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Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 PE Keyboard Synthesizer

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The Prophet '08 PE (potentiometer edition) is a 5-octave keyboard synth that has all the features of Dave Smith Instruments' standard Prophet '08, but many of the front panel's rotary controls use pot... Click To Read More About This Product

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The Prophet '08 PE (potentiometer edition) is a 5-octave keyboard synth that has all the features of Dave Smith Instruments' standard Prophet '08, but many of the front panel's rotary controls use potentiometers (AKA pots) for more vintage-style control. It features an eight-voice synthesizer with a 100% analog signal path, velocity, and aftertouch. Add to that performance features like an arpeggiator, gated 16 x 4 step sequencer, and the ability to split or stack sounds-and the modulation possibilities make it capable of producing sounds that the classics simply could not.

On board the Prophet '08 PE keyboard synth, you'll find a spring-loaded pitch wheel and assignable mod wheel, 256 fully editable programs with two layers in each program, two digitally controlled analog oscillators, and three envelope generators.

The Prophet '08 PE is an affordable, full-featured polysynth with a 100% analog signal path. Classic, real analog sound, including legendary Curtis analog low-pass filters is married to a modern feature set. The electronic keyboard has a compact size with a huge sound and includes tons of knobs for direct, real-time editing and performance.


  • 5-octave keyboard with semi-weighted action, velocity, and aftertouch
  • Spring-loaded pitch wheel and assignable mod wheel
  • 256 fully editable programs (2 banks of 128) with 2 layers (2 separate sounds) in each
  • 16 x 4 gated step sequencer
  • Arpeggiator
  • 2 digitally controlled analog oscillators (DCOs) per voice with selectable sawtooth, triangle, saw/triangle mix, pulse waves (with pulse-width modulation), and hard sync
  • White noise generator
  • 1 analog Curtis low-pass filter per voice; selectable 2- and 4-pole operation (self-resonating in 4-pole mode)
  • 3 envelope generators: filter, VCA, and assignable (four-stage ADSR + delay)
  • Envelope 3-can loop
  • 4 LFOs (low-frequency oscillation)
  • Glide (portamento): separate rates per oscillator
  • Analog VCAs (variable gain amplifiers)
  • Dimensions: 3.875" H x 34.8" W x 12.1" D
  • Weight: approximately 22lb.
  • Ins and Outs
    • MIDI In, Out, Thru, and Poly Chain
    • Main stereo audio output: 1/4" unbalanced
    • Output B stereo audio output: 1/4" unbalanced
    • Sustain pedal input: accepts normally on or normally off momentary footswitch
    • Pedal/CV input: responds to expression pedals or control voltages ranging from 0 to 5 VDC (protected against higher or negative voltages)
    • Headphone output: 1/4" stereo phone jack
    Customer Reviews

    Review Snapshot

    by PowerReviews
    Dave Smith InstrumentsProphet '08 PE Keyboard Synthesizer

    (based on 4 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

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    Reviewed by 4 customers

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    (18 of 19 customers found this review helpful)


    DSI Prophet '08 Works great

    By James [BOSStone]

    from Boston/Stoneham, MA

    Comments about Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 PE Keyboard Synthesizer:

    Love the real Analog sound. Sounds a LOT better then all my VAs (Nord Lead3, Access Virus Classic, Alesis ION). Some people say it doesn't sound that analog but I totally disagree. Hint: When you get it read the "Hidden Functions" section at the end of the manual so you can calibrate the low pass filters and analog oscillator waveshapes, and calibrate the pitch and mod wheels. Also you will Definitely want to update the software to the newest. A lot of the Prophet 08 PE's have a bug were you cant edit the second layer when split/stacked, a simple update and this is fixed.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


    What a beast!!!

    By stephan salmeron

    from boston ma

    Comments about Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 PE Keyboard Synthesizer:

    i own 7 synths(motifes6,nordlead3,Gaia sh01,Juno 106,korg ms-20,ultranova and a dx7) and i think this one just beat them all up bad the sound from this thing is amazing making patches is like a walk in the park had to get used to the mod and pitch wheel being in a different place for me then usual but i managed. this feels like the first time I'm hearing analog when its really not. some people said the presets were terrible. i think they sound great but a synth is not about the presets anyway its how it works and sounds and this is just a wonderful machine all in all if your a synth geek you will know how good this instrument is when you play it...


    Polyphony needs fulfilled.

    By Wan Dilliams

    from Providence

    About Me Professional Musician

    Verified Buyer


    • Easy to Use
    • Portable
    • Responsive / Good Action


      Best Uses

      • Electronic Music

      Comments about Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 PE Keyboard Synthesizer:

      This keyboard is the holy grail of affordable polyphony, and Nick over at GC North Attleboro hooked it up! Will def be going back to shop with him, super informative staff there helped me navigate the ins and outs of the machine, and had me up and shredding as soon as I got home. Now I'm touring the country, and due to the portability of this unit I can still shred on my tour bus for my groupies, and mates. Go see Nick, Fred or Jerome at this GC if you want your life to be completely transformed, you won't regret it!


      Prophet 08 - Analog

      By Gizmo

      from El Dorado Hills, California

      See all my reviews


      • All Analog Signal Chain
      • Amazing sound
      • Expandable Polyphony
      • Software Adds Value


      • Limited Sequencer And Arp
      • No Digital Effects
      • Non Full Size Keyboard
      • No Set List Presets

      Best Uses

      • Recording Studio

      Comments about Dave Smith Instruments Prophet '08 PE Keyboard Synthesizer:

      I've been looking to bring a true Analog Synthesizer into my recording studio to complement the various digital synths I use in the studio and was able to pick up a very nice used Prophet 08 PE Edition from Guitar Center. I was surprised at how much I missed analog and the Prophet 08 delivers the analog sound in spades. Especially for an instrument that only weighs 22 pounds.

      The Pro's of the Prophet 08 will outweigh the Cons for most players. The design and layout are superb and the ability to use Poly-Chain to link two Prophet 08's together would create a tone monster to contend with. You can talk all day about the sound of the Curtis filters and digitally controlled DCO's but in the end you will have a very stable machine with an all analog signal path and huge sound. There is software available on the market that helps to round out the potential for using this live or integrating it into your DAW setup. There are some interesting sound sets available for purchase and while some are better than others, the fact that people are producing sounds for the Prophet 08 bodes well for the longevity of this amazing analog synthesizer.

      There are some limitations and outright omissions that I found, but it is a short list. The Prophet 08 lacks a full size keyboard and while it is very usable and weighted nicely, it will feel cramped to anyone with big hands (like me). The Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator implementations are limited and the omission of an integrated digital effects unit was a tactical error IMHO and one that limits the sonic potential of an otherwise amazing synthesizer. I also found it odd that there is no way to store set lists or favorites for quick and easy access.

      It is worth noting that most of these features/issues were addressed with the release of the Prophet 6, which in turns lacks the Poly Chain feature of Prophet 08. So in the end do your research and choose according to your needs and requirements. Either way, you win.

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