Behringer Teases 16-Voice Prophet-5 Copy

Behringer today teased its upcoming 16-voice Sequential Prophet-5 copy, the Pro-16.

The Behringer Pro-16 was originally announced back in 2021, when it was described as essentially a knockoff of the Prophet-5, but with 16-voice polyphony.

Behringer today shared this update:

“Recreating this synthesizer was no small feat.

The engineering work involved is extraordinarily complex, requiring meticulous attention to detail and precision. Our team of engineers had to navigate the intricacies of integrating thousands of components to stay true to the original sound while adding modern capabilities.

One of the most challenging aspects of this project was the development of an 8-layer printed circuit board (PCB). For those unfamiliar, a PCB is essentially the backbone of any electronic device, housing all the components and ensuring they work together seamlessly. An 8-layer board means there are eight layers of circuitry stacked within a single board, allowing us to pack more functionality into a compact space. This complexity is necessary to manage the increased number of voices and new features while maintaining signal integrity and reducing noise.

The result is a synthesizer that not only honors the legacy of the original, but also enhances it with 16 voices, offering unparalleled polyphony and richness.”

The Behringer Pro-16 synthesizer will build on the original Sequential Prophet-5 design by adding:

  • 16-voice polyphony
  • Multi-mode filters. Providing a wide range of tonal possibilities.
  • 8-mode atrophy settings: Allowing for extensive modulation and sound-shaping capabilities.
  • Poly aftertouch key bed.

Details on pricing and availability of the Behringer Pro-16 are still to be announced.

54 thoughts on “Behringer Teases 16-Voice Prophet-5 Copy

  1. They say “Recreating this synthesizer was no small feat” as if they just built Jurassic Park from some excavated mosquito DNA.

    Prophets are still in production.

  2. Not purely a knockoff of the Prophet-5 if it triples (!) the voice count and adds a polyphonic aftertouch keybed (and USB MIDI and probably other features as well.)

    The Prophet T-8 (T for “touch” ?) did feature a superb polyphonic aftertouch keybed, however (with wooden keys no less…)

    1. Agree…accordingly to the Cambridge dictionary, a knockoff is: “ a cheap or less good copy of a popular or high-quality product, etc.”

      To me:
      1) PCB doesn’t look cheap
      2) It is NOT less in specifications wise of the prophet 5

      This site is definitely bias to review Behringer products

      1. Sid

        A standard definition for ‘knockoff’ is “an unlicensed copy of something intended to be sold at a lower price than the original.” ( Our criteria for categorizing a product as a ‘knockoff’ aligns with this. If a product is designed and marketed as an inexpensive copy of another company’s product, it’s a knockoff.

        You appear to have the perspective that ‘knockoff’ products are bad or a bad value. For most people, the reality is just the opposite. People buy knockoffs because they see the copies as ‘good enough’ and a better value than the original.

        In the case of the Pro-16, the instrument has the hallmarks of a ‘knockoff’ product:

        It’s designed and marketed as an inexpensive copy of the Sequential Prophet-5.

        It knocks off the look of the the Sequential Prophet-5, down to the position of knobs, the use of materials and the fonts used.

        It has a knockoff name, using a variation on Sequential’s own naming.

        Some Behringer fans agree on these facts, but still consider it ‘bias’ or offensive to state the obvious conclusion. Many of our readers are interested in knockoffs, though, so we’re not going to avoid stating the obvious, to avoid offending a few readers.

        1. Knockoff – for the plebs, working class, mass produced, cheap.
          Clone – boutique, middle class, credible, expensive.

            1. Tony, brother. The reply above was for Mr. Synthead

              You are the man for taking the time replying

              BTW I do agree with your comment brother?

        2. Since this looks like a chance to voice feedback, I’ve never personally liked Synthtopia using the term knockoff. It’s editorial, opinion terminology right in the story title. Like your giving your judgement of the quality of the product in your news that it exists. And I agree with other posters that the term Knockoff definitely has negative connotations.

