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ChromaTalk Archives: December 2006

Chroma Wiki

Go to originating message in previous thread (DIY solution for a potentiometer interface for the chroma), November 2006

Michael Salmon [21030155]

I setup soks, which was nice. my requirement for the wiki was easy to setup (lazy), built on ruby (nerd), filesystem storage (lazy, and makes migration easier). but i dont know how well it performs... then again there aren't that many (enough) of us. not sure what you mean about web standards though?

Chris Ryan [21030691]

not sure what you mean about web standards though?

I mean something that's built with XHTML and CSS, separating content from presentation and validating at least as XHTML 1.0 Transitional. See for instance the Web Standards Project, A List Apart, Eric Meyer, Wikipedia.


Richard Willoughby [21030348]

Hi everyone,

I recently purchased Chroma #21030348 off of Ebay a couple weeks ago from a seller in Houston, Texas. I have wanted one since first hearing some demos on Bluessynth I while back, and was completely blown away hearing this synth. I was hesitant though, because of hearing of many of the problems it can have, but took a chance with a "Buy it Now" as it was listed as working with no detectable problems and as including extra Voice boards, the Chromaface, a few sets of Eproms, cassette tapes, and a box of manuals. Unfortunately, upon initial powerup it blew a fuse, and subsequently blew a few more. I put a slo-blow fuse in and it stays on longer before the fuse blows now, but all I/m getting is a hum. Upon switching it on, the LEDS briefly flash then go dead...nothing comes up on the parameter sounds either. Also, the unit did not arrive with the Chromaface and the seller basically blew me off. But for the good news....I'm driving up to Minnesota next week if weather permits to drop it off at Good Guys Audio Repair in St. Paul. One of the techs told me that they just recently service a Chroma last month. So, I guess the CPU+ with Midi retrofit is on hold until I get this up and running. I'm guessing from reading all the great info on the site (thanks everybody!) that the power supply replacement is where to start, so that's first on the list. Hopefully all the Voice boards are ok, as well as the extra ones. The 2 extra voice boards I think are from the later production period, as I notice that they have blue jumper cables(??) on them rather than the white, which is what my Chromas onboard boards are sporting. Also included were some old floppy disks for the computer interface/sequencer and a couple circuit boards, one of which looks like a soundcard...the other I have no clue. I'm determined to get a working Chroma eventually (and dreams of Cpu+ and a Knobbox), even if it means selling off my beloved PolyEvolver to pay for repairs. May God and Dave Smith forgive me for what I have said :)

Michael Salmon [21030155]

my best guess is the power supply is screwed up. maybe the big capacitor on the psu needs replacing.. before you do the cpu+ replacement, replace the psu.

Richard Willoughby [21030155]

Olli [21010284] wrote:

hey, thanks! i am happy you liked the sounds!

yeah, I love those demos. Sounds like a soundtrack to Miltons "Paradise Lost" or something. I'm looking forward to future bout Dantes "Inferno"?? :)

CC+ Firmware Updates - Available On-line

David Clarke [21030085++]

One of the big benefits of the CC+ project is that we have control of the firmware source - and so we can recompile it to continue to make updates and changes.

A couple such changes have recently been made.

The initial CC+ boards offered the ability to control all of the Chroma parameters via MIDI Continuous Controllers (CC).

That implementation took the MIDI CC data and modified the Chroma 'instruments' to allow on-the-fly changing of parameters. This is exactly the sort of thing you are going to want to do if you're changing the parameters in a sequence. You hear the result of the change - and your original Program is preserved so you can always go back to the way the patch originally sounded.

A couple users commented that this was good - but sometimes you may actually want to change the original patch (e.g., to have a remote patch editing capability).

To address that case, a new feature has recently been added to the Chroma CC+ firmware to allow the user to chose whether MIDI CC data should affect the 'instruments' or 'Program 0' in the Chroma.

We've also recently added the ability to edit all of the parameters on the Chroma via SYSEX (for those customers who preferred to avoid continuous controllers) as well as to support the ability to have the Chroma re-tune itself remotely.

Details of these updates can now be found on-line: see The Chroma CPU Plus (CC+): Firmware.

From time-to-time, as features are added/corrections made, new firmware versions will be created and will also be made available on-line.

(A special 'thank you' goes out to list member Åke Danielson [21010068] who provided valuable feedback on both the Rev 209 and Rev 210 firmware implementations).

Best regards,

David (and Sandro)

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Thanks for this valuable update. I hope that my CC+ arrives in time for a few weeks off from work during christmas...

Some other non diy solution for a fader box...

See earlier thread DIY solution for a potentiometer interface for the chroma (or other synths), November 2006.

Daniel Benoit [21030109]


Just found this as I was looking for a "virtual midi controller software" solution: 10CONTROL.

It looks like a "prebuilt" martin pavlas's design

next question is how much...

