Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

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Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by Primary perception »

Hi everyone

After decades of dreams, I've finally got the money to buy a big analog poly synth. I've got these 3 in mind:

Sequential Prophet 5, Moog Memorymoog the Yamaha CS60

I love the sound of the vintage Prophet 5, the only thing that made me think not to buy it is for the number of voices; only 5.

The Memorymoog because Its 6 voices and 3 OSC.

And for the Yamaha CS60 the price is the problem for only 1 OSC but expression its awesome.

I would like to know if someone have played it both and tell me which one they prefer and why. Im also open to know others options, if it has 2 OSC the better.

Thanks
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Yamaha CS60

Post by Arpangel »

Two completely different things, haven’t played a 60, but I’ve played the CS80 a few times, it’s an impressive thing, but not my cup of tea, the first time I played a Prophet 5 it just gelled with me, loved it, so I got a Prophet 10! the best of both worlds, enough polyphony.
And yes, that well known thing that’s talked about all the time here "it’s personal"

:)
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by Dan LB »

Vintage synths can be an expensive hassle to maintain so, like Arpangel, I’d look at the recent Prophet 10 from Sequential.

https://www.sequential.com/product/prophet-10/
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by IAA »

I have avoided the “vintage” models and like Arpangel gone for those companies modern interpretations or reissues. A warranty and exchange guarantee is more important to me when I’m spending ££££. I went for the Moog One as my big analog poly - and glad I did.
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by Primary perception »

Thanks a lot for the info guys, I understand what you mean about the maintenance of a vintage synth. But Im lover of these vintage synth and for the first I have the chance buy it, of course It would be a full serviced one.

For now my thoughts goes for the memorymoog for the option of 3 osc and adsr per voice.
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by BigRedX »

Three entirely different synths with three entirely different sets of strengths and weaknesses. If money was no object and I had the means to keep them properly maintained I've have all three and be able to find uses for all of them.

However... if I had to pick just one on sound it would be the MemoryMoog, but IIRC they were notoriously unreliable and is this unreliability something that can be fixed without compromising the sound character of the instrument?

Also do any of them have MIDI (again IIRC all were originally released in the pre-MIDI days)? Or can any be retrofitted with MIDI? As much as I liked the sounds back in the late 70s early 80s, nowadays I couldn't justify owning a synth that didn't have at least a MIDI in socket on it.

And like others who have posted, although these instruments created many of the sounds on records I loved, there are plenty of modern instruments that you can buy new with a warranty that will produce equally fantastic sounds (just slightly different fantastic ones). Having owned many synths that are now considered classics, and been lucky enough to move them on (mostly) for a profit before the cost of keeping them working became to high to justify, I wouldn't want to go back no matter how much nostalgia I have for the form and sounds.
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by IAA »

But Im lover of these vintage synth and for the first I have the chance buy it

Indeed I am too! I’ve had in the past many of the vintage models. If it’s a collection you’re after by all means pay the over inflated prices (£3k for a Juno!!!!!).but if you want to make music just have a look what’s available beforehand.

If you go vintage you’ll certainly need access to a good tech going forward. Good luck and enjoy your quest :D
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Primary perception wrote: Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:24 amAfter decades of dreams, I've finally got the money to buy a big analog poly synth. I've got these 3 in mind:

Sequential Prophet 5, Moog Memorymoog the Yamaha CS60

I can understand the dream... and I certainly wouldn't want to put you off the dream completely -- I've been there and done that too -- but I would urge some careful head-based thought about this rather than just allowing the heart to run amok!

The first issue is that -- as others have already said -- reliability and maintenance are potentially very difficult and hugely expensive nightmares with all of these machines.

Many parts are no longer available for all three of them, which means if the magic smoke escapes from something important you'll be relying on finding used parts from donor instruments which are, themselves, increasingly rare and expensive.... and those donor parts will be forty years old and probably no more reliable than those you're replacing.

If you're just into playing the keyboards live then that's fine, but not all have MIDI (or can be retrofitted with MIDI), so playing them remotely from a DAW might not be practical or they may not be as controllable as you'd wish.

But back to the dream, as far as recommendations are concerned I wouldn't personally want a Memorymoog. Yes, the spec is impressive, but all of the ones I've seen and tried were horrendously unreliable. And while the Prophet makes a great noise, it's just a bit too familiar a sound generator for me -- and actually, if that's the sound you want, then you'd be better off buying a modern P10 anyway as it has all the good aspects of the vintage keyboard but it comes with a warranty -- again, as has already been said.

For me, the most interesting and appealing sounding polysynth of the three is the CS60 which I've always liked. It is a very distinctive, more organically natural and relatively unusual sound, and far more musically expressive than any of the others as well (which is an important feature for me).

However, the big problem with the CS60 is that it's not a CS80... and would you find yourself hankering for its big brother (I had one in the late 1980s and still regret selling it!).

But if performance expression is your thing, I'd seriously suggest looking at the Hydrasynth Deluxe. It's not an analogue polysynth, of course, but it is a phenomenally capable polysynth which is capable of some incredibly analogue-like sounds with unique expressive features. It's on my Christmas wishlist...
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

Personally I find the Yamaha CS synths to be very limited compared to a Prophet. The CS80 came out before MIDI, so I think its undeniable strengths as a player's synth have been surpassed by the range of MIDI controllers available now, such as Continuum and Seaboard. Not to mention the beautiful weighted keyboards now. Many of these also have the controls "right there" which was an advantage of the CS80.

I too would recommend a modern poly. Consider a Deckard's Dream with a modern weighted master keyboard and a Roli Seaboard... gets you the sound of the CS80 with arguably better playability. Add a Prophet 10 desktop module.

That lot will probably add up to less than purchase price and maintenance costs of any one of the three you're in love with.

I'm using virtual synths here, but with the weighted controller and the Seaboard. IMO the Seaboard (with Equator 2) is the future :)
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by Primary perception »

I understand all type of you can get with vintage stuff, I already some vintage gear and I know all those troubles but here in Berlin there are some good techs, so maintenance would not be a problem. In order to take your advice this week I will go to try the Prophet 10 at Just music, also a guy is selling the vintage Rev 3.2 in my area so I will try both of them and listen with my own ears.
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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by rockydennis »

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Re: Sequential Prophet 5 vs Moog Memorymoog vs Yamaha CS60

Post by Arpangel »

Fully serviced means nothing. It means they’ve taken the lid off, and said, yeah looks alright.
I owned an original Pro 5, it was a nightmare, in six months it was "serviced" three times, by a supposed "guru" these guys are like plumbers, only go on a rock solid recommendation by a trusted friend who’s had work done. The problems returned, along with new ones popping up.
I had an ARP Odyssey that was in, more than it was out of the workshop.
Unless you’ve got money, enough money not to even think about these things, then fine, it doesn’t matter, a bill on a synth will be like buying a chocolate bar, if this isn’t the case, please take all the advice here about buying a reissue, the sound will be fine, and you won’t be on edge thinking it’s going to break down, and god forbid, you’ll even be able to gig with it!
Originals are appearing for sale a lot now, as people discover what a pain they are, only the truly rich can afford to hang on to them, as an investment, they will go from collector to collector, probably hardly ever being played.
High profile players are pictured in their studios in front of racks of legendary synths, but when they tour, it’s the reissues, and software that goes on the road.
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