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RobJB06
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#1
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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Prophet 5 problem

Hi chaps,

I bought a Prophet 5 recently it arrived yesterday afternoon, ive been playing and its great, but it seems to have a problem, the lfo isnt working at all!
I can use noise as a modulation source and use the mod wheel to send it to different destinations like the filter or vco frequency and that works fine, if i turn the knob fully counter clockwise and feed the lfo to the mod wheel, i dont get any modulation when i use the wheel, if lfo is routed to filter and i use the mod wheel it slightly opens the filter or routed to vco freq it very slightly changes the vco freq (like fine tune), the LFO rate knob doesnt do anything at all!
I had a quick peek inside to see if something like a ribbon cable had come loose but it all looks fine. Any ideas anyone?
I'll be pissed to say the least if i have to send this for repair as it was top dollar price from an Ebay "dealer" in the US.. fully serviced/ full working order etc.etc.. i bought from a dealer because i didnt want a cheaper fixer upper.
Also a quick question about tuning, even after a good warm up there is heavy beating at times between voices, much more than you'd normally want.
I know rev 2's are considered "organic" shall we say, as a cs80 owner im quite used to this nice variation between voices.
Its been a while since i had one of these, is this tuning behaviour due to old components like capacitors, i see inside on the analogue and digital boards loads of green capacitors, i seem to remember in the past that these were often blamed for poor reliability on old Prophets.
I was reluctant to sell the Chroma to change to the Prophet as i knew id have these sorts of problems, such a pain in the ass.

Cheers
#2
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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there was a bad batch of caps but this happend after the rev 2s.

i have to leave mine on for at least 2 hours to warm up before the drift goes.

as for the beating between voices, put a tuner on it and check the voices all play the same note. press the auto tune. this should get them all matching.

if you have a voice out of tune ( relative to the others) more than say 4 cent then it's down to calibration. unlikely to be caps.

the lfo is probably a dry joint.
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#3
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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haha, welcome to the rev2 club. yeah these things are hard to get in perfect condition. I wish people thoroughly checked the things they sell though, but it's hard to say if shipping caused it or not. In my case, I got the seller on the phone and he basically admitted he knew about the problem and didn't mention it in the auction. I paid a good amount of money for mine as well, so I asked for some money back to cover repairs and we negotiated a partial refund. At least this gives me an excuse to get it upgraded w/cassette interface and I have a kenton midi kit on the way as well.

At the very least, if you plan to keep it, contact the seller and try to get a refund before leaving any feedback. BTW, did you ever find out if that din port is actually midi? if it isn't, I'd bug about that too.

this also is quite promising for rev2 owners if you're getting it sent in for repair anyway..I'm going to try to have my tech perform the mods necessary to install the eproms that will support this.
http://analog.fi/index.php?option=co...id=11&Itemid=9
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26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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Nice link, looks promising.
The Din is a midi port, its a JL Cooper midi interface, ive not tested that yet.
Yer im going to test the midi tonight and give the seller a call, hope he's willing to cover the repair for this, im sure he'll say shipping blah blah, but the package was in great shape and there was lots of packing inside the box, so id put money this was like this when he sent it.

Cheers
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26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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ya it's hard to get a refund from the shipping companies especially if the box was in good shape and such. I wouldn't even bring that up as an option, as it's probably a painful and tedious path to go down. Since it's from ebay and the seller I'm sure doesn't want any negative feedback, I reckon he'll probably work with you. I've bought from that same guy before and it was usually pretty smooth, but then again I never had to get a refund from him

Ah, I had a feeling it might be something like jl cooper midi! they made a ton of midi kits back in the day but there's not much documentation on them anymore. However, I can't imagine it should be too hard to figure out assuming it all works correctly, probably just a matter of running through each midi channel til ya find the right one (well, unless it's omni, then they're all right!)
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26th April 2012
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I still have both a rev 2 and a rev 3.3 here. Both with MIDI. I have that new OS installed in the rev 2 and suggested some additional changes to the developer. As an aside, I believe I'm the first one to have it installed in a rev 2 with the Kenton MIDI kit and so far they all seem to play together nicely.


