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Sequential Circuits Prophet 5


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Sequential Circuits Prophet 5

Category:  Products / synthesisers / analog synthesisers

Added: 19-Dec-98  |  Author: admin

New price: discontinued  |   S/H price: around £10,000 GBP

Sequential Circuits Prophet 5

The Prophet-5 first appeared in 1978 at Winter NAMM, and astonished everyone, including industry competitors who were simply unprepared for what the Prophet-5 brought to the table. It was the first synth ever to use a microprocessor and allowed musicians to save & load created patches from memory. The world's first ever programmable polysynth!


The Prophet-5 was a 5 note polyphonic synth powered by two Oscillators per voice with choices of Triangle, Pulse & Sawtooth waves with Sync and PWM features. The filter is a 24dB/Octave resonant low-pass type, and there are individual 4-stage envelopes for both filter and amplitude. The Prophet-5 also introduced an innovative 'Poly Mod' section providing powerful modulation ability.


The Prophet-5 was hugely popular with the professional musicians who could afford the massive $3995 price tag & was used by all the big names... It basically re-defined what the modern synth was.


Dave Smith the synth's creator described the early days of the Prophet-5: "The demand for the Prophet-5 was incredible. For the first several years we simply couldn’t keep up. Artists and their management would call our offices begging us to sell them whatever we had. It was a crazy time."


But cheaper digital synths came along in the 1980's starting with the ubiquitous Yamaha DX-7 & Sequential eventually ceased Prophet-5 production and the company folded in 1987 with Yamaha buying all their assets including the Sequential brand name. Dave Smith went on to work for Yamaha and then Korg where he developed the Wavestation & other instruments. Eventually he formed a new company in 2002, Dave Smith Instruments, releasing a new and very popular catalog of synths starting with the Mono Evolver... but the Prophet story still wasn't finished.


In 2015 Yamaha returned the Sequential name to Smith & he created a new version of the original Prophet-5, the 6-voice Sequential Prophet-6, featuring the same all analog synth engine & signal path as before, but with added enhancements such as studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and more.


Finally in 2018 Dave Smith Instruments re-branded as Sequential & in 2020 the new Prophet-5 was released.


The new Sequential Prophet-5 costs around £2900 GBP in keyboard form, while the desktop module version is around £2000 GBP.

Product Videos

Prophet 5 demonstration by Francis Monkman

An extract from the BBC's 1980's "Micro Live" special on electronic music. Francis Monkman played in...

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User Comments

Product:  Sequential Circuits - Prophet 5
Name: splitpoint
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 03-May-99

Excellent sound, horrible reliability. I own 2 of these (revision 3.0 and 3.1) and they break often. Rev 3 prophets are supposed to be the most stable but I find that hard to believe. One of mine has been upgraded with the Kenton midi kit and it works but my non-midi prophet seems to be more stable. So why don't I sell 'em? Sound. They sound great, my favorite synths for string and bass sounds and the sound makes it all worth it.

Pro-one is the monophonic version of this synth and sounds pretty much identical except that it is monophonic and a bit more reliable.

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Product:  Sequential Circuits - Prophet 5
Name: Dameion H
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 30-Sep-99

I am a prophet 5 user, I own a p-5 (rev3.3)series Its an awsome polyphonic synth. The sounds will remind you of a minimoog or some others but has its own unique sound. the prophet 5 has been the worlds leading polyphonic keyboard synth since its apperance in january,1978. It provides five-voice capability and now has a system up grade by wine country sequintial (formerly known as sequintial circuts)from origional 40 patches to 120 patches. All program can be fully customized (edited) and stored internally, or on audio cassette tape via the built in cassette interface.
Prophet 5 actually contains 5 individual synth, termed "voices." For its principle sound source, each voice contains two voltage-controlled filter(VCOs), referred to as OSC A OSC B. OSC A,OSC B AND a white noise source can be mixed into a resonant low-pass voltage-controlled filter (VCF). Following each filter, a voltage-controlled amplifier(VCA). Supplementing the basic voice are polyphonic modulation(POLY-MOD) signal routings within each voice that allow OSC B and the filter envelope generator to funtion as modulation source applied to OSC A frequentcy or puls-width, or to the filter frequency. Inside the prophet contains some wire(no-duuuuh) and also contains some chips. The early prophet rev-(meaning Revision)rev1 and rev2 had ssm chips, These were the fattes sounding chips ,what many people say, but had a bad reputation of breaking down. These chips were unreliable, they would generate lots of heat, and loose patches. The hot selling p-5 was going down hill untill a former member of ssm chips develop a chip called the cem chip(curtis chip) installd in the rev3 series. This chip is super reliable, didnt generate heat and was a little thiner sounding than it older brother sounding chips, But still kicks butt! later sequintial made a double prophet 5, resimble the b-3 double deck keys called prophet-10. The top row of keys handled the origional sounds of the prophet 5 and the bottom row handled the arpegiatior. This version had the ssm chips and was a super unreliable beast. Then they made the 76 and I think the 88 weighted version prophet 5 which is known as the T-8. This had a totaly different system than its famouse p-5 but still has the killer sounds. Back to the p-5 the rev3.1 has a upgrade system, rev3.2 has the midi installed by kenton, and the rev3.3 has the whole nine yards plus the patch system upgrade. To hear examples check out george dukes album Reach for it, Dont let Go, Brazillian love Affair, Dream on, And Guardian of the light. Thease album has lots of solos done on the p-5 leads, and they are screaming. I hope this info is helpfull. If you are looking for a p-5 check out wine country sequintial (408)265-2008 they do repairs on all sequintial producks, restorations and resales on used sequintial gear, give them a hollar!!!

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Product:  Sequential Circuits - Prophet 5
Name: Joe Gerardi
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Dec-99

Actually, I have to disagree with Dameion's comments about the Prophet-10. I owned them, and effectively, it was 2 P5's in one case. Each keyboard could have its own sound, and each had its own set of 40 programs. However, you could link the 2 'boards together with the same program from either the upper or lower, creating a 20-osc. sound. Additionally, the keyboards could be set in Alternate mode whereby each keypress would alternate between the upper and lower program. There was also an onboard sequencer, though it would be considered archaic by today's standards, and would only play from the lower 'board. There was a built in mini-tape drive that would store programs and sequences.

Mine have been super-reliable, they've been gigged endlessly with nary a problem. With the included Anvil case, the beastie went about 125 pounds, so hitch up your truss and enjoy!

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Product:  Sequential Circuits - Prophet 5
Name: earl zamora
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 17-Oct-00

Great synth. Wood panels, metal frame, quality knobs. They don't make 'em like that anymore. Sounds are pure. Undigitized. A standout amongst hundreds of analog beasts. Why? All of the above reasons, but more notably the nice warm pads, fat brass, and thick bass. 5 voice polyphony, no appegiator, and in most cases no midi. But hey, a true musician won't need these to make good music.

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Product:  Sequential Circuits - Prophet 5
Name: Hankster
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 18-Oct-00

more like this yeah yeah -;)

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