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Polaris Registry: Model 2123

Note that models 2121 and 2123B (Polaris II) have been moved to their own pages.


Paul DeRocco [Chroma 21030230]

"This is one from the first production batch, before we even had any machine-printed serial number stickers, so I hand-engraved the number into a sticker, as shown in this picture:


"I managed to inherit this from Fender without ever actually paying anything for it, and it was the instrument I played at home for years."

"All four of these instruments [see also 300054, 300730, and 300830] run, but they all have bad membrane switches. Until I have new switch panels (hopefully they'll arrive in a few weeks), I won't be able to fully debug the units and get them up to snuff." [November 2011]

See also 300054, 300730, 300793, 300830.


Paul DeRocco [Chroma 21030230]

"Bought cheap from Fender when they got out of the electronic keyboard biz." [November 2011]


Doug Terrebonne [Chroma 21030114]

[February 2012]


Edward Chen [Chroma 21030674+]

Edward sold this Polaris in March 2008. [August 2009]


Sold on eBay, September 2013.


Sold on eBay, November 2012.



Sold on eBay for USD$599, August 2009. Relisted shortly thereafter.


For sale on eBay, September 2009 (not sold). From the description:

This is a one-owner machine purchased by a professional musician—the seller in 1986. Though it was used in a fusion band from 1986 to 1990, it was NOT taken on the road, and has been in storage since 1990. It is in very nice condition, with some minor scratching of the metal shell and the black paint on the wooden end pieces. It has been recently tested by the seller and found to be in good working order; all switches and functions work properly, with a very rich sound and virtually no background noise. It has one problem: oscillator 2 cannot be adjusted to come into exact tune with oscillator 1 (though the sync button will force it into tune).

This machine's strongest point is the brand-new membrane switch pads on the front panels. In 1990 the seller ordered new membrane pads from the manufacturer owing to difficulties with the original ones. While waiting for them to arrive, the seller went ahead and bought a new instrument. When the replacement pads for the Polaris arrived they were simply stored; the box was not even opened until a month ago, at which time the new pads were installed. These pads have not been used except for the brief testing after their installation, and thus show absolutely no signs of wear. All switches work flawlessly.


Steve Duell

"I'm now a proud owner of a Chroma Polaris Model 2123. I was blessed to recieve this unit as a gift from a friend (Josh Kidwell) who moved to China and couldn't take it with him. I don't have the Chroma Interface, any of the pedals, or the cassette unit. It looks pretty beat up - a few of the sliders are bent and sticky. The paint along the edges of the wooden panels has been scratched off, and two keys don't work. However, all of the membrane buttons seem to work just fine. It's physical condition doesn't matter to me, though, since I've been controlling it through Cubase. I'm working on a MIDI Device Map (a software interface within Cubase). It's coming along very nicely, and I'd be happy to share it with any Polaris owners who also use Cubase SX3." [July 2005]


For sale on eBay (item #290262416777), September 2008. From the description: "All LEDs and sliders are working as should. Most importantly top panel membrane keypad is 100% fully operational. All keys are aligned and trigger sound, no chips or cracks. Everything is original and intact. Excellent cosmetic condition and even the wood end panels are in great condition (see pics) All 6 voices are operational, accounted for and in tune. Most of the original factory patches have been successfully reloaded. Included is the power cord and a [bound] copy of the owner's manual." Sold for US$898.


Nick Dynice

"No good stories yet, but I may use in an upcoming project." [February 2010]


Sold on eBay, July 2011. From the auction description: "This Polaris was just restored by the Good Guys in St. Paul, MN, who's reputation for fixing the Chroma line is about as good as it gets. They still have guys with factory training that have been fixing these babies since they were new and work with many famous clients. The repairs included a real pro membrane repair which is the big problem with these, and this one should be good for many years to come. All voices tune up without fail, all buttons and sliders work great. The cosmetic condition is good , expecially for its age. Wood ends are in good shape with only a few minor scuffs and imperfections and the exterior is free from any real obvious scratches or dents"


For sale and sold on eBay, August 2012.



Val Osborne, Claremont, California

"Bought new by me in 1985 in Van Nuys, Ca, for about $1200.00. Now on ebay 3/29/2010. Membrane switch failed and when it was opened up of course the ribbons were very brittle. Hoping it will be useful for someone to fix or utilize with another Polaris. I had a lot of enjoyment out of it over many years! ... I pulled it off ebay and have decided to fix it. ... It has been fixed by VST Pasadena who soldered new connecting wire to the ribbons having removed the cracked brittle area of the ribbons at the stress points. I'm picking it up tomorrow - they say it's all working fine!" [April 2010]


For sale on eBay, September 2012 (item #290769587969). From the description: "This is basically a museum quality Chroma Polaris that has been repaired by me. Near as I know I originated the method of reconfiguring the membrane interface so that there is zero stress. I've only lost one of the many I've done because the plastic was so brittle on that one from ozone that it cracked way back too far and couldn't be recovered. All the others I've done including this one I've been able to reconnect without cracking. I coated some with a varnish for a bit that were real brittle also but this particular one was in good shape beyond the bends. So it should last indefinitely."


