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Prophet 64 over Yamaha CX5?

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 3:33 pm
by Arddhu
Greetings all, just throwing a question to the vintage computer buffs. I was just wondering what people's opinions were on either getting a Yamaha CX5 music computer or just getting a C64 with the fabled SID with the Prophet 64 cartridge. Any clue as to which one would be easier to program. I'm guessing they would sound reasonably different but does anyone have any pros and cons they'd like to throw my way?
Anyway I'm sure you have some idea of what I'm trying to get across, I hope!


Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 5:43 pm
by Tidda
Back in 1985 or so a friend of mine had the same dillema.
We had our doubts about if MSX would be the future, it wasn't.
The C64 wasn't the future either, but at least at that time it was the 'present'.

If you're into vintage computers, the Yamaha is a much rarer find.
As a synth, quite the opposite, there are lots of FM synths still around and then there is FM7 or 8 softsynths.
There's probably a much larger C64 user group around and info on the internet for he C64.

As computers they are quite similar, the CX5 has got the built in MIDI interface and FM synth of course which are cool and it's a bit faster.
(Well, still incredibly slow by todays standards of course)
Programming them in BASIC is also not that far apart, but again, there's probably lots more info for the C64 available if you have to start from scratch.
For programming in assembly I much more prefer programming in 6502 (or 6510) than Z80. That's of course a personal taste and subjective.
I suppose if you don't know either yet it doesn't matter much.

It's probably best to first check out if you can get the documents and software you want before buying CX5.
Same goes for the C64 a bit, but you can always convert it into a SIDstation or something alike.


p.s. the CX5 also has a General Instruments AY-3-8910 sound chip inside (seperate from the FM module). It's not unlike the SID chip, but not so fabled.
It's also used as the sound chip for the Atari ST, ZX Spectrum and more.

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 7:30 pm
by Alex E
Well, the SID is more like an analog synth, and if it is a SID with one of the ones with the last revisions (4 or 5) It has decent filters, The Rev. 5 having the best filters. Since you could always have almost the same fatures for less than what the CX5 costs with something like a Yamaha FB-01, I would go for the prophet 64. Nothing sounds quite like a SID. Any four op FM synth could sound almost the same as a CX5, however I read the post above, and Tidda says there is an AY chip in there. That could be rewarding.

Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:23 am
by Arddhu
OK cool, but the next problem is finding a C64 that isn't hurrendously overpriced. I'm seeing them going for stupid money on ebay at the moment and never see them in the junk-shops around town. Any other suggestions for finding them?

Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:37 am
by insky
$18 is overpriced? The trick is to get the ones without all the accsesories.

Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:55 am
by Arddhu
Well yeah, I can find them quite cheap overseas for that sort of money but then the postage just kills it for this tight-arse synthesist...

Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:21 am
by Arddhu
Sorry just another annoying question. How do you tell if it's got the 4 or 5 version chips? Would it be likely that the 64C would have it?

Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:22 am
by DX
Arddhu wrote:Sorry just another annoying question. How do you tell if it's got the 4 or 5 version chips? Would it be likely that the 64C would have it?
It is said 8580 Rev5 SID is the best version which was mainily mounted on last C64 editions. The best way for knowing about the vers is to open the case (at least I had to do it, because I have the old case version but mine is a limited C64 edition with the last SID revision).

I just only messed around with Prophet64 twice. I have to start with it seriously. BTW; it is recommended C64 mouse, but I use a joystick and the keyb.

More info on
Go to Free Document Download section and download the Getting started.


Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:32 am
by Arddhu
OK cool. I just found out today that the college I go to has a large pile of C64's in the electronics lab so I may go for a quick pilfer tomorrow!

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 12:16 am
by insky
All I can say is just look around locally I got one at a thrift shop today for $5 and it came with all the accesories. I feel kind of bad about ripping it apart.

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 12:21 am
by Arddhu
Nice one. Well I'm definitely not going to pay up to $30 Australian + $30 postage that some people are asking for them on the Bay I'm sure one will pop up somewhere!

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 2:04 am
by metrosonus
is the P64 all the programs on one cartridge? or you have to buy them seperately?