Olli [21010284]

actually, it looks as it were adaptable to control the chroma if the cc+ sends the necessary infos about the parameter values... it uses endless encoders if the synth/software sends the actual parameter values... maybe thats the way to go instead of reinventing the wheel...

Daniel Benoit [21030109]

Just foudn the price... about 442 Euros this is a bit pricy...

Will still continue to look for creating a "virtual software" version of a chroma knob controller. (hardware is fun, but is expensive AND/OR long to build)

Olli [21010284]

i am sure if we can order 10-20 pieces at once from them, we could get them at the dealers price

Cubase Edit Panel

Åke Danielson [21010068]

Maybe the following is interesting for some people. I've made an Edit Panel for Cubase SX3 (and 4, I guess). Everyone who has the CC+ with the latest update (210) can edit the Chroma directly from Cubase. Use it to change the parameters dynamically during songs or as an editor to build sounds from scratch.

See Windows Editors & Librarians: Cubase. Åke has confirmed that it also works on the Mac.

Olli [21010284]

very cool

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Hi Olli, Hope your well mate, i was just wondering, was there a link to download this software (below) i missed the original email...

Chris Ryan [21030691]

I've posted it on the Windows Editors & Librarians page.

Good Guys Audio - St. Paul

Tim Siefkes [21030850]


Where are you from? I also have had my Chroma (and my CS-80) serviced at Good Guys with good results. They aren't always real speedy though. I've had to wait and wait and be a little persistent at times, but the end result has been good. I need to take mine in there too right now to have a look. She's not acting right...

Enrico Dibennardo [21030494]

I need to take mine in there too right now to have a look. She's not acting right

She? who, the Chroma? Now I understand why I had so many troubles with mine. :-)

Richard Willoughby [21030348]

Hi Tim,

I live in Kenosha, Wisconsin, about a 5 and 1/2 hour drive to Good Guys Audio. Actually I just got back a few minutes ago. 2 tanks of gas is alot cheaper than shipping it! I was told that it'll be about 6 weeks most likely before its done. They mentioned someone who owns two Chromas which they have serviced....also something about them making they're own Expander by sawing off the keyboard and doing some reconstruction work. They said they see about 1 Chroma a year come in, mostly with the same problem. Something about a power supply filter I think.

Matrix [21030220]

Which Good Guys Audio are you referring to? Is there a website?

Tim Siefkes [21030850]

I don't think they've bothered with anything like a website. They're a bit of a hole-in-the-wall small shop, but they do have a qualified Chroma guy on staff and although I didn't spot it the last time I was in there (August 2005), they even used to have his official Chroma Certified training certificate displayed on the wall. It gave one confidence!

Matrix [21030220]

Thanks! For a sec I thought you meant this US chain of electronic stores that I believe when out of business called The Good Guys. Note, The in the name of the store. It was a huge electronics store that caried things like TVs, radios, CDs and so on. My first thought was what the...? : )

Chris Ryan [21030691]

... although I didn't spot it the last time I was in there (August 2005), they even used to have his official Chroma Certified training certificate displayed on the wall.

It would be very cool to have a scan of one of these certificates for the site!

Dave Blees [21030552]

Tim - Say "hi" to Mark & Quint for me when you stop in to get that done, okay?

New feature requests for CC+

Go to previous posts, November 2006

Jimmy Moyer [21030184]

Just installed my CC+ this week and am really enjoying it. Excellent work gentlemen!

Here's a small enhancement request. I'd love to have access to the front panel tune value. As I recall, this was a known address. My really ancient CP/M based programmer displayed this for easy zeroing. I didn't notice this on the list of MIDI accessible parameters. In addition, for cases when no programmer is present, a Set-Split command the sets tune to 0, regardless of the slider position, would be nice. Moving the slider could restore normal function.


Since I've got a switching power supply in my Chroma, I think a good use of the spare code and board space on the CC+ could be to provide a more authentic vintage Chroma experience.

Given a little sample RAM, a D/A, a tiny amp and a speaker strung back to the corner of the Chroma, the sound of the buzzy transformer could be realistically simulated. To best effect, it would need to be modulated based on certain functions, such as tuning.

Simulating the slightly burnt smell may be harder to do electronically.


Chris Ryan [21030691]

Just installed my CC+ this week and am really enjoying it.

I added the CC+ information (CPU Plus serial number and installation date) to my registry entry [21030691] as it's a significant bit of information about the instrument. Anyone who would like to do the same, let me know.

Olli [21010284]

can i safely presume that production has started again, sandro? best wishes.

David Clarke [21030085++]

Here's a small enhancement request. I'd love to have access to the front panel tune value. ...

Jimmy, just to confirm - you're interested in seeing the value of the main Tune slider (the left-most slider on the panel) - i.e., the value which the ADC inside the Chroma sees - correct?

If so, then you're correct in that it is not currently exported via a MIDI accessible parameter.

These values are visible inside the Chroma, so they would be accessible to do something with if folks would like that.