I sent both synths off to Greg M in California (I'm in Maryland) to get fully serviced. They both came back after Greg worked on them and they were generally in 'ready-to-play' condition. However, I still had to open the rev 2 and redo the calibration for a couple of the oscillators and I have an intermittant issue with one of the VCOs that seems heat related.

The rev 3.3 seemed to have survived the cross-country shipping better than the rev 2. I still have to fully go through it, but it's generally working and sounding in tune right now.

So I would say that if the problem ends up being simply a calibration issue for the VCOs, that's to be expected. For the LFO mod, there's no excuse for a dealer to have missed that. If it was the same guy I got a JP-8 from (I see that it was), I'd say his service tech is not the best one around. Luckily I could do the repair work myself... (and I did get a partial refund so I could purchase the necessary replacement keys and parts).

At some point in time I'm going to sell one of them. I really like the rev 2 filter sound, but so far it's needed more TLC than the rev 3.
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26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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Yer im guessing it will probably just be note on / off, if it responds to pitch and mod wheel that would be pretty cool, but im not going to hold my breath.. Hopefully the midi just works thats the main thing.
How much refund did you get from your seller for the problems with your unit? Im just wondering whats a reasonable amount to ask for, i mean for $5000 i did expect no problems as was clearly stated in the auction, if i wanted a fixer upper id have waited a bit and could have probably saved $1000 or something.
I may do a small video and post it up on youtube showing what isnt working.
The guy didnt ship the original manual either which is annoying.
I guess i should have just bought a broken one and saved the $$$ and had my tech refurb it. Anyway ill stop whinging, ill call him in a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xero View Post
ya it's hard to get a refund from the shipping companies especially if the box was in good shape and such. I wouldn't even bring that up as an option, as it's probably a painful and tedious path to go down. Since it's from ebay and the seller I'm sure doesn't want any negative feedback, I reckon he'll probably work with you. I've bought from that same guy before and it was usually pretty smooth, but then again I never had to get a refund from him

Ah, I had a feeling it might be something like jl cooper midi! they made a ton of midi kits back in the day but there's not much documentation on them anymore. However, I can't imagine it should be too hard to figure out assuming it all works correctly, probably just a matter of running through each midi channel til ya find the right one (well, unless it's omni, then they're all right!)
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26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJB06 View Post
Yer im guessing it will probably just be note on / off, if it responds to pitch and mod wheel that would be pretty cool, but im not going to hold my breath.. Hopefully the midi just works thats the main thing.
How much refund did you get from your seller for the problems with your unit? Im just wondering whats a reasonable amount to ask for, i mean for $5000 i did expect no problems as was clearly stated in the auction, if i wanted a fixer upper id have waited a bit and could have probably saved $1000 or something.
I may do a small video and post it up on youtube showing what isnt working.
The guy didnt ship the original manual either which is annoying.
I guess i should have just bought a broken one and saved the $$$ and had my tech refurb it. Anyway ill stop whinging, ill call him in a bit.
I'd get an agreement that you'll have your tech look into the LFO problem and get an estimate. The bottom line is that you just want a working Prophet 5 and the seller doesn't want to deal with a synth being returned from the UK. If the seller agrees to that, have your tech fix it up and get reimbursed for the labor and parts.

Given that it's all voices that are not responding, it's unlikely to be a bunch of SSMs that need to be replaced, so my guess is the cost will mostly be for the labor to find and fix the problem.
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26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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Thanks for that, yer it was onkloud9, he seems like a cool guy from the email exchanges weve had so hopefully he will give some sort of refund towards fixing the issue- i dont think its right to pay a dealer top dollar to get something with issues, issues that werent stated in the auction.

Greg M seems like the guy to go to, i was actually talking to him before i bought it about possibilities for a full refurb on a Prophet in the US and then shipping to the UK but it didnt happen in the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
I still have both a rev 2 and a rev 3.3 here. Both with MIDI. I have that new OS installed in the rev 2 and suggested some additional changes to the developer. As an aside, I believe I'm the first one to have it installed in a rev 2 with the Kenton MIDI kit and so far they all seem to play together nicely.


I sent both synths off to Greg M in California (I'm in Maryland) to get fully serviced. They both came back after Greg worked on them and they were generally in 'ready-to-play' condition. However, I still had to open the rev 2 and redo the calibration for a couple of the oscillators and I have an intermittant issue with one of the VCOs that seems heat related.

