Rhodes Chroma Polaris

Chroma Polaris Image

The Chroma Polaris was the second synthesizer made by Fender/Rhodes after they took over ARP, following their classic Rhodes Chroma. It has a classic analog ARP-like sound, kind-of tinny but also fat. Sounds can be layered up to 6 voices. It has typical analog synth controls including a cool 'sweep' knob for sweeping through the LFO or analog filter cutoff parameters. It also has a simple real-time sequencer and 132 memory patches.

Rhodes Chroma Polaris Image

There's also a nice and colorful layout with sliders similar to Roland Juno synths, membrane push-buttons and a large velocity sensitive 61-note keyboard making the Chroma Polaris a very nice synth. Fully MIDI-equipped, the Polaris will transmit and receive all its edit controls through MIDI as well as the ability to play up to three patches at once. Unfortunately they are rare and usually hard to find. It has been used by Leftfield and Jimmy Edgar.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Rhodes Chroma Polaris? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

25 Visitor comments
Ned Bouhalassa
June 17, 2014 @ 8:35 am
I just bought one locally (Montreal) for 700 dollars - a steal! It's really a terrific synthesizer, with a lovely sound, very, very underrated, IMO. Yes, there is some zipping if you move the controls too fast, but it more than makes it for it by the fact that everything is CC-friendly. Here's a little something I put together using only the Polaris: https://soundcloud.com/ned-bouhalassa/the-spirit-of-84-chroma-polaris
Paolo Albanese
May 19, 2014 @ 6:42 am
@ marcusmiller: send an email to Eng. Paul D. DeRocco( pderocco@ix.netcom.com ), he will answer you with the details for payment. I just installed one he shipped me one week ago and is absolutely perfect!!
Marcusmiller
May 8, 2014 @ 7:01 am
Can someone point me in to the right direction to get the new front panels? My Polaris has stopped working (all the membrane switches died today) :(
Michael DeAngelis
May 1, 2014 @ 9:42 pm
A few months ago I installed the new front panels and I've been having a blast playing with my "first synth" after several years of it being out of service. The Chroma Polaris sounds better than I remember and it willingly shows it's personality when you dive in and get to know it. Rarely do I find it sound weak or unflattering when programming and at it's worst it sounds generic or common. However, there are many "pockets" to exploit that quickly make it sound unique compared to other synths from that era. I know it's limitations well, but I am thrilled to have working once again.
Rei
March 17, 2014 @ 9:40 pm
Quantization and limited range and reslution of crucial parameters' makes this baby a bit of a let down.
Much like an Oberheim Matrix6 / Matrix1000.
Also don't expect the classy sound of a proper Oberheim/Prophet.

Just my two cents...
 
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 6 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 VCO's: sawtooth / pw
  • LFO - Sine or square
  • Filter - 4-pole lowpass VCF: cutoff, resonance, env, keyboard, sweep + Attack, Decay, Sustain, Sustain Decay, Release
  • VCA - ADR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys w/ velocity
  • Memory - 132 patches
  • Control - MIDI (3 to 6 simultaneous patches)
  • Date Produced - 1984
  • Resources & Credits
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