Prophet 5, Rev. 1

Purchased: ca. 1989, $350

Unfortunately, my P5 is currently out for repairs…  :^(

Actually, it’s been more or less broken since I bought it – it’s had issues with the CPU locking up. I originally thought it was a temperature issue, but it’s been shown to me a PSU issue. I’ve had the PSU repaired, but there are some other problems that are keeping it from working properly. I’m having it looked at, so with some good luck, it will be sorted out soon!

It is Ser. Nr. 116. and probably made in 1978 or 1979.

I bought this Prophet 5 in about 1989 – it was in pretty good cosmetic shape, bar the Noise knob being broken off. It came in a Anvil flight case with the address of Apple Music spray painted on the case, along with Apple’s address on the shipping label that’s still attached.

It was only after I had it home and had played with it for a while that I remembered going to downtown Portland in about 1979 with some high school friends to go and explore various record, computer, and music shops. I remembered that we had gone into Apple Music’s shop one day as one of my friends wanted to check out guitars. As I was wandering around the store, I noticed this synthesizer sitting on a stand in the middle of the shop. I had no clue about synths then, other than I knew I loved electronic music. So I looked around it, found the power switch, and turned it on. A bunch of LEDs lit up, and I tried a key. It sounded fantastic. I pressed some of the patch buttons, and more new and fascinating sounds came out of it! I got a little bolder, and started pushing more buttons and turning knobs – things were going great! The sounds kept getting weirder and cooler!

Then I did something – pushed some button or twisted a knob, I didn’t know what, and it quit making sounds. I tried to figure out what I had done, but I was not able to make sounds from it again… I looked around the shop and it seemed no one noticed, so I walked over to my friends and I told them that I think it had broken! Then I suggested that we walk out the store as if nothing had happened… Not the right thing to do if in fact it was broken, but that’s what we did. I always remembered that synth and how cool sounding it was – all wood paneled and covered in knobs.

And then after I bought my Prophet 5, I realized that it must be the same synth that I had played with back in 1979. Afterall – only 182 of these fantastic synths were made, and out of those 182 that were made, perhaps two of them came to Portland. Since the one I have was delivered to Apple Music, and the one in my story was at Apple Music, there seems to be a relatively high probability that mine was that one in the store.

It’s a great sounding synth, and I can see how they became so popular.