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

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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
December 13, 2009 @ 7:24 am
Allan, Thomas Dolby used the P5, he was the producer of Rap band Whodini and all of their tracks were made with the P5 ONLY (even the bass guitars)
December 11, 2009 @ 1:50 pm
Also used by D. R. Gottel (R.I.P.) from Skinny Puppy. I also saw P.I.L. on youtube doing a live performance from1980 of the song 'Careering', they where using one of these as well.
The Dark Knight
November 11, 2009 @ 11:36 am
I prefer the pro one to the prophet 5, although its only one voice of a pro 5 it seems more solid.
Ive had a Prophet 5 and a T8, the T8 was a total crock and the prophet 5 was nice-ish. Bit hard sounding for me, not very warm it was a rev 3.2 with midi, and was nothing like the massive sound of the jupiter 8 which absolutely kills the prophet 5 stone dead. It was also incredibly unreliable. It is still however a total classic, but i wouldnt have another one.
October 3, 2009 @ 8:19 am
This synth sounds how you imagine a synth should sound.
The poly-mod section is a very simple control but yields expansive sound creation possibilities.
I have a rev 2 with Kenton midi installed. The article says that midi can not be fitted to the Rev2 but thats obviously not true but it is true that the Sequential circuits factory midi kit was never produced for the rev 2 only for the rev 3s but they did make a cassette interface kit which works very well.
I have not found the rev2 to be unreliable what so ever but I do know that people have had trouble with theirs but thats true of the rev 3 prophets and we are talking about machines which are now 30 years old. After 20 minuets tune up it hold its tune perfectly. It is very true however that finding parts is a very long and expensive venture these days and will only become harder as time goes by.
October 1, 2009 @ 11:36 pm
Oingo Boingo used this synth heavily on their first 3 albums back when Richard Gibbs was their keyboard player.
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Rated 4.29 (859 Votes)

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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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