        3. If you are going to name call Behringer, then to prove there is no bias, you should also do it with other synth manufacturers. For example, you want to call this a knockoff when it provides so much at what will be a reasonable price. So why don’t you by the same token call synths by Sequential, Moog etc ripoff synths? Call out the manufacturers that put a premium price on everything they do regardless of quality or versatility. Knockoffs and ripoffs, should be the way to go if you want to vent but do so in more impartial manner. I won’t hold my breath though, I don’t believe you have the courage to call out those synth manufacturers.

          1. Bauhaus

            ‘Knockoff’ is a category of copy, just like ‘reissues’, ‘clones’, ‘virtual instruments’, etc. When we call something a knockoff, reissue, clone, virtual instrument, etc, it’s a statement of fact.

            ‘Ripoff’, on the other hand, is a subjective opinion on the value of a product – ie, your opinion.

            Behringer has said that their business model is to copy the popular products of other companies to the extent that is possible by law. They call this their ‘market follower’ strategy. Cut through the marketing lingo, and they’re saying that their business model is copying other company’s products, aka ‘making knockoffs’. This is a statement of fact.

            When we categorize a synth as a ‘knockoff’, it’s because it’s designed and marketed as an inexpensive copy of another company’s product. There is no ‘name-calling’ of Behringer going on, we’re categorizing their synths accurately.

            We understand that this triggers some Behringer fans, but we’re not going to sugar-coat the facts to avoid offending a few readers.

            If you’re going to suggest that this is bias, we challenge you to back this up with an intelligent argument, based in facts, not opinion. We’ll be glad to consider your perspective.

            Show us where we’ve called any company’s synths, ‘ripoffs’.

            Tell us where we’ve failed to categorize any manufacture’s synth – that’s designed and marketed as an inexpensive copy of another company’s product – as a knockoff.

            If you’re like others that have suggested this, you’ll find yourself making the stretch to argue that something like the Volca FM is a knockoff of the DX7, because they’re both FM synths, even though the Volca FM doesn’t copy the DX7’s design, look, name, etc.

            Or you’ll find yourself doing things like arguing that Sequential’s Prophet-5 reissue is really a knockoff, because the original Sequential went out of business.

            Or you will find yourself suggesting that high-end functional clones, like the RE-303, are knockoffs – even though the RE-303 is designed to be 100% physically and sonically compatible with original 303 boards, rather than designed to be an inexpensive copy.

            If you think that synths by Sequential, Moog, etc are ‘ripoff’ synths, that’s a subjective statement, and you and everyone else are welcome to share your opinions in Synthtopia comments.

            But if you want to question factual statements, please put some thought into it.

        4. I for one used to visit this site to find out news about synths. I couldn’t care less about your moral judgements nor of your understanding of semantics.

          1. Glad you’re still visiting and that the Behringer drama doesn’t bother you.

            We’ll leave moral judgements to visitors. Our focus is, and always has been, on sharing the news that’s of greatest interest to synthesists.

        5. Their own press release says “recreating this synthesizer…” We all know they are not doing much original here. “Knockoff” seems to me to be the most accurate description. While poly AT and more polyphony are welcome, these things aren’t original. These are to synths what Epiphone is to Gibson.

          I really would like to see Behringer do more with these synths. While a Pro 16 is intriguing, it would be even more so if they added more LFO’s Envelopes and a more robust modulation section. I think that would be a more significant contribution. How cool would it be to have the Prophet sound but with not just the added polyphony but those added features? Plus they would be moving the Prophet design forward.

      2. Every single copy Behringer has made has been “a cheap of less good copy of a popular or high-quality product”. Every single one, from Boss, to Moog, to Oberheim, etc. etc.

        1. $5,000 for a new Minimoog or $299 for a new Model D. For the sound and features, is the Minimoog worth over 16 times the price of the “cheap of less good copy…” for a musician on a budget?

