Synth Site: SCI: ProphetVS: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.9 out of 5
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Craig a professional user from US/UK. writes:
Of all the synths I have owned, the Prophet VS is the least overrated and overpriced. It is quite simply the best vector synth ever. The problem with the wavestation is it always sounded like someone flicking through the programs on an X5 or M1. You were best suited to leaving whatever you got in rom or ram because that was about as good as it would get. Many have said they are great wavestation programmers. I've known a few who have been chuffed because they have created a decent string sound. Big deal. Don't believe them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The VS is a much easier unit to work with and one which extended away from just being a rompler to embracing analogue as well. The wavestation lacked a full resonant filter which was a big mistake and shame. You just selected a wave and strung it to others. The VS has a proper Curtis chip filter which allowed it to sound like a Prophet 5 which is a wonder in itself. It is a much warmer and user friendly unit. It also has a random edit feature which allowed you to go hunting great sounds without having to think too much. The VS spec is huge and has a lot of the problems associated with DAC. It has dedicated controls (switches, not pots), unlike the wavestation which made you trawl through endless menus.. on that white display..nasty. Not even an editer makes wavestation operation easy. The wavestation has multi-effects units...big deal. Buy a Quadraverb for $50. The SY range were cheap and ok. The 22 is one to avoid, whilst the 35 is a good buy, having s&s waves. Neither have resonant filters. Only the VS does which made it a much more varied and exciting sound machine which could sound like a modern s&s unit or a glorious analogue. This is a very important factor when deciding to buy. The wavestation can sound great. But it has its limitations which, quite frankly, are everywhere. The VS has a better useable spec which lacks the obvious and tedious compremises of the wavestation. The VS is a truely loved synth. Few have owned or played as others have said, so don't believe some of the blah on this page.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-25-2004 at 09:47
Glen Stegner a professional user from USA writes:
The transition from waveform to waveform in Sequential's Vector Synthesis was a simple crossfade, and the maximum number of waveforms which could be involved in a single sound was four. The Korg Wavestation, however, allowed up to 255 different waves to be involved (because memory chips became much cheaper). It still featured joystick-controlled Vector Synthesis, but added the much greater potential for the kind of transitional synthesis that wave-sequencing gives. Other than the great sounding Prophet 5 type filters, the VS is a lesser-specified machine than the Wavestation. But because of the rareness of the VS and because everybody wants a piece of the Sequential legacy, it is over-hyped and price inflated. Not to take anything away from anotherwise very good sounding and certainly a technologically groundbreaking synth.

Incidentally, the same design team responsible for the VS went over to Yamaha in 1988 (after Sequential went bankrupt and were bought out by Yamaha) and they designed the SY-22 vector synth. After that, they shifted allegiances to Korg (where they've since remained) and created the Wavestation in 1991. This same team again developed the Z1 in 1997, which IMO is the most powerful synth yet to ever come out of the old Sequential design gang.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jun-20-2004 at 09:14
The Professor! a professional user from Cambridge, UK writes:
Unlike many synths, the VS has never lost popularity and become uncool. It never sold in great numbers...about a couple of thousand, and was mainly owned by large production houses and film companies who used them for sound tracks and elevator music stuff. A few come into the general domain and are hot property. People have been comparing with other,great, synths. The VS didn't set out to emulate a moog or Jupiter. It was an original concept and should be viewed as such. Like a modular synth, much of what it does is amusing but sonically useless. It excells at pad, string and resonant stuff and DX leads. The sound can be very emotional and atmospheric. This as promoted its reputation, and quite rightly so. Let's top all the comparing and sniping at spelling etc, and start appreciating this great, ground breaking synth.

When compared to other 'classic' stuff, the VS is quite good value, though it is still an expensive item. Don't expect the aftertouch to work. The casing is very strong and the switch gear is prone to carbonising and requires regular cleaning. Otherwise, it is a strong and reliable unit that escapes the analogue reliability headaches. The display loses its brightness as well. This isn't a problem as much as a reality.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-30-2004 at 03:16
Jerry a part-time user from down under writes:
Outstanding synth, the VS is. Can't be compared to anything else, as it is in a league of it's own. It is first and foremost, a programmers synth. Players might prefer different stuff with knobs and a more stylish look. The VS looks kinda funny, I agree, somewhat 'toyish'. But in fact it's one of the most powerful synths ever made. I guess quite a few people has overlooked it because of it's looks and the lack of knobs. Too bad for them. Let them have their prophet 5's, mini/memorymoogs, Jupiters, OBxa/8s, M12s, CS 70/80s, etc. Didn't know what a piece of sonic heaven the VS really was. Nothing compares, believe me.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Apr-29-2004 at 17:23
Sandy a professional user from Birmingham writes:
It is difficult to make comparisons between the VS and anything else as it is unique. The analogues mentioned are fine synths but can't create the soundscape that the VS can. They can do other things excellently, many of the which the VS can do. The strength of the VS is its vector control. The evolving sounds cannot be created on anything else. The Korg and Yamaha vector units also cannot match the VS. They sound very different indeed. The VS comes in between analogue and digital and embraces the best of the two. Include the abilty to vector and greater control possibilities and it sounds like nothing else. It has great strings and pad sounds within its rom data which make it useful for bread and butter work. The vector stuff will not be useful to everyone but it's nice to have the choice. I agree, the random edit feature is well coool!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-28-2004 at 11:02
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