The rev 3.3 seemed to have survived the cross-country shipping better than the rev 2. I still have to fully go through it, but it's generally working and sounding in tune right now.

So I would say that if the problem ends up being simply a calibration issue for the VCOs, that's to be expected. For the LFO mod, there's no excuse for a dealer to have missed that. If it was the same guy I got a JP-8 from (onkloud9), I'd say his service tech is not the best one around. Luckily I could do the repair work myself...

At some point in time I'm going to sell one of them. I really like the rev 2 filter sound, but so far it's needed more TLC than the rev 3.
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26th April 2012
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my rev2 also has kenton midi. fitted around 15 years ago, no issues
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26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJB06 View Post
How much refund did you get from your seller for the problems with your unit? Im just wondering whats a reasonable amount to ask for, i mean for $5000 i did expect no problems as was clearly stated in the auction, if i wanted a fixer upper id have waited a bit and could have probably saved $1000 or something.
I think we pretty much paid the same, except I had free shipping on mine (but it wasn't going overseas.) I probably paid too much regardless. Mine's not quite as mint looking as yours (it's still quite nice though, I love the darker tone walnut on mine). I started by asking for a couple hundred, and we negotiated to $150. I wish I coulda got $1000! but my problem is fairly minor (the pitch wheel is not correctly centered, it needs to be slightly off to be in tune). It's probably going to cost me $150 just to ship the thing, but we'll see! I was planning on getting the cassette interface and midi upgrades anyway, so I'm not as pissed about the shipping costs for repair.

FWIW, I'm going to be using Greg M, but I'm in the USA (Pennsylvania, so I'll be shipping it about the same distance as oldgearguy, give or take...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
I still have both a rev 2 and a rev 3.3 here. Both with MIDI. I have that new OS installed in the rev 2 and suggested some additional changes to the developer. As an aside, I believe I'm the first one to have it installed in a rev 2 with the Kenton MIDI kit and so far they all seem to play together nicely.
I had asked him about the new firmware working with kenton midi and he mentioned someone tested that out! I guess it was you! Still trying to find out if there's any compatibility issues with the 120 patch mod that Greg M and a few others offer. Haven't heard back about that though. I imagine it shouldn't matter, as I don't think that mod really involves the firmware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
At some point in time I'm going to sell one of them. I really like the rev 2 filter sound, but so far it's needed more TLC than the rev 3.
so it goes I suppose. At this point, I'm totally sold on the rev2. If I do end up selling one, it's gonna be the rev3.3. I need to get the keybed cleaned on my rev3.3, but I can't really justify shipping it to Greg M for that, I'll probably see if my new local guy can do it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
my rev2 also has kenton midi. fitted around 15 years ago, no issues
wow that's a while ago! Apparently they've got a new revision of the kit out as of Feb 1st 2005. Not sure if there's really any changes other than using different IC's and such, kenton seems to do that when parts get hard to source. Kenton is always really good at responding to technical inquiries though, even in regards to their old stuff!
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26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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Thanks, yes this was what i was thinking too. Ill give the guy a call and see what he has to say.
I hope my tech can take a look at this straight away, not sure how busy he is!
Thanks all
Sorry for the soap box drama!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
I'd get an agreement that you'll have your tech look into the LFO problem and get an estimate. The bottom line is that you just want a working Prophet 5 and the seller doesn't want to deal with a synth being returned from the UK. If the seller agrees to that, have your tech fix it up and get reimbursed for the labor and parts.

Given that it's all voices that are not responding, it's unlikely to be a bunch of SSMs that need to be replaced, so my guess is the cost will mostly be for the labor to find and fix the problem.
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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What made you decide to get a Rev 2 again after six years ?
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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I've had my rev 2 for about 7 years now. I was worried about reliability when I bought it but thankfully it has been one of the most reliable synths i've owned.

Funnily enough the only fault I have had was that the lfo once stopped working. It only took my tech 5 minutes to diagnose and fix while I waited. I was charged £2 for a replacement component. Can't remember what it was but it wasn't an SSM.

My rev 2's tuning is stable in 10-15 minutes but it has a heat sink fitted, which must help.

