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I was the importer's official warranty service engineer when these classics were made.

White Odyssey The Original 'White Face' Odyssey, a less common version of this classic. Duophonic analogue with 2 VCOs, 1 LFO & 1 VCF.

This last, which gave the White Face its distinctive sound, was a bone of contention & apparently led to legal wrangling. It is a sealed (potted) module, hiding a guilty secret, or so the story goes.

A copy of the Moog ladder filter, also used in early 2600s. After discovery, this was replaced by an exclusive ARP circuit, incorporating a design flaw. It can not cover the entire audio range, with a high of only 12 K/Cs. Thus the later version, identified by a black control panel ( hence 'Black Face'), has a different, less biting, sound.

This is probably just a story, the white faces we have seen have a 4023 filter module. This is a 2 pole OTA type, similiar to that used later by Oberheim. The 4 pole ladder modules are numbered 4012 & later 4034 or 4035. These appeared in early 2600 models & some later 'Black Faces'. These were discontinued for legal reasons.

Both versions have a distinctive black vinyl wrap around base. This extends forwards, offering some protection to the protruding organ style keys. Lack of this feature is a weakness of the Mark 2 model. A steel case with hinged control panel & mock leather sides. Entirely plastic keys extend beyond the front & are often broken. 'Proportional' buttons allow pitch bend.

Black Odyssey

This neat black face is unusual, a factory hybrid. Innards & contacts are Mark 2.

With 'proportional controllers', seen on the front left & rear CV / Gate jacks.

Case & keyboard are the better Mark 1 type.


Chroma The company founded by Alan R. Pearlman produced a number of classics over the years. Also a few that missed the category. Their last design, the Chroma, survived the company's demise & was eventually built by Rhodes under their name.

More will be on this page soon.


The White & Black Faces are strictly just colour variants of the same model. Called by their creators just 'Odyssey'. The model with a steel case & orange decal (Orange Face) was called 'Odyssey 2 (or II)'. For simplicity I call them Mark 1 & Mark 2.

It seems that some in the industry now call the White Face Mark 1, the Black Face Mark 2 & the Orange Face Mark 3. Giving the first two versions different Mark numbers is a bit like giving black cars a different model number to red cars, just because they may have different grades of spark plug.

An Odyssey by any other name will sound as good.

Try this link for more information on the Odyssey etc. Your browser's 'Back' button will return to here.

All Brand & Model names are Trademarks and/or Copyright of their respective owners.

All opinions in this section are those of the author, Ron Lebar.

Information given is generally brief & is based on our experience. If you spot any factual mistakes or 'typos' please feel free to let us know. We are not quite perfect & promise not to sulk over constructive criticism.

If you need more information on models listed or can suggest another instrument to add let us know & we will do our best. From time to time we may include comprehensive details of specific models.

For Technical queries, advice on operational problems etc. you are welcome to E-Mail us.

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ARP. Updated on the 2nd of June 2008. Ron Lebar, Author.