This rhodes chroma polaris 2 needs a little work. There are signs of age including some surface rust and scratches. The classic membrane failure issue has occurred on the left hand side of the panel effecting some functions but the middle and right hand side(preset patch controls) are all working. It is my understanding that Paul DeRocco is still selling the membrane panel replacements and there is a very good step by step guide on YouTube. All you need is time which I unfortunately of not have; I will be moving overseas for work so all projects are off my schedule sadly.” Link
This unit is in somewhat rough physical condition (due to some rust on the back of the case) but it appears to be working properly except for a few buttons/leds that don’t appear to respond (it’s the buttons in the right column of the “Assignable Control” section: Bend Lever Range, Vibration Delay, Osc1 Vibration, Osc2 Vibration, Osc2 Env and Detune button – I marked them on one of the pictures). They were intermittent at fist (sometimes worked sometimes didn’t) but now they don’t work at all. I’m not sure if this is just some cable connection or the buttons just broke down but since there are narrowed down to just one section, I suspect it may be just a loose wire somewhere. HOWEVER, PLEASE CONSIDER THOSE BUTTONS AS NON-FUNCTIONING WHEN BIDDING!
The Ring Mod led also doesn’t light up but the button itself seems to be working (at least I think it’s working because when I press it, the sound changes). Otherwise, the synth appears to work fine (to my best knowledge, although I haven’t tested the MIDI ports recently so I’m not sure if they work). All sliders appear to function and no slider caps are missing as you see on the pictures. Please examine the pictures and ask questions before you bid! ” Link
“classic 6 voice polysynth– the last synth designed by ARP– but made by Fender. mid 1980’s
totally functional, all membrane switches work, all sliders and led’s fine. Amazingly full and musical sounding synth. not cheap and buzzy like some, a real distinct musical tone. great bass , good feeling keyboard.
very versatile–split or stack sounds. 132 patch memory . realtime sequencer has the 2x memory upgrade chips. MIDI . true VCO’s with autotune feature. way better than those overpriced moogs, it was really ahead of its time . ive played about a dozen different synths –this one sounds great.
check any vintage synth site for more info.
this unit looks real good too. cosmetically 9 ish
fairly rare–only about 3500 made” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
works perfectly with the exception of the following buttons:
Bend lever range
Osc 1 vibrato
Ocs 2 env
these buttons have been working intermittently but are currently not working
I expect a ribon cable connection
Note: New membrane switches for the Polaris are currently available
if I were going to keep it I would probably order a set.
No issues whatsoever plays perfectly
no dead keys no missing knobs
full blown analog synthesizer
getting very rare and settling into collectors hands” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“This listing is for a Fender Rhodes Chroma Polaris vintage analog synthesizer. The unit is 100% functional and is in nice cosmetic condition as well.” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
Up for bidding is my amazing Chroma Polaris. If you’re reading this you know what it is.
I tried to get this fixed but according to the techs at Switched On (Austin TX), it is a “lost cause.”
Regardless, this keyboard is valuable and I hope someone can find use of the parts.
Here is what they said about it:
“Broken/Brittle ribbon cables from membranes. Extensive battery corrosion onto power supply and mainboard – lost cause”
This machine is sold “AS IS.”” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“While not quite as flexible it’s big brother, or as expressive, with it’s arguably warmer sound, and a much more friendly user interface, the Polaris is still a stupid good deal in the vintage poly market.
It has two real VCOs, the same warm CEM filters as the Prophet T8 and Xpander, and still doesn’t skip on the expression options by any means, with assignable levers and pedals, and *velocity control* of both filter and VCA envelopes. Modulation is pretty deep as well- the envelopes and LFO can control pretty much everything and the is a ring modulator for cross-modulation of the VCOs. Sounds can be both stacked and split, making for some huge sounds.
Rounding things off is a sequencer and analog tempo sync ins and outs, and of course, the best part, the polaris’ truly modern midi implementation, from the factory. All the main sound parameters can be adjusted via midi, so I can tweak it from across the room on my knob box without ever turning away from my DAW.
