Skip Navigation.
Section 0


The Chroma has a fascinating history. The last keyboard designed by ARP, the pioneering instrument designer of the 1970s, it almost never saw production. After ARP's bankruptcy and some twists and turns, it was put into production by CBS/Fender. This section includes information on ARP and CBS/Fender; along with product brochures, advertisements, and other information. A bibliography lists all the Chroma-related print articles published, many of which are available at this site; and some of which can still be ordered.

ARP and Fender

Mark Vail's The Synth That Survived ARP's Fall, reprinted from the October 1993 issue of Keyboard magazine, includes an interview with Philip Dodds, the product manager for the Chroma who brought the project over to Fender from ARP. The Rise and Fall of ARP, by Craig Waters, is an overview of the history of ARP from a business perspective. In 2001-2002 I interviewed Philip Dodds and Tony Williams (one of the instrument's main designers, and developed the groundbreaking Fender Music System software), among other things clearing up some of the questions remaining from the Mark Vail article. See also Don Tillman's ARP resources, articles, and patents at his site,


There were several magazine ads, including endorsements from Herbie Hancock and Joseph Zawinul; and a product brochure available for the Chroma in 1982-83. Interestingly, ARP had actually announced the instrument in its own ARPeggio magazine in 1980. Finally, Fender provided some clip art to dealers in 1984.