MATRIXSYNTH: Oberheim DMX Completely Overhauled, Linn LM1 EPROM, Mods

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Oberheim DMX Completely Overhauled, Linn LM1 EPROM, Mods

via this auction

"No other DMX is like this. None. It’s a one of a kind, future proofed beast of a drum machine that has been refurbished and modified FULLY for professional studio work. I know the asking price is high, but by the time you read how much work has gone into it you’ll understand why. First of all here is a bullet point breakdown of every enhancement this machine has been bestowed with by a former Oberheim tech:

•Flash Memory Modification:
—this changes the battery back up system of the DMX to modern memory. What this means is that all of your patterns, MIDI and system settings are backed up to reliable and modern flash memory. It also removes the battery completely from the DMX so absolutely no leaking will occur. ALL internal batteries go bad and ALL have the potential to leak. On the DMX this can really damage the CPU so with this modification, the possibility of this happening is gone completely. This modification can be further modified to double the user memory.

•New MIDI Interface:
—this is a brand new, Oberheim compliant MIDI interface developed by a former service technician of Oberheim. It is a modern OS that allows for a myriad of functions including the ability to sequence other MIDI equipment (because it has a MIDI out) as well as numerous clocking division options. You can completely customize what each trigger button sends out (assigning notes is a breeze so you can sequence any other drum machine part for part i.e. kick on DMX = kick on TR8/909 …). This MIDI interface also provides for many subdivisions of the tape/analog clocks (you are not forced to FSK if you don’t want to be) and the trigger output can be programmable or set at quantize intervals (so if you’re clocking analog sequencers or arpeggiators the DMX can be your master clock source that’s no fully programmable). I can’t speak enough about this new MIDI interface. It destroys the original Oberheim retrofit but yet IS Oberheim! The external clocking via MIDI is rock solid without loosing the legendary groove of the DMX.

•Linn LM 1 SoundSet:
—we really went for it with this one. First of all, all sounds on offer are as follows: LM1 Kick, Snare, Clap (with two velocities), SideStick, Cabasa, Toms, Congas. For the toms, the machine has a switch on the back panel that flips between the stock DMX toms and the Linn LM 1 Toms and Congas. The Linn LM1 drum machine is the elusive first one that all the studios picked up on release. Human League’s Dare used it all over the place, Prince pretty much used it to its fullest (tune down the sidestick and make doves cry), Pete Shelly (all the Martin Rushent productions Telephone Operator/I don’t know what it is …). The voice architecture of the DMX is very similar to the LM1 and these chips sound the business coming off of the DMX.

ALL original DMX eproms are, of course, included so going to a stock DMX sound set is as simple as switching out the sound chips which we’ve made easier because …

•Fully Recapped (Power Supply, CPU Section and EVERY Voice Card // New Regulators) and Ziff Sockets:
—again this was a total labor of worship of the DMX. The whole machine has been recapped including every single voice card. And we’re not just talking bypass caps, we’re talking about every cap in the audio path as well. Basically the machine sounds like what it would have sounded like rolling off the assembly line. We did before and after tests and essentially the punch, clarity, and weight of the individual outputs is absolutely unbelivable. You can hear how each voice card has different filter settings for the appropriate sounds in full detail (the DMX uses the same filters as the Prophet 5, Pro One, ObXA … it is LOADED with Curtis CEMs). It takes to the tape machine or pro tools with ease and requires little to none post processing. Because it’s full of vintage CEMs for filtering, this recap and new voltage regulators on the power supply basically have greatly extended the lifespan of the machine. We sought to do absolutely everything we could to make it as solid and reliable of a machine as possible and we achieved it in spades. You can comfortably take it on the road should you want to.

The Ziff sockets are special IC Chip holders that have been soldered into the voice cards so that switching EPROMs is a breeze. Flip a switch and the chip is released. No more breaking delicate ICs. Flip the switch and the chip is released, put in a new sound, and flip the switch back and the chip is secured.

We also added brand new trimmers for the pitch tuning which allow for lower pitching than the stock machine should you need it (you need this for the rim shot LM1 sound to sound like the Prince records ;-)

•All buttons fully reconditioned:
—-without a doubt the Achilles Heel of the DMX is the button set. They all will go bad unless they are replaced or reconditioned. We used a combination of new old stock Oberheim parts (yes really) and a careful reconditioning process for the buttons that did not need replacement. Every single button on the DMX now fires off INSTANTLY. This provides for more accurate and intricate playing, which the DMX’s sequencer can handle with ease.

•Hand Stained High Gloss Black Oberheim Original End Cheeks (because it looks badass this way)

All of this was absolutely laborious, taking over a year to do. I can’t even publish an accurate cost because at some point we lost track (let’s just say there is nothing cheap inside or out on this DMX). We wanted to make the absolute best DMX. To take all the modern facilities of stable memory and MIDI without loosing any ounce of feel, interface, charm, or sound of the original. What you have is a one of a kind instrument that is better than any other DMX out there. The additional LM1 sounds are a must, and in this way you are really getting two drum machines in one. A kind of best of both worlds. The stock DMX sounds incredible, but so does the LM1 sound set when you’ve got a stable fully recapped machine triggering it. Simply put, we wanted this DMX to outlast us.

The only reason we are selling is because we are shifting the studio towards more production work and we need outboard gear. We are GUTTED to let this one go. No one has a DMX like this. You will not see a DMX like this again … they all have problems and short comings but we addressed every single one of those issues with THIS DMX. As you can tell physically the machine is in fantastic shape. There are minor things of wear and tear as comes with age. Having said that, it looks absolutely beautiful and has been reconditioned completely to last!"

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