Prophet 600 #5858 part 1: ‘how much will a $200 synth cost me?’

The danger with inexpensive synthesizer projects is it’s easy to justify spending money on them once they are in hand, and frequently end up being more expensive than if you just went out and spent eBay retail on the same board.  I can type the sentence, I can say the words, but when a $200 Prophet 600 was listed on Craigslist, you know I just had to make a play for it.  The seller responded to me by calling about 6 hours after I sent my ‘Is it still available’ email -which seems funny because I asked that question about 7 minutes after it was posted.  All the seller could tell me was that it didn’t power on and had some broken keys.  We met up the following morning and a deal was struck.  JD was a stand up guy for being true to his ‘first to come’ statement -even after receiving a lot of emails.

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In the car.  I’ve seen worse.  I’ve started with worse.  My big fear was that the voice chips were missing, so I opened it up before buying.  All chips were in place, as were a lot of debris and mouse turds.

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Synthesizers in the front yard.  My 15 month old son fell asleep in the car on the way home from picking up the P600, so I let him sleep with the car windows open and took a few minutes to wipe the P600 down with a mild cleaner.  All the white lettering is in great shape, all the knobs turn smoothly, all the switches switch and, well it’s just not as bad as it could be!

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Obviously better days have been seen.  Not sure what the blue wire tie is for.  The keys were disgusting so I removed them all and cleaned them in the kitchen sink with dish soap.  Not a difficult job, but time consuming.

What do I do with it was mulled over as I cleaned the keys.  If the chips in it are all good, I should be able to sell them at a reasonable profit, but I hate to kill an interesting musical instrument.  Since it’s a Sequential board and I live very close to Greg, a Sequential specialist, who also happens to be pretty reasonable with pricing for repairs, I decided to drop it off for a size-up, and base my next steps on his recommendation.  Later the same day I received an email: “I got it to power on, the CPU is okay and the 12 voice chips are good, but it has many little problems.  It will be $200 – $300 to fix it.  What do you want to do?”

$500 for a fully functional Prophet 600 is not a bad deal I thought.  Throw in a new set of wood cheeks for $60 and $25 for the three broken keys and it would also be attractive.  Why not I thought.

“Let me know where things stand when it gets to $200” was my reply.

Sunday afternoon: “The membrane has some bad buttons.  These are no longer available.”

Technology Transplants reproduced these a few years ago, but they don’t list them now.  I posted on VSE looking for one and came up with two offers for used membranes, one in Texas, still attached to a top panel that’s not in very good condition, and one in my area from Synthparts for $40.  No brainer, money was sent!

This is where things stand except that I found this site, which has me thinking…

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