The Prophet-6 and the Rev2 are two undisputed darlings of the polyphonic synth family.
Both these synthesizers are made by Sequential, with the guidance of synth legend Dave Smith. Almost all of Sequential’s modern keyboards look superficially similar, and these two synths are no exception.
In this article, we’ll glance at the differences between the two synths to help you come to an informed buying decision.
The Prophet-6 takes all of the best aspects of the Prophet 5, such as the true voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers, and adds studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and more.
There’s a keyboard version and a cheaper desktop module if you just want to control it with MIDI.
Semi-weighted, 4-octave keyboard (49 keys) with velocity and aftertouch
6 voice polyphony
High pass and low pass filters
Full ADSR envelopes
5 wave shapes: square, sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, triangle, and random
Polyphonic step-sequencer (up to 64 steps and rests)
Built-in effects: distortion, delay, reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser, ring mod
The Prophet Rev2 was created by Dave Smith in an effort to remake the Prophet ’08 poly synth with enhancements and improvements in every department possible.
The initial goal of the creator was to make it a viable update to a modern classic.
The Rev2 has a ton of functionality, such as 4 LFOs, Curtis filters, a polyphonic step sequencer, an 8-slot modulation matrix with 53 destinations, and more.
5 octave, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch
The option between 8 or 16 voice count in terms of polyphony ($600 difference)
Onboard FX engine with reverb, delays, chorus, phase shift, distortion, etc.
Polyphonic step sequencer, advanced arpeggiator
1 analog Curtis low-pass filter per voice
Prophet-6 vs Rev2: Which Is Better?
The Rev2 can produce the same sounds that the Prophet-6 can, is $1000 cheaper, and wins in terms offunctionality, features, LFOs, multiple-step sequencers, and more.
It is a far more versatile product for sound design, and you can do much more with it.
So, while the two are very similar, I recommend the Rev2 if you want to save $1,000 and get a slightly better product.
Winner: Prophet Rev2
First of all, the most significant difference between the two polyphonic synths is the price. There’s a $1,000 difference between the two.
The Prophet-6 is around $3,000 and it comes with six voices, meaning you can play six notes simultaneously with it.
The Rev2 is closer to $2,000 for 8 voices, but you can also get the 16-voice version for around $2,600.
The Rev2 wins by a landslide regarding value for money.
Winner: Prophet Rev2
The Rev2 has many more features than the Prophet-6, so if you are a musician who likes to tinker with the sound in many different ways, the Rev2 may be your best bet.
It includes a polyphonic step sequencer, 4 LFOs, incredible modulation controls, unique effects per voice, per-knob programmability, an 8-slot modulation matrix, and more.
When comparing the two, the Prophet Rev2 wins this one.
There is a fairly significant difference in the filters of these polyphonic analog synthesizers, but not in terms of quality — just differences in tone.
The Rev2 gives you one analog Curtis low-pass filter per voice, and a choice between -12db and -24db slopes.
The Prophet-6 adds a high-pass filter (-12db) but fixes the low-pass filter to -24db. On both synths, the -24db low-pass filters will self-oscillate when the resonance is increased.
Ultimately, there is a give and take, which comes down to the sound. The Rev2 sounds a little darker to my ears, and the overall volume drops slightly when you apply resonance to the filter.
Either way, this category has no distinct winner as it is a matter of taste between which tone you like better.
The consensus among users is that the Prophet-6 sounds marginally better than the Rev2, even without tweaking and modulation.
Users report that the Rev2 is a little more brassy, requires a bit more work to sound good (while the Prophet-6 sounds good all the time), and is better for sound design than the Prophet-6 because of its modulation and control features.
To my ears, I think you are splitting hairs between their sound quality when fully dialed in, but the Rev2 gives you way more control over the sound overall.
So if you want a synth that sounds good all the time (despite having fewer features) then the Prophet-6 is for you.
However, the Rev2 is, by all means, an excellent-sounding synthesizer, and it’s highly unlikely you will be disappointed in the sound of either synth unless you are very particular.
The Prophet-6 is about 10-15% smaller than the Rev2, so it is more portable, but the two still weigh about the same at 20 lbs and 20.5 lbs (Rev2), respectively.
The Rev2 comes with oiled African mahogany wood end panels, while the Prophet-6 comes with walnut end panels and trim.
The Rev2 takes a lot longer to find the sound you want, while the Prophet-6 is simpler and easier to create.
With fewer options, you can work faster with the Prophet-6 but can’t go as in-depth with the sound as the Rev2.
It’s a fair trade-off, and will ultimately depend on whether you’re a tinkerer or someone who just wants good sounds, fast.
Regarding workflow, we recommend keyboard players lean towards the Prophet-6 and sound designers lean towards the Rev2. But that’s just to get you started, there’s undoubtedly room for crossover here.
Winner: Prophet Rev2
The Prophet Rev2 and the Prophet-6 are too similar to justify buying BOTH, so for our money, if we had to choose just one, the Rev2 is the winner.
Overall, the Prophet-6 has a slightly better sound initially but doesn’t have nearly as much functionality and control over the sound as the Rev2.
If we’re talking about the best value, the Prophet Rev2 wins over the Prophet-6.
Personally, the sound of the Rev2 is not worse than the Prophet-6 when fully dialed in, so the extra $1,000 price tag of the Prophet-6 is unwarranted.
Being 50% more expensive, you’d hope the Prophet-6 is 50% better, but it isn’t.
Having said this, if you’re not fussed by the unusual price discrepancy and just want a reliable synthesizer filled with classic polysynth sounds, then you might prefer the relative simplicity of the Prophet-6.
While it is true that the overall sound of the Prophet-6 is slightly improved over the Rev2 at first impression, it’s also true that the Prophet-6 is far more expensive and has less functionality than the Rev2.
And, when fully dialed in, the differences between the sounds of these two synths are extremely similar.
The Rev2 is ultimately our pick for the better synthesizer, as it offers more potential for sonic exploration, even if it’s less immediately impressive than its cousin the Prophet-6.