This Polaris was just restored by the Good Guys in St. Paul, MN, who’s reputation for fixing the Chroma line is about as good as it gets. They still have guys with factory training that have been fixing these babies since they were new and work with many famous clients. The repairs included a real pro membrane repair which is the big problem with these, and this one should be good for many years to come. All voices tune up without fail, all buttons and sliders work great. The cosmetic condition is good , expecially for it’s age. Wood ends are in good shape with only a few minor scuffs and imperfections and the exterior is free from any real obvious scratches or dents.” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“Chroma Polaris Model: 2123 polyphonic synthesizer. Made in Japan c1984. Designed by ARP and produced by Fender. This Chroma Polaris has been fully tested and is in all-around excellent working condition. All 6 CEM voices, led’s, keys, inputs/outputs, midi, pitch/mod levers, etc. are working just as they should. All sliders (transmit midi CC!) are liquid smooth and all membrane buttons (it has just had a proper and stable membrane panel repair). The synthesizer is also in excellent/clean cosmetic condition with some minor wear to the wood ends, and one chipped “A” key to mention. The Chroma Polaris is an extremely powerful and beautiful sounding synthesizer! AC line included.” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“The power supply on this one doesn’t work; it stopped powering up a few years back so there is no way to check it out. The front panel was replaced due to cracked membrane switches (a common problem) in the 90’s and it is still in good condition today. The semi-weighted keyboard is even and feels good. The wooden ends are damaged from normal wear and tear. This is being sold as-is for parts and returns are not accepted.” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“This keyboard is not fully functional. It turns on and many of the switches work. The lights all come one for a second while it turns on but the switches on the left side don’t seem to do anything. The Envelop Decay slider is missing. Unfortunatley I don’t have a speaker / amp to check to see if any sound comes out or if the the keys work. It was in one of those old cases where the padding inside starts wearing out and coming off so I’m not sure if that is causing any problems. I cleaned it up as best I could.” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“If you are looking at this, you know more than I can possible write about it. This is used but in like new condition. I’ve played it. All the keys work. All the sounds work. And they are rich, unique sounds. But I don’t have the knowledge or time to figure out if everything is working. When I adjust the sounds they do adjust. When I tried to test the midi, I couldn’t get it working but I don’t know if it is my limited ability or perhaps there are some functions or buttons that need a little service. But you can play and perform live with it right now because all the keys, sounds, and toogle adjusters are working fine. There are two missing wedge handles you can see in the photo. But all the rest are there, including the two on the far left below regular buttons. I believe I’m the second owner. It was passed to our family by a pro who used it for many many years, with a lots of success. He finally upgraded to something state of the art. I play at church and had hoped to incorporate this into our music, but it doesn’t fit in, and I have only limited time to learn it. So I’m hoping somebody who really appreciates this vintage synthesizer sees it and buys it. If you’ve always wanted one, this is your chance to get a pretty good one. Cosmetics are excellent. And as I mentioned above all functions appear to be working but I don’t guarantee that because it will do lots of things I don’t have the knowledge to test. I’ve seen lots of them that are beat up and good for parts. This is not that. This is a player. It looks great. And the sounds are very cool, rich, deep, wild, unique. I have another keyboard that I play at church and the sounds in it are chincy compared to these synthesizer sounds. And I’ll pack it really well, by surronding it in bubble wrap so it just floats in the box. I have the power chord but that’s it. No pedals no manuals, although lots of manuals and documents are available for free on line.” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“You are bidding on my CHROMA POLARIS SYNTHESIZER which has been lovinging cared for in my SMOKE FREE studio and recently had a complete tech over by Toronto Synth Guru JOHN FLETCHER. Rest assured she is a beauty and in superb condition physically and sonically.
minor paint chips on wood sides (see Photo’s)” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“powers on. lights up. no sound. no response to buttons. sold as not working or for parts. ribbon cables appear to be in tact. I am not an expert, nor did i attempt to repair this.” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
“Fender Rhodes Chroma Polaris for sale. Item is in not working condition, it has the common ribbon problem, don´t know if there is any other issue. The ribbon is the one that goes from the left to the right control board. It does start up but it doesn´t sound. I never had the time nor the patience to fix it, so i´m selling it “as is”, for parts or to someone who wants to fix it. Cosmetically it is in very good shape. All the Cems are in its place and in working order.” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.
” For those of you who don’t know, this is one of the great analogs to own once it’s been worked over by a professional. They have a problem with ribbon cables breaking and taking out the panel switches. But once those have been properly set up so that they won’t break again (until ozone disintegrates them which hopefully will be a long long time…) they are very reliable. I’ve been using mine for years with no problem, as have many I’ve repaired them for. (Side note for GERMAN BUYERS…unfortunately I sent one that was very nice over there and some brilliant person rearranged my packing job in customs apparently. Left the machine banging around. I pack these in a box with tight ‘ear muff’ pieces on both ends so that unless someone tears it apart there is no way for damage to happen. But they did this to two synths in a row (an ensoniq sq80 on the other one) and given that I’ve sent a lot of machines around the world with 100% success, I’ve had to say no more Germany. I mean if you want to have me send it and pack it some other way I’ll do it but it’s 100% your responsibility. I don’t even want to hear about it because it just wastes my time filing for a claim that never gets honored. )
Anyway We’re talking about 6 of the dual VCO CEM3374 chips and 6 CEM3372 VCF chips controlled by a 186 CPU here. Fantastic possibilities for an analog. A great preset ring mod, sync and wide modulation possiblities. Glide pedal is demonstrated in my video on the sounddoctorin youtube site. These are performance MONSTERS. You can bend either the whole keyboard or just the one you are soloing on. When you hit the glide pedal it stacks the remaining voices that aren’t being held into a mono lead. Really sweet.
Also you can have 8 different sounds assigned in MIDI. Of course you can only be playing 6 of them at a time :-). But it’s a nice feature for 1985. Both the old chroma port and midi. The functions are summarized on various sites. Great for a wide variety of sounds but especially works for the pink floyd type stuff, and keyboard sounds are excellent. Nice dynamics.
They only made a few thousand of these I believe. This is serial 301529. It was cosmetically a bit rough and I did an extensive quality paint job on it. Nice to have a body shop next door for supplies. I got all the key contacts cleaned up and working great. I’ll test it before it leaves to make sure it’s still 100%. I’ve let it set around a few months which is always a good idea on these. NEW BATTERIES ALSO. I replaced the assignable’s slider and it’s actually better than original in my opinion because it has a center detent. Many of the settings are bi-polar so that tells you when you’re halfway. Someone else came up with the custom bender knobs and I actually like them for function. If you want matching knobs though just request and I’ll install them. These are new eagle knobs that are near enough the originals.
As noted above I pack to simulate factory job. Nothing touches the sliders so that they don’t get pulled sideways when someone end drops it. And I put lots of end padding so that wood doesn’t get broken. These are kinda heavy but worth every pound of it :-). Some machines feel like a burden but something about carrying that sonic power makes you forget about it. lol! Oh also the output jacks have the plastic nuts. ” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.