rather fabulous (if you like Van Halen) and, of course, very Oberheimy.
The physicality is quite interesting. The raked, wooden cheeked, desktop format with a lot of touch-sensitive knobs and a large LED display. One feature is that running across the middle of the synth, from left to right, is a glowing indication of parameter value. Whatever knob you touch the value is displayed in colour. It’s slightly bonkers but I get the feeling that Jacob is all about embracing the crazy.
Jacob says that they are heading for a price of around $3500 and hope to have some actual product by the summer. The website is currently a bit weird and they really need to slap a picture of the Relic-6 on there somewhere. Otherwise, it gives you lots of detail of what they’ve done to re-create the OB-X. He has a remarkable passion for this old synth and I expect to see this project on Kickstarter before too long.
More information on the Shear Electronics website.