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ChromaTalk Archives: November 2007

Re: Programming Manual on eBay

Go to first message in thread, October 2007

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

David Gowin skrev:

Like so many ebayers these days, only ships within the US. (Gee, there is a world outside your borders guys!) Dave

"Take the red pill and I'll show just how deep the rabbit hole goes"

I won't start a discussion about US "mercantilism", but it sure is weird that you won't be willing to get bidders from around the globe. It's probably someone domestic winning anyway, the others just adds to the bid war IMHO.

electronically yours, jesper - couldn't help myself, being from the old world

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

James R. Coplin skrev:

We are well aware that there is a world outside our borders. However, as my experience has shown, as regards ebay sales and the like, that world is often out to steal and defraud us. Our geographic distance from the buyer makes any chance of recover about 0. It's not that we are xenophobic; we just don't like being ripped off. On the other hand, we are only talking about a manual in this case...

I understand the general feeling, but;

  1. I never ship without first receiving the money
  2. I have had major problems with US buyers too
  3. Xenophobia & "off-ripping" - many outside the US probably doesn't agree... ;)

But hey, as you say, it's a manual for xx (fill in yourself) sake.

Voice Board Test Controller

Chris Ryan [21030691]

David Wilson of the New England Synthesizer Museum has contributed the schematics for his voice board test controller, discussed a few days ago on the list.

Werner Schöenenberger [21010114]

Hi Chris,

This is great news. Thank you very much, sharing the info with us.

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Great of him to share! :)

Now, get the man some shelves for those rarities... ;)

David Clarke [21030085++]

As the tester effectively controls the electronics of a voice board - it would seem that a little bit extra would make this not only a tester, but an actual synth module (e.g., throw on external trig/gate connection and some other bits and you could control a Chroma voice module directly - without the need of a keyboard, processor or anything ...)

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

My first thought too. Like the SEM equivalent of an 8-voice or so... It sure could be a good way of saving some of the voice boards drifting around on Ebay from time to time...

Re: Fwd: [AH] WTB: Memorymoog LED display

Go to first message in thread, October 2007

David Clarke [21030085++]

Anyone know the answer to this question [see first message] from Analogue Heaven? The parts list doesn't seem to help — or maybe it's just that I don't know my electronics components.

I'm assuming that it is the small, 8 digit LED display that is needed.

These used to be popular (a long time ago) back in calculators, etc. I haven't seen exact replacements - but I do recall that Archive Sound (the folks who have replacement keyboard bushings for things like Prophet-5's) has always had an open list of things they'd trade for.

As noted here ( they would accept "Chroma or MemoryMoog display"s. That being the case, it might be worth-while for Scott M. to try there - just in case they might either have some on hand (from past trades) or at least a feeling of availability from other sources.

Another alternative is if they can find a sick/dead Chroma I/O motherboard - then they might be able to buy the whole board (and just use the display.)

Jimmy Moyer [21030184]

For the small LED display, rather than scavanging Chroma or Moog parts, it might be more practical to try to get one of these from an old calculator. I'm going to guess there was not too much variety.

Such 'vintage calculators' often go for just a few dollars on ebay. You might need to try a few to a get a display module that matches.


Hi List,

Rather than scavenging Chroma's, Memorymoogs or vintage calculators, I sent Scott to Rudi 'LAMM' Linhart. Rudi removes the displays when he puts in new ones for the Memorymoog LAMM upgrade. You can get those used displays from him, tested and all...

Slider Caps for Rhodes Chroma

Frank Hettlich

Does anybody have 4 spare slider caps for my Rhodes Chroma or knows where to get them?

Btw: Any news regarding the "knobby" Chroma editor?

Enjoy your Chroma

Chris Ryan [21030691]

See "Chroma Slider Caps Needed," January 2005, and "Chroma Knob Slider Cap - Resource?" from November 2006.

Malte Rogacki [21010091]

Are those the same caps as for the Polaris? If so I should have a couple (question is if I can find them...).