Robert Stickles

"Purchased in late 2010 for $140 US from the website of a pawn shop in Vermont. Typical membrane issues and a few other assorted problems. Revision 9 EPROMS. What's interesting about this Polaris is it has the older incorrect membrane panel with Virbrato Pedal as a unipolar parameter (light blue). Definitely the highest serial number I've seen with this panel. This Polaris is still not working as of this writing but I've considered shedding the keyboard and other weighty things to make this into an expander module." [January 2015]


Mikail Graham

"I bought this for next to nothing in the late 80's more out of curiosity then necessity, and really had never done much with it as I'd always wished I had an Expander and felt like I'd simply settled for the Polaris due to the great price. Well it had been setting nearly 15 years or more on a shelf in my pseudo museum, and I was a bit frightened as to what I might find.

"Upon opening it up for the first time I encountered the 2 D Cell batteries (the original Fender ones purchased in bulk from Japan) neither of which had leaked a drop which was quite a relief. I removed them and went down to the local Rite Aid and bought a new pair of Alkaline models, brought them back and inserted them and decided it was time to turn on the power and see what happened next. What happened next was & is quite a surprise to say the least. I pressed a few keys and out came a very clear brass like synth sound, next I chose a 2nd preset and lo & behold yet another synth patch of something rather pad like came swirling out the speakers and so forth and so on.

"So how is this possible when clearly there had been no backup battery for years, plus remember I'd also removed those old dead batteries for more than an hour while I went buy new ones. Yet there they were, a full set of patched in every slot sounding just great. Unfortunately some key would play and some would not. It appeared the keyboard was either dirty or was going to need replacing, drat! But the odd things was that one some patches the same keys that would not sound played and output sound just fine when choosing an alternate preset which made me wonder if maybe it was not a case of bad keys after all? So after a few days of fussing about and scouring the web for any and everything Polaris and downloaded the manual and finally found something that made do a double take. Lower Function + 11 resets the Polaris computer, hmm, wonder if that might help? At this point what did I have to lose? So pressed that magic button combo and after a few seconds of reconfiguring itself my beautiful Polaris was now outputting sound from every and any key press - yea! Success beyond my wildest!!! I'm still amazed and have no clue how any of these presets survived and am still scratching my head over this one. Nonetheless the bottom line is that the Polaris a very different beast than the Chroma, and truly a great addition to my arsenal of synths with a very full and unique sound quite unlike anything else I've come across - including the Chroma." [April 2013]

See Chromas 21030159 and 21030813.


Sold on eBay, July 2009.

Woody Pistrich, Almost Morse Code, Massachusetts, U.S.

"Purchased for 382 on ebay 7/2009 from California -- had a keyboard with problems but the rest was fine. It showed it had a previous ribbon wire repair and 3 new LEDs. Swapped keyboard with #301417 Now operates 100%." [November 2009]

"Has since developed a bad cracked ribbon wire on the right panel and now doesn't work (as i said before it already had a repair to the ribbons on the left panel), but i'm hoping to get a set of new membranes in a couple months from Paul DeRocco [21030230] who just mentioned he was getting them reproduced on the Yahoo Polaris forum." [November 2009]


Sold on eBay, May 2011.


For sale on eBay, August 2012; sold in October.


Bob Weigel

"Someone spilled something and it got on cpu board and they didn't have the sense to clean it up. Rusty in there and possibly a big project to recover. May part out that one. Good front panel so I figure it might be time better spent to sacrifice it." [September 2009]

See also 301039, 301551, 302658, 500439.


Paul DeRocco [Chroma 21030230]

"Bought recently from Jack Conrad in Fort Wayne, IN, with a bunch of parts missing, most of which I've been able to scrounge." [November 2011]


Miss Diane Elizabeth Jones

"Purchased new at Haight Ashbury Music in San Francisco, California, 1985. Paid $2,000.00. Now located In Orlando/Winter Park, Florida where I live. I played it for many years by myself writing my own original music in 1985-1994 (then it was broken and as been in a hard-case since); motherboard they claimed was broken and that was that. Otherwise great condition. So I am looking for another Chroma Polaris. I loved my old one it just sounded and felt good and I love the sliders. The manual sucks....but if you can muster past that you can do anything." [December 2008]


Paul DeRocco [Chroma 21030230]

