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.