Frank Hettlich

Hello Malte, hello Rhodes Chroma group,

I just tried a slider from my Chroma Polaris. That one has the same physical dimensions and looks nearly the same (very minor difference regarding the white line marker).

It fits but unfortunately is a bit loose, i. e. you can use it perfectly but it does not fit 100%...

I think I will try some dealers mentioned by Chris Ryan (thanks Ryan!).

Btw: Never registered my 2 Chromas (will do that later) - there were times I had 3 ...

Thanks guys

John Leimseider [21030434++]

We have slidepots and knobs for Chromas and Polarises. We also have the L6OV6... (We actually have over 1000 of the second style of Polaris pots. They fit into both types of Polaris panels, but you have to cut the extra mounting tabs off to use on the older panels.) I have to do an inventory to know exactly how many of each we have. The Chroma panel knobs are different from the bender knobs...

Manuals on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

There are currently five Chroma manuals on eBay, all from the same seller (gravitycollectibles). Three Programming Manuals (item numbers 280169524903, 280169526785, and 280169526964) and two Performance Manuals (280169526240 and 280169523622). The second Performance Manual has a different cover, with no picture, and is spiral bound rather than staple bound as is normal for this manual (including the other copy for sale by the same seller). It is titled "Rhodes CHROMA Performance Manual 21030061," which seems to indicate it was paired with a specific Chroma (which is not yet in the registry).

Picture of the unusual Performance Manual with serial number circled:

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Good way to get a complete set I guess. But still just shipping to the new world. I have one of the manuals (bought on Ebay) since mine came with german versions.

Chroma + Expander FS in Sweden

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

A guy I've bought another synth (minimoog) from a few years ago is selling both his Chroma and the Expander. I have yet to get him to mention a price but I know they both work 100% (according to him at least) and comes with some kind of midi control (JL Cooper I think) but without cases so shipping can be messy.

If I recall correct (this was at our last mail conversation two years ago) both units was bought from Oscar Peterson and I think they're both 2103's...

Let me know if you fancy another and I'll send his details.

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

serials of the Chromas I mentioned

Hi List!

I mixed up two swedish owners when mentioning Expander, it's two "normal" Chromas if you can consider a 2102 a standard Chroma ;)

None of them are in the directory yet and must be considered a nice addition since both a fully operational and used as instruments too and not just museum pieces...

Here's the brief info I just received;

21030265 and 21020001

One bought at Sam Ash (I bet it's the first one since that fits the serial) and the other second hand at Deluxe (instrument store in Stockholm) apparently originating from Keyboard City (also a Stockholm Store during the 80's and 90's).

Weird with these 2102 surfacing in Stockholm. Was Alan or Philip or someone married to a swede? ;)

I'll let you know if he wants his name listed or not Chris. Prices asked seems to be "european standard" at around 20-25000 SEK (3-4000 USD).

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Re: serials of the Chromas I mentioned

Answering myself...

2102 apparently seems like the Scandinavian batch and my only guess (as a polar bear myself) is that the Swedish demands on electrical security was extremely high compared to rest of Europe back in the days. For example, all Korg synthesizers from the 1970's and early 80's have had the internal transformer bypassed and replaced with external PSU (my MS-20 is an original Swedish one and I have owned both MS-10 and PS-3200 designed like that too). Same goes for some Simmons units etc (I recently sold a SDS-8 with external PSU and Swedish S-mark (electrical safety mark).

These days of EU standards and technical progress often lets you bring whatever crap you buy across the border but to be honest... it's Europe adapting to us here, not the other way around. :)

The only variation the the european market otherwise is the british isles and their 240 volts but I doubt that is the explanation. I wonder how many 2102's there are and where 21020002 is, now when the neighbours are located...

But now you've got a confirmed 2102 and even the first one so get the guesswork going guys!

electronically yours, jesper - with a german import, bad me... ;)

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

[Fwd: SV: Chroma x2]

More info from Anders Gustavson, the owner and seller of the two Chromas I recently mention. I translate directly from the swedish mail I received;

Both Chromas are in good condition and have the Syntech midi interface, bought from Ypparila direct without logo. Both have original sustain pedal but no cases. None have aftertouch [it was me asking, I would've sold my mother to buy one if it had]. No original manuals.