Åke Danielson [21010068]

Here's a small enhancement request. I'd love to have access to the front panel tune value. ...

Good idea! I am all for it. I used to have it in an editor I wrote for the Apple II a long time ago. Great if your Chroma is not so accessible. The Tune Request we already have but the actual tuning is very handy to have.

Jimmy Moyer [21030184]

Jimmy, just to confirm - you're interested in seeing the value of the main Tune slider (the left-most slider on the panel) - i.e., the value which the ADC inside the Chroma sees - correct?

Not the value the ADC sees, per se, though that would suffice as it seems the one must be derived from the other. I'm certain, what I used to access is described on page C-1 of the Chroma Interface Manual.

"Master Tune - This two-byte number contains the master tune setting for the instrument. Whenever the tune slider is moved this will be set to an even number between -256 and +246, which represents a range from -1 to almost +1 semitones. As long as the master tune slider is not moved, this location can be played with through the interface."

Thinking about the tune slider, I can't recall a need to ever have it at other than 0. Perhaps you could implement a mode that uses it as an alternate parameter slider or a mod source?

A couple of other tiny CC+ enhancemnts I'd suggest. MIDI in activity on the new built-in interface flashes a display dot. I'd suggest flashing the same (or another) dot on input activity from the Chroma's interface and hence any attached MIDI converter.

By design, the tapper doesn't function while in EP edit mode. I found this slightly disconcerting at first since it is inconsistent with the Syntech Pr mode which does tap.

Herbie Hancock jams along to a Fairlight with his Rhodes Chroma

Matrix [21030220]


Herbie Hancock plays his Chroma video

and Fairlight w/ Quincy Jones

link courtesy of matrixsynth

Peter Forrest [21010096]

Wow that's a great bit of video! Thanks, Matrix.


Re: Herbie Hancock plays his Chroma video

sorry for the dual post everyone, I hadn't seen the original post by Matrix yet.

Anyone have any programming tips on how to get that vibrato that Herbie gets on the second part of the Chroma ?

FS: original german Chroma manual

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Hi List!

I went through my library today and found an original german "Programmierhandbuch" which came with my Chroma, but since I bought an english on Ebay I don't need this. I guess a collector or one listee more into german than I am might have more use for it. Decent offers offlist. Thanks!

I'll gladly trade this and the german "Interfacehandbuch" for an english version of the latter. :)

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Does anyone know if there were any other translations besides German?

Chroma flightcase

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Hello, Just wondering if someone could email me the dimensions for a Chroma flightcase, please? I was also wondering, does anyone know what a Chroma approximately weighs in a flightcase, lots of conflicting answers regarding weight last time i asked iirc!

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Hi Rob!

I think DHL charged me for 61 kilos, in case with pedals etc.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

71 lbs. (130 lbs. in case)--from Performance Manual: Specifications.

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Thanks Chris/ Jesper... Any chance one of you guys give me the dimensions of a Chroma flightcase, im shipping a Chroma back to me and need these for UPS.

Jimmy Moyer [21030184]

44x27.5x11 inches.

Rob Belcher [16330123]


Dave Bradley [16330135]

Is that external case dimensions? Seems small at a glance.

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Mine is in the storage room next to our house, but if I haven't seen a response from Chris or anyone else I'll measure it when taking my daughter to daycare in a few hours...

Dave Blees [21030552]

Mine weighs in at 123# (56kg) cased, completely stock, with no pedals.

Measurements are 44.25" x 28" x 11.75" (114 x 71 x 30cm) to the outside of the corner bumpers.

Chroma 21030274 21030264 here and gone in a heartbeat on the Bay

Note that this is actually 21030264, based on the interior photo from the auction.

Ron Joseph [21030042+]

Was there for 3 minutes at a BIN [Buy It Now price] of $499. Lord soyquin.... ,a dealer, snatched it up while I frantically tried to call friends so they could purchase it. Had some issues but is worth at least that much in parts alone.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

What I find very interesting about this instrument is that there is a serial number printed underneath the usual tag (is this usual?), and it appears to be a model 1633 (Expander) series number. Perhaps the back panel was poached at some point from an Expander.

A couple of the pictures from the auction (more at the instrument's registry entry):

David Clarke [21030085++]

I agree - it does look like a 1633 S/N, so either the PSU got swapped at the repair location - or perhaps at the factory.

I wonder if this serial number was actually printed 'underneath', or if the serial numbers were actually stamped into the S/N tags while the tags were on the Chroma. If they were stamped in place, then the serial number we see may just be the residue of the original tag/glue itself (which would be sort of neat).

Looking at the pictures, most things look good - but it does seem like it may have been in a damp environment for a while (the screws holding the damper bar, the tabs for the panel screws, the heads of the screws on the key weights, etc. are all rusted.)

Paul Hackett-Evans [21010094]

It looks as if there's rust on top of the large transformer in the power supply, too.

