Pretty cool: Sequential has released a 2020 version of its legendary Prophet-5 / Prophet-10 synthesizer. That powerful, analog goodness (as Sequential calls it) is housed in a full, five-octave, semi-weighted Fatar keyboard with USB, MIDI, Gate and CV INs/OUTs, and a premium-quality, steel and hand-oiled, sustainable black walnut heartwood body, making the instrument as satisfying to behold as it is (hopefully) to hear and play.
We see the new Prophet-10 as THE smash hit. Its ancestor, the original single-manual ten-voice Prophet, was only available for a few weeks in 1978, before uncontrollable internal heat development and tuning problems forced Dave Smith to recall all double-voice-board ten-voice-models and to focus on the single-voice-board five-voice model, henceforth known as Prophet-5. Gone was the (single-manual) Prophet-10, but now it’s back again.
Anyway, whether you choose the new Prophet-5 or the new Prophet-10 of today: Those synthesizers are much more than a simple Reissue of the original Prophet …
“The new Prophet-5 is Dave Smith’s timely return to the analog poly synth that changed the world. It’s “the best of all Prophet-5’s” as Dave puts it, because it embodies all three revisions of the legendary synth — Rev1, Rev2, and Rev3 — through the use …
… of genuine Curtis analog VCOs and filters (as in the Rev3) as well as new 2140 low-pass filters designed by Dave Rossum, like the 2040 filters he designed in the original Rev1 and Rev2. A Rev switch lets you choose between the two filter designs.”
Begging the question, of course, of whether the new Prophet-5 / Prophet-10 entirely replaces the “old” Prophet-5 (or even outstrips it? … as indicated by Dave Smith himself). Well, the answer depends on your own perspective …
We claim the vintage Prophet-5 will remain unmatched for … hm, probably forever. Up to now, it seems that a complete substitute of those vintage synthesizers from the 70s / 80s is impossible. Whether SEM, Minimoog, Memorymoog, ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey, SH-101, etc: No replica matches the original in terms of warmth, punchiness and overall (vintage) sound quality. So, the original remains the original.
On the other hand: A modern construction – whether SSM / CEM chips or not – remains a modern construction. Note the open Prophet-5 (clearly visible in the attached video) – the almost empty interior is no surprise, of course … there’s the adapted voiceboard (with SMD technology, we guess) and the modern power supply, resulting in a different, modern instrument as opposed to that original machine from 1978.
Still, the sound of the new Prophet-5 / Prophet-10 promises to be decent, pleasant, powerful (close to the actual character of the original Prophet-5 synthesizer).
To compensate for the – let’s say – “missing 10% (20%?) towards the mightiness, liveliness and power of the original sound”, the new Prophet-5 / Prophet-10 offers heaps of additional features: a Fatar keyboard with velocity / aftertouch, MIDI, USB, those two (alternatively selectable) filter designs, and other extras.
An acceptable compromise, some musicians might say. A real upgrade, others will add. However, another bonus is price: At 3,600 Euros (Prophet-5) and 4,400 Euros (Prophet-10), both synthesizers can be had for well below the price level of an original vintage Prophet-5.
Well done, Sequential. Well done, Mr. Smith!
Sequential Prophet-5 / Prophet-10
Analog synthesizer with 5 / 10 voices,
MIDI, USB and velocity / aftertouch
Price: 3,600 Euros
Price: 4,400 Euros
Sequential Prophet-5 – Milestone and Musical Legend
(Review of the original Prophet-5)