Build Quality

Build Quality
« on: March 08, 2016, 05:26:20 AM »
Greetings.  I am interested in those who own the Prophet 6 and their perspectives on the build quality.  Specifically, how does it compare to other synthesizers you may own in that price range.  I ordered the OB-6 and look forward to taking delivery soon.  Thank you.


Re: Build Quality
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 06:35:32 AM »
Before I start this isn't bitching but it is my personal experience.  :o

 DSI build quality or rather the people who quality check is questionable imo!!  ???

First DSI synth I owned was a mopho keys and it had a dead encoder.... It wasn't a huge deal and they agreed to fix it or send out the part if I prefer using my own tech.

Second was a tempest that was faultless and tho the knobs are a bit wobbly there consistent and not as wobbly as my elektrons with generally better feel. I've had my share of elektron support tickets over the years for dead encoders and buttons.

Then came pro2 that had a cracked side panel (like a corner piece had chipped off and been glued back on) and one of the Main encoders in the middle (filter type maybe?) had a bent axel which was obvious from the top or side.

The latest is a p6 that had about 4/5 blemishes on the wood which looked a bit like glue that had been sanded off and left a dull whitish stain and most annoyingly the last key on the right was slightly dropped.... Also less of a deal because it seems to be the norm but the knobs where wobbly tho some much more than others.

On the bright side ??!!  8)

I've just received a new p6 as I don't think the last was acceptable at this price and it looks like it's been built in a different factory.... The wood actually looks like the one in the pictures (last one looked more IKEA than sequential) and the knobs feel a lot more solid (tho I'm reluctant to try any harder) tho on a side note the last key on the right is again slightly dropped (less than the last one but it's there) I'll be in touch with support this time to see if it's something to Worry about as tbh I can live with it....

I know there a small company but Quality checking does seem a little hit and miss, tho there support is quick and I believe they work closely with suppliers so issues are easily dealt with (my p6 just got swapped today 1 in one out so I didn't have to wait)  but my dealer who I won't name last week told me they have quite a lot of DSI returns with build issues.... Compared to what I don't know.

All in all the stuff is good and problems get resolved so I'm not too put off and can't wait to try an ob6. :)

« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 07:45:49 AM by LeVo »

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 08:51:40 AM »
Wow, did you get all those from the same retailer?

I have a Tempest, Evolver, Poly Evolver, Pro 12 module and P2. Build quality top notch, no blemishes or cracks etc. Even my Tempest knobs don't wobble although I have heard this complaint on the old forum.

The only problem I have had was electronic where the tempest lost two of it's voices which was fixed under warranty.

I think in general DSI has a high standing for quality, a google search will show this I guess.

Edit: Just remembered some of the encoders on the PEK started acting up a few years so I replaced the encoder board with the pot version.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 08:58:40 AM by BobTheDog »

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 09:57:46 AM »
Cosmetically I've had no problems with any of the DSI synths I've owned.

However, Tetra was bricked by a firmware update (covered by warranty and well documented). Prophet'08 voices are not well centred (even with pan spread at 0), which I actually don't mind. Prophet 12 was beset with the 11kHz spike that I believe later revisions solved. No problems with MEK or P-6.

FWIW, I've had build quality issues with Moog (Little Phatty end cheek that didn't fit properly) and Korg (MS-20 mini that had an oscillator that wouldn't scale correctly). Not to mention plenty of QC issues with guitars (all makes).

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 12:46:12 PM »
What is interesting and somewhat perplexing is how much disdain there is by some Moog owners towards DSI gear because of perceived issues related to build quality.  As primarily a guitarist, who owns several brands of new and vintage guitars, amps and effects, all I care about is making music with gear that will last. 

I recently began experimenting with keyboards and now own a Kawai ES-8 and Moog Sub 37, both of which sound great, seem well constructed and are well supported by the company.  Both the Prophet 6 and OB-6 sound great to me.  At those price points, I would expect high standards with respect to build quality and service.  I hope my expectations are met.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 12:48:22 PM by minuteman »

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 12:49:44 PM »
I've had perhaps ten or twelve items from DSI and, other than the old encoder problem years ago, I've never had any issues, never a scratch or blemish of any type. 
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 01:48:02 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 12:55:00 PM »
As for Moog, I've owned only two items from them - a Voyager and a CP 251 - and in about two years the Voyager needed badly to be re-calibrated.  The octave shift knobs were way off.  I've never needed to have a DSI item serviced, although I have been able to solve one or two minor instrument problems through DSI support.  From my experiences, DSI is the best.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 01:49:31 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 01:32:40 PM »
My Prophet 6 seems good so far.  I trust DSI stuff.

Ya, I wish the end cheeks looked like the figure in the product pictures, but it's still walnut and I don't stare at it anyways, so I don't care that it's not figured like a guitar top.  I'm pretty sure they just CnC'd wood chunks and didn't finish them with any kind of protector.  Some gun stock oil or wax would have been nice.

