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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21 Visitor comments
October 28, 2010 @ 3:30 am
I was impressed with the sounds this thing could make once I brought mine back to life. Never heard one before until I got the membranes fixed (which is actually very easy if you know what you are doing). Very aggressive raw sound to it, ring mod and sync both sound great. Two things that I do not like about this synth: The resonance is way too harsh like some SCI synths, and the action and key velocity is crap when on the volume, when you play lightly some notes are way too quiet to hear even after messing with the calibrations you can't fix it. It would be nice if it had a adjustable starting volume instead of 0 for velocity. Otherwise, a pretty awesome sounding synth minus its hideously 80s appearance.
February 12, 2010 @ 12:14 am
here is link for sounds from chroma polaris I love it
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.
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...
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Rated 3.94 (303 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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