          1. A more saavy budget friendly approach could be a very flexible, recallable, labelled, high resolution midi mapping to soft synths, and a keyboard. You’ll pay a bit more up front, what, 3 to 4 Behringer Model Ds?

            Then you can save recallable midi mappings to program the many good and low cost software emulations of synthesizers that A/B test indiscriminately against their inspirations.

            I think if it an aesthetic inspires you, well, that’s a different story. At least this will have a PAT keybed.

      3. The knockoff thing seems to have gotten started around the time Behringer started doing shitty things to journalists. I am a fan of what they do (engineering wise, not marketing or weird shit posting wise) and I think it has a place in the industry (it’s pretty common with other musical instruments), but because of other shit they have pulled they have earned worse pejoratives than “knock off”. Does Behringer do a great job of adding value to their “clones”? Absolutely ,and as someone who is far more of a programmer than a pianist some of the other problems don’t bother me and I actually prefer the B version to the original (looking at you Rd-6). Their engineers do great work.
        However, their visual design is garish and imo shameless. The truth is though that this is how they make headlines. People are excited to get affordable version of their dream gear (even if often they are really “take offs” on the inside.
        Do they get shit on more than other manufactures? Sure, but the brazen and honestly more than a little gauche visual knockoffs aren’t doing them a single favor. They earned the right to be taken seriously with the deepmind. I honestly think a new visual design team would rejuvenate them. The visual design can’t be different enough that it couldn’t be accused of being a knockoff, (that’s how they sell/market this amazing things their engineers are doing), but it could be a lot more artful and done is such a way that feels like a tribute and not a just a cheap trick. They are eliminating a ton of financial barriers to music production, and I think that’s a good thing.

        Also if they could go back in time and not post weird anti-sematic shit that would be help. Get your engineers on that Uli!

  3. “extraordinarily complex, requiring meticulous attention to detail and precision”
    “intricacies of integrating thousands of components”

    This doesn’t mean much is it. You’re using exotic terms and talking about an 8-layer PCB as if it’s something extraordinary, yet you can’t name a single component or provide any details about the design process. This sounds like typical audiophile jargon aimed on people who know nothing about electronics.

    1. I’m sure all the specifications will be available at some point to satisfied all the nerds, but for fans of the original (and I am one), what is important is the sound, as it was on the original! It’s a classic synth that is too expensive for most to buy now, although Dave smith has bought out a few cheaper modern takes, they are either not the same or also expensive. If Behrlinger can make a faithful reproduction at half the cost, only the purist will be complaining. Tbh, I’m caught in the middle a bit. Because even if it sounds exactly like a Prophet 5, it’s not a prophet 5. And they know that. But experience with many other copies, tells them that even though this is an issue for a small minority who remember them from when they were kids, people will buy the copy in large numbers due to their price point.

    2. those aren’t exotic terms, they’re 8th grade vocabulary words…
      the comment about the 8 layer PCB is targeted directly at folks who understand what that means, not toward consumers who don’t know anything. ppl who understand what it means will be more likely to consider buying it if they understand that this was not a typical low quality behringer product. the designer is basically trying to shout out to the world “hey I know all my stuff is cheap, but this one I really made well. I went the extra mile to make sure this will be great”
      I’m not a huge behringer fan, in fact I’m typically anti-behringer. I’m actually excited to hear a behringer product for once

      1. How a circuit board is made doesn’t really have much to do with the quality of a product or its perceived value.

        The PCBs and electronic parts inside synthesizers are generally high quality and dirt cheap these days, and aren’t a differentiating factor in the synth’s quality. You can get a mass-produced circuit board of a crappy design for the same price as a good one.

        The differentiating factors in a synth’s costs are mainly the size of the instrument, the quality of the control parts (pots, switches, keyboards, etc), the sophistication of the manufacturing process, the cost of the company’s quality control processes, and the original investment needed to design the instrument.

