Sequential Circuits Prophet 5

Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 Image

One of the first fully programmable polyphonic analog synths, the Prophet 5 is the most classic synthesizer of the eighties! It is capable of a delightful analog sound unique to Sequential's Prophet series in which the P5 was King! Five voice polyphony - two oscillators per voice and a white noise generator. The analog filters, envelope and LFO all sound great and are extremely flexible. The P5 had patch memory storage as well, which scanned and memorized every knob setting for storing and recalling your sounds - a desperately needed feature at the time!

The P5 lacked MIDI (a feature that came later on the P5 spin-off, the Prophet 600). But it is still loved even today for its great string sounds, analog effects, and punchy analog basses. Unfortunately the P5 is not immune to the dark side of vintage synths - it has its fair share of analog synth problems such as unstable tuning, it's difficult to repair, lacks MIDI, etc.

Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 Image

There are basically three versions of the Prophet 5:

Rev 1 P5s are pretty unreliable, if you find one; they're also quite rare. These were all hand-assembled in the 'garage stage' of the company.

Rev 2 uses SSM chips, and has some differences in its control logic capabilities from the final version. It can't be retrofitted for MIDI, but is considered by most to be the better-sounding of the two 'common' P5s.

Rev 3 is the final version, and subsequent Rev 3.1, Rev 3.2 and Rev 3.3 each are capable of taking a MIDI retrofit. They're also capable of microtonal tuning. The audio quality of the Rev 3 is different, however, as it uses Curtis chips instead of Rev 2's SSMs; many people think the Rev 3 units sound 'thinner'. The Rev 3, however, is considered the most reliable of all of the different versions and they had 120 memory patches.

Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 Image

The legendary Prophet 10 is essentially two Prophet 5 circuits stacked together for 10 fat voices of analog girth! The P5 has been used by Kraftwerk, Duran Duran, No Doubt, Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke, Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Gary Numan, Thomas Dolby, New Order, Prodigy, INXS, The Cars, Phil Collins, Richard Barbieri, Hall & Oates, Jean-Michel Jarre, Sneaker Pimps, Steely Dan, Kitaro, Level 42, Pink Floyd, the Eurythmics, Pet Shop Boys, Vangelis, George Duke, filmmaker/composer John Carpenter and many more.

Pro-Five Image From Native Instruments comes the amazing new Pro-Five and Pro-52 VST Plug-In software emulators of the Prophet 5. Read more about it!

Lookup Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

80 Visitor comments
September 21, 2009 @ 1:28 pm
Mine never died on stage, but if it got tapped around the LED screen it would jump out of tune. Also the pitch wheel would sometimes bend oscillators unevenly creating weird sound increments. It stays home now and some days it's a dream and other times i want to chuck it out the window. It's a great instrument with amazing analog sounds....after it warms up. I'll never part with it.
September 13, 2009 @ 2:32 pm
Hi have a minto rev 3.3 , from wine country , all i can say is the v2 vs 3.oo issue is pretty sad really ,i found the 3.3 stunning , warm . fat , organic and this is probably one of the most ' non predictable machines i have used , people think the p5 is just that and limited to p5 sounds , in essence its a evry broad and creative synth cabale of amazing strange noises or typical analogue sounds and possible one of the best ambient synths i have used in 25 years .Amazing machines ,
July 31, 2009 @ 7:45 pm
I had one of the best examples of this beast known to man.
i loved it and cherished it.
i used to use it live with "kid gloves" and every time I took it out it would die after 3 songs and would cost 100 pounds to repair...
Thats why all the major bands of the late 70's and early 80's took about 5 or 6 on the road, because half way through a set they would keel over and spit the dummy.
Keep them in the studio if you have them....
July 14, 2009 @ 10:23 pm
Public Image Ltd. also used the Prophet 5
February 26, 2009 @ 6:00 pm
Ahh the prophet 5. elegantly put together with a great sound and range of controls. you can "synth"almost any sound. and yes it is a difficult unit to have repaired. And techs to work on these are getting scarce. and parts are becoming even more so. all the ssm or curtis chips are not made any more.If your in California you can take it to Advanced Musical Electronics in Culver city. They have a great vintage tech that works on these and many others and can most likely handle any problem. They have a relationship with Dave Smith who now makes the prophet 8 as well. and a lot of resources for parts.
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 5 Voices
  • Oscillators - 2 OSC. per voice
    square / pulse / tri / saw
  • LFO - modulates pulse width or pitch
  • Filter - 24db Lowpass filter with resonance
  • VCA - ADSR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Memory - 40 to 120 patches
  • Control - CV / Gate
  • Date Produced - 1978-84
  • Resources & Credits
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    Additional information provided by DAC Crowell.

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