I'm over the moon for my prophet 600 right now. My unit has seen some serious road time and has been hacked into at least twice, but one of the hacks was for the GliGli mod which corrects the knob resolution to eliminate stepping, makes the envelopes a lot snappier and adds some prophet5 modulation features via the multi encoder and embrane buttons. Its a great upgrade and it made me open to buying a synth that has always gotten mixed reviews. What the prophet lacks (noise gen, what?) it makes up for in sound quality. The midrange is superlative on this board and the cranked resonance on the filter is the stuff of legend. Its a little more nasal than a prophet 5, but can cop the whole prophet thing better than a the new prophet 6. Its more lush and sits in the mix better. Cuts where it should, never where it shouldn't.
The Best Affordable Polysynth of the '80s, and Still Going Strong
When I wanted to get a Polysynth in the '80s, I put a lot of research into it (over 6 months). Without a lot of money to spend, the only options at the time were the Roland Juno-6 and the Korg PolySix, but then, ...Sequential Circuits released the Prophet 600. On paper and brochures, just the features alone on the Prophet 600 surpassed the other synths, but when I actually played one, I was blown away, because it had the fat oscillator sound of its predecessor, the Prophet 5, not the thinner sound of the Juno-6 and PolySix.
The Prophet 600 had a more extensive "modulation" section and even had more control knobs than the other synths. The knobs were laid-out almost identically to the Prophet 5. It was also the first polysynth to have MIDI In & Out jacks, and one of the best features was that it allowed you to throw all 6 oscillators together on top-of-one-another in "unison" mode to fatten up a lead-synth or bass sound/patch. The Prophet 600 also came with plenty of usable awesome great-sounding patches "stock" from the factory. Another great feature was being able to step-thru (go to the next #) patch using a foot pedal. I owned one for 8 years and (with lots of time and work) was able to create a whole lot of great patches and sounds, including (get this...) "power-chord guitar" patches that I ran through a Boss Heavy-Metal HM-2 distortion pedal to create realistic power-chord guitar.
If you would like to hear this synth being used (especially the power-chord guitar examples) check out some of my old songs for "Prophet 600 Project" on ReverbNation.com at:
...or just google "chuck cohen prophet 600"
If you can find a Prophet 600 today, they are actually upgradable to use a better (and more current) digital processor CPU chip, called the "Gligli" mod. This mod not only improves the resolution of the sound & filters, but adds new features and capabilities that the synth did not have prior.
mine's broken, thats the only way i was able to afford it. i got it working well enough for a while though, and it was very good. nothing special really, just a very normal polysynth, gets the job done. currently needs a new keypad and oscillator chip, as well as some cleaning on the potentiometers. I'll update my review when i've restored it.