The creator of the iconic Prophet-5 synthesizer blames his passion for the Yardbirds, the Who and Cream for a glitch in the instrument’s relaunch that left him “embarrassed.”

Dave Smith’s Sequential company recently reintroduced their Prophet-5 and Prophet-10 keyboards, which became iconic after they originally appeared in 1978 and 1981, respectively. Those who’d ordered the first editions, however, soon began reporting sound quality  problems.

“As some users have noticed, there is a drop in high frequencies on the current units in the field,” Smith said in an official statement. “I’m highly embarrassed to say that we screwed up.” Two capacitors were present in the electronics that shouldn’t have been there, he confirmed. “A fair question would be ‘how did we not notice this?'" Smith admitted. "This turns out to be due to my ears lacking any high end; too many Yardbirds, Who, Cream etc. concerts in the '60s.”

Smith says he tested the first production model earlier this month and it “sounded great” to him, but “with everyone working at home due to the pandemic, no one else played a production unit except me.” He's pleased to report that the fix is relatively easy. Users with electronics experience can make the modifications themselves, while Sequential would deal with anyone else’s issues with the first 195 Prophet-5s and 159 Prophet-10s.

“I owe everyone a deep apology for this,” Smith added. “It’s not how we normally work, and I’m really sorry this fell through the cracks. Thank you for your understanding.”

 

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