"I picked up S/N 300793 on eBay for $380 plus shipping, sold 'for parts' by eBay member 'tsaxmemark'. It naturally had bad membrane panels, but also looks like it had suffered water damage, perhaps in a fire. The main board and both panel boards had several traces that looked like they had dissolved into green oxide. However, I was able to repair all the traces, repair some bad sliders, replace a couple more unfixable sliders, replace two LEDs, replace two broken output jacks, and clean the keyboard, and it now works. I'd never trust it on a gig, though, but since I sell replacement membrane panels, I need an instrument to test the panels on before shipping them, so this is my designated test unit, sitting there with no membrane panels. That freed up another perfectly good unit that I was using for testing before. Not bad for a few hundred bucks." [January 2015]


Brian Murray

Mentioned on the Polaris mailing list. [April 2008]


Paul DeRocco [Chroma 21030230]

"Bought cheap from Fender when they got out of the electronic keyboard biz." See also 300001, 300793. [November 2011]


David Clarke [Chroma 21030085++]

"This is the Polaris that I have chosen to keep. It inherited a lot of the previously sick parts from other Polarii that I had had (e.g., panel pieces with broken/missing plastic interconnects). It's now working 100% and sits in a rack above one of its Rhodes Chroma bretheren. I can't remember exactly when I picked this one up - but it may have been in May 2001. This was either my fourth or fifth Polaris (I've had 5 ... but I've lost track of one of them over the years ...)" [January 2005]


Thomas Rizzi

For sale via the Polaris mailing list, December 2013.


Sold on eBay, November 2009.


For sale and sold on eBay, June 2012 (item #170858850824).


Doug Terrebonne [Chroma 21030114]

[February 2012]


Mike Jaynes [Chroma 21030638+]

"Purchased from Tim Curtis in April 2006 non-working. Bad DAC chip, replaced with Analog Devices chip. Cleaned up key contacts & repaired bad volume slider. Tim had previously repaired the membrane switches. Works well now." [October 2006]


Joe Dutilly

Previously owned by Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. "Originally purchased at Art's Music in Montgomery AL by ASU in 1984 and was traded back to Art in 1987 when I picked it up for $695/used and I have been the owner ever since. The salesman at Art's told me that this instrument had been played by Stevie Wonder and Lionel Ritchie on different occasions during their visits to the music program at ASU. I'm assuming he was told this at the time of the trade-in by somebody from the music department.

"In the process of being overhauled but was 100% working when last used about 10 years ago. A few faders need to be replaced and a key fixed. A few key-combs need some attention as well. I want to start using it regularly is why I decided to over-haul it." [April 2012]


Doug Terrebonne [Chroma 21030114]

"Came with extra front panel." [February 2012]


Richard Willoughby [Chroma 21030155]

"The Polaris is a little dirty, but all 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 said "[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.:)" [November 2006] For more information see Richard's post in the December 2006 ChromaTalk archive.

Sold, February 2011.


Jesse Terry

"I just purchased a Chroma Polaris for $700 from Craigslist. Seems everything is working fine (the mod/pitch may be a little fiddly though, still testing...)." [February 2012]


Woody Pistrich, Almost Morse Code, Massachusetts, U.S.

"Got it for free around 2005 in Massachusetts. When it was left at my house when its owner split accross the country--it had some ribbon wire issues and while operated, couldnt access half the memory. This is the keyboard that turned me on to the Polaris. It had some awesome patches. Trying to get it fixed was a series of disasters with incompetant techs, who quickly made it totally unplayable then gave me the runaround for many many months. Eventually I fixed it myself by cannabalizing 301417. (This is the polaris i use now in my band.) Now operates 100%" [November 2009]


Sold on eBay, August 2009. See pictures from the auction.

Bob Weigel

"Just repaired the front panel the other night. Looks excellent. Sounds great after a pot repair/jack repair. To sell or keep for my gigging board. That is the question. Mine for now." [September 2009]

Sold on eBay, January 2010.


Sold on eBay, June 2010.


Doug Terrebonne [Chroma 21030114]

[February 2012]


Spotted for sale on eBay in June 2006 (item #7419837518). From the description: "This sound monster is in excellent condition considering it was introduced to the market almost 25 years ago. Made in an era when synthesizers were constructed from Steel and wood (and highly transportable as a result, not). All of the sliders are available in realtime and are MIDI assignable. Alternately, all of the sound parameters may be controlable via MIDI. On this particular instrument, all of the 132 memory patches are filled and all of the keys are functional. The cassette port has also been confirmed to work." [June 2006]


Mark Bowie

"I bought my Chroma Polaris in '86 I think. Played in several bands for years and then life took over. Kids are grown and I have been finding time to get back to playing and writing. Start home recording using Mixcraft and I am blown away at how much different recording technology is since I was using my little Tascam 4 track.

:The VST instruments are great and inspired me to look into using my Chroma as my controller. Unfortunately after years of sitting and gathering dust, I fired it up and it has some issues. I have been trying to find solutions on line with little success. Although this seems to be a common issue. Specifically I can't change set up to send on all channels because on panel f- 6 buttons are not responding." [February 2013]


John Bateman

"Purchased from a guy I was in the military with in Germany in 1989. Can't remember how much. Moved to North Carolina in the 1990's, then on to England. Has languished under a bed for the past several years. It powers up, but few of the buttons work. Trying to find someone in the UK with more expertise than I to get her working again. Don't have a picture currently, but will forward one when possible." [May 2012]


Sold on eBay, February 2010.


Justin Lewis

"Standard chroma Polaris." [January 2011]

See also Polaris II 500552. Justin also owns or has owned several Chromas, including 21030062 from which the others are linked.


Dan Imeson

"The original owner is myself, bought in 1987 for $2800.00. It has lost all of the different sounds that the kids loved but it still makes some sounds. At least I think it does it has been in the box for 18 years. I was keeping it for future grand kids but often think about selling it." [June 2007]


Mike Jaynes [Chroma 21030638+]

"Purchased from Jeff Koepper [Chroma 21030671] in April 2005, non-working, all CEMs & DAC removed for Xpander spares before I purchased unit. Used the keyboard to repair ser #500530. Still looking for CEM 3374 chips to repair this one someday." [October 2006]


John Anthony Lopez aka Antonivs

Purchased 1996, Guitar Center, Covina, CA: "went in and saw it, bought it/$200.00. I play electronic music on it. It is part of my studio, played some gigs with it in the past. You can hear it on my SoundCloud page, Antonivs, in a song called 'Sunrise' it is all on the Chroma Polaris. Synthesizer has never had repairs or been customized. It is in perfect condition and hope it will continue to last me." [March 2013]



Gregory Ryan Freer

"I've been a joyful owner of a Chroma Polaris since 1995. I still own the memory expansion kit [see Polaris RAM IC Types], factory preset cassettes Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, and the only two guides that I was ever able to find—the Owner's Manual and MIDI Implementation Manual. I'm still looking for a full copy of the Polaris Technical Manual, if you or anyone else knows where I can find one. I was amazed to have found your site, since I've found only very little before on the Internet providing details to sources for accessories or manuals for the Polaris. I posted a dinky little website back in 1997 dedicated to the Chroma Polaris—no longer in existence." [August 2007]


Ben Kuris

"Purchased on ebay in 2003 for $425. Arrived w/broken key due to poor packing. Currently gigging and as result has taken some abuse. Repairs include new DAC based on AD7538, new S/H caps, Key replacement, Output jack replacement. Membrane buttons failed this year and have been replaced with panel mount switches which took many hours and required removing some IC sockets from control panel PCBs to provide clearance. Firmware rev. 5." [February 2005]


Woody Pistrich, Almost Morse Code, Massachusetts, U.S.

"Purchased for 350 on ebay 6/2006 from Texas. Had a bad slider and one non functional LED. It also had the bad S/H capacitor tuning problem. But now the motherboard is a mess and im using it for parts (keys, chips etc.). I took the control panel to salvage #301031, and the keyboard to fix #300561 it's a bit beyond practical repair now. DOES NOT WORK -" [November 2009]


Faelli Mario, (Parma, Italy)

"Bought 1991 in a Shop called Esse Music Store (Montebelluna, Italy) for about 1100000 Lire (550 €). I play Electronic Music, Like Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Alan Parsons, Tangerine Dream. I had to replace all internal Data Cables, 3 original Potentiometers 100 KOhm (found on eBay), and Membrane Switch Panel. Now I need to replace the external audio - headphones connector, Hi and Low Exit sound."


Sold on eBay, March 2012.


George Fox

"Sadly, it's broken and I'm selling it for parts or as a project for someone who really knows about these synths. I acquired it from a pawn shop in West Virginia for a few hundred bucks in about 1990-1991. There was a dent in the back, but it functioned well for a few months. I don't know how functional it actually was, but I was able to make and manipulate some sounds. I think I could even save presets. The keyboard and MIDI worked because I hooked it up to a sequencer and recorded at least one song while playing the with the resonance and cutoff. But soon all the top membrane panel controls became unresponsive and when I opened it, I saw the plastic ribbon that connected it was cracked. It looked like someone had tried to solder something inside too. I sealed it up in a box, put it away and haven't even looked at it until this year when i decided to see if it was repairable. A keyboard technician I recently hired said he couldn't refurbish it and that 'some very inept individuals (not real repair technicians) tried to repair it and in the process destroyed it.'" [July 2012]


Dave Blees

"Bought new in early 1985 at B-Sharp Music in Minneapolis for $700. Did lots of live gigging with the Polaris and a Chroma [21030552] in the 80's, then it went into semi-retirement in my bedroom/garage hobby studios since 1990. I regularly used a nice, filthy B3-ish patch that I made for it, in combination with a cleaner but beefier organ patch on the Chroma, and having fine control over upper/lower (Polaris/Chroma) leslie effects with an expression pedal was SWEET. I also commonly used the Polaris for nice Arpish stringy patches, especially the ethereal kind with some slow filter sweeping and such. Not to forget the wonderfully funky, squishy skanks, a la 70's funk.

