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ChromaTalk Archives: February 2008

Re: Chroma #21030348 for sale

Go to first message in thread, January 2008

Enrico Dibennardo [21030494]

Well done and I think I remember a similar story on this list one or two years ago but can't remember who.

Paul Hackett-Evans [21010094]

That was me! [See At a crossroads, January 2005; and chroma on Ebay UK, May 2005.]

My Chroma is still here, in my living room, being enjoyed by me and my children, who all like to play it.

I got within 7 minutes of the auction ending and decided I couldn't part with it. So I ended the auction and kept my Chroma.

It's too unique and special to let it go....

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

I sat down in front of the Chroma for a half-hour.....changed my mind and ended my E-bay listing. Sorry for the spam folks!

No need for a sorry - such stories are lovely to hear!

Re: i have an extra cpu board thingy

Go to first message in thread, January 2008

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

i got the cc+ installed awhile ago and dont know what to do with the original controller/cpu board thing. anyone know a use or want it for anything? if you just mail me a small box (15"x5"x10" should do) with postage ill mail it back.

My two cents on that - I've kept mine. To be able to restore it if I want to one day (vintage fetischism or the CC+ giving up for some reason).

Stu Ervin

I would like it as a spare for my chroma...

what's your mailing address ??

I'll send along something for shipping costs, too....

Re: Knob box

Martin Pavlas [21030450]

Go to first message in thread, January 2008

Has anyone heard of any more info about the Chromanoff interface that was mentioned awhile back?

yeah, I've heard about it :) Sorry for belated reply - I did not have much time to read chromatalk lately. Time is my issue in general. 2007 was a crazy year with many changes and chromanoff project suffered from that.

Anyways, I have managed to build a prototype and got it working with my Chroma. The interface was based on 8 encoders, page butons, and a big 240x64 LCD. I was not 100% happy with it, the design had a limit on number of encoders/pots/buttons that could be connected (based on i2c bus), the i2c chips were not cheap, and scanning of encoders was not reliable sometimes. I started working on second version, better and cheaper. This second version can be built either as encoders+LCD thing, or as a board with dedicated pots/switches. The hardware part of this new prototype is finished.

I don't want to say when it will be finished. It is a fun project and work/family always takes higher priority. When I am done, I have no problems with making a few more pieces for somebody else.

Feel free to contact me, if you have questions, or just post it to the list.

PS: my chroma is having problems with starting up lately. It does not work on the first power-on. It usually needs some time to 'heat-up' and then powered off and on. Then it starts working and everything is ok. I have not checked anything yet. Possibly a power supply problem? I still have the original one there. Any ideas?

Richard Willoughby [21030348]

Hi Martin,

I think it's a very attractive design and would definitely be interested in possibly purchasing one when its finished :) I'm not too saavy to the tech.stuff but I'm sure someone else on the list could give you advice on what might be wrong with your Chroma. Mine recently suffered from PS issues as well as needing the main capaciter replaced, but ever since I received it back from repair it's been wonderful.

Kenton MIDI Kit User Manual

Chris Ryan [21030691]

I've added the Kenton MIDI Kit user manual to the site for this month's update.

Another one for CC+ please

Richard Willoughby [21030348]

Please sign me up for the next batch of CC+ upgrade boards with MIDI.

Chroma SPSU mod kit

Luca Sasdelli [21010226]

Hello all!

I'm very sorry in informing you so late, but I've got some issues within my own job, so I had lo leave the SPSU project [see Chroma SPSU Kit, September 2007] temporarily aside.

Just for clarity, the Chroma SPSU kit is a complete replacement for the original PSU assembly; it includes a new Switched-mode Power Supply unit, a mounting bracket for it, a board with a voltage regulator plus a power-on reset circuitry and all pre-soldered needed wirings.

The replacement just needs a soldering iron once, to unsolder a TO-3 component from original PCB, and all remaining connections are made via terminal blocks. Power outputs are arranged in a fashion that mimics the original, so that the power connectors could be set exactly as per factory mode, without any changes to them.

Now I'm pleased to let you know that the first batch of PCBs is on its way, and I'm about to start the kit production.

The kit final price is 100,00 Eur plus shipping. Some users have asked more than one kit, so all destinations will be served in single shipping to keep the cost as low as possible.

Should you be interested in it, would you please contact me at [e-mail address removed]

In a short time, I'll send some sample pictures to Chris for publication on Chroma site.

Lars Johansson [21030632]


Keep up the good work.

Keith Hendricks

Hi, I am interested in ordering a Chroma SPSU kit. Please let me know when you need payment and when you expect the kits to ship. I live in the US.