Hope you get your lfo working. The rev 2 is great. Being raw and organic it makes a perfect companion to the precise nature of my Roland synths.

The filter also sounds close enough to my minimoog that I would probably keep the prophet if I could only have one. Enough said!
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27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Six years? I guess you saw an old for sale post of mine on AH or somewhere? 2006, i guess that sounds about right.
Reason for buying ummm.. well, i had a Chroma Expander that i decided to sell recently, i wasnt using it and couldn't deal with the interface any more, i wanted to replace the Chroma with something more hands on, i always liked the sound of the Prophet, so decided to go down that path again, these days im gravitating more towards early pure analogue machines with lots of character rather than machines that do it all like the A6 or Chroma, good as they are too..
I wasnt bothered about Rev 2 or Rev 3, i think the differences are small, but a few factors made me go Rev 2- the one i bought on Ebay was in full working order (supposedly) and in great shape with midi preinstalled, i can also source all the spare SSM chips still for this machine much more easily and at fair prices, in comparison sourcing a couple of CEM 3340 say, is much harder and much more expensive- so that was another factor, lastly i think the SSM Prophets do sound a *little* bit nicer.
Having said all that before i bought the P5, i put a bid in on a P10, but the bid wasnt accepted, otherwise id have one of those here now!

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What made you decide to get a Rev 2 again after six years ?
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27th April 2012
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Nice to know regarding reliability, im hoping mine will be too after ive had the issues looked at.
Interesting about the heat sink, these seemed to fitted as standard to the later rev 3's but i dont think they put them on the earlier revisions.
I hope the LFO is an easy fix, i guess its always hard to say until its been looked at. I have spoken to the Ebay seller and he has been helpful and offered to cover the repair cost, so thats good news, i just hope my regular tech can take a look at it now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Man Micron View Post
I've had my rev 2 for about 7 years now. I was worried about reliability when I bought it but thankfully it has been one of the most reliable synths i've owned.

Funnily enough the only fault I have had was that the lfo once stopped working. It only took my tech 5 minutes to diagnose and fix while I waited. I was charged £2 for a replacement component. Can't remember what it was but it wasn't an SSM.

My rev 2's tuning is stable in 10-15 minutes but it has a heat sink fitted, which must help.

Hope you get your lfo working. The rev 2 is great. Being raw and organic it makes a perfect companion to the precise nature of my Roland synths.

The filter also sounds close enough to my minimoog that I would probably keep the prophet if I could only have one. Enough said!
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27th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJB06 View Post
Nice to know regarding reliability, im hoping mine will be too after ive had the issues looked at.
Interesting about the heat sink, these seemed to fitted as standard to the later rev 3's but i dont think they put them on the earlier revisions.
I hope the LFO is an easy fix, i guess its always hard to say until its been looked at. I have spoken to the Ebay seller and he has been helpful and offered to cover the repair cost, so thats good news, i just hope my regular tech can take a look at it now.
on the rev2, they just kinda attached the the regulators directly to the back of the case, the screws are under the big "prophet 5" logo. On the rev3 they put a heatsink there instead and used a smaller "prophet 5" logo off to the side. I've heard that one thing to do on the rev2 is to have smaller heatsinks put on the inside of the case, probably using some thermal epoxy or something. Then you don't have to remove the nice big prophet logo from the back! However, if there's power supply issues, it's probably worth doing the other power supply upgrades as well, rather than just installing heatsinks or what not.

good to know the seller is working with you, hopefully it's just a silly problem! I'm sure it's fixable regardless of what it is.
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27th April 2012
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I have owned both a rev2 and rev3. I sold the rev2 because I like the sound of the Rev 3 more. It sounds more like my Mini but with five voices... and if you have 3.3 you get voice defeat so you can get say only 2 or 3 voices in unison. Makes great bass and leads, not as over the top as 10 VCO's.

Sell you rev 2 and get a Rev3... that way you can spend time making music instead of service.

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#19
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demokid View Post
I have owned both a rev2 and rev3. I sold the rev2 because I like the sound of the Rev 3 more. It sounds more like my Mini but with five voices... and if you have 3.3 you get voice defeat so you can get say only 2 or 3 voices in unison. Makes great bass and leads, not as over the top as 10 VCO's.

