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Korg Prophecy?


jimkost2002

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Does anyone here use or have any experience with a Korg Prophecy? I'm considering one as a complement to my Sub 37 and am intrigued by the Physical modeling capabilities. The fact that Ken Macbeth, Jan Hammer, Joe Zawinul and Rick Wakeman all speak highly of it--as well as make inspired music with it -- is telling.....

 

I know there are a lot of resouces on the internets for parts as well as programming and there are a couple of shops here in Brooklyn that do repairs on them, so I think I'm covered, but my questions are as follows:

 

Since this synth has been out of production for about 18 years--I think 1997 was the end of production--does anyone have an idea about the life cycle of things like:

The backlighting on the LED display

The backup battery

Rotary knobs

Momentary buttons

Pitch and mod wheels

The log

Keyboard and contact points

 

Are there any additional things I should ask about when shopping around?

 

I think that just aboout covers it....

 

Thanks in advance, guys and gals!

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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It is plastic. Becareful with it.

 

Got to love lightweight plastic construction keyboard.

 

http://i.imgur.com/EFtCw.jpg

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Thanks Dulce and Dave, but my research indicates that you lose key programming parameters with the Z1 in exchange for its greater polyphony and knobbage.... I'm not really interested in polyphony as much as depth and flexibility of timbre.....

 

CEB----Yikes! What happened there!?!?!?

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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It got dropped I guess. It isn't mine, just I phots I like to post when the weight weenies start to sing the praises of 12 pound keyboards.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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If you are looking to complement the Sub 37, I would look at the Korg Z1. It's basically a polyphonic Prophecy with a lot more power and features.

 

That´s what I thought as well and this seems to be a common misunderstanding.

This is some comments I found which are interesting but of course I

can´t verify as I haven´t compared them myself

 

"I also have a Z1, bought to replace my Prophecy. I cannot get the two to sound the same - especially the reed and pluck oscillator models. very different. The prophecy definitely has the edge in horn/reed sounds. Sounds a lot more detailed to me. The Z1 has a softer tone, some fewer features in the synth engine (no variable ramp wave with std osc, no feedback between the waveshapers, different models for the common physical modeled oscillators; reed, brass and pluck). There are extra features of course, editable polyphonic arpeggiator, more oscillator types, and MIDI syncable LFOs."

 

"I disagree, I found the Z1 was more vanilla than the Prophecy

For acoustic modeling that is, the Z1 has a dumbed down AM section."

 

What I do know for sure is that the Prophecy and Z1 share the MOSS technology also found as expansions in different versions for Trinity and Triton. There was the Solo-tri (Prophecy like monophonic exp.) and the EXB-Moss (Z1 like polyphonic exp.). Even those don´t seem to sound the same. The Z1 and EXB-Moss also have more models than the Prophecy.

I have the EXB-Moss in my Triton Rack and I can say that it sounded NOWHERE as ballsy as the Z1.

 

Don´t know if it has to do with different algorithms, converters or better resolution (like Yamaha VL1 vs VL-70m and PLG-150 VL) or a combination of them but it seems that many means that the Prophecy sounds even more ballsy than the Z1. Maybe because it´s monophonic and has another gain staging or some of above mentioned.

 

The comparison between the Z1 and the EXB-Moss was like when I first plugged in the PLG-150 DX in my Motif ES rack. That was a DX7 "on paper" but nowhere that in reality. Sounds very lame compared to a DX7.

 

There was a very good thread about these different MOSS models over at Gearslutz but can´t find it now.

 

I have a Prophecy on the way so when I finally get it I will let you know :)

 

Maybe there was a reason why Zawinul played the Prophecy instead of the Z1 for so many years :)

 

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer

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Thanks analogholic, you hit the nail on the head!

Yes, please do check in when you've had a chance to dig into your new Prophecy.....

I, too, just put a deposit down on a Prophecy at a local shop....

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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I cringe every time at the site of that photo.

Prophecies have a notorious problem right at the output jacks. It seems that the outputs are soldered directly to the circuit board without any type of strain relief or mount to the chassis or case. Over time the soldered pads give up the ghost and away goes the output.

I would check for that problem first.

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I've heard that as well, zukskywalker.... I have a warranty from the place I am buying mine from so I'll try to get them to put extra solder or solder pads in during the warranty period.

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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I owned one for awhile, along with a Z1 (related synth). Both were innovative but suffered numerous flaws, which I no longer remember but documented here at the time (maybe early to mid 2000's).

 

I suspect these are the forbears of current Korg technology, and that one of the main problems was crappy D/A converters along with inadequate RAM.

 

The Z1 features prominently on most of my synth-pop band's albums. I sold mine mostly as it was redundant with my band-mate's. Same reason I sold my TG77 (Yamaha). I would say it has the better audio quality of the two Korg synths though.

 

Many of us hoped for a "best of both worlds" synth to follow it. And indeed, in some senses, such a synth exists, but in low production numbers (like Yamaha's SY99). Or in augmented versions of the Korg Trilogy/Trinity.

 

The Triton was a huge step back as they took away the modeling to make room for sample memory, which was all the rage at the time. People had grown tired of old fashioned sounds involving analog technology and modeling, even though not fully explored yet.

 

As noted by the depressing photo of the wrecked Prophecy above, it was a VERY flimsy synth. The Z1 was better built overall. But in many ways, the Prophecy had more direct control and input and more interesting modulation possibilities.

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Mark, thanks for your always thoughtful perspectives...... Overall, i am aware of the build shortcomings of the Prophecy and besides the possible fortifications mentioned above, I don't plan to take it out all that much, it's more for my own study and recording.....i am still thinking MEK (did you sell yours?) or perhaps the soon to be released Modulus 001.

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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I owned one for awhile, along with a Z1 (related synth). Both were innovative but suffered numerous flaws, which I no longer remember but documented here at the time (maybe early to mid 2000's).

 

Synth manufacturers are notorious for releasing unfinished and/or flawed musical instruments. Perhaps Waldorf is one of the worst...

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I've had the Z1 for 11 years now, and love it. It gets gigged on a regular basis. Never played the Prophecy, so I can't compare. The main point though is that the Z1 is polyphonic, so they probably needed to devote more memory to that and may have needed to strip out some modeling parameters to do so. But being polyphonic, it has organ modeling that the Prophecy doesn't have, and that's mainly what I use it for. It is still pretty good for that, and for its many crystalline evolving synth pads.

 

The Z1 will also suffer same output jack problem of the Prophecy (mine has been acting up lately, and will need to be taken to a repair shop soon). And the other annoying thing about the Z1 is that it takes a full second or even 1.5 seconds to make a patch change. Don't know if the Prophecy shares that issue.

 

But overall, the Z1 has been one of the best synth purchases I ever made. A truly flexible and powerful machine.

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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