Greg Montalbano, Analog Synthesizer Service

Speaking of Chroma power supplies, I have one for sale (built it for a customer who later decided to try to repair the existing supply)-- this is the replacement unit that Sandro came up with [see How to swap the original power supply with a readily available switching unit].

It's tested & ready to go; $125 plus shipping.

Kevin Kelley [21030491+]

Where are you located email me offlist [e-mail address removed]

Greg Montalbano, Analog Synthesizer Service

Power supply has been spoken for -- thanks.

Enrico Dibennardo [21030494]

Salve Luca, mi chiamo Enrico Dibennardo vorrei prenotare un alimentatore anch'io per il Chroma. Naturalmente a 230V se occorre mandare un anticipo o prenotarsi in altro modo fammelo sapere, grazie.

I apologize with the other members from this list for the "non english" text.

Cheers and Happy Chroma to everyone

Sandro Traversi [21010217]

Luca I'm also very very interested to book the SPSU mod kit. Keep one for me. Let me know what I have to do.

Luca Sasdelli [21010226]

Chroma SPSU kit orders

Dear all,

this first batch of Switched-mode Power Supply kits for Chroma is going to production and shipment to whose have placed their orders, before the end of present month.

Should anyone need a kit, there are four still available within the batch. The kit price is set at Euro 100,00; shipping cost varies between Euro 10,00 (Italy) and Euro 35,00 (most far countries).


Have a nice Sunday

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Re: Chroma SPSU kit orders

Hi Luca,

I will buy one kit.

Luca Sasdelli [21010226]

Re: Chroma SPSU kit orders

Hi Rob,

please send me your full mail address, so that I can calculate exact shipping costs. Thanks for your reservation!

lord S and the Chroma

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

For previous "Lord S" related threads, see for instance 21030264 here and gone in a heartbeat on the Bay, December 2006; and Two Chromas on eBay, December 2007.

I'm starting to wonder if it's our negative attitude to this seller (and the fact that the list is searchable online) that makes that Chroma virtually impossible to sell. [Item #320216346798]

The price is starting to sound OK now, even for a dead unit. :D

Pictures from the auction:

programming tips for the Chroma?

Richard Willoughby [21030348]

I'm pretty much an amateur when it comes to coming up with my own sounds, and was wondering if anyone had some programming tips for the Chroma. (for some basic bass, pad, and choir sounds, and interesting variations.) I know that there has to be some incredibly talented Chroma programmers in our midst, and I for one would love any advice on developing skills using this instrument. :)

Chris Ryan [21030691]

There is some valuable information in the Programming Manual. Even the simple "sample program" might give you some insight into the programming process.

Richard Willoughby [21030348]

Thanks for the links Chris,

I'll check out the sample program. I 've been really digging around in and exploring the Chroma over the last couple days, experimenting and have been coming up with some interesting results. Appreciate the advice :)

Chris Ryan [21030691]

If you come up with some programs you'd like to share, send them to the list or to me and I'll post them on the Patch Downloads page.

Herbie Hancock: Rockit

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Someone sent me a couple of Youtube videos of Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," which featured the Chroma. In the first the Chroma and an Expander can be seen clearly; in the second it's not as obvious but they're there also.

Jeff Bova [21030407++]

The FIrst Video was when we played the BBC show "the tube" at the beginning of our first european tour. This was the 3rd public show we had played together. The Second Video was a concert filmed at the Hammersmith Odeon 2 months later at the very end of the tour. There is a video of us playing a TV show in Germany. If I track it down I will get the link to you all.

Jerry Leonard [21030100++]

Forgot to mention, my Chroma was on the bottom tier of my stand under the OBX.

Erik Vellinga [21010286]

Great videos ! As far as i can see it Herbie plays his solopart at the end... on the Chroma ! After all this talk about electronics we finally see the beast in action !

Jeff Bova [21030407++]

He played the Chroma on the Rockit melody and the solo at the end. On the record he plays the Chiffy clav riff on Chroma. I covered that part live as well as the Band pass/Phasey swells that link each section. As a matter of note, the Chroma was the only analog used on Rockit All samples were the Fairlight and of course Scratching was DST.

Go to next message in thread, March 2008

SPSU Repairs/Replacement

Paul Tillotson [21030218]

My Chroma started crashing and stopped booting some time ago. I really want to get it back up and address the power supply problems I've had almost the entire time I've had it.