The knobs wobble up and down a little, but nothing that doesn't perform the way it's supposed to.  Ya, I wish it was completely bolted down so there was no wobble at all, but it doesn't appear to be a warranty/repair issue as far as I know. 

If you hold the keyboard on both sides, the chassis squeaks a little, but it's just metal with a slight give, which appears to be normal.  It seems to be built pretty solid, so I'm not going to worry about it until there's something to worry about.

There was a little sticky resin on one of the readouts, but nothing tape couldn't peel right off.

The keys are all even.  Ya, they don't look perfectly even if you were a perfectionist with OCD, but it's even enough where you don't notice anything wrong when you're playing it.  Mine too has a little saggy end key on the right, but I think that's just how they're made, plus I never play that key anyways.

I wish the sequencer was a bit more versatile and easier to use.

Now, compared to my $3k Minimoog Voyager, it definitely feels like the Voyager is a little more robust.  The Bubinga wood is amazingly nice to look at and finished with a nice furniture protector from factory.  The knobs and everything have no movement at all except to rotate.  They are all bolted down super securely.  The keybed is the same quality as far as I know so they feel the same to me.  The chassis has no movement at all.  It's built like a rock but weighs twice as much as a Prophet 6.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 02:45:26 PM by jmananquil »
Moog Voyager, Prophet 6, OB-6 Desktop, Korg MicroKorg-S, Toraiz SP-16 and AS-1.

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 01:49:15 PM »
I've had problems with my moog voyager, my moog guitar (returned and fixed twice) and my moog mp201. So a total of 4 returns, usually taking a couple of months.

I wouldn't say moog quality is better than DSI from my experience!

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 01:52:49 PM »
Easily, the most beautiful instrument I've ever owned is the Poly Evolver Keyboard.  Gorgeous wood ends, beautiful lights, a rich blue color on the panel - really striking.  It humiliates anything near it.

Zac James

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  • Smoke me a kipper.
Re: Build Quality
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2016, 04:56:24 AM »
I've had my P6 keyboard since October last year, and I'm very happy with it.  I've got a few knobs on mine that don't spin perfectly on their axis, but to be honest you have to look really hard to notice it.  The P6 is all about the analogue polyphonic goodness, and the sounds don't disappoint in the slightest.  The chassis itself is very solid, the wood pieces are very nicely finished and machined, and all in all it's easily one of my favourite noise-makers.  I've also got a Tempest which is of equally good quality.  I've got a stack of other boards, and the P6 is up there with the best of them.

I'm hoping to add an OB-6 to my Dave Smith department soon, I've just got to work out how to sneak it past the Mrs...


Re: Build Quality
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2016, 06:17:31 AM »
In context with the OPs question....

Can I jus say It is my favourite synth too and I'm talking purely about build/expectation experiences.... But ocd or not some things aren't ok unles your prepared to accept em (I'm trying) and I imagine the reason there's quirks of any kind allowed through by anyone is some folks will accept or ignore it.... more power to them tho if there sure there non issues. I just want to be sure things will last and look mint when they are looked after.

Some folks won't complain about bad service or a poor meal either, and that's largely me too but there's things I care more about.

Guess I'm unlucky in love ....

 ??? The new p6 I received has an output jack that's popping out very slightly but doesn't lock in (it pops back out). Noticed a few crackles yesterday but then it settled and I'm not certain that was the issue yet.... I've read it is probably the internal pin inside the jacket that isn't connecting enough. Anyone els had this with any synths? As I've only had ones that fit solidly in place (being arguably the most important connection)

The p6s are from the same place but the pro 2 wasn't. I've got pics of all the things that can be pictured as it was necessary to get swaps.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 06:33:48 AM by LeVo »

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2016, 07:15:59 AM »
LeVo - can you think of any knob-intensive synths you've recently purchased new-in-box where the quality was over-the-top perfect?

Thing is - there aren't that many to compare against; I've been pretty impressed with the Mopho SE build quality and, as I tend to spend $2K-$3K money on full-size keyboards when new, I'd be surprised to see what you consider to be acceptable. I've also owned / still own synths which were "perfect" at point of purchase, but eventually turned out to be less well-designed than the price point ultimately required (bad encoders, etc.) for later resale.

Also - are you located in the US? As a former importer / distributor myself (for products that were 10x or greater the price of a typical high-end keyboard synth), I know what it's like to deal with manufacturer quality issues.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 07:20:19 AM by DavidDever »
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet-6 Keyboard with Yorick Tech LFE, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Split-Eight, Six-Trak, Prophet 2000

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2016, 07:24:21 AM »
I'm hoping to add an OB-6 to my Dave Smith department soon, I've just got to work out how to sneak it past the Mrs...

Impossible.  She'll smell the stained wood, notice the air molecules are more tightly packed together in the room, and sense it in your more cheerful mood.  You can sneak nothing past a wife.

Zac James

  • *
  • 8
  • Smoke me a kipper.
Re: Build Quality
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2016, 10:37:36 AM »
Impossible.  She'll smell the stained wood, notice the air molecules are more tightly packed together in the room, and sense it in your more cheerful mood.  You can sneak nothing past a wife.

I'm going to have to distract her sense of smell with a big bunch of flowers.   :D

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2016, 05:48:23 PM »
My module was totally buggy.... I had to send it back to Thomann..... And I'm still waiting for the new one... And I REALLY hope it will be PERFECT!!! And I need it QUICKLY!!!

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2017, 11:04:30 PM »
Reviving as I've had some build quality experiences that warrant a post.

My first P6 had half of the knobs rotate at an angle. I assume bad mounting underneath. They wobbled too. I had to return due to constant tuning issues with voice cards.

I thought it was a bad merchant (selling demo as new), and picked up another from a reputable retailer. The knobs didn't wobble at all on this. But one out of every 3 times I turned the unit on, it would emit noise from all outputs and have lockup. Returned for another.

The third one had dead black keys. The entire Keybed was loose. Didn't have wobbly knobs. I chatted with the retailer's support and wanted to just open it up and fix it (and be done), but they requested it back and issued an exchange (that they would personally test out for a couple of days).

One with me now has wobbly knobs 50% across the board. Additionally, some turn without effort (like cutoffs, unfortunately) and the good knobs have resistance or detents (if encoder). Occasional dead notes on black keys. I'm done retuning this. I'm keeping it and going to just control via a MIDI controller.

The build quality for the price is ridiculous. So is the QA. I'd say it should be $1,000 cheaper as many other cheaper polys are more robust in that range.

I did get an OB6 and had zero issues. Very good quality in all areas.

Very disappointed. I'm wondering if their build contractor started getting lazy in the high serial numbers. I've preordered a Rev2 and hoping they put more effort into early units for initial perception (YouTube reviews, etc).

I'd say DSI build quality is 1/3 of that of Moog. Unfortunately, I don't care for Moogs or I'd cut my loss and move on.

With all that, I never even got a chance to consider external appearance (grain or lack of, or tilted keys). Huge disappointment, but I love the stuck with what I have.

Sidenote: all P6s I've received have been > serial 4,000. The (nicely built) OB6 was around 1,900.

If you want a new P6, go to a store and play with it in person. If you buy online, go through Sweetwater or other reputable dealer that will stand behind it.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 11:55:37 PM by TacticalHamster »

Re: Build Quality
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2017, 05:22:20 AM »
Re:Build Quality

Here's my take on the build Quality/Experiences of DSI gear

I've owned a MonoEvolver Keyboard,Polyevolver KB,2 x Prophet 08's a Mopho KB,Tempest/Prophet 6 and Pro 2,and soon will be adding a Prophet 12
I currently still have the P6/Pro 2 and Tempest,everything else has been sold on as I basically moved over to the newer DSI stuff.

Other than the Pro 2 everything else has been purchased from new,I have never had a problem with any of them malfunctioning,they have been rock solid,the only issue I had was with the Pro 2,I purchased this secondhand and after 3 months of use it just died on me,it had exhibited a few malfunctions with Jumpy encoders particularly the Filter cutoff value would just randomly edit itself now and again,I thought when I get some time will open it up and spray the Encoders with some deoxit but before I had chance to open it up it just died. 

I often wonder if this is why the seller was keen to move it on,but I had no reason to believe it was suffering from any issues prior to buying it and given the positive experiences I had with other DSI synths didn't feel there was any reason to suspect it could have been the reason for quick sale by the seller.

However, as much as I was annoyed by,this the DSI customer service was second to none and the Problem was remedied and fixed within a few weeks,given I had the Time differences between UK and USA to contend with which slightly delayed things  however I had regular correspondence with DSI support(Mark Kono) and he sent me replacement PCBs to swap out and try to see which one had caused the Problem and then send the old ones back,all still covered under warranty Thankfully my Pro 2 was back to full health and working perfectly now,it was the main board that had died which is the board the Encoders that were faulty were on so seemed logical

Irrespective of this issue I had with the Pro 2 it will never put me off buying another instrument from DSI,infact the Total opposite,given the amount of Gear I've owned from DSI I have total faith in their products,I suppose you could say the law of averages etc with the quantity of Synths I've had that something may go wrong.

The build Quality on DSI is good/Excellent if not better than some synth brands,Ok so DSI isn't the cheapest on the Market and inevitable that the odd time there may be hiccups or faults with some of their models but backed up with first class customer support also helps brand loyalty for long as Dave and co are continuing building fun innovative hardware synths and exercising First class support I will have no problem in supporting them by buying there products,my next venture will soon be adding the Prophet 12 to the family..
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 05:32:29 AM by Uncle Dieppe »