The Wavefront Classic, A Professional Theremin

Posted: 4/7/2009 7:26:57 AM

From: new haven ct.

Joined: 7/8/2005

Both my Etherwave's are older, from the Big Briar days, so compared to those it certainly is worth it.

I haven't tried a newer model, so I can answer that. Even if there wasn't any difference, to me it's worth the money to own a more traditional looking instrument and depending on the performance be a plus.

i hear good things about a fully loaded new etherwave,

omhoge, in answer to an earlier question, I used my classic out of the house twice. I found a congo drum gig bag with wheels that fit the instrument and I put the legs in one of those canvas bags that folding camping chairs come in. I marked the legs to make sure the right ones go back on on in the same order and keep the power adaptor in a small bag.


Posted: 4/7/2009 10:01:09 AM

From: Asheville, NC

Joined: 1/25/2008

I'm about of the same opinion, that it's about worth the price of admission just for the traditional cabinet. I just wanted to see what others would say to that.

Thanks for the info all. I've just about tipped over the edge of selling everything off and striving towards a Classic.
Posted: 4/7/2009 2:46:36 PM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

Well, Dae23, I might as well add my thoughts on your question:

As great as the WFC looks, it’s its sound/timbre that I especially like. If it was simply an E-Standard in a fancy cabinet, it wouldn't impress me so much. Don't get me wrong - I love the cabinet; in fact, its traditional appearance was a major factor in me getting one. (Personally, I think it's much easier for listeners to take the theremin seriously when it looks like a beautifully-crafted musical instrument rather than a black brick on a mic stand!)

When I ordered my WFC, I only had a black brick; had I then owned an E-Pro, I might have been content with that alone. Assuming that I’d be unlikely to find an affordable E-Pro in the UK, I’d decided the money I’d saved for one would be best spent on a Wavefront Classic instead. By an odd quirk, a few weeks after paying for the WFC, an E-Pro turned up for sale scarcely 30 miles from where I live; this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss, so I ended up with both. This was never the plan, but I have no regrets, because they are both so very different.

Personally, I don’t feel the WFC is quite as linear as the E-Pro – but for you that may be ideal. I stuggled a little to adjust from the E-Standard to the E-Pro; I suspect that adjusting to the WFC would have been a little less of a struggle.

When you ask if the WFC is worth the extra dollars over the E-Standard, I think only you can answer that. Yes, it’s a major step up in terms of quality craftmanship, as well as sound and timbre – but I guess you have to determine whether it’s worth the extra to YOU. Sadly, owning a truly excellent theremin doesn’t turn you into an equally excellent thereminist, (I can vouch for that; thereminizing remains as impossibly challenging as ever!) But if you’ve played an E-Standard for long enough to know that the theremin is THE instrument for you, and you suspect you’ll be playing a WFC on a daily basis for many years to come … then yes, it’s well worth the price. (And it would look great with those excellent diamond-shaped speakers of yours!!)
Posted: 4/7/2009 5:17:25 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Thanks Andy for the lead on the Conga case!

Think there any way to travel by airplane and internationally with it?

I'm starting to ponder those serious custom road cases, which can run as much as the instrument itself. With the increased reluctance for airlines to let us have *any* luggage at all, I wonder how music acts manage to fly on tour; do you have to get a special ticket?

dae - I love the EWPro and wish it was still an option. Besides the well discussed cabinet, I honestly feel the WFClass is responsive in a different way from any of the Moogs (I also have an EWStand.) Yes I agree the linearity is different on the WFClass and not as solidly consistent as the EWPro, mostly at its outer ends. But I've had no problem adjusting (but this is not my first theremin either.) For Today I'd say the Moog Pro has my perfect pitch field, timber and octave options and the WaveFront has the best loop, resonance, expressiveness and cabinet.
What can I say, my Dad would have replied "Buy the best and you will rarely be disappointed."
Thereminstral - the pitch preview weirdness is still under assessment, I need to do some more experiments to see how pervasive it is. But with my usual ear clip the pitch field definitely contracts by 30-50% as soon as I put it on.
Posted: 4/7/2009 7:57:52 PM

From: Asheville, NC

Joined: 1/25/2008

Those are the thoughts I was looking for.

I love the idea of a traditional cabinet, I love the idea of a really expressive volume loop, and if you throw in a significant step up as far as sound or timbre into the mix...well, there we go.

Plus I'm tired of buying second rate gear.

I grew up playing bass so the idea of notes getting closer together as you get higher in pitch has never really bugged me that much.
Although, I could see where perfect linearity would be useful with an instrument that you don't touch. Having never played an E-Pro though, I figure I won't miss it too much.

Speaking of diamond speakers, I'm about halfway into building the "pro model" for a Theremin World member. Jensen vintage Alnico speaker with a 16 Watt tube amp and spring reverb integrated into the base of an adjustable height stand. Oak construction. It's not a Rockmore replica, more of a portable version (but it still has a touch of utilitarian style), break it down quick and carry it away.
Stay tuned for photos and sound samples in a few weeks!

Thanks again for the insight into the classic.
Posted: 4/11/2009 10:27:22 AM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Thanks everyone, glad the descussion is helping.
As a check should just throw in that both varsions of the Moog Standard are solid instruments as well and if you haven't yet give the other threads by owners of of the other builders instruments a gander too
Good luck keep us posted
Posted: 4/12/2009 11:25:23 PM

From: Asheville, NC

Joined: 1/25/2008

One more question.

How are the legs? They do look long and skinny. Is it sturdy?

Bear in mind, I have a two year old and another on the way.

Thanks again all!
Posted: 4/13/2009 7:25:04 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

The legs fit tightly and are quite strong with a stylish taper. The instrument feels very sold to me, it will readily fall backwards of you push and tip it back and lift the front legs more than 2 or 3 inches off the floor, but so will a lot of things.

quick update on the pitch field and preview behavior, this is a rather touchy instrument :~) and I have to be very careful where I put the earphone when I take it off, I think that's what is causing it.
Posted: 6/30/2010 9:15:51 PM

From: Richmond Hill, Georgia

Joined: 9/18/2005


Thanks for the exceptionally kind comment. I'm just mesmerized by that RCA sound.


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