Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rhodes Chroma Polaris "Polaris: Feel The Power" brochure, 1984

Rhodes Chroma Polaris "Polaris: Feel The Power" eight page barn-door fold colour brochure from 1984.

There I was. 1985 I think.  I was in my favourite music store eyeing up the Chroma Polaris. I'd put the idea of buying a car on the backburner for the sole purpose of saving up the cash from my job as a dietary aide at a near-by hospital to instead purchase this synth.

At work, I can make decisions on the spot. But personal decisions have always required days, weeks or even years of mind-numbing procrastination. And this was a big one. So many different synths in the shop, but this was the one.

Finally, decision made, I called over the worker bee and pointed to the Polaris. That one!

So what did the sales guy say?

"Hey, have you checked out this Casio CZ-5000. Its digital. It has a sequencer as well. And its cool looking. And... and... "

...and wouldn't you know it. Just like that I went home with the CZ. And as much as I love my CZ-5000 (I still have it!) I had always wondered what it would be like to to own the Chroma Polaris, but over the decades I'd never managed to come across one.

Until 2018.

Local buyer.

A really great price.

In *perfect* condition. Just like this brochure.

I love this brochure almost as much as I love my Polaris - it's just full of surprises.

The cover is simple - just one big photo of a hand on a keyboard. Gutsy move to not include an actual photo of the synthesizer on the cover of your brochure. Even if you flip it over to the back, all you see is the back of the synth. Interesting.

But that's the point. Curiosity makes you instinctively want to open the brochure up.

So, fold open the brochure and you come to two inside pages, each folded over from the outer ends, revealing that they too can fold out - the "gate fold" as its often called. Surprisingly, the title spans between the two pages. And even more surprisingly... although we get a lot more detail about the features of the Chroma Polaris, there is still no sign of a photo of the synth itself.

But now... open those barn doors! Bam! There's your Chroma Polaris! Spanning not just one... not just two... and not even three pages. But FOUR PAGES.

Now *that* is taking advantage of a gate fold. Observe and commit to memory, design kiddies!

The photo is used as the centre piece of a diagram, pointing out a lot of its features. All steel chassis. High resolution sliders. Velocity sensitive weighted keyboard. But the best is the label for the "Polaris" logo itself:

"Polaris: another engineering triumph of our leading-edge synthesizer 'think tank'."

I want to be a member of a synthesizer think tank.

I'm available. Contact me.  :)

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