        The places you can see Behringer cutting corners tend to be the size of the instrument, the quality of the control parts, quality control and original design.

        They appear to have excellent manufacturing processes.

  4. It’s pretty cool how behringer are figuring out these old designs, in some places employing the og creators to help them, and then make it affordable. Just saying! With the cost of living crisis here in Australia, it turns an 8000 synth into 1000, it’s kinda cool

  5. It is amazing how companies can cram so many voices on such little real estate. I’ve been repairing synths as a hobby since the late 80’s and I never thought I would have to invest in a microscope, tweezers and hot air soldering iron. It getting to the point where you will need to be a watch maker or jeweler to repair such things.

  6. Wow! They really got the look down pat! Wood, knobs, font! If the box looks as great as all the other boxes do, I might buy 2 of them. Are there any shots of a bunch of boxes on a pallet?

  7. This doesn’t mean much is it. You’re using exotic terms and talking about an 8-layer PCB as if it’s something extraordinary, yet you can’t name a single component or provide any details about the design process. This sounds like typical audiophile jargon aimed on people who know nothing about electronics.

    99% of synth players.

    1. let’s be honest; 99% of *musicians overall* no nothing about manufacturing products, design processes, IP, or modern competative practices. period.

      never cared for sequential stuff. i’m waiting for polyKobol – something different.

      also, 8-layers aren’t necessarily 100% signal layers either; proper power and ground planes are necessary to control noise and crosstalk and take up significant copper area to implement correctly.

    1. I think this refers to the ability to actively affect the tuning stability and a few other key parameters to make the instrument sound more “vintage”. Or maybe just in need of calibration ? haha.
      This is a feature on quite a few Dave Smith instruments.

  8. The only thing that really bugs me about these clones is the omission of simple features that would greatly enhance the sound, eg: instead of just on/off switches for each of the waveforms if on/off/inverted switches were implemented, similar to the T-mixer or Pearlman oscillator, it would effectively allow the Prophet 5’s oscillators to produce 19 additional waveforms.

    1. Ah, but then they wouldn’t be able to sell thousands of these things as an affordable clone of an overpriced instrument produced by a greedy, elitist manufacturer that hires overpaid Western workers instead of doing everything they can to lower costs for customers.

      1. I dunno, if Behringer was *really* concerned with what’s best for consumers they’d implement optional multitimbrality with separate outs on their polysynths too.

  9. Poly AT is another discussion, but as for the rest, I’m happy with Cherry Audio’s ELKA-X. Its a lot like this design in features. I especially like DCOs, which impart a different character than purely analog ones.

    One parameter I haven’t seen discussed much is B-synth longevity. I’d be ironically pleased if someone saw 10 years from this one with no catastrophic fails. Its a big step up from their monosynths….

  10. Has Behringer actually HEARD a current Pro10? 10 voices is a LOT when they are full, well-designed, well-implemented analog voices. As in, sometimes too many. One thing the Prophet10 didn’t need was 6 more voices. Give it the modulation of the Take 5 and that’s more of what would be interesting.

    I’ve not yet heard a Behringer synth I like the sound of, but there could always be a first! The Pro800 knockoff sounds awful to me, for example, as does the UB-Xa knockoff.

  11. Looking at the PCB there are both the rev3 3320 filter chip and a discrete transistor clone of the rev1/2 2040 chip. So you get both versions. I only hope they use PPS caps in the filters to give a great tone, you cant tell from the board. The VCOs are rev3 3340 with no option of the 2030 rev1/2. The envelopes and modulation is digital. Hope it sounds good!

  12. What a waste of engineering, manufacturing, and marketing talent…surely they could come up with some incredible new instruments with all that capability. Why re-make synths that already have multiple hardware and software implementations!?

  13. The shitstorm produced by any behriger product announcement is amazing.
    No matter if it is a new development, or a clone.


    Never fails, synthtopia does the post, and within 48 hours this is way better than the ufc.

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