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What’s so great about the Prophet 5?
Old 25th March 2020
  #1
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Mr. Syc's Avatar
 

What’s so great about the Prophet 5?

As the title states. I have my synth pallet pretty well full at the moment. Now I can focus on the epically out of reach GAS. The P5 has always been at the top of my list but $5000+ is pretty ridiculous even to me (I almost feel it would be morally wrong for me to spend more on a vintage synth then I’ve spent on 90% of my vehicles).
At my current rate of saving I would be looking at mid/late summer purchase.
I’m not looking for a bunch of little Chinese synths and I’m not looking for something that can emulate it sometimes, but the real thing. Is it worth it for THAT sound? Is it that unique? Whats so great about a Prophet 5?
Old 26th March 2020
  #2
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Repro-5 is damn great at emulating it a great majority of time, plus it costs way less.
Old 26th March 2020
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Repro-5 is damn great at emulating it a great majority of time, plus it costs way less.
You’re looking for trouble, Mario

Erik
Old 26th March 2020
  #4
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EvilDragon's Avatar
I don't really care. Repro-5 gets awfully close anyways, and there is enough proof out there regarding that.
Old 26th March 2020
  #5
What's so great about beer?
Old 26th March 2020
  #6
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EvilDragon's Avatar
It has foam.
Old 26th March 2020
  #7
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namnibor's Avatar
It’s half as expensive as a Prophet 10. The (I think) they’re called “J Hook keys” can be a pain and expensive to repair.

For that kind of coin I’d lean on caution and finally buy an Andromeda

Last edited by namnibor; 26th March 2020 at 12:19 AM.. Reason: Swine
Old 26th March 2020
  #8
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namnibor's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
What's so great about beer?
If you drop a wintergreen lifesaver candy into a Heineken beer bottle it causes it to erupt like a beer foam volcano, beer bong with chemical reactions.
Old 26th March 2020
  #9
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Mr. Syc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
What's so great about beer?
Well, that’s like asking what’s so great about synthesizers
Old 26th March 2020
  #10
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Mr. Syc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
I don't really care. Repro-5 gets awfully close anyways, and there is enough proof out there regarding that.
I’m also 95% out the box. I use a daw as a partial multi track recorder and EQ so this option doesn’t suit me. I think I’m just trying to justify this dream synth push
Old 26th March 2020
  #11
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I had beer once
Old 26th March 2020
  #12
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Gringo Starr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Syc View Post
As the title states. I have my synth pallet pretty well full at the moment. Now I can focus on the epically out of reach GAS. The P5 has always been at the top of my list but $5000+ is pretty ridiculous even to me (I almost feel it would be morally wrong for me to spend more on a vintage synth then I’ve spent on 90% of my vehicles).
At my current rate of saving I would be looking at mid/late summer purchase.
I’m not looking for a bunch of little Chinese synths and I’m not looking for something that can emulate it sometimes, but the real thing. Is it worth it for THAT sound? Is it that unique? Whats so great about a Prophet 5?
The P5 has magic to it. There's a reason it's so well known. By far my favorite poly. The way it pops out of the speakers, how sensitive and impactful the filter is at shaping the sound, and the overall warmth is beyond pleasing to my ears. Whenever I spend time with other synths and then return back to the P5 it always impresses me. It's like... oh yeah goddamn.

That being said I don't think I'd pay 5k for it considering all the other options that are available these days. There's too many great brand new synthesizers available these days. Sure if it was ten years ago and the Alesis Andromeda was the latest analog synth available I'd say go for it. Today however I would advise against spending that much on it unless the P5 has an absolutely crucial sound that you need for your creative process.

Amazing legendary synth for a reason but for 5K there's too much brand-new awesomeness available. Even 5K on some great outboard gear would be better spent.
Old 26th March 2020
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Love the P5 and think they deserve their price. However, it's a tough choice between a P5 and something like an OB-8 or OB-XA considering they have more voices and layering.