It's weird, after all the work I did to make my own Chroma nice, I'm used to seeing it in good condition. It's sad to see one that's obviously been neglected through poor storage like this.

Could the corrosion affect the electronics, too? I suspect it may have done.

I wonder if the top panel's there, it isn't in the photos.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Note that this is actually 21030264 (as well as 163300??), based on the interior serial number photo from the auction.

Ron Joseph [21030042+]

Oops ! My bad. :(

Footswitches on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Chroma and Polaris footswitches. Items #250063405526 and #250063402859 respectively. I think they're identical; the Chroma one says Rhodes and the Polaris one says Chroma.

Pictures from the auctions:

List back up

Chris Ryan [21030691]

The list was offline for a few days as my friend (who hosts ChromaTalk) had some computer troubles. Please try re-sending any messages that might have bounced. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Chroma FS: Spotted on Craigslist

Rob Johnson

Hey All,

Was just checking out Craigs List when I found this:

URL removed; here's the picture:

Looks like same guy is also selling a Fairlight, Prophet VS, and a bunch of other esoteric gear:

[URL removed]

He is asking a lot for all of the items he is selling... but it looks like he is actually most interested in trades. Check it out:

Tom Klepacki [21030025]

I'm beginning to love Craig's list. I found a guy here in Clearwater/ St. Pete who advertised on Craig's list that he wanted a Wurly 200a piano. Well, I cleaned mine up, and sold it to him for $600.00. No ebay hassles/ shipping/ feedback/ non-payers... He came over, touched it, smelled it, played it, liked it and paid cash. DONE! Mine was clean, so he and I both were happy with the transaction. I compared the value of the Wurly on the ebay 'completed' auctions...

Polaris BIN win

Richard Willoughby [21030348]

I just received Polaris Model 2123 s/n # 300955 from a recent Ebay auction for $400. This Polaris is a little dirty, but all the membrane buttons, sliders, and keys are in working order. It looks like it was serviced awhile back, as there is a sticker on the bottom of the synth...if I remember correctly it says "Syntronics repair services" somewhere on the East coast. Could be why the membrane buttons are still working. Overall, its an impressive little synth. I can't wait to get my Chroma back to keep it company. I'm interested in hearing how they sound side by side.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

[...] if I remember correctly it says "Syntronics repair services" somewhere on the East coast.

I had Syntronics listed on the original Chroma site in 1999. It said, "Syntronics lists the Chroma on their parts page." The site is now at, but no longer seems to have Chroma parts, although they still point to the Chroma site from their home page (I had John Koumoutseas change the URL from to just a few weeks back). Looking back through old e-mails, John wrote to me in May 1999, "I don't do much anymore. I used to have a synth repair biz, worked for ARP in the 70's."

European 2nd batch of CC+

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Hi Sandro and the rest!

How's work proceeding? I'm longing for my Chroma upgrade...

Sandro Sfregola [21010294]

European CC+ update

I'm sorry to inform all the 2nd batch European CC+ customers that the parcel I was waiting for unfortunately got lost (and several thousands euro with it [see correction in post European CC+ update, January 2007]), so I had to reorder the components that this time will be shipped (and for all subsequent shipments) by a secure, fast (and expensive) parcel service.

We chose mail in the effort to keep costs down but it is too unreliable for extra EU shipments (parcels directed to Italy); so for future batches we won't have delays of this kind.

As a consequence of the higher components cost the price of future European CC+ will be slightly augmented (the exact amount depending on the number of units per batch).

At this point I can announce that the second batch units will be surely completed and shipped to customers before the end of January.

I would take the opportunity to wish to all the list members a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Best wishes for 2007!

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Re: European CC+ update

Hi Sandro!

Thanks for the update. Sad news about the lost parcel. I hate when that happens, but hopefully it'll be solved in the end 'cause with all the good work you and David put into this project there must be a third and fourth and... run!

Keep those Chromas hot and the polar bears at distance! ;)

electronically yours, jesper - in a rediculously warm Sweden (+10 Celsius today!)

Olli [21010284]

Re: European CC+ update

hi jesper. relax at least it's cold in paris. i reassure you winter has well arrived...

Chroma arrived today / Chroma woodwork

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Hello people,

Just got my Chroma today (Serial number 21030095) from the excellent Roy Paynter! It plays and sounds great, it is in great condition apart from the wood which has some knicks and knocks, any tips for getting the wood all nice and new looking, a bit of light sanding possibly and then some sort of stain or wax etc?

Cheers and merry xmas to ya!

