MATRIXSYNTH: Rhodes Chroma Polaris

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rhodes Chroma Polaris

Super nice pics via this auction

"If you are looking at this, wise viewer, you already know what awaits; one of the most incredible polyphonic analog synthesizers ever created since the dawn of man and music. It would, in fact, not be too bold to state that this Rhodes Chroma Polaris completely embodies the timeless, incredibly sought-after sound of the 80s and beyond. From lush pads to stabbing leads, ringing pulse-modulated keys and shimmering textures, the Chroma Polaris was the absolute cutting edge of analog synthesizer technology at the time of its release in 1984. Any musician, with the means at their disposal, would be considered naught but addlebrained fools, to neglect bringing every resource to bear in acquiring this incredible machine with all due haste.

POWERED by a 80186 CPU, it rivaled many home PCs in terms of raw horsepower at the time, all the better to harness its massive six VCO voices, bringing the unforgettably lush signature Arp sound to the table in spades, with unstoppable walls of pure sound and incredible flexibility for performance, thanks to its velocity-sensitive keyboard. Did we mention an amazing sequencer, and 132 memory programs to save your favorite patches? Or that is accepts aftertouch from an external MIDI source? Oh, but so much more awaits...

BORN at the dawn of the Golden Age of MIDI, it features one of the most thorough MIDI implementations of any synthesizer, even by modern standards. Its multitimbrality is unique, even has "virtual" channels so that more than 6 MIDI channels can be assigned patches, and voices are allocated dynamically. Slider moves can be recorded to a sequencer in real time. Keyboard split, or layer, you choose! Solid wood end-pieces are the bookends of one of the most durably solid and timelessly hefty pieces of hardware in the entire synthesizer lexicon multi-verse, bringing with it an undeniably weighty presence rarely seen in synthesizers of its dimensions, and bringing lesser synthesizer to their knees.

THIS particular Polaris is a shining example of its kind, lovingly cared for in a smoke-free studio, never gigged, always nurtured and polished with reverential care. It would not be far from the point to say that this unit embodies the One True dialectic Archetype of the Rhodes Chroma Polaris idea, the essential essence of what can only be called the Chroma Polaris experience. It's raw energy seeks to burst free from its containment, to seek new grounds for the creation of music with primal power and massive sizzling fiery toruses of vibrating sound. I cannot contain it, nor should I try to restrain this beautiful god-like empowerer as it finds new dwellings, in new realms of sound and experience beyond my imagining. All others look towards it in sincere homage to its unique and eternal Polaris essence; there can be only one. It can be yours. And just in case that wasn't enough, it also comes with a complete hard-copy manual in a practical 3-Ring Binder, and both original Rhodes Chroma Polaris footswitches, rare but essential units for creating the most expressive live performances possible. Plus, all the membrane panels were replaced a couple of years ago and function flawlessly. This beautiful machine is almost better than new, and is possessed of a rare synergistic character bringing its sanctified acoustic truth to the blessed listeners ears.
MY camera began melting as I took these photos, the Polaris's intense purity and essence could not be denied. Fortunately it hung on long enough for me to do a video as well, showcasing the first bank of presets with the audio chain going directly from the Polaris through an Eventide H3000B for some reverb and a little bit of board delay, before finishing up in the Canon 5D Mark II audio-in port. It accidentally ran a little hot so please forgive any clipping or crackling. Its sacrifice was not it vain, please enjoy the video."

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