Synth Site: Dave Smith Instruments: Prophet 08: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 5.0 out of 5
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Timothy O'Keefe from USA writes:
I'm 100% pleased with the Prophet '08 synthesizer. The tone is rich and musical and the keyboard itself has a quality feel. It offers four types of simultaneous modulation. You can combine vibrato, tremolo, pulse width modulation, and a filter sweep all at once. The stack mode allows you to layer two entirely different patches at once, although this reduces the polyphony to four voices. This allows for some very ethereal sounds and effects.

The tone is of such a quality that you need not pile on a dozen onboard and offboard effects. A simple sawtooth waveform from one oscillator with a light vibrato, or a darkened square waveform with a tremolo and a little reverb, can stand by itself. And yet, you can achieve a fabulous bright and snappy brass sound that responds well to punctuated playing. String patches, whether natural sounding or swept by resonant filter modulation, can reach a beautiful thickness.

The Prophet '08 is also fairly easy to program. Yes, it takes some time to sort out, and you need to read through the manual repeatedly. But inch by inch, this synthesizer can be mastered. It offers a tremendous variety of possibilities, but not an overwhelming amount. I would think this would be an excellent instrument for learning analog programming. At times, the parameters can be a bit erratic; occasionally the digits will take a leap at even a slight tweak of a control, but this is not a major problem.

The physical instrument is very light weight and as compact as you could possibly hope in a synthesizer with a five octave keyboard. I also like its conservative appearance: it doesn't look like a UFO, as do some modern synthesizers. Instead, the Prophet '08 looks like a serious straightforward musical instrument meant, not to impress with a glitzy exterior, but only to produce quality music.

The Prophet '08 is a joy to both program and play. I would even recommend it for use as a monophonic synthesizer - the sound is of such excellent quality. In fact, I intend to buy a second one.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Mar-17-2009 at 14:57
Chris Faur a hobbyist user from Palatine, IL writes:
I got mine on 08/25/08 and after playing with it, all I can say is that I am very impressed. It sounds very organic and alive and it looks just as awesome. Now keep in mind that this has no effects and it's all raw sound.....the swells and pads sound very moving and warm. The bass is deep, and sound effects..what can I say....you can make this thing sound from outter space. The knobs seem fragile but if you're carefull and not pull or push on them sideways they will be fine. Grab one while you can untill they run out of them. I got mine for $1649.00 brand new (keyboard version)and I know in time I will always get perhaps just as much if not if more since they will most likely go up in value due to being a somewhat rare but quality product. I have a virus indigo a supernova 2 a roland jx10 juno 2 and juno 106 along with a Nord Modular g2x, waldorf xt 30 voice desktop, micro q, Yamaha cs6x and a Prophet VS and this thing sounds the fattest and warmest....The VS and XT can achive sounds just as good but with different characters....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-29-2008 at 19:12
Mattsynth a hobbyist user from USA writes:
What can I say: 1.Eight voices of fat, thick analoge sound. 2.Lots of knobs for easy programming. 3.Four built in seguencers. 4.A great looking synth. How can you go wrong. Way worth the money. Thanks Dave Smith.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-25-2008 at 11:31
gd a part-time user from Canada writes:
I concur with the previous 3 reviews in that it is a great analogue poly for less than $2k new! It is not a copy of the P5 and was never meant to be just as the Voyager is not a direct copy of the miniD. It has its own flavour and is very versatile. Well done Dave! There are a few minor inconveniences the most usually mentioned having to do with the twitchiness of the pots - they are high quality but very easily changed even with hard playing.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-26-2008 at 12:50
Alan a part-time user from USA writes:
WOW...I have owned 3 P-5's and a OB-8 over time (as well as various VA's), and this baby trumps them all without so much as flinching...as a matter of fact, right now I have my Prophet '08 set up next to my Virus TI...both stellar instruments, to be sure !! But where the TI is thick, smooth, and polished...the Prophet just has massive "sizzle" and power (partly due to faster attack envelopes that the '08 is capable of, and partly due to those Curtis filter chips)...what a machine. It can emulate a Prophet-5, a Oberheim...and a lot of other classic synths...without sacrificing tuning stability or dependability in any way. In fact, after playing on my Viruses, I had a hard time playing my P-5 because of it's instability and terrible key feel. Not a problem with the P '08...the action is beautiful, WITH VELOCITY AND AFTERTOUCH no less...and it is ultrastable, unless you want to program in "SLOP" (yes, that's what Dave Smith calls it)...and then you can dial in as little or much as you desire. And one thing I have found is that it sits in the mix so well when recording, yet stands out and cuts thru the mix when you want it to. I could go on for days about what impresses me about this synth...suffice to say that my Voyager and my Prophet '08 will probably be two synths that I will NEVER part with. Congrats and thanks to Dave Smith and company for a truly homerun synth

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-27-2008 at 00:42
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