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ChromaTalk Archives: January 2006

Two JLCooper Chromaface MIDI interfaces for sale

Peter Carss

I have two JLCooper Chromaface MIDI interfaces available for sale, serial #s A1000535 and A1003450.

They are complete with power supplies and ribbon cable connectors, and although I have no means to test them, I have no reason to believe that they are not functional.

I have no idea what a fair value is for these is, so let's say that the best offers by the end of January will get them. Winner pays shipping and insurance, as usual. If they are defective, I will refund the cost, less shipping.

Any questions, please e-mail me.

New Patches

Chris Ryan [21030691]

New on the site this month: original patches contributed by cool_blue productions (Jim and Vincent Russo); and Walt Whitney. See Patch Downloads.

Happy 2006 everyone.

Claes von Heijne [16330008]

thanks, and the same to you!

Vincent Russo [21030433]

Hope you all enjoy them.

David Clarke [21030085++]

Folks - if you have a chance, I'd suggest taking a few minutes and at least trying out the cool blue patches. (IMHO they're certainly worth the effort to download and try out.)

Jim/Vince - thanks for the effort and willingness to share.

Best of 2006 to all.

Thorsten Pörschke [21030734]

Yeah - the cool blue patches are really cool

Thanx to Jim/Vince

Rob Vandivier [21030396]

Can someone suggest a primer for setting Chroma patch downloads; such as, what sort of patch librarian to use and how to get it from the computer into the Chroma (midi, cassette etc).

Also would it be possible to download the actual parameter values as a chart to load them manually? I haven't had much luck as yet.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Can someone suggest a primer for setting Chroma patch downloads; such as, what sort of patch librarian to use and how to get it from the computer into the Chroma (midi, cassette etc).

See the Patches section for information on patch librarians for various platforms.

For the Syntech/Chroma Cult MIDI retrofit, see "Loading and Saving Sounds Via MIDI" in the manual.

For the cassette interface, see "Cassette Interface" in the Performance Manual.

There was also a thread last month regarding the use of the cassette interface with a computer: Rhodes Chroma cassette interface.

Also would it be possible to download the actual parameter values as a chart to load them manually? I haven't had much luck as yet.

See the Parameter Chart. Patches can be converted to textual parameter listings using the patch conversion tools.

Vincent Russo [21030433]

Hi Rob,

We use the Snoize librarian on our little Mac OS X laptop to save and load sysex patch banks for all our synths that can.

We use a Emagic MT-4 midi interface (currently being blown out at Guitar Centers for $29). Works like charm.

Hope that helps.

Vincent Russo [21030433]

PS: Should have added we use the Syntech Chroma MIDI Interface as well.

psu replacement

Michael Salmon [21030155]

hi folks

has anyone tried replacing the psu with a regular computer psu? they are pretty good (or at least can be), but what I don't understand completely is the +5v regulator, why is that needed? And also the tapper circuit?

I'm looking for the simplest solution to replacing my psu, hoping to avoid soldering a board if possible.

BTW, when my machine powers up, the leds blink randomly then seem to shut off. no sound emits from the system, maybe a faint crackle. At this point I'm assumign it's not safe to turn it back on.

Fwd: Selling my vintage synth collection...

Chris Ryan [21030691]

From Analogue Heaven. I have e-mailed Luigi to ask him whether this is Chroma 21030547 or 21030825, or if he has already sold or is keeping one of them.


Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 16:51:01 -0800 (PST)
From: Luigi Castelli
Subject: Selling my vintage synth collection...

I am selling my collection of vintage synthesizers:

  • Sequential Circuits Prophet-5
  • Musonics Minimoog
  • Sequential Circuits Prophet-10
  • Oberheim 4-Voice
  • Octave Electronics Cat SRM
  • Oberheim OB-8 w/MIDI
  • Moog Minimoog
  • Rhodes Chroma [gallery]

All units are in MINT/Museum-Quality condition. Please follow this link for pictures and further info.

[gallery of all synths for sale]

Only serious inquiries please. Thank you.

- Luigi

The gallery URL in the e-mail prevented mailing list members with AOL accounts from receiving the message.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

I have e-mailed Luigi to ask him whether this is Chroma 21030547 or 21030825, or if he has already sold or is keeping one of them.

Luigi is selling Chroma 21030547. See the registry entry for more photos.

Fwd: Seeking replacement chroma keys

Chris Ryan [21030691]

From Analogue Heaven:

Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 19:55:00 -0800
From: "Lorne Hammond"
Subject: Seeking replacement chroma keys

A local musician has asked me if I can find a source for these weighted keys. I've emailed musictek

Any other leads? Thanks Lorne exhausted

John Leimseider [21030434++]

I have a Chroma keyboard here for spare parts, but it has the ivory colored keys, not the white ones. The ARP ones were ivory, except for the highest key, which is white... When you change keys on a Chroma, it may be necessary to make adjustments to get them to work smoothly...

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

What happened to that Canadian corpse from which was sold a lot of spare parts? Wasn't there keys too?

molex connectors?

Christian Kleine [21030210]

Hi List,

Does anyone know where to buy MOLEX standard .093 " HOUSING (6 contacts in 2 Rows) serial 03-09-2061 or 03-09-2062 for a power supply switch project? Prefereably Europe.

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

I know a friend who modularized his Oberheim SEM which also uses Molex-connectors. He had a hard time locating the right ones and ended up ordering from the swedish distributor. Ask nearest electronic supplier for the address or number to the german distributor if they cannot order them for you...

Hope this helps!