"After programming an editor with GenEdit (Atari ST) for the Chroma, I did tackle a Polaris editor, but soon realized that the Polaris was so easy to program on its front panel that putting it on a screen wasn't really gaining anything at all - so I settled for just a patch librarian and let it go at that.

"The right-half membrane switch panel got completely worn out by 1988 or so, and I bought replacement left- and right-half panels at the time. I never did have to install the left-half panel, so I have a brand new - or at least unused - left panel up in my attic somewhere. Right now the Polaris has been in storage for a year & a half, but it'll get broken out again soon..." [July 2005]

For sale in December 2013 via an email to the Polaris mailing list.


Sold on eBay, August 2009.


Sold on eBay, October 2009.


Steve Hug, Switzerland

"Purchased 2010, Beverly Hills CA, $620. Recordings for Cosmic Intent. Currently working well." [December 2010]


For sale on eBay, April 2006 (item #7406468271). From the description: "This keyboard is in great shape for its age! Condition: 7 1/2 Stars, it's actually in really good condition. The electronics work great!" [April 2006]


Bob Weigel

"My Polaris is in great shape. You can see it and most of my other instruments at my virtual studio tour which is set up so that you can click on any keyboard and hear a sound sampler file. I should add, my Polaris was attained from a guy at a music store on an ebay deal maybe three years ago now. One of my first analog keyboards after the Sequential Six Trak unless you count the K3 my first synth back in the mid-late 80's. I had to do a few fixes to it including straightening a metal corner because the guy shipped it in basically an envelope. It's a miracle it got here in this good condition. I had to replace an op amp that was involved with the modulation or something as I recall. Occasionally glitches when you turn it on but otherwise it's been a great unit so far. Have featured on several pieces I've done. I love the glide/mono mode pedal control and the ability to pitch bend only the solo'd note!" [March 2005]

See also 500439.


James Lonano, Florida

"Bought from Rick for, $200. Previous owner has another Chroma Polaris and sold the broken one. The synth has a couple of issues but was in very good condition. First, several of the left side buttons were not working, a few broken keys, 3 bad sliders and others good ones that just did not work, one incorrect slider replacement, and 20 slider caps were missing on the main board. Fortunately, the right side buttons were functioning at the time of purchase so I could run through presets and determine that there were no major issues!

"I tracked down all of the repair parts, sliders and oem slider caps from Bob at SynthDoctorin', Doug at SynthParts, and the Axel at the vintage synth shop in France. Great folks one and all. It added another $200 in needed replacement parts with plenty of spares to keep running for years.

"The easiest part was fixing the left membrane ribbon. It was trimmed it and extended the ribbon connectors to the board with Cat 6 wire. There were a few bad multiplexers so I went ahead and replaced 9 of them with new Philips 4051's. Once the new sliders were in place, she is running as good as new following a calibration from the service manual. I also loaded up and demo'd both factory patch banks via the .wav files into the sync in port. I could not get them to load up until I performed a 'verify' on them first! Ran into this on my Oberheim too.

"Future plans are to replace the Filter caps and the few electrolytic caps found on the main board.

"My opinion: Horribly under rated synth. Most importantly, when I play the darn thing, it inspires me in new ways since it has a slightly different slant on CEM based analog synthesis. If the Polaris is this good, I can't imagine how good a Chroma is (probably blow my mind). Might as well start saving for one now I suppose. Complements my vintage Moog, Prophets, Oberheim OB-Xa and can even beat down the DX7 in the Clavinet, Hammond and Rhodes departments. Nice stuff indeed." [March 2011]


Sold on eBay, July 2012. From the description: "It was plugged in and the lights came on but there is no sound when touching any of the keys ... This item was part of inventory recovered from a recent storage auction with lots of vintage and unique items."

The instrument was for sale again in August, with the same description; it appears the sale fell through and I removed the entry (for USD$765.00) from the Polaris Price History. It sold this time for USD$580.00.