5 voices is its only drawback.
Old 26th March 2020
  #14
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drockfresh's Avatar
Bernie Worell high as a kite on a platform rolled onstage with the Talking Heads
Old 26th March 2020
  #15
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Westlaker's Avatar
The SCI Prophet 5 rev. 3 has been the centerpiece of my setup for several years now and I am still very happy with it. Not sure how it compares to the software emulations (I'm sure they're fantastic, too) and I can't say if it's "worth" the money -- in the end that's up to you. But I do think it's a great analog synthesizer.

Let me get the drawbacks out of the way first. The keyboard is only so so. 5-note polyphony ain't much. And the sound doesn't absolutely blow you away every time you play it (I contrast this with another synth in my arsenal, the original SEM, which is jaw-dropping every single time).

Now the good stuff. First, the simple experience of playing it. It's big, it's heavy, the knobs feel military-grade, and the aesthetics are second to none (subjective, I know). But really: you feel like you're at the controls of a Rolls Royce when you play a Prophet 5. That doesn't matter to some, but it does to me. It's inspiring.

The sound. How can it really be so great if, as I say, the sound doesn't "absolutely blow you away" every time? Because the sound *delivers* every single time in pretty much every way you'd want an analog polysynth to deliver. It does EVERYTHING at least very well (8 out of 10, let's say); many things very well (9/10); and a few things brilliantly (10/10). In other words, it's a workhorse. It's a fantastic tool for actually making music. It sits well in the mix. It's as good for ambient as for techno, as at home doing orchestral pieces as it is doing italo disco or synth pop.

Its particular strengths, to me, are (1) the unmistakeable warmth and fullness (with a hint of menace: think Carpenter scores) in the lower mids; (2) the lightning-fast envelopes that make it perfect for synth bass or very high BPM arps; (3) the bright and brassy tone of the upper mids (peak CEM sound); and (4) the wildly experimental drones/textures that you can get with the polymod section. But again, it can do everything else pretty well, too.

As always, best if you can get some flight time with one before plunking down the cash. No synth -- not even those, like the Prophet 5, that are in the pantheon -- speaks to *everyone*.

But it's undeniably a great synthesizer.
Old 26th March 2020
  #16
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I'd wait to see what the Behringer Pro 800 will be, because they cloned the Pro 1 extremely well and it's one voice of the Prophet 5. There's also the Prophet 600 with the gligli mod and that gets close to the Prophet 5 for a fraction of the price. How badly do you want to throw more and more money toward the GAS?
Old 26th March 2020
  #17
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Arglebargle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by namnibor View Post
It’s half as expensive as a Prophet 10. The (I think) they’re called “J Hook keys” can be a pain and expensive to repair.

For that kind of coin I’d lean on caution and finally buy an Andromeda
I broke the keys on my P5, literally, every week. Though I am a percussionist, with a bit of a heavy hand. Sold mine because of it.

But it was an amazing beast when it came out, great sound, good UI, good modulations.
Old 26th March 2020
  #18
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Arglebargle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Bernie Worell high as a kite on a platform rolled onstage with the Talking Heads
Love that one! Lucky enough to see that show here in Austin.

Now that makes sense......
Old 26th March 2020
  #19
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
Prophet 5 was one of the best looking synths made imo. It's beautifully simple logical and spacious layout is awesome, I hate tiny cramped UI's.
Old 26th March 2020
  #20
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This:
Old 26th March 2020
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Syc View Post
As the title states. I have my synth pallet pretty well full at the moment. Now I can focus on the epically out of reach GAS. The P5 has always been at the top of my list but $5000+ is pretty ridiculous even to me (I almost feel it would be morally wrong for me to spend more on a vintage synth then I’ve spent on 90% of my vehicles).
At my current rate of saving I would be looking at mid/late summer purchase.
I’m not looking for a bunch of little Chinese synths and I’m not looking for something that can emulate it sometimes, but the real thing. Is it worth it for THAT sound? Is it that unique? Whats so great about a Prophet 5?
Hard to advise on what it's really worth but you can say most cars that are in this price range of $5k you may be buying will depreciate very quickly and a few years likely not be worth anything, where as a P5 even at $5k you can likely play and own for several years and get at least back what you paid it or very close, so you not really spending money your parking it. Not as an investment but as a means to own and play a legendary instrument without it costing you much
Old 26th March 2020
  #22
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daviddever's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by namnibor View Post
I’d lean on caution and finally buy an Andromeda
spits out beer
Old 26th March 2020
  #23
I appreciate what Westlaker wrote a few posts above, as it saves me from saying so much myself.

