Oberheim OB-1 – Knobs smashed (and fixed)!

I have a near mint Oberheim OB-1.Super nice synth!

OB1 and TTSH

While it was waiting to get moved down into the “synth cave”, I had it standing on its side in a hallway. It felt safe, it was clearly visible and there was a smallish pillar/corner that offered some protection. Or so I thought.

One day a co-worker walked by a bit too close and it went BAAAAAMMM – falling and landing upside down on its front panel. F**K!

But this synth is built like a tank – the only things that broke were the small plastic ‘caps’ on top of 4 or 5 of the knobs.

broken_knobs  taken_apart

Now. With a semi-rare synth from 1978 I do not expect finding replacements would be easy. I checked the usual channels (ebay, syntaur etc) but came up empty handed.

I also looked into alternatives like plastic caps for furniture.

But then my fav Facebook group Vintage Synths Repair and Mods came to the rescue:


And yep. Farnell had these exact knob caps in stock – almost 40 years later. Style never goes out of style?

I ordered a ‘full set’: 20 black and 10 gray. In case they looked slightly different from the originals, I wanted to replace them all. But it turned out they looked identical!


All well that ends well.

Next up for this Obie is probably to replace the PSU as it currently is 110V. Maybe a little cap refresh. And MAYBE add MIDI.. Not sure if I want to since this is a very mint machine.


5 thoughts on “Oberheim OB-1 – Knobs smashed (and fixed)!

  1. Hello…I have an OB-1 that I’ve had since buying it brand new in ’78 or ’79. Within the 1st year I sent it back to Oberheim for repair because it would go haywire. That was under warranty. The term they used was “recalibrating”. Since then I’ve had it in storage. I recently hooked it up to an amp and nothing happened not even a crackle nor burp. The fuse is fine. The cirquit boards look ok. The keyboard itself looks good but I don’t have the money to repair it and want to sell it. What is your opinion and what would you do in my shoes? By the way, I have no knowledge of how to work on it. Thank you for your consideration. David.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How do you reattach the knobs to the bender board?

    It took a lot of force to pull them off which was needed since I decided to swap out all the trimmers.


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