Bob Brenenstuhl [21030894]

I used "orange glo" (made with orange oil) on mine when I first got it, and it cleared enough of the scuffs and minor scapes up, that I decided not to even sand mine. Another product that works great is "liquid gold" which is a lemon oil based product. I used that on my Arp Axxe, and it also worked great. I guess if I had to choose one it would be the liquid gold, but only because it smells better. They pretty much work the same functionally. Anyone who hasn't done this to their Chroma yet should do it. Even if your Chroma looks fine, she can look finer, plus it will keep the wood moisturized, and looking good for alot longer. I use it every other month or so. Just apply a little to a folded paper towel, (in quarters) and rub it in untill it looks like just a little too much, then turn the paper towel around to the drier side, and rub the excess out. I know this from my day job cleaning peoples houses. This is the same thing I would do with high end furniture. Don't ever use anything like pledge, or probably anything in an aerosol can, it will cause a waxy buildup on the wood which will be hard to remove, and most probably uneven. Also never spray anything directly onto the wood, always use some sort of towel to apply the oil evenly. If the wood is actually dirty and needs a cleaning before adding the orange or lemon oil, you can use Murphey's oil soap first, but I'd mix it a little weak, and make sure the wood is completly dry before adding the oil, since the Murphey's oil soap is a concentrate mixed with water. Hope someone finds this to be useful! Merry Christmas!!!

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

"Armor All" is my household tip, works on both wood and metallic and gives it both protection and a nice finish. But the surface will get really slippery so don't get too much on the floor. *swoooosh*

Polaris on Ebay UK. Caveat Emptor

Paul Hackett-Evans [21010094]

I understand how retailing works - a retailer buys stock in at a given price, usually as low as he can get it for, then he markets, advertises, and sells the stock at a profit. Prices are governed by the existence of supply and demand, combined with the retailer's desire to turn a profit. Fair enough, you may say. But look at this example...

Ebay UK item number 220061956473, ending in 22 hours from now. Chroma Polaris, no bids as yet.

I've been watching the auction, as I want a Polaris. Although I have one lined up from another source in the UK, I'm keen to consider others if they're in nice condition. So I emailed the seller, who replied "This thing is a rock. Metal panel, plywood sides. No scratches works perfectly. I played it for 30 minutes before I set up this auction." When I asked him about the instrument's history and the use it's had, etc, he ignored the question and didn't reply to it.

I asked if I could see and test the Polaris before bidding, to be sure it's in good shape. He would only do so if I agreed a price in advance and brought the cash with me, and as my bank's ATMs have a daily withdrawal limit that was less than his asking price, he suggested that I discuss it with him at the end of the week when I'd have time to have the cash in hand by withdrawing it over a bank counter.

As always before buying on Ebay, I checked out his feedback. He has a 100% rating, so I looked at the items he's sold previously. Several classic synthesizers, many at rather inflated prices, but the buyers seem to have been satisfied.

Then I looked at his items he's bought on Ebay. A number of UK-to-US voltage converters to allow US gear to run on UK mains supplies. And, surprise! Several classic synthesizers, all bought at low prices. Some of them looked very much like the ones he sold at high prices a few days later...

Oh! What's this? Ebay item number 190056256246 A Chroma Polaris! A very familiar one! In fact, the text of the ad he bought it from is identical to the text of his Polaris for sale ad. Copied and pasted. The photos are the same. Copied and pasted. The synth is the same one. Bought in the USA on December 1st, and offered for sale in the UK on December 15th. Yet he didn't say it's a US Voltage model. Strange, that. I wonder if he sells UK-toUS voltage converters? Yup! How convenient!

Then I looked at the "Questions for seller" in the US ad from which he'd bought this Polaris. Someone asked the original seller about the condition it was in, and the US seller's reply said "This thing is a rock. Metal panel, plywood sides. No scratches works perfectly. I played it for 30 minutes before I set up this auction."

So our UK seller copied and pasted the replies to questions as if he was originating them, too.

Here's the punch-line. This Polaris was bought in an Ebay US auction for USD $330, the equivalent of GBP £167. It's being offered for sale two weeks later for GBP £500 as a starting price, the equivalent of USD $981

I've looked into the cost of shipping a Polaris from the US to the UK when I've considered buying from abroad. It costs around GBP £60. Even taking this into account, our seller is trying to sell this Polaris at around three times the price he paid for it. Evidently without much effort from himself, as he just copies and pastes info about it when asked.

Now, that's what I call profiteering.

Would YOU consider buying an instrument from this seller under these circumstances?


Neither would I.

Caveat Emptor indeed.

Ron Joseph [21030042+]

Wouldn't be Lord soy...something or other,would it? If not he's another one that buys from the US and relists in Eengland as soon as he's recieved the item,normally severely inflated in price.No repair work etc.

He just bought a BIN Chroma $499.Almost that much to ship it to Europe so I expect to see that Chroma for sale in a few weeks for approx. $1500 US.

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Cross-posted to Analogue Heaven.

Hi Paul,

Yes i pointed this out to Analogue heaven earlier this week...

This seller is buying up a lot of synths from the US and selling in the UK.

