Can Sequential's Take 5 Take on the Prophet-5? | Hi/Lo Pass

Welcome back to Hi/Lo Pass, a series where we take similar gear from different ends of the cost spectrum and compare them. Today we’ve got two absolutely incredible analog synthesizers from Sequential to show you.

On one end of the spectrum you have one of the most revered and sought-after synthesizers ever built: the Prophet 5. This particular model is the newest reissue, or the Rev 4, which will run you $3,599 if buying new or a whole lot more if buying a vintage variant. On the other end, we have Sequential’s Take 5. This is a new, more compact poly synth and a not-so-distant cousin to the Prophet, but at $1,499 new, it comes in at a decidedly lower price point.

But what we wanted to know most of all is: Can the Take 5 match the sounds of the more expensive Prophet-5? Continue reading to learn more about each synth and check out the video to decide for yourself.

Lo-Pass: Sequential Take 5

Take 5

With a much more compact form-factor, the Take 5 is lighter and friendlier to travel, though this also means the range of the keyboard is more limited. Looking at the layout of the control panel, we can see that a lot of the same analog architecture from the Prophet-5 is in place, but as a fully modern synth with additional digital features, the Take 5 packs quite a bit more into its features.

It has two LFOs (one global and one per-voice) and they can be assigned to nearly any parameter. The two ADSR envelopes have different routing options. There is a 64-step polyphonic sequencer and a multimode arpeggiator. There’s also global overdrive and filter drive, built-in effects and a lot more options available by diving through the menu. Notably, the Take 5 also features stereo output, whereas the Prophet 5 (like its original counterpart) is mono.

Hi-Pass: Sequential Prophet-5


The Prophet 5 is known for its rich, complex tones, for its beautiful design and for being utilized on some of the greatest recordings in popular music.

The new Prophet 5 Rev 4 is a pretty faithful reproduction of the original 1978 model, but with some new features. It’s a classic five-voice, two-oscillator VCA/VCO-style synthesizer, but it now includes USB, MIDI capability, and expression pedal options.

There are also a few new controls on the front panel. This vintage knob here adds some old-school randomness, with the label referring to each of the revisions: Rev 4 being the most modern and stable, and Rev 1 being the more temperamental original. This same concept is applied to the filter where you can switch between the original Rev 1 and 2 style, and the more modern Rev 3. There is also velocity and aftertouch capability.

Verdict: In our video—and especially in the studio itself—you can hear a certain depth and richness in the Prophet-5, and it's easy to hear why it continues to be an all-time classic synth. But when matching the Prophet tones with the Take 5, you can get about 90% of the way there, which is quite an achievement for a synth that's about a third of the price.

That said, because the Take 5 is a modern synth with built-in digital effects and other features, it's capable of doing things the Prophet-5 simply can't do. So… which to buy? If you can afford it, by all means buy both, but for the rest of us, the Take 5 will do just fine.

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