21030265 has a memory expansion; 4 banks with 2 switches that works binary, I think I bought it from Ypparila.

21020001 has a small defect. The metal switch for one of the keys are broken. Therefor the highest key won't sound.

I was thinking 20000:- per Chroma (circa 3000 USD/2200 EUR) to 25000:- (3800 USD/2800 EUR) meaning that the first one offering 25000:- has a deal.

Otherwise highest bid between 20000:- and 25000:-.

(If noone takes that bait it's off to Ebay)

Send to the Chromalist and the vintagepeople. I'd love if it'll stay in Sweden.

greetings, Anders

Now you now, I'll gladly mail address etc if anyone is interested. It's a good guy and a trustworthy seller...

biggest Chroma nerd on the list?

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Open question and something that can be worth discussing a dull November maybe?

My claim at the title; I just recently decided to use the Chroma case as a coffee table in front of the TV (though I don't drink coffee, just enormous amounts of tea). Nerdy enough? ;)

Tom Klepacki [21030025]

We had some high water... The Chroma case makes an excellent survival raft!

Jack Colburne [21030142+]

Jesper, I don't know if that's nerdy or just plain poor-musician style clever.

and Tom... You are just pulling our collective legs (or volume pedals, as it were) 'cause I don't think the case would float with the beast in it and I don't think you'd have left the Chroma to fend for itself in the flood while you floated off with it's case.

come to think of it, I don't think any of us would.

"Chroma or wife, Chroma or wife, who gets the Anvil case? Decisions, decisions"

Tom Klepacki [21030025]

Hi Jack, Of course, I was kidding around. Nary a flood here in Clearwater. Only hurricanes... That's what the !#$%^&* homeowner's insurance companies keep telling us, as they raise their rates... Except, that there have been no hurricanes hitting Florida in the last two years! Yet, the rates keep going up!

Back when we had to truck my Chroma around in 1983, we always referred to it as 'the raft'.... In fact, it was then re-named 'George', after George Raft, the old-time actor.

Here in Florida, there is no worry about the decision 'wife-Chroma? Chroma-wife?', because every house has a real boat parked next to the house. Yet, NOBODY ever goes boating... BUT, dammit... they all have a boat! It's a 'guy' thing. "Got beer, got me a dawg, got a boat... got me a Chroma! And, oh yeah... Got me a wife and a coupla kids too." (Florida hurricane/ flood solution: put the Chroma/ beer/ dog in the boat, and the wife and kids atop the Anvil raft!!!)

Re: Chroma SPSU kit

Go to first message in thread (September 2007)

Kevin Kelley [21030491+]

Any word on the Pricing yet? I am holding off building the MAP 80 kit for now in hopes of purchasing two of these new power supply replacement kits.

Chroma 21030798 For Sale on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Item #290179001806, starting bid US$2000, no bids yet, ends November 14.

From the description (complete with misspellings): "It is near mint condition both cosmeticly 9/10 and functionaly 9/10 cosmeticly has a very, very few scraches and a very small dent on wood on left front side. Functionaly everithing works perfect but chroma's power suply. Chroma's are known to have power suply problem. On this one is the same : it is a little bit noisy and sometimes you have to change the fuse. But that's about all. This unit # 21030798 i bought from original owner , it was never on gigs, always in his and my non smoking studio. It is very clean. All together i did not play it more than 20 hours for three years i have it. It comes with original chroma case, set of three pedals including brass one and copies of programing manuals. Sold as is, no retuns!"

The pedals don't appear to be standard Chroma issue, except they do look a little more like the drawing from the Hookup section of the Performance Manual than mine does: perhaps there were two types of pedals?

Here is the picture of the pedals from the auction:

Last we heard about this unit was in the early days of the registry, September of 1999. It seems that the current seller either doesn't know the instrument's history or is not being completely truthful, as it sounds like the owner at the time had bought it used.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Sold for US$2300.

Chroma CPU+ : 4th Build

Sandro Sfregola [21010294]

We have once again placed enough people on the CC+ 'wait list' to justify another build of boards.