For example, he's recently sold a VP330 for £1800 that he bought in the US for £700! £1100 profit for doing nothing! Currently he has an Oberheim 4 voice up for £5000 that he bought for $3500.

I think this guy is taking the piss...

This guy also bought that broken Chroma on Ebay with the buy it now of $500- no doubt that will be on Ebay soon for £1000 or similiar, a healthy £600 profit in his pocket for doing jack shit...

I would suggest people avoid this seller, you'd be better off buying a synth from Ebay US and shipping it, because thats exactly what this guy is doing....

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Hi list!

Since people pay these prices I can't blame him for doing so. A bit lame not to take his own shots and write his own texts though... I normally do not buy to sell, but I sometimes buy, test, dislikes and sell and that with profit to pay for other gear. Most of the time in the little league with for example vintage effects which are far more expensive in Sweden than in Germany even though shipping is basically the same.

I wouldn't buy a VP330 for that kind of money not a 4-Voice, but if I buy a Dynacord VRS-23 at 70 euros on german Ebay and someone in Sweden gives me 300 for it after I've tested it, dug up an original schematic and cleaned the exterior a bit, I'm not going to complain! ;)

I've thought about the idea of doing what this guy does, but I'd rather check the functionality and service them first and since my skill in electronics isn't good enough I've put the idea om the shelf. As long as prices in the US is so much lower and especially the UK pound so extremely expensive these days there is a lot of cash to earn if you have the cash to invest to start with...

My two swedish ören on this subject...

A very merry chroma christmas to everyone on the list...

Mal Meehan [21010182++]

The problem is people don't know how relatively easy it is to ship stuff from the US to the UK.

I have bought a lot of synths from the US and Canada and although I keep them for myself, If I was ever to sell them in the UK I would make a killing.

Naturally there are UK companies that do this professionally, like RLMusic but having worked with Richard Lawson (a personal friend of mine) I know that after he has shipped the item, had it serviced and superbly restored by Kent Spong (very good UK technician, he services my synth collection) and hand delivered it to the client, he makes about 20pc ... which isn't much for all the hard work.

You can't blame this guy as he has obviously looked at the prices on and thought to himself there's a market for such a service ... and there is but he is missing the whole point and eventually it will bite him in the arse when these units fail and he starts to get negative feedback.

Although many people out there do not like the "so called" inflated prices that the likes of rlmusic charge (and you can probably blame RLMusic directly for the increase in analogue prices in the UK) having been a first hand witness to his process I can only recommend his services ... if you have the money and you want a 30 year old machine in factory condition with warranty etc.

You get what you pay for.... or in this case... maybe you don't!

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Agree with most of that Jesper, the thing that grates with me, is when he turns the stuff around, without cleaning the gear, without getting it fixed, without telling the buyers its running on 110V... etc..etc...

And selling for 2 or 3 times what hes paid for it like a week before...

I just thinking there is reselling and there is RESELLING you know what i mean? I think the guys taking the piss a bit and in a certain respect he is SCAMMING people imho...

Im all for, as you say buying something, deciding its not for me, having it serviced and cleaned up (if its not working 100%), supplying manuals, doing a good auction with nice pics and text... and making a fair profit, nothing wrong with that at all. I would imagine everybody does that to a certain extent.

But the prices hes asking (or certainly WAS asking) is taking the piss imo.

Anyway... thats all i have to say on the matter, if people want to give him their money then thats cool with me, i wont lose any sleep thinking about it ;)

Personally if i wanted used synths that likely needed fixing and general attention i would just goto and cut out the middle man...

Cheers and merry christmas to you all!

Peter Forrest [21010096]

Hi everyone

If eBay knew he was copying the description which included a statement from the original seller like 'tried it for 30 minutes before entering it' then I think they should consider pulling the auction, as it is a blatantly untrue statement.

Even if it worked before shipping, it has to be tested again after shipping. Especially true with a Chroma, but also any other synth as well.

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]Fri, 22 Dec 2006 13:09:40 +0100

Maybe he timed himself... "It's worth testing for 30 minutes for sure!" ;)

Merry X everyone!

Paul Hackett-Evans [21010094]

Peter said...

"Even if it worked before shipping, it has to be tested again after shipping.

Especially true with a Chroma, but also any other synth as well."

Rob said

"..the thing that grates with me, is when he turns the stuff around, without cleaning the gear, without getting it fixed, without telling the buyers its running on 110V... etc..etc... And selling for 2 or 3 times what hes paid for it like a week before..."

That's what I find objectionable. He's simply tripling the price and seemingly not doing any of the basic services that you would expect - the synths don't seem to be tested, cleaned, restored or even assessed to see if the descriptions he copies from other ads are accurate. I think it's also misleading to omit from the description the fact that these are US voltage and AC frequency machines.