It's currently doing the power up with no display, random LEDs and no functions. I've checked voltages from the big can type capacitor, and they read at about 2.9 something or other. I've read that this capacitor is often the source of boot troubles and it looks like the one thing I can swap out on the power supply with my skill set and I'd like to try this before I drive hundreds of miles to someone who can repair it.

Does anyone know of a source for this part? It's not in any local shops and they will not special order it. It is specifically:

  • Mallory Type CGR
  • 47000 MFD 7.5 VDC
  • POS + 85C
  • Max Surge 12 VDC
  • CGR 473U7R5V3C
  • ZZ

Does anyone think replacing this is a good idea toward getting my Chroma to boot again?

This does not address the loud buzzing and heat buildup of course, even if it does get it booting again.

Are there still any available new SPSUs from the first manufacturing batch and are they compatible with American 110 current and being offered stateside? Anyone know approximate cost in dollars? Was it 110 Euros? $220 dollars or so then?

Would the CPU plus upgrade also be a good idea as far as stabilizing performance and reliability, or be considered necessary for consistent boot ups? I'm tired of my Chroma spending more time dead than alive and want to finally sort it out.

Luca Sasdelli [21010226]

Hi Paul and all,

the first batch of SPSU kits will be shipped I guess within the end of this month; this due to a delay in shipping of some passive components. There is the last one available, and the AC mains range from 110 to 240V.

The pricing within this first batch is Euro 100,00 each kit + 25,00 shipping to USA.

Paul Tillotson [21030218]

Could I please have one? Please tell me how to proceed with payment.

Stu Ervin

hello-- is there a chance for me to buy one of the kits?? i am in the usa, boston area.

Luca Sasdelli [21010226]


tomorrow I'll check the reservations so I'll be 100% sure of kit allocations.

Should the reservation list be full, I'll open a waiting list for the next batch; I should say that the most expensive part of the kit is the PCB, whose highest costs are mastering and shipping: therefore I'll order a new PCB batch once almost 10 kits will be requested. One user is already on this list.

Luca Sasdelli [21010226]

Hi all,

this to inform you that the first SPSU kit batch is complete, and two users are on the waiting list for the next one. Expected kit price with a 10-units batch will be Euro 120,00 + shipping, due to PCB cost as announced earlier.

Very latest items should arrive within tomorrow, so I expect to begin shipping of the first kits before the end of present month.

This to remember some data:

  • all units are multi-voltage and multi-country (85 ~ 264VAC, 47 ~ 63Hz)
  • each kit is individually tested and adjusted (Plug-and-Play installation)
  • SPSU and PCB are supplied already connected together
  • all components are RoHS compliant
  • required user connections are: AC mains wires (2 + earth, soldered) and output connector via factory Molex plugs

A summary page will be published on Chroma website within this week thanks to Chris(!).

James R. Coplin [16330036]

Put me down for the next batch.

Stu Ervin

Thank You, Luca. Please keep me on the list, let me know how to buy one if you will.....

Go to next message in thread, March 2008

CPU+ soft MIDI merge

Andrew Dalebrook [21010180]

Hi list.

With the impending delivery of my CPU+ (thanks, David!) I am wondering whether or not the device will offer a software merge function; i.e. all MIDI data present at the MIDI input will be merged with data generated by the Chroma, and sent to the MIDI out.

If not, would it be a possible implemention in a future firmware update?

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

Yes, I have a knob box before the Chroma on the midi chain and the midi data generated by that are mixed with that generated by me on the keys and buttons on the Chroma without problem.

Voice Board on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Item #250219928167. Buy It Now price of AU$99.00. Ends March 7. Description: "This is a probably faulty channel board for a Rhodes Chroma synthesiser."

Pictures from the auction:

For sale some Chroma CEM chips

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Hi guys,

Im selling some new old stock CEM ICS. They were my Chroma spare parts:

1x CEM 3350 dual vcf and 1x CEM 3360 dual vca. Both of which are in the Chroma. The Chroma uses 8x CEM 3350 and 8x CEM 3360 in total.

Asking 30 UKP for both combined. Have a few of these in my parts box, i thought that some of you guys would be interested in these parts as spares for your Chromas.

Im on Analogue heaven, and have been on this list for a while, you can search through the Analogue heaven archives for "Good trader - Rob Belcher / blchrr" for refernces.

Happy to ship anywhere, i could really do with some cash right now, paypal works for me, please feel free to mail me directly if interested, thanks.

NOS Chroma AC Sockets on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Item #140211179068. Starting bid US$10, ends March 5, no bids yet. From the description: "vintage new old stock lot of four Fender Rhodes Chroma AC Sockets which appear to have line filters in them."

Picture from the auction: