Theremin Kit?

Posted: 9/18/2006 11:40:16 AM

Joined: 9/18/2006

Im building a theremin for a school project. i am completly new at theremins and would like your opinions on this theremin kit

its only 95 dollars so im a little skeptical as to whether its decent or not.
Posted: 9/18/2006 12:53:02 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

It looks very much like a jaycar theremin kit. (Original version - there is also a mark II and a midi theremin kit. I have not seen any reports on the mkII or the midi version.)

Go here and search on theremin. Buying a jaycar kit direct from the manufacturer is cheaper.

But, the jaycar mark 1 is not a particularly good instrument. It is certainly possible to modify the circuitry to make it into a better instrument. (Kees Enkelaar theremins are modified Jaycars and they are decent instruments.) It may be worth hunting around the internet to see what mods have been made public (you won't find the enkelaar mods - they are proprietary) but that additional complexity might take it out of the scope of a school project.

There are also some very simple theremin circuits to be found on the internet that might be more appropriate for a school project. They will work, but will make a device that makes interesting woo-woo noises when you wave your hands around, rather than a musical instrument. Sufficient to demonstrate the principles of heterodyning, but no more.

(I should note here I am not an electronics expert - just someone who has hung around this forum long enough to know what the stock answers are. :-)

If you want to know the difference between there theremin as a musical instrument and as a woo-woo machine, search youTube on the tag "theremin" - there are plenty of examples of both...

Posted: 9/18/2006 12:56:11 PM

From: Undisclosed location without Dick Cheney

Joined: 2/21/2005

You might want to compare it to the Silicon Chip Theremin sold by Jaycar, (use their search box to search for Theremin). It looks like pretty much the same instrument, but a lot more expensive than Jaycar. Of course, it could merely look identical...

There's a page here on Theremin World about how to improve the Jaycar kit to get a better instrument. You should search for it. You can probably find it by looking up the Jaycar kit in the Theremin Gallery, which is in the Learn section of the menu on the left.

This is another very popular kit:

Good luck, and keep in touch with us about how it goes!
Posted: 9/20/2006 11:20:15 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

You might also look at the Art Harrison Minimum Theremin (

From the website:

"I designed the "Minimum Theremin" with the objectives of simplicity and economy, and in response to frequent requests for an instrument that can be built with readily available parts. This is a pitch-only instrument that demonstrates the basic theremin concept, perfect for science fair projects or as a coffee table conversation piece. Although it doesn't have the qualities of more expensive and complex theremins, it is very inexpensive, relatively easy to make, and sufficiently sensitive and stable for playing a melody. A suggested lay-out is included for perforated-board construction, however, any number of alternative methods may be used to build the Minimum Theremin."

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