Owner of original RCA theremin invites offers

Posted: 8/21/2011 1:55:28 PM

Joined: 5/19/2011

I am the owner of an original RCA theremin and I’m inviting offers to buy it. It is serial # 200075. It’s missing the doors, speaker, and tubes. The case is in reasonably good condition and includes both original antennae. I’ve owned it since 1974, when I rescued it from being taken to the dump in New London, CT. The previous owner was a magician and apparently used it for sound effects. He is deceased and I haven’t been able to trace ownership further back than that.

A friend put out a query on this forum several months ago, and I’ve been gathering info as to its worth since then. I want to start here rather than eBay because this seems to be where the most knowledgeable and theremin-oriented people are. I don’t have a specific minimum price in mind and am open to offers and negotiation, although I certainly don’t want to give it away.

I live in western Massachusetts and would greatly prefer that it be picked up rather than crated and shipped. I can send photos if you’re interested. Please email me with questions or offers. fredholmgren[at]gmail.com
Posted: 8/21/2011 2:10:27 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

The problem for most potential buyers will be that they can't be sure that this instrument will be working after they bought it and an additional set of tubes.

It may be that one of the transformers may be broken or some of the bitumen capacitors, and since there are no original spare parts available, the whole investment would go down the drain.

Why don't you look first for a theremin specialist who will make sure that the instrument is in a good working condition and then sell it with a warranty? This should (even if you have to subtract the costs of the specialist) give you a much higher price.
Posted: 8/21/2011 2:39:55 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Theremin specialists are few and far between, and RCA theremin specialists even more so. We recommended he have it looked at in this previous posting (http://www.thereminworld.com/forum.asp?cmd=p&T=4968&F=5) back in June. The only one I know of off hand that would come close to fitting that description is Uncle Howie (Mossman) in Philadelphia. Apparently, no one from this website forum volunteered, other than Mike Buffington, but he may not be close by.

Some of the parts may be found by cannibalizing an old Radiola, but parts specific to the RCA theremin would indeed be extremely scarce or impossible to find. You can build or buy some modern replacement parts, but that topic would be best left for a different posting.

Hmmm...Western Massachusetts is not all that far from Oh So Beautiful New Hampshire now is it? ;-)
Posted: 8/21/2011 4:28:05 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

OK, so lets get concrete: Actually we have only half a cabinet including 2 chassis in unknown working condition without tubes. My opening bid: 200 bucks

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