Petter Nesset

"I finally got the Fender Chroma Polaris I bought a few months ago. I also got the manuals for it. The Polaris is an instrument to love. I've got more than 25 analogue synths including Moog Voyager, ARP Odyssey, Oberheim OB 8, Roland Jupiter 4, 6, 8, etc, but the Polaris is right up there with the best. Obviously I'm very curious about the difference between the Polaris and the big Chroma. I've decided to buy a Chroma sometime later this year when the opportunity arises. If the Chroma sounds (a lot) better than the Polaris, then I have truly got something to look forward to. The Polaris is simply wonderful.

"I bought my Polaris from a guitar shop in Hamar, Norway. I paid about 600 Euros for it. The shop in Hamar had bought the synth somewhere in the US and originally wanted 800 Euros for it. Sadly I have no data about the history of this instrument. The synth is in great shape. No technical problems at all. Whoever owned this instrument before me probably was a caring person." [March 2006]


David Clarke

"Purchased non-functioning from Ebay on July 2, 1999 (Ebay Item #121202631). Keyboard came from Fleetwood NY. Repaired and sold via Songbird Music, Ottawa on or about Oct. 10, 1999. Sold with Rev 9 of firmware installed. (Paid $140USD). This was my third Polaris." [January 2005]


Sold on eBay, October 2013.


John Hilton

"I had it for a long time in a video studio until the studio closed several years ago. We used it to come up with odd sounds and swooshes, etc for commercial spots. It has a power cord but no case. Everything seems to still work just fine although two of the slider buttons are missing (the sliders work just fine). It looks good but has some scratches, especially on the bottom of the unit." The unit was for sale on the Classified Ads page. [April 2004]


Woody Pistrich, Almost Morse Code, Massachusetts, U.S.

"Purchased for 400 on ebay 10/2009 from Massachusetts. Picked it up personally and found it had lots of undisclosed keyboard problems, though it did operate (the guy said it worked totally fine) - so I actually got it for 300). This one had a good control panel, but needed replacement output jacks and a SERIOUS keyboard cleaning. It looked like someone had poured coffee in it and then a mouse or something lived in it. There was actual corrosion to the keyboard chassis, seed particles and hair--after totally tearing the keyboard all apart, sanding, painting, cleaning everything, now it's fine and all notes work. The story was that this instrument had been purchased maybe around 2000 in Woodstock NY at a tag sale at Pete Seeger's house. Now operates 100%" [November 2009]


Sold in May 2013.


Doug Terrebonne [Chroma 21030114]

"Purchased on ebay in 1998. Sold locally (Fremont, CA) in 2004." [January 2005]


Gary Childs

"Bought on 11/27/11 in RI (Rhode Island) at an auction for $55 (plus 7% tax). The auctioneer called it a "piano." It seems to be fully functioning so far. It came with cassette #2, but no tape interface cord. One of the wooden end pieces is chipped and is currently being repaired. It was very dusty when I first got it. It was probably in storage for awhile." [November 2011]


Ben Kuris

"Purchased from a musician in Cambridge, MA in 2004 for $225 w/broken key, broken jack, and bad voice (detuned and poor pitch tracking). New S/H caps fixed voice problem. Added an Aux-input (to VCO/VCA) using a spare output jack normalled to the noise-generation circuitry. Works great now. Firmware rev. 5." [February 2005]


Doug Terrebonne [Chroma 21030114]

"I am happy to annouce I have a Polaris again." [May 2010] "Fully working." [February 2012]


Robert Stickles

"Purchased from June 2010 for $950 CAN from a fellow musician in Windsor, Ontario. Membrane issues were fixed prior to purchase by clipping the cracked tails, desolering the connector from the board and fitting the connector to the trimmed tail. Wires were then run from the connector to the board. Has worked without issue since purchase. Revision 5 EPROMS. Output board was modified by myself replacing the LM384N opamp with with a socketed TL074, giving a little more punch and low end to the sound." [January 2015]


David Hartt

"Purchased new at Kenny's Music in Timmins Ontario back in 1984. I paid about $2,000 Canadian (taxes included). I loved this keyboard. My Polaris has been on the road in and around Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec, but never having a proper road case has been a a little hard on it. It was used on many local demos and has been a source of samples for other keyboardists in the area. For the past seven years or so it has just sat there, gathering dust as the ribbon cables are broken, and the high B and middle E are both broken. I have been unable to locate parts for it, but it still powers up. I'd love to be able to use this thing in my home studio." [February 2007]


Steve Burke

I bought it from Cosmo music in Richmond Hill Ontario about 20 years ago for $500.00. I wanted an analog synth and read about what it had and decided to buy it. It was working perfectly, but now it has seen better days. It still works but one row of buttons (F thru to K) don't work (no LED's) and some of the patches will not work properly. One black key is broken.

"I have used it a few times giging back 20 years ago. I have lent it to people for years at a time, it has been a bed for cats to sleep on, but now it resides in my basement studio which I have just started to reorganize, and will be getting the Polaris up and running properly, thanks to you guys having the schematics available on line. I wished that they had make a rack mounted version.

