1986 Sequential Prophet VS Synth

This is a vintage 1986 Sequential Prophet VS digital synthesizer. This particular Prophet VS, serial #2400-0126, is in excellent fully serviced condition. It was recently purchased from the original owner and includes the original Operation Manual and an IEC power cable. It literally has received less than 10 minutes of inspection use since it was completely serviced (service = mostly cleaning of contacts) last week in Hollywood, CA.

Perhaps one of the most unique synths from the ’80s, the Prophet VS uses Vector Synthesis as its revolutionary new means of sound creation. It truly makes sounds that no other synth can reproduce, and is genuinely unique. It uses a total of four oscillators per voice with 127 waveforms (32 user) and dynamic waveform crossfading via the joystick. This was Sequential’s first digital synth and one of their last. But after Sequential was gone, Vector Synthesis technology went into the popular Korg Wavestation and Yamaha’s SY-22 and TG-33.

It has been used by Brian Eno, Trent Reznor, Apollo 440, Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke, Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Erasure and filmmaker/composer John Carpenter.

Total production figures of around 2500 for the keyboard. The Prophet VS is a 61-note, five-octave, 16-note polyphonic, programmable synthesizer with a velocity-sensitive keyboard and a MIDI specification that’s especially good for a synth of this vintage. All the parameters of Vector synthesis are assigned, recognised and transmitted — a MIDI sophistication that befits a keyboard from a company that was so instrumental in the establishment of MIDI, and that made the first-ever MIDI synth, 1982’s Prophet 600. There’s also a unique on-board arpeggiator that allows ‘overdub’ arpeggiation and is thus capable of producing very sophisticated patterns. The VS has 100 factory sounds (stored in 10 banks), made up from multiples of waveforms that could be effected with a built-in stereo chorus unit, and even panned in real time. The 128 waveform possibilities that the VS offered consisted of 96 factory-preset waves, plus a further 32 user-definable waveshape locations. The real beauty of the synthesizer was that, for the first time, you could create totally new, previously unheard sounds almost instantly. It was as simple as choosing four waveforms, assigning them to the four oscillators (vector points), and then moving the VS’s trademark joystick around freely until you heard something pleasing. Movements, or ‘vectors’ could then be saved, and the sound played back. It was even possible to apply the recorded vector path to another sound altogether and see what happened.

This is a synth that is destined to be worth over $3,000.00 soon, so buy one for much less, and get an amazing music-making tool at a great price. Good synths have always been great investments, and this is one of the nicest examples to be made available on eBay in a while.

This particular synth has a stencil painted on the bottom from the original owner’s studio. The pic with the stencil font pictured has been edited to protect the previous owner’s privacy. Expect the stencil to be slightly longer as it incorporates more letters to complete his name.