Synth Site: SCI: Prophet 600 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.0 out of 5
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TelBanks a part-time user from Northwest London writes:
I'm a very nearly satisfied owner of a Prophet 600 - I bought from a guy in south London who has gone fully digital. I rate its analogue capabilities (esp. filter, polymod and sci circuitry)which is why I bought it, and a midi-polyphonic synth at that price (£400) means that I don't have to sell my kidneys to get that classic sound. BUT, I have had a few problems with my 6-note (typical in use!?) polyphony. Whenever I play a progression of chords (3-5 notes) the second and subsequent ones do not respond fully (I am not in unison mode). When I play lead the notes are so unresponsive I might as well take up the didgeridoo and have done with this tune business altogether. Luckily I have a manual and it says that the P600 memorises 6 notes. When the 7th is triggered note 1 dissapears, when the 8th note is triggered the 2nd dissapears and so on.... That sounds fine in theory but in practice it does'nt work. When I run a scale up the keyboard (slowly and taking my finger off before the next note) the keyboard seems to randomly not play notes. Is this how it is meant to be? has anyone else had this problem? or does everyone use the P600 for sampling or in monophonic/unison mode? If I want to play chords should I take up the piano forte or should I give up chords altogether and take up the didgeridoo?


Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-02-2000 at 21:05
Mac a professional user from Auckland writes:
Actually sounds smoother and warmer than the Prophet-5 but don`t tell anyone. shame it`s ruined by sloppy slow envelopes and horrible coarse zipper noise when using cutoff. the membrane`s are longer lived than might be expected and these beasts semm to be reliable in the UK although seem to have a bad rep in the states. very very compact and sturdy build. same filters /VCAs as the Xpander and Matrix-12. the keyboard is the terrible cheap Panasonic Rubber dome one used on the Korg Poly-61 and is light, springy and lifeless (when it works that is). now you know where to get keys and domes from. hehehe

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-11-2000 at 13:48
P a hobbyist user from us writes:
The Prophet 600 is my favorite synthesizer. It's the sound that is so electric and alive that makes me love it. It works well in a mix with Roland Juno's. Same VCO chips as Jupiter-6 and SH-101, and it can sound great for bass and wild tones. Does gorgeous pads, and external filter-in can be used to beautiful affect when modulated by discreet LFO's. Poly Mod is invaluable for grunge madness. This analog is said to have measurably slow attack times vs. other non software based machines, but I find it to be no problem for me to get great attacks with lead sounds and beasty bass growls. Iotech web site offers diagrams that show the attack measurements compared to other machines. It's not the slowest. It is slow however compared to many analogs with regular components that aren't software controlled, and since it sounds so amazing it's too bad really. Storing patch programs is a plus. This is a synth that is full of "complaints" about 4 bit stepping on the pots and mini range LFO, key contacts failing, and membrane desensitivity. *But* never mind all that! Words, just words, folks. (Well, actually it's true, but things can be done to work around that for sure) The result is the sound that get's recorded and there beholds the proof and the P600 is glorified for it's character . All in all, this synth is very capable and diverse, (did I mention analog drum sounds?) the best value for the money even though their prices are climbing these days. $700. is still a good deal for a perfect one that's been kept as new. Then again, I value my sounds a lot higher than a weeks pay. And if you get one, be sure to get the eprom upgrade ver.8 for midi to be up to spec in your setup. Also treat the membrane pads with care:-) -Cheers!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Feb-10-2000 at 16:35
James K. a part-timer user from USA writes:
The Prophet 600 is a good synth--not awesome, but very, very good. Like other CEM synths, the sound is cold, which makes this an excellent synthesizer for industrial tracks. In my opinion, this is not a dance, or techno board--which is fine because I do dark electronica style music.

Although the P600 is 6 voice polyphonic, I prefer using it in unison mode, as a monophonic. In polyphonic mode, the P600 has a tendency to sound very "casio" unless you carefully tinker with the sound. Due to the fairly poor resolution on most of the controls, filter sweeps sound grainy and not smooth--hence, I don't suggest attempting them on the Prophet 600.

Another aspect of the Prophet 600 are the software generated envelopes, which are a bit slow. However, they aren't that bad... and allow for some great long attacks.

The high points of the Prophet 600 are the excellent pads, organ sounds, brassy strings and drone noises made possible by it. The polymod section is great fun, and allows the P600 a different character from its closest relative, the pro-one (which I also own). The 100 presets are a good bonus, and the synth is constructed well, with a decent keyboard action.

Overall, I recommend the Prophet 600 for any synth player interested in industrial/ambient sounds as an ADDITION to an already existing rig. The P600 is NOT a good choice if you do not already have 2 or 3 other synths as it is a little limited to what it can do well. Specifically, the P600 can do bass and leads--but not very convincingly--but for pads/drones/ambient noise it is excellent. The Prophet 600 works best as a supporting player to other synths better at bass/leads. When the 600 is combined with other synths, its strengths shine.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-05-1999 at 02:48
deadlock a hobbyist user from USA writes:
The P600 is totally awsome. I don't think there is anyway you can get this kind of power for the $$$ anywhere else. Just twist the poly-mod knob and you'll be sold too!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-23-1999 at 10:13
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