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There have been a number of instrument reviews published in print, from 1982 through to quite recently (2003); and a few on the Web.

The first review of the Chroma was published in Keyboard magazine in August 1982 (about the time of the instrument's commercial release). Dominic Milano concluded that the synthesizer "gives you a great deal of synthesizer power for your money" in his review. A couple of months later, a review appeared in the British magazine Electronics & Music Maker. Mike Beecher wrote, "if you want to have full creativity and dynamic performance control, my advice must be to check out the Chroma as soon as you can". Vince Hill reviewed the instrument for the November 1982 issue of Music UK; and International Musician published Paul Fishman's quirky review the following January. A review from Australia came the next year: George Faithfull's The Creative Touch appeared in the magazine Sonics in June 1983.

More than a decade passed before Sound On Sound published a review/retrospective of the Chroma in 1995; Colossus of Rhodes: Rhodes Chroma Analogue Polysynth is available at Since then, a couple of synthesizer "encyclopedias" have reviewed the Chroma. Julian Colbeck's Keyfax, first published in 1986 but updated in an "Omnibus" edition in 1996, includes a brief review. And Peter Forrest's incredible A-Z of Analogue, first published in '96, was updated in 2003 and now includes a comprehensive article that includes a number of references to this site. Finally, in 2008 Synthesizer Magazin published a review of the Chroma which is available here in English and the original German.

Computer Interface/Sequencer

The Chroma was the first keyboard set up for use with an external personal computer. Bob Moog's The Apple II/Rhodes Chroma Interface, from Keyboard, details the pre-MIDI computer interface. Playing the Rhodes Chroma with the Apple II Sequencer, from the 1980s UK magazine Electronics & Music Maker, is a good overview of the Fender Music System.

Web Reviews

A few reviews of interest around the Web:

A review (in German) which has a number of pictures of what appears to be Chroma 21010100. There are some sound files available. Concludes that 'The Rhodes Chroma ranks among the most remarkable polyphonic synthesizers in history.' Read the complete review.

Synth Site

A review by Adam Tidswell [21010004]. "When you start to delve into the oddball program interface a blistering synth starts to emerge, one of the string pads I coaxed out of it knocked me senseless ... I have to say that there ain't a 2-osc poly I've heard with the bandwidth and grunt of this (apart from the CS80 ... which seems to lack the Chroma's clarity). This is undoubtedly a very powerful system that obviously gave Oberheim ideas for the Xpander/Matrix 12." Read the complete review.

Vintage Synth Explorer

A brief review by Michael Salmon [21030155] claims that "Rhodes used ARP's proprietary Digital Access Control which was used in some ARP instruments for inter-connecting them. MIDI retrofits can be purchased these days which convert MIDI to ARP's DAC system." Read the complete review. I'd always assumed that the Chroma's computer interface had been invented for the instrument. See the August 2004 ChromaTalk discussion ARP Digital Access Control.

The Synth Museum

An excerpt from Mark Vail's Vintage Synthesizers (see the Bibliography), which is similar to The Synth That Survived ARP's Fall from Keyboard.


Brief thoughts on the Chroma by Dan Barrett and Dennis Pelton.


There are Chroma articles on the English site (ARP Chroma) and Italian site (ARP Chroma o Rhodes Chroma, by Luca Sasdelli [21010226]). The latter is much more extensive and complete [July 2005].