I haven't any personal experience of RL Music, but they do take care to restore and service their synths. I know that Peter Forrest gets his items for sale restored to a good standard, too, from having seen his synths at Roy's workshop. Boomerang Sounds in Manchester do similar service on the studio gear they sell. All of these provide a quality serviced product that you can have confidence in. That's worth a little mark-up, in my opinion, because you're paying for the effort, expertise and customer care.

What I dislike is when someone ships an item in, hikes up the price by a n extravagant amount, and sells it on with no care or service involved.

Malte Rogacki [21010091]

Oh! What's this? Ebay item number 190056256246 A Chroma Polaris! A very familiar one! In fact, the text of the ad he bought it from is identical to the text of his Polaris for sale ad. Copied and pasted. The photos are the same. Copied and pasted. The synth is the same one. Bought in the USA on December 1st, and offered for sale in the UK on December 15th. Yet he didn't say it's a US Voltage model. Strange, that. I wonder if he sells UK-toUS voltage converters? Yup! How convenient!

Without going into all the other points: Converting a Polaris to UK voltage is trivial - there's a switch inside.

In case somebody wants a Polaris: I'm thinking about parting with mine. Not yet completely sure; but I consider the possibility.

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Problem is that you can only leave feedback for three months on Ebay... but the words spread, that's true...

Voice Card on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Similar to previous auctions [February, March, June]. Item #300062900318, no reserve, current bid US50¢, ends December 28.

Picture from the auction, higher resolution than past auctions from Analogics:

Chroma BIN over $3000 U.S. !!!

Richard Willoughby [21030348]

[Item #110073250623, serial number 21030095]


Ron Joseph [21030042+]

Chroma 21030095 sells for $3041 [£1550]

It looks as if the Market for Chromas is still wildly fluctuating. European side of the pond seems to be a stronger market than the North American market. Even assuming $1000 in repair work as well as $500 shipping; the recent $499 BIN purchase doesn't seem as crazy as I thought.

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Re: Chroma 21030095 sells for $3041

Hi peeps,

That Chroma for sale on Ebay was mine. I think that £1550 was a pretty fair price for a fully serviced Chroma with midi and flightcase in the UK. In general the price of synths tends to be higher in the UK, particularly when it's been serviced and in nice condition, Jupiter 8's and Synthex's for example tend to sell for touching £2000 usually, so the Chroma is still a bit of a bargain in some respects, its a shame more people are put off by the Chroma UI because they sure sound great!

I must say i was a little surprised it sold quite so quickly, about 5 hours after listing, just goes to show these great synths are appreciating in value. The buyer also tells me he has had a Chroma before but his previous Chroma had been horribly unreliable, so i think he was pleased to be able to get another machine that's fully working.

If anyone is interested the history of my unit, i emailed it to Chris over the christmas break and it is in the registry. (Serial number 21030095). Btw, im not a synth dealer of any kind, i bought this Chroma in 2004 and have been trying to get it fixed ever since, as it happens since 2004 i also bought two Chroma Expanders.

I had intented on keeping the Chroma prior to getting the Expanders, but space is an issue in the studio, so i decided to sell and eventually just keep one of the Expanders for myself. I plan to sell the other Expander at some point in early 2007 once Roy has fixed them both.

It's funny, when i add all the time and money i've spent buying the Chroma, shipping it around, buying a flightcase, import duty, buying the midi kit, shipping it to get fixed again, service cost, i made virtually nothing on the sale... maybe a couple of hundred pounds... but that's life, at least i didnt lose any money so i don't mind!

Really i just hope the new owner enjoys the synth now fully working in great shape, Roy Paynter did an excellent job fixing it, thanks again Roy if you read this!

Respect to Herbie Hancock too, the Youtube video, is a great advert for the Chroma! ;)

Btw, im not the guy in the UK that bought the broken Chroma on Ebay US for $500 recently. That guy will try to sell it for i would imagine, about £1500 still broken lol! Good luck to him is all i can say lol....

I hope to be enjoying my own Chroma Expander, with the CC+ kit / Cubase SX editor in the studio in the next few months (once Roy has worked his magic again) .

Cheers, and happy new year to all!

Ron Joseph [21030042+]

Re: Chroma 21030095 sells for $3041


Congrats on your sale. I hope you didn't take my post to mean you overpriced yours. I agree that w/ all the work you put in the buyer got a great machine for a fair price.The variance in prices has been amazing on both sides of the pond. I also knew that you weren't Lord soytoy or whatever his name is. I agree w/ you that i expect to see that Chroma for sale "as is" in the near future.

By and by: 2 expanders? You are one lucky man!

Finally well wishes for a happy and healthy new years for all on this list.....Sincerely, Ron Joseph

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Chroma prices on both sides of the Atlantic


Yes, it's always been interesting to see the prices on both sides of the pond. As a swede I don't count in dollars, nor pounds nor euros even and since I started buying stuff on Ebay the pound has rised in value to the swedish kronor, the dollar dropped quite a bit and the euro been invented fcol!

