Many here know that the Rhodes Chroma was my favorite synth. Someday I will replace the one I lost in a fire years ago. I purchased that keyboard without ever seeing or hearing one played. There was no internet at the time and no one I knew had ever seen one. Furthermore, no one in Kentucky had a Rhodes Chroma on display. Nashville was my best bet to see one and that city is 4 hours away.

So why did I buy a Rhodes Chroma without trying one first? Trust in a review in Keyboard Magazine. In truth, after listing all of the features of that keyboard there was not a lot of space left in the review for opinion. The review was basically “here is what it does, it works well and sounds great”. I was heavy into synthesis at the time so once I read the features I had to have that keyboard. I found a small advertisement in the back of the Keyboard Magazine for a large music store in New York City. I called them up and they had a Chroma. The next day I arranged a bank transfer. Back then you did not use credit cards for orders. About two weeks later it arrived on a truck and I was in heaven.

I still have that issue and someday I will have another Rhodes Chroma.

By the way, does anyone know who did the patch programming on the Chroma? It had the best stock patches ever on a keyboard and I have had real difficulty recreating some of them on anything else.


All questions Chroma are best directed to the fantastic Chroma website, where there is a forum that includes some very sharp people well versed in its history.

The Rhodes Chroma Site
The Chroma article seems to have been cobbled together from previous things Mark's done...a important vintage piece, but no new or insightful info...
I bought my Chroma about one year after it first come out. I played one in my favorite music store and was mesmerized by its sound. I had not planned to spend a fortune on a synth, but I guess that was my first serious GAS attack! \:\) I bought it right away.
A while later, I also bought an Apple IIe and the Chroma computer interface. No mouse, no graphics... but there was nothing like it back then. Of course, they were going to come up with MIDI... :rolleyes:

I sold it a few years ago, after twenty years of honoured service... I had bad dreams about it for more than an year. Really.

Nowadays, I have big hopes for that TimewARP 2600 (when it's available for PCs). It could fulfil the original promise of a polyphonic, programmable ARP 2600.
I sold my two Chromas and every once in a while I regret it. It had it's uses but also spent some time in the shop. I got one after I worked with Jeff Bova who is a Chroma nut. Someday I'll pick up another one.
Someone has a Chroma on Ebay. It has a MIDI interface and all manuals. Looks nice, but bidding is already up to $2000. That's too much for me.

Rob, Primitive in Burbank (1165 W. Magnolia, before you hit the bridge that goes over the 5 to Ikea and stuff) had one in good shape last time I was in. I think they quoted me, like, $1200 for it. Only problem was it didn't have many usable patches. It did include the MIDI interface, though.
I think I know where one is for about $1000. Clean and working, I hear. Won't sell mine - I sold almost ALL of my polysynths, but the Chroma stays!
If there's enough potential buyers I'm sure LG Electronics will come with a remake pretty soon...
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