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Frequently Asked Questions

This page isn't a detailed taxonomic FAQ as you might find on many topics around the Web or net; it is an attempt to address questions that are actually frequently asked — of me, or the mailing list (whose archives are also an excellent source of information).

How many Chromas were manufactured?

Despite Philip Dodds's claim that there were 3000 Chromas made, there has been some speculation that the number may have been significantly lower. See the Index of Known Instruments. See also the following ChromaTalk threads:

What is a Chroma currently worth?

See the Price History for a listing of known transactions.

Who plays (or played) the Chroma?

The instrument shows up on a number of recordings. I have Herbie Hancock and Weather Report/Zawinul records on which it features prominently enough to be recognized. There are a number of other well-known players, including Lyle Mays and Oscar Peterson. The A-Z of Analogue Synthesizers review lists a number of players. This site now includes a fledgling Discography.

What is the difference between models 2101 and 2103?

They seem to have been manufactured for the European (2101) and North American (2103) markets. David Clarke [21030085++] outlined the differences in his July 1999 ChromaTalk posts All sorts of Values and Other 2101/2103 difference. We have no similar data to date on models 2102 or 2104, which are significantly less common.

Where do I find the instrument serial number?

See David Clarke's [21030085++] explanation in the October 2003 ChromaTalk thread First Chroma Serial/Model Number Overlap?. See also the third to last of the pictures for #21030638.

What does 'Err 012' (or the like) mean?

This is not an error number; it is a list of the boards that have failed the initialization/auto-tune process. So 'Err 012' means that boards 0, 1, and 2 are out. See Diagnostics: Error Messages in the Performance Manual.

Sometimes notes don't sound. What do I do?

Try cleaning the key contacts.

How often should I change the internal backup batteries?

See Roy Paynter's recommendations and instructions in Paul Hackett-Evans' [21010094] post "Re: Battery replacement interval" in the October 2005 ChromaTalk archive.

What are the toggle switches on the right cheek block of some Chromas?

This is a memory expander mod offered by Ken Yparrila (Chroma Cult) in the 1980s: see the Chroma Cult 1986.10.02 Mailing (this page also includes a picture of the modification internal to the Chroma). For external pictures, see A mod Chroma on, ChromaTalk September 2003; and Chroma with Memory Expander on, September 2004.

Where can I get information about the Chroma Polaris?

See the Polaris section.

Where can I get information about the Rhodes piano?

See the Rhodes Super Site.