I still mostly buy stuff in Germany 'cause shipping it here is so much cheaper. The UK works for UK stuff (like Simmons and EDP) which isn't too heavy and I only search across the pond for stuff virtually unavailable at a decent price here (SEM, Pollard Syndrum etc). The reason is shipping cost and the horrible 25% VAT put on all imports by swedish customs (yes, even old broken or battered synths _and_ the shipping itself!).

What I've found is that my risky spirit in bidding on stuff by newcomers and people with low feedback usually pays off since those scared stays away and I can get a bargain. *knock on wood* Hence my serviced Chroma from Matthias Becker (I've mentioned it before, but still, it's the one you can hear on the vintage synth CD's and on the site) with new PSU, original case, all docs and pedals and fully functional at circa 900 euros. A fuxxing bargain in Europe!

Shipping here was a bit more expensive (circa 120 if I remember correctly) but that's just peanuts compared to shipping from the States. Just buying one on the other side of Sweden should've cost me half of that to get here... And I felt really sorry for the UPS guy who carried the case from the car to our house. (61 kilos) ;)

Anyway, Ebay prices not only depends on rumour and the way you diisplay your item. It's about supply and demand. In the US there still are Chromas available cheap since there was sold a lot more Chromas. In Europe we have a demand for them and there are not many available. The only thing I've seen working the other way around (Sweden vs the World) are old crappy Hagström guitars and amplifiers and vintage Ddrums.

My two swedish ören at this early hour...

eBay Items

Chris Ryan [21030691]

There is a Chroma I/O board on eBay: Item #140069125546, starting bid US$25. (I first posted this to the Polaris list; David Clarke [21030085++] identified it as a Chroma Expander board rather than Polaris, and writes that "there is really no difference between the Chroma and Expander boards, except for the colour and position of a few LEDs").

Pictures from the auction:

There are also a couple of copies of SoundDiver (for Windows) on eBay. Several people have asked me where they could get a copy (although they might have been asking about the Mac version; I can't recall).

Paul Hackett-Evans [21010094]

I have SoundDiver and the CD-Rom it ships on contains BOTH the Mac and PC versions of the program. I can thoroughly recommend SoundDiver for the Chroma, if you are a Mac or a PC user, the Ebay items should be fine.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

A caveat for Mac users: if a Mac version is included on the CD for auction, it would almost certainly run only on "classic" Mac OS (up to 9.2). The version listed on the site and which runs on Mac OS X (and was, as far as I know, the only version to do so) never got past the beta stage after Apple purchased Emagic, and it requires an XSKey to run (i.e., you have to own Logic Pro).

Paul Hackett-Evans [21010094]

Oops! Yes, you're probably correct in this, thanks Chris. I've never owned a Mac, so I'm very out-of-touch with the OS and what will or won't work on it.

Thanks for pointing this out!

Jimmy Moyer [21030184]

I would be suspicious that those Sounddivers on Ebay are not legit. He says the disc is Windows only 3.54 and email him first. As far as I know the last version of Sounddiver for Windows was 3.052 and Sounddivers discs were only pressed for 3.0 with Mac and Windows programs on the disc.

I bought Sounddiver a few years back in the quest for a Chroma editor/librarian. It was not stable on my XP box. Didn't crash on a dedicated 98SE box, but it wouldn't work correctly with my Digital Music MX-8 MIDI patchbay, though it was supposed to be supported.

I suppose I should pull it down off the shelf and sell it. Might work better in someone else's environment.

Uro [21030401]

SoundDiver for Chroma

Turns out I know some "C" level people at Apple working on business side of Logic and other Apps and submitted this to them:

This affects Chroma users because SoundDiver supports the Chroma (via SysEx). We'll let you know if anything happens--you never will know if you don't try.

As for SoundDiver .ada libraries: Does someone have any or all of following libraries for:

  1. Rhodes Chroma
  2. E-MU Emulator III
  3. Oberheim OBX
  4. Oberheim OBX-A
  5. Roland Jupiter 4
  6. Roland Jupiter 8
  7. Moog MemoryMoog (not Linn vers.)
  8. Moog Minimoog
  9. Elka Synthex
  10. OSC Oscar
  11. Arp Odyssey
  12. Sequential Prophet 10
  13. Yamaha CS-80
  14. Octave Voyetra 8

Do I need the .ada file or will I have the library automatically once I perform a SysEx dump?

I especially need the Chroma, Emulator III and Voyetra Libraries for obvious reasons.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Re: SoundDiver for Chroma

Does someone have any or all of following libraries for:

  1. Rhodes Chroma

I have this (along with the Polaris plug-in), but I'm not sure what legal implications there may be in posting it. It was developed by Malte Rogacki [21010091]; Malte, what do you think? Is this something that you still own rights to? If so, can I make it available on the site?

On the other hand, you can still download the SoundDiver 3.1 public beta, which includes all the files. There are links from the SoundDiver entry on the Mac OS X page.

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