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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25 Visitor comments
isynthesizer.com
February 12, 2010 @ 12:14 am
here is link for sounds from chroma polaris I love it
http://www.soundboard.com/sb/Chroma_Polaris_Synth_soun.aspx
AL6900
September 9, 2009 @ 4:34 am
This is a *very* underrated synth. The sound is *large*.
Jim Mooney
July 3, 2009 @ 2:06 pm
I still have the Polaris that I bought brand new from Sam Ash in the early 80's. The membrane switches are funky ( I was told by Bob Moog's tech at the time, Dale Ong, that the ribbon connectors were the culprit ), but I will NEVER part with it. The sounds are amazing, and the pitch bending option that lets you sustain certain notes and bend others against them ( like a pedal steel ) using the sustain pedal is the coolest ever. It breaks my heart to see it sitting idle, but ONE day I hope to have it working in its' full glory.
zerozeroisland
December 28, 2008 @ 3:36 am
wow, it's amazing what the perspective of time will bring. my studio had a chroma polaris back in 86, and we really never liked it. but i recently had one dumped in my lap, and 20 some odd years later it's amazing how things change. the polaris i own now takes some finessing to get it in tune but once you do, it sounds pretty amazing.

in our studio we have a pro one, a memorymoog, a SCI six track, and a few other early 80s synths, and much to my surprise, the polaris really holds it's own. and like the previous comment mentioned, the fact that even though it was one of the very first synths with MIDI, every parameter was controllable, comes in very handy. I also own another early 80s early midi synth, the Akai ax-80, and there's no comparison...
Michael DeAngelis
October 11, 2008 @ 11:47 pm
Classic analog sound with MIDI functionality that will rival any synth on the market today. Nearly every parameter will transmit and receive MIDI – amazing back in 1984. Sound quality is reminiscent of the days when the OB 8 and Jupiter 8 ruled the land. While not as famous as those great synths, the Polaris’s sound more than holds it’s own against such synth royalty. The Polaris has 6 note dynamically allocated polyphony but it’s also 6 part multi-timbral. There are two very real VCO's that slowly drift out of tune as they heat up - just honest raw analog power. When needed there is a simple "Tune All" function that perfectly tunes all 6 voices in a few seconds. The filter is fat and the resonance will growl nicely if you need that. I gigged with it extensively and It worked perfectly for 11 years until the membrane switches began failing. That’s a common problem with these beautiful machines. If you find one in working condition BUY IT NOW because it will be gone tomorrow.
 
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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
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