"I didn't like to gig with it much – it weighed an exra 10lbs heavier than my DX7 and about 20 lbs heavier than the EPS. So that is why it has stayed a 'studio' equipment." [December 2009]


David Clarke

"Purchased around or about May/June 1994 from James Graham. It came with two footswitches as well as the cassette cable. At the time, there was some inital confusion (by me) if this was actually a 'Rhodes Chroma' or 'Chroma Polaris', and so I pretty much needed to wait to see what arrived before I knew what I had. James indicated that he had had the keyboard for about 7 years before the sale. This was my first Polaris, and was in use from 1994 until it was sold on November 6, 2003. It (plus an Arp Quadra, S/N 0003!) went to Songbird Music (Ottawa) as a partial trade against a Roland Jupiter-6. It was sold with a disk containing Factory Program Set #1, Factory Program Set #2, Factory Sequence Set, an original Pedal Switch (to be used with Sustain and/or Metronome) and a Travel Case (Hard Shell)." [January 2005]


Sold in Peter Forrest's [21010096] VEMIA auction in November 2006 (See ChromaTalk thread Polaris # 301936). "It's in remarkable cosmetic condition, seriously (after the dust was cleaned off) near-mint. Long notes were cutting off abruptly, but I was amazed to find user instructions in the manual to re-calibrate the VCAs via the front panel controls. Even I was able to do this successfully in about three minutes. The filter goes into self-oscillation VERY abruptly, but I seem to remember this happening with the other Polarises I've played in the past. It's a very powerful synth, and I did tell the buyer that if he changes his mind I'd be really happy to step in. Otherwise, it's on its way to the Czech Republic in a few days' time. It sold for 375 UK pounds, by the way." [November 2006]

Bohdan Pásek, Czech Republic

"Purchased 11/11/2006. Never used on stage, just in my studio. Polaris is in these tracks (with more synths): 20070124_fashion_v2.mp3 and 20070225_bodyia_dbg02.mp3. Thinking about filter customization aka Xpander. Perfect, 100% working and optical condition." [July 2009]

Jan Mendelsson, Brno, Czech Republic

"Purchased 13.6.2010 from Bohdan Pásek (he finally bought Xpander :-). It is the one and only piece in Czech Republic, still in perfect condition. I wanted to use it in Distant Bells, the cover-band of Pink Floyd songs, but it's a shame, I'm afraid that broke (and it's very heavy). It remains in my studio, one of my best synthesizers. Polaris is very funky, dynamic and colourful instrument, I love it." [August 2010]


For sale and sold on eBay, August 2012.



Kenneth Mitchell

"This one has problems, but first I want to share with all, the excitement I felt when I saw this one in the pawnshop. I did not hesitate to 'throwdown' $100.00 bucks for this one. Anyway, when I got it home I discovered it has a problem or two. The 'membrane' does not fully function. (Read that this is a common problem.)" [March 2010]


John M Criado

Bought January 2010. "Repaired at Syntronics, Boston, MA. Having issues: some notes don't play on different patches but on other patches those notes play but differnt notes don't play." [September 2010]

For sale on eBay, September 2010 (item #180561430030).

Steve Hug, Switzerland

"Purchased 2010, Los Angeles CA, $800. Recordings for Cosmic Intent. Repaired the power supply ($250) after shipping damage. Curently working well." [December 2010]


John O'Leary

"Recieved as a gift from a friend in 2008. he had owed it since at least the early 90s but that's all the info I have. It has more than a few non-functioning membrane switches, so my friend gave it to me, on the off chance i could get it up and running again. Sad to say I've let it sit for FAR too long, and now it is time to get it back in ship shape.

"Condition: cosmetically it is in almost showroom condition! No noticable damage to the wood, scratches, etc. It powers up and plays, although mostly out of tune. The main issue seems to be the membrane switches, more than half do not work! Otherwise it is still a great sounding instrument. I'm hoping to get it up and running soon, and will post photos when I get the chance." [November 2010]


For sale and sold on eBay, March 2012.


David Sorlien

Sold on eBay, November 2013.


Sold on eBay, March 2012.



Duncan Haberly

"It popped up a couple of years ago, on Craigslist here in San Francisco, for $300. The previous owner had brought it down from Seattle, but hadn't played it much himself. The sale included a copy of the original manual. Everything works well on this keyboard, except the Noise membrane switch. I get around this by triggering Noise over MIDI—the implementation on the Polaris is shockingly good. Sound-wise, the Polaris is a monster and holds its own against other analog gear from the same era. Given its weight and fragility, the Polaris stays in my home studio and does not travel." [January 2012]


David Kronemyer, California, USA

"Recently bought in a private sale. Powers up but only a few of the membrane switches work, it does play one program but can't change over to any others (the one program does sound rather nice, though)." [December 2006]


Jason Zambito

Jason did a see through top panel membrane replacement modification. [April 2007]


Sold on eBay in January 2012.