Sell you rev 2 and get a Rev3... that way you can spend time making music instead of service.

Best regards
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i think a few people in here have owned both....that said, as someone who owns both a working rev2 and rev3.3 at the moment, I heartfully disagree, but, I can say that the rev3.3 has it's own sound and for some things that sound is better.

as for the unison thing and voice defeat on rev2 - check out the link to that new firmware I sent above, it adds a new "1 voice unison" mode, which allows you to have 1 or 2 voice unison.

However, I'm not sure the advice to simply sell the rev2 is really constructive, we've all got our reasons for owning a rev2. YMMV.
#20
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
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Quote:
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i can also source all the spare SSM chips still for this machine much more easily and at fair prices, in comparison sourcing a couple of CEM 3340 say, is much harder and much more expensive
Usually it's the opposite. Where are you finding SSM2040s so easily and cheap?
#21
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
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The SSM2040s are still relatively rare...

It's the SSM2030s that are easy to find because someone found a cache of around 500 of them five or six years ago. He put them up on Ebay in small lots at a time for very reasonable prices ($10 - $15 per piece) and eventually sold the rest in a bulk transaction.
It looked very skeptical when they first appeared but it turned out to be for real.
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28th April 2012
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Brain is CV controlled device!!!!!! so we all are analog sequenced machines!!!! " ROBOTS "
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28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
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Just a friend who is selling some parts

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Usually it's the opposite. Where are you finding SSM2040s so easily and cheap?
#24
29th April 2012
Old 29th April 2012
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this might help in future BUT for now i have enough ssm ics

Hearn Morley HM2040 SSM2040 ( SSM 2040 ) Clone, Analogue Filter Module | eBay
I'm not sure how easy that would be to plug into a Prophet-5. It's a big square block a lot wider than the original chips and the pins aren't compatible. Also not sure you could get it to match the other original SSM2040s exactly in calibration in the same synth so probably would need to replace all of them...
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#25
22nd August 2012
Old 22nd August 2012
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4 months ago i posted my Prophet 5 off for repair, 2 days after getting it....
Still at the repair shop, in fact the tech i sent it to sent it to another tech!
4 months is sooooooo long.


Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck

RANT OVER
#26
22nd August 2012
Old 22nd August 2012
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Know how you feel fella, my Linn has been in the shop since last december.
Due to get it back very soon tho so cant wait.
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22nd August 2012
Old 22nd August 2012
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Who was the seller?
#28
23rd August 2012
Old 23rd August 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJB06 View Post
4 months ago i posted my Prophet 5 off for repair, 2 days after getting it....
Still at the repair shop, in fact the tech i sent it to sent it to another tech!
4 months is sooooooo long.


Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck

RANT OVER
yeah, my rev2's still in the shop too. luckily I still have the rev3.3 to hold me over. I pretty much expected it to take 2-3 months. I brought him a few things other than the prophet too, though. My guy is not the fastest and he's always super busy but he seems to know his stuff. I just got word last week that the power supply upgrades are all done. It's got a brand new transformer with a new dedicated tap driving the 5v regulator, and all the regulators are mounted to a piece of angle iron now, so that you can remove the power supply without having to take the label off the back of the case ever again! Also the one regulator is replaced with a adjustable one so it's more similar to a >=rev3.1 PSU. Yay. I can't wait to see how cool it runs now. I imagine the angle iron will also be acting a bit like an additional heatsink, which you don't see because it's hidden on the inside.

Apparently he was running into some issues doing the 2708 -> 2716 upgrade though, he's been booting it off the 2708s using a bench supply (since he removed the -5 and +12 regulators) but we've got a few ideas why the 2716s might not be working, so hopefully that will be resolved soon. Only thing left after that is the midi kit!
#29
28th August 2012
Old 28th August 2012
  #29
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dubnspace is offline
Reading this thread I gotta give props to Greg Montalbano in Oakland. Sent him my Rev 2 last Tuesday and it's already on its way back to me all in perfect working order!
#30
28th August 2012
Old 28th August 2012
  #30
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Joined: May 2010
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,192

dougt is offline
Yep, Greg is THE Prophet-5 tech. Made my dead Rev 1 perfect in 2 days and for less than $200...
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