Jimmy Moyer [21030184]

I got my Molex connectors from Mouser. (Fast, cheap shipping, no min order. Lots of data sheets online.) Though not in Europe, I don't think international shipping would be a problem. For power supply connection to the Chroma:

  • (3) 6 Circuit Plugs, Molex .093" Pin and Socket Series Mouser #538-03-09-2062
  • 3 Circuit Plug, Molex .093" Pin and Socket Series Mouser #538-03-09-2032

The pins for these are Crimp Pin Bulk 14-20 gage Molex .093" Pin and Socket Series Mouser #538-02-09-2103

Jeffrey D. McEachin [21030073+]

Awesome. I was just telling a buddy yesterday that I would lend him my spare Chroma w/ the broken psu if he'd do the nuclear power upgrade, but that I needed to dig up the connector part numbers first.

David Clarke [21030085++]

Digikey ( is another source. (You can search directly using the Molex part numbers).

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

I've ordered from Mouser too, cheap and correct and just three days to Sweden last November...

Jerry Leonard [21030100++]

I acquired some used MAP 80-4000 Power supplies and have a couple extra that I'll sell for the power upgrade if you're interested. Price is $50 each. Price includes shipping cost within contiguous USA. I tested them for all voltages and they work fine.

Tom Klepacki [21030025]


Is this the 'whiz-bang', replacement power supply that won't overheat and self-destruct? Will it work/ dropright into, my 'first-production' run Chroma, that still has its 1982 power supply in it, that I KNOW is bad???

If so, please sign me up for one. Please contact me, via email, in Florida....

CC+ update?

Ben Vehorn [21030757]

Any update on when the CC+ will be available, or projected price? Thanks.

Go to next message in thread, February 2006

My Chroma is acting weird

Ben Vehorn [21030757]

Well, last night I was playing my Chroma and it crashed and apparently lost all its patches. All the patches have been reset to some weird random setting, but I can edit and save them. I'm trying to find out why it's crashing and how to load some of the patches from the site back in.

A bit of background---

--- I've had this Chroma for a few years. It died about a month after I got it. The power supply is fine, but something happened and the front panel stopped responding or, more accruately, was responding randomly. Any sounds coming out were like a circuit bent digital synth. Using the service manual, I made an educated guess that the I/O board took a dive then shelved the project for awhile. I bought a spare populated front panel from a friend about a year ago, replaced the I/O board in my Chroma and it's been working mostly fine since then. I say "mostly" because sometimes I'll be using it and it will randomly reboot, go through the autotune mode, then be fine. A sign of another deeper problem for sure, but it's been sporadic enough to only be a minor nuisance, so I haven't worried too much. --- I have a Chromacult midi box for it. Until now, I've only used it for basic sending/receiving midi in the default mode. And for ruling out variables, my midi interface and Snoize Sysex program have worked flawlessly for me with all my other synths. I'm reading the manual right now and it says to press 48 (I have the older Eprom) to initiate receive mode for sysex. When I do this, it either stays on the current program, or switches to patch 48. Either way, I've tried sending the .syx file and nothing has happened on the Chroma end.

So, my questions for you Chroma gurus are:

  1. What should the Chroma display show when it's ready to receive sysex? How will I know if it's working properly?
  2. Any ideas as to the general nature of why it's crashing and rebooting in the first place? Aside from the sporadic crashes, everything else has been working properly for the last year. Is it possible that the I/O board I put in is somehow a different revision?


Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

This is just my two cents... and the experience comes from my OSCar...

The OSCar has two cards inside, often referred to as the analogue and the digital. On the digital board is all the memory stuff and midi tech happening. On the analogue you tweak the sounds. Problem is that the battery for the digital is on the analogue board which is very annoying 'cause the contacts between the two boards aren't of the best type (known OSCar problem, it's cheap hardware that's causing all the problems).

My guess is that your battery is sad, or maybe starting to get sad - have you checked it? If not, it might be a glitsch and it looses memory because of that.

The return to auto tune might also be something similar like that 'cause with a bad connection between boards it could interpret the voltage flow as the voices being out of tune.

This is just a guess and I'm no pro Chroma fixer, but I'd check all connections and the battery to start with. I hope you get it fixed!

Two Chromas on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

1. Item 7383389191, serial #21030749

No bids yet, starting bid US$2100 ("buy it now" price of US$3200), ends February 5.

Excerpt from the description: "The condition of this Chroma is outstanding. I bought it originally from a friend in Los Angeles, and I always kept it in my smoke-free home studio under a towel to protect it from dirt and dust. This Chroma is perfectly working, 100% functional and cosmetically pristine. You can look at the pictures to see I am not just making it up. No modifications have ever been performed on it. The unit is 100% original. The wood has been restored by an experienced woodworker here in Los Angeles and he did a great job. It looks and feels like new now. The only small addition to this Chroma are the four black washers under the four front panel screws. I put those there to prevent the plastic from being damaged by the screws pressing against it. They can be easily removed if wanted."

2. Item 7385638580, serial #21030450

No bids yet, starting bid US$1500 ("buy it now" price of US$2800), ends February 2.

Excerpt from the description: "This particular Chroma has just been completely serviced at a great amount of time and expense. It was worked on by David Hillel Wilson of the New England Synthesizer Museum and brought back up to spec and works as you would expect. There is one small issue and it went unnoticed at first. The 2nd modulation lever doesn't work as it should. Other than that it works and sounds as it should. It also has a rare and sought after modification that doubles the available patches, which includes a switch on the right of the keyboard. David informs me that the 2nd bank never really worked exactly as expected because of the nature of the upgrade. The refinishing of the wood was just completed by a company who restores Steinway grand pianos. We chose a black cherry stain. It really makes the wood look rich. FYI, the unit is missing the 2 slider caps that go on top of the mod levers."

This item wasn't sold and was re-listed twice in February.