The P5 just kinda has Thang. I live in Berlin with a Prophet 6, which I adore. I flew back to California last week to be with my gf, who has a P5. I plugged it in just this morning and added it to a new song, which has been all P6 til now. Obviously the two synths have much sonic overlap, but the P5 brought a quick bit of dirty heft to the track. I've never struggled to fit the 5 into any song, nor have I needed to spend more than minutes to get the right sounds for a given song. The P6 has a beautifulness the 5 can't reach, but the 5 has been at the center of my synthetic heart since I was a teen.

I can't advise on the $$$ value of anything for anyone else, and I don't know that my contribution to this post is anything more than a chance for me to be excited about my fav synth, but if the P5 is on top of someone's list, that means much, right? Life is short.
Old 26th March 2020
  #24
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Mr. Syc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
This:
The first 1:30 of this!
Old 26th March 2020
  #25
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The Prophet 5? Well for starters it’s THE synth to play Radiohead’s, Everything In It’s Right Place!!!
Old 26th March 2020
  #26
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Mr. Syc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumblepig View Post
I can't advise on the $$$ value of anything for anyone else, and I don't know that my contribution to this post is anything more than a chance for me to be excited about my fav synth, but if the P5 is on top of someone's list, that means much, right? Life is short.
Thanks for the comments, in retrospect I think I was kinda asking for some love letters to the P5. I’ve got a few older synths and every one of them brings like a new puzzle piece of sounds I grew up hearing. It seems like a silly question at this point to ask if x vintage synth is worth xx, especially when (I can’t say if it’s nostalgia but...) you can access these specific palettes. Life IS short, some positive reinforcement heh heh
Old 26th March 2020
  #27
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jiffybox's Avatar
Wouldn’t 5k get you a P6 and an OB6? That just seems like a dream combo that gets pretty retro. Also Repro has a cool physical hardware controller on Perfect Circuit for 200-300 bucks.
Old 26th March 2020
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Syc View Post
Thanks for the comments, in retrospect I think I was kinda asking for some love letters to the P5. I’ve got a few older synths and every one of them brings like a new puzzle piece of sounds I grew up hearing. It seems like a silly question at this point to ask if x vintage synth is worth xx, especially when (I can’t say if it’s nostalgia but...) you can access these specific palettes. Life IS short, some positive reinforcement heh heh
Well, since you've clarified, I can say far more simply that the P5 is probably worth it. I'm two feet away from a P5 right now, and the vibe it gives off, man... I do actually mean that! No logic to what I'm saying, no concern for "investment value" or filter chips or whether the P6 can do such and such just as well. The Prophet 5 is a beautiful instrument, sonically and visually. And/or, "The Prophet 5 is the Beatles of synthesizers."
Old 26th March 2020
  #29
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Mr. Syc's Avatar
 

That really does seem like a dream combo. I’ve got an OB6, I love it, it’s beautiful and a joy to play. I think that’s got me covered as far as newer sounds go. I was interested in a pro3 but really was only partially hearing things I like. People would say ‘see it can sound vintage ‘ but I picked up a monopoly instead and everything that comes out of it is vintage bliss. Hell, I’d give up my OB6 before I would even contemplate getting rid of my Juno 106. Maybe it’s all hype but I’m a sucker for the old sounds
Old 26th March 2020
  #30
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
Wouldn’t 5k get you a P6 and an OB6? That just seems like a dream combo that gets pretty retro. Also Repro has a cool physical hardware controller on Perfect Circuit for 200-300 bucks.
That’s what I’d do for sure, though I stopped at the 6. I love it. It’s not the 5, but it’s definitely family. What makes it worth more than a 5 to me is that it can become more expressive than a Prophet 5. Control it with a poly aftertouch enabled keyboard and it’s so alive. If the 5 is something that’s near and dear to you, then go for it, but if it’s just another classic analog poly to collect, is it really worth $5K?
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