We propose to accept orders for this third build up until Tuesday, Nov 20th (midnight, Eastern Time).

To ensure a timely order of parts for those who have requested CC+ boards, we would like to receive payment by Saturday, Dec 1st.

Within the current week we will be individually getting back in touch with the people on the wait list to see if you're still interested - and if so, to confirm your order. David [21030085++] will be contacting the people from North America and Sandro will be contacting the people from the EU.]

If you're not currently on the wait list - but would like to have a board from the 4th build - please be sure to get in touch before Nov 20th.

If you believe you're on the wait list but have not received an e-mail from either Sandro or David within a week of this note - be sure to let them know.

Once again, thank you for your continued interest and participation.

Stu Ervin

next CC+ batch

Hello Sandro

I would like to buy one of the next CC+ boards, hope I am not too late!!! Please tell me what I need to do to get in, thanks!!

Stu Ervin

I want a CC+ board too

David --

If it is not too late, please add me to the list of people who want to buy a new CC+ board, thanks!!!

Let me know what to do next.

And thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for keeping the Chroma flame allive all these years.

James R. Coplin [16330036]

Re: next CC+ batch

Add me in for the USA run.

Norman Fay

Can you put me on the list for one of these, please Sandro

Sandro Traversi [21010217]

I'm also very interested. May I still be part of the list?

Rhodes Chroma Manual

Matrix [21030220]

item# 280173396602

I don't know if this is available on the Rhodes Chroma site. I just saw it in my nightly Ebay run and thought I'd forward it to the list.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

This appears to be the preliminary Service Manual (which shows ARP boards). The later service manual, which has a yellow cover, is available on the site.

Chroma Repair Question

Michael Welch [21030384]


I have located an old Fender Rhodes Chroma that has been sitting in storage, in a road case, for many years untouched. The unit has two issues, one cosmetic, the other mechanical. First, the foam interior of the case has dissolved, adhering itself to the wooden cover of the Chroma. I believe I could clean this up quite easily, and could possibly refinish the cabinet.

The second issue deals with the interface itself. When I powered up the unit, I noted that all of the LEDs on the instrument's panel lit, except for the Patch # indicator, which remained blank. The membrane, which appears to be in excellent condition (i.e., little use) was not responsive to touch.

Do you believe this may be due to the power supply? Could there be other contributing factors?

I am located in San Francisco, and have been recommended to work with Peter Miller of CAE Sound by a friend who formerly repaired analogue synths in the early 80's.

I have not yet purchased this instrument, and am considering the investment in light of any repair and restoration costs. I'm a huge fan of the Jethro Tull works that used this instrument, and have been seeking a very unique analogue poly synth for several months.

Paul Tillotson [21030218]

If what you're looking for is a very unique analogue poly synth, and is the one used on a specific era of Jethro Tull's career, you're certainly aiming at a Chroma.

The symptoms you describe are typical of a Chroma that is not getting the right voltages to the CPU, I do believe, and should not be too alien to a capable tech familiar with a Chroma. Of course, you'll have to see what the Chroma is doing once she's capable of booting: if voice cards are out, key contacts working or not and patches no doubt long since crashed.

Best of luck, it's a synth to love.

Werner Schöenenberger [21010114]

Hi Mike,

I had a similar issue a couple of weeks ago with the same symptoms. Of course there might be several reasons for the PSU to fail, but a good idea is to check the big capacitor and the voltage protector (L60V6). Latter component was the issue.

David Clarke [21030085++]

Mike - another possibility is battery damage to the CPU board. This is especially likely if the batteries were not removed before the unit was placed in storage.

The good news is that you can usually spot this with the naked eye by just looking at the battery holder and the area around it.

Chroma For Sale on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Chroma 21030720 (new to the registry), item #220177086270. Starting bid US$1300. No bids yet. Ends December 6.

List Down on Sunday

Chris Ryan [21030691]

I wanted to let everyone know that my friend who hosts the ChromaTalk list will be moving on Sunday, so he will be taking down the server on which the list runs for a few hours starting at about 1PM Pacific Standard Time. Hopefully the list will be back up and running later in the day. I'll send out a message when it is.