Sold on eBay in December 2010.


Doug Terrebonne [Chroma 21030114]

[February 2012]


Edoardo Gennaro

"Asigliano (VC) Italy. Previous owner: Dario Casi, Napoli Italy. Date purchased: 14/03/2006, place of purchase: Web, paid $700. I'm not a professional musician, I play and record in a little place, I set the Polaris on my Fender Rhodes MkII; previous owner said that years ago has been added an external box (by LEMI, Torino, ITALY) with all the buttons of the Polaris, because thr original buttons lost their function [this looks similar to David Clarke's ChromaKnob for the original Chroma]. Only a few are still working. Saturday 18/3/2006 I modified the box and fixed it to the Polaris. Now I have to learn all the functions, (the interface is not like others analog synth I used in the past like OB-Xa). The sound is great, very aggressive. The E4 key has lost velocity sensitivity." [March 2006]


For sale and sold on eBay, April 2011 (item #140536279226).


For sale on eBay, June 2010; sold July 2010.

María Aguilar, Spain

"After 5 minutes playing the synth all the lights are on and no sound occurs." [July 2010] "I sent the synth to a technician to another city, I am waiting for his reply." [August 2010]


Andy Garman

"Has a non-name brand case, purchased new in the mid-to-late 1980's by an amateur musician (myself), and has been sitting in its case for the past 10+ years. Although it was working before I put it away, I pulled it out recently and it does not power up anymore. Might just have a blown fuse, but could also be something much less fixable. I am offering it along with its original cases, pedals, and accessories. " [September 2009] For sale on eBay, October 2009: see Three Chromas (and a Polaris) on eBay.

Peter Forrest [Chroma 21010096+]


Steven A. Lowe

"Purchased around 1986 I think. I played it extensively for many years, and the keyboard action is still excellent. Almost all of the solenoid switches for programming and patches still work, and the MIDI output is still working, but sadly I don't have the knowledge/skill to repair it myself and need to let it go. I am willing to sell it for a reasonable offer plus shipping - if any of your readers are interested it would save me the trouble of fiddling with eBay, and I would know that had found a home with someone who appreciates the unique vintage aspects of this fine instrument." See Classified Ads. [June 2007]


Frank Hettlich

See also Chromas 21010271 and 21030041.


Edward Chen [Chroma 21030674+]

Bought on eBay, August 2009.


Bob Weigel

"I just acquired this one to repair...needs some key work and possibly a bad voice. Panel seems to work mostly but probably the ribbon mod will need to be done as well. We'll get it worked up for somebody Lord willing!" [February 2009]

"Sold to a guy in [Salt Lake City]...Need to deliver and work on another one he has..." [September 2009]


David Clarke

"Purchased through 'Rock Auction' (Item #516256) on or about June 30, 1999. It was sold to a friend of mine (the fellow behind & Space Ace) a few months later. He still has it as of this writing (January 15, 2005). This was my second Polaris." [January 2005]


Alessandro Mazzitelli, Italy

"Purchased 20 December 2010 from Scolopendra Music Instruments shop, Bologna. Price: €850. I use the Polaris in studio for recordings, play pop, techno-pop revival, New Wave, Ambient music, etc. In the past I used another Polaris between 1992 and 1996, and i loved it. Current status: working, but the instrument has a problem with ten left front panel switches that do not work (flat wire broken) This problem has recently appeared! In 2010 I changed the 6th voice CEM 3374 and replace Ten Keyboards Key damaged in trasport when i bought it." [May 2012]



Antonio Tuzzi

"I have a Polaris mk1 (2123). I received it in Feb 2005, with broken panel (standard defect), failing power. Working on the power supply I blew up the Hs3141 (the DAC)!!. With the help of Ben (Kuris) I was able to resurrect it (in May 2005) (doing a miniboard with AD7538). Firmware 8. I'm the second owner." [August 2005]

See also 100036.


Gert Prix, Eboardmuseum

See also Chroma 21030417. [May 2008]


For sale on eBay, October 2005 (item 7359605395). From the description: "Fender Chroma Polaris 61 Key Synthesizer in very good condition. Unit was tested and seems to be in good working order however some of the keys do not produce sound. We are not sure if this is a problem or if it is just a setting that needs adjusting. Sold as is."


Pasadena Pawn Shop

Spotted on the Web while briefly casting around on the creation of this page. "The unit is in very nice condition and works beautifully. Power cord included." Listed as sold on the index page. [October 2004]