Synth Site: Miscellaneous: Polaris Synth: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Corley Brigman a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I like this synth....8 way multitimbral true analog synth. Uses the same

CEM 3374/3372 pair that the Xpander/AX-80 use, so it sounds great.

The 2-pole filters have a wild acid sound, and you can overdrive it

pretty easily (good sounding distortion). 6 voices, only one LFO but

every parameter is attached to a midi CC, so combined with pitch bend

you can create any modulations you want from a sequencer like cakewalk.

draw your own LFOs for anything. only 8 settings for resonance, but i don't

really notice that much. powerful midi control, and supports sync in/out,

can translate sync to/from midi in rates from 12ppq to 192ppq! all in all,

something i don't plan on ever getting rid of...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:37
Ryan Freer a professional user from North America writes:
Owning a Fender Chroma Polaris has been one of the most rewarding

things for me as a musician. It was my first and only synthesizer along

with a Roland TR-707 for about a year and a half until I bought a Korg

X5DR module and a Clavia Nord Lead board.

The Polaris is a very well laid out, easy to use and expandable

synthesizer with some killer sound potential, (When devoted alot of time)

It also had many capabilities via midi and internal configurations. For

instance, it could send realtime parameter changes over midi to

sequencers and special synthesizers that worked in similar ways like the

Oberheim X-pander. You could even set its sequencer up as a unique

trigger for events in a midi setup, including looping and tempo tapping.

The multitimbral features were certainly nice, having up to, I believe,

an 8-part capability.

Aside from the various updates in ROM and factory preset cassettes,

were the RAM sequencer memory expansion kits, expanding its internal

sequencer note capacity from an intial minimum of 700 notes to 8750 notes

depending on the expansion package bought and the number of programs in

memory. (8750 notes with the full 132 programs).

Voice memory allocations, and other functions, were accessed on the

board through membrane switches resembling banks and voice numbers. Banks

were labeled A-K with 12 sounds per bank labeled 1-12 for a total of 132

voices with 128 accessable through midi.

The panel layout contained 2 syncable oscillators containing a ring

modulator on one and sawtooth and pulse waveforms on both. A neat sweep

modulator, (which could sweep in sine or square waveforms), next to a

very powerful filter, envelope and volume envelope primarily set the

Polaris up in its programing power.

The Polaris' sound &quot;can&quot; be absolutely awesome, given that the

factory preset sounds in my opinion were not very good. I tend to think

that the bad factory sounds were the best thing about the Polaris though.

It forces you to program it. After all, thats when synthesis is the most

rewarding and creative. The Polaris provides very warm, tonal sound

characters as well as many ear peircing bright sounds and sound effects.

I like the broad spectrum of sound I get from it in general, especially

now after working with it for the past 2 and a half years.

The Polaris is a remarkable board, and is due to be recognized and


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:37
Mitch a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I Bought my Chroma Polaris when it was on closeout from the music stores. Got a Real deal to, if I recall. During the first year It was plagued with problems. I updated the memory, after which it would seem to go crazy and hang up at the weirdest times. I fixed this problem by upgrading the 5-volt regulator to one that handled more current. No problems since. My batteries did go dead a few months ago. I replaced them and all of my sounds came back. I found that using an old radioshack data recorder gave me the most reliable file tranfers. I love the old analog synth sound and I wouldn't give up the weighted keyboard for anything. I use it to drive a few other old MIDI keyboards including a Yamaha DX21 an Akia X700 and the 32awe sound card in my computer. I recently went looking for a new keyboard that would do all the new things. Between what I have I could not find the value in updating.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:37
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