Rhodes Chroma Power Supply Repair

Michael Welch [21030384]

Recently, I've acquired a Rhodes Chroma that had been kept in storage since 1984 or so. It was previously owned by a musician who worked on film scores and TV spots who recently unloaded his entire collection of synths. The Chroma was kept in its avil case, and suffered the traditional foam melt which wasn't difficult to clean up.

I took the instrument to Peter Miller at CAE who inspected it yesterday. He's reporting that there was no damage to the CPU or voice boards due to battery leakage. However, the power supply is not functioning properly. Peter is recommending a complete rebuild of the power supply. He's offering to do this for between 6-8 hours of bench time, which equates to around $1000 USD.

He's not recommending a swap out for a newer power supply, but rather a rebuild of the power supply that came with the unit.

Could use the advice of this board on this proposed refurb. Does the approach and price sound consistent with other experience with work of this manner? It is much higher cost than I had anticipated for the work he's recommending.

Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated,

David Gowin [21030611]

Ummm, I'd say no go on the rebuild. Newer power supplies are more stable, will last longer than a rebuild and much, much cheaper than $1,000!!!!!.

Henry Salvia [21030307]

Odd. Did Peter give you a reason for preferring a rebuild to a replacement?

The original power supply design in the Chroma was notoriously cheezy, especially the +5 digital. A rebuild will/should essentially be a "build", and it seems his time would be better spent bolting in a commodity power supply than building one.

Re the price: Peter is very good, but expensive. He did a lot of work on my Chroma, including replacing the power supply IIRC he replaced it with a few commodity ones for the various digital/analog voltage levels used in the Chroma. It still cost a lot, but it was rock-solid after that.

Enrico Dibennardo [21030494]

A technician who is famous, skilled and honest did suggest to "rebuild the old one" for "1000$"?

Werner Schöenenberger [21010114]

PSU Repair 2 -> Another Thread

Dear all,

the thread about the PSU and my currently work on a defect PSU for a friend of mine brought me up to write a second thread.

I have a strange behaviour of the digital +5V regulation. The digital supply shows about 1.9V. When I investigated the PSU, I found, removing the L6OV6 leads to a +5.06V supply at the digital +5V output. Therefore I assumed a defective L6OV6. A list member kindly sent me a replacement component and today I did the soldering work. Unfortunately the voltage broke down to 1.9V, the PSU started the switching noise and the L6OV6 started to become terribly hot. So I replaced the huge capacitor with another one (same capacity but 16V) ending up with the same result.

Of course I can start to replace the remaining components of the digital voltage supply but I still cannot understand the issue. The L6OV6 should protect the regulation from too high voltage by a defective capacitor. So any ideas why I get the correct voltage without the L6OV6?

Go to next message in thread (December 2007)

Michael Welch [21030384]

Just had a chance to speak live with Peter Miller about this repair.

I read him Enrico's comments (only the 'famous, skilled and honest' part) which delighted him!

He stated his preference is to use the older analogue power supply for the Chroma, which removes other issues that might crop up by using newer gear, but wasn't adverse to the use of a newer power supply if I could recommend one.

He also revised his estimate to under $400 for the labor and parts, much better than the $1000 quoted yesteday by his assistant.

He was very pleased to learn of the site - he did not know that this community existed, and stated he'll begin to pore over the details provided particularly on refurbishment and use of newer materials.

Enrico Dibennardo [21030494]

I read him Enrico's comments (only the 'famous, skilled and honest' part)

This is how media manipulate the news :-) Thanks for the omission in any case and, yes, 400$ sounds much better. And the fact that he didn't know that the chroma site existed explanes the fact he didn't have other solutions handy besides rebuilding the old psu. So I some howapologize.

Henry Salvia [21030307]

Just to clarify, I agree that $400 is much more in line with what I would have expected Peter to charge. While he is on the expensive side, he is indeed famous, skilled, and honest in my experience.

Go to next message in thread (December 2007)