Amps AMps AMPs AMPS! Need advice...

Posted: 6/20/2011 10:03:44 AM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

I am sorry :( Another annoying question about Theremin amps on this board. The thing is, I have 2 amps already...One that is a little peavy guitar amp and I also have a Fender Acoustasonic 30 Amp ( both both acoustic guitar and Vox ) and I really love the different reverb settings it has to offer. It was a $350 + amp and I have been using it to amplify my Wavefront to date, but I get this unpleasant hummmmm (also, I cannot really raise the volume on my amp more than a hair over the "0" before its too loud and sound distorted) and I know it's probably because My theremin signal is too strong for my Amp. Right?

I don't really want to look for another amp as I like my Fender and it was a lot of $$$ for me back then, so what exactly do I have to do to get a pleasant sound that is not distorted on that amp? your suggestions would be truly appreciated...PLease share links of products you suggest so I know what it is...

Here's my Amp (

I wanted to also know which "VOX" amp does Pamelia Kurtin uses? I guess the next step would be to bring in my Wavefront Beast to Guitar center, but I would rather not moving it if possible. I guess I might not be ready to handle the possible overwhelming attention it would bring... I am shy person. :P

Thank you so much in advance...
Posted: 6/20/2011 11:08:55 AM

From: Bochum, Germany

Joined: 10/8/2008

Hi Amethyste,

I use the following Electro Harmonix pedal to attenuate the output-signal of my EW-Standard:

EHX Signal Pad (

It's probably not the cheapest option, but it's easy as pie to use and works just fine.

Posted: 6/20/2011 11:17:07 AM

From: Brooklyn,NY

Joined: 12/1/2009

Im not familiar with your amp, but Id bet that there is no volume control before the first preamp stage.

For <$10 You can make a simple passive attenuator(volume control) that get plugged in between the theremin and amp.
you'll need:
2x 1/4" phono jacks
and a 500K potentiometer
(available at nearly every radio shack- look in the drawers located in the back somewhere)
Wire it up like this:

"in" jack..........pot........."out" jack

Shouldnt be too difficult, even if you've never messed with electronics before. This is a good first project.

BTW- Im pretty sure this IS the the EH signal pad, minus the box

Posted: 6/20/2011 12:45:51 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

As Gordon would point out...a volume treadle (pedal) would work in a pinch.
Posted: 6/20/2011 12:46:41 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

What about Direct boxes? I read about them on the site... Would that be something helpful for my situation?
Posted: 6/20/2011 2:40:02 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Yup, direct (DI) boxes are good too for a short term solution.

Long term, start saving for a good amp. Other than Thierry's clever mods, a decent amp is the best upgrade you can give your theremin. I got a SR Technology Jam 150+ ( Not sure about availability in the States - it's an Italian product - but here's the skinny so you can look for similar...

It's designed primarily for a singer-songwriter - someone working the pubs and clubs with their voice, an acoustic instrument and maybe a prerecorded backing track. It has enough oomph to fill a small to medium room, a little speaker for the high notes and a big speaker for the low notes, an on-board mixer and it doesn't distort like a guitar amp - it's probably as transparent a sound as you'll find in its price range. I have heard nothing but favourable comments about the sound quality from other musicians. I got mine on the strength of hearing Chris Conway theremining with one, and a couple of other thereminists have bought one on the strength of hearing mine.

Also it comes with a sensible selection of preset reverbs and can be stood on a speaker stand (the jargon is a "top hat mount"), which is a good idea for a thereminist. It is a fairly compact box but quite heavy - I carry mine single handed, but just from my car to the stage, no further.

But, do arrange with your local music shop to visit at a quiet time and try your instrument on a variety of amps. It's the best way. Get over your nerves - when it comes to theremins the general public are easily impressed. ;-)

(Note: even with my Jam 150+ I still attenuate the signal - Thierry added a pot to my etherwave for just that purpose - not so much for the amp but for the chain of guitar effects pedals I use.)
Posted: 6/20/2011 3:27:44 PM
Chainsaw Willie!

From: Just a short walk away from Nike Missile Site S-13/14

Joined: 1/28/2011

I aggree with Chobbs,
A simple attenuator would be easy and cheap to make. Here is a link to a schematic that is a little easier to understand
Posted: 6/20/2011 3:33:23 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

I fixed your link.
Posted: 6/20/2011 4:16:17 PM

From: Brooklyn,NY

Joined: 12/1/2009

Well since someone mentioned "get a new amp".....Personally, i think any "guitar" amp is going to sound like crap. I only tried one or two keyboard amps and didnt like them either. My suggestion would be to find an old tube PA amp with a (more)full frequency range. I have an old bogen CH-b 35A that I got for $10(totally working too!, and to my ears it is perfect.
You're probably not going to find anything that cheap, but there are still some sitting around in church basements and junk shops. Ebay if youre desperate. You could splurge and get one that has been tested and even restored and it would probably still cheaper than any (quality vintage) guitar/ key tube stuff. Most likely to have a volume before the first stage too!


This is what I have:

great amp! Has two channels/inputs which I cascaded into a single dual-stage preamp.
Sounds pretty awesome with guitar too.
Posted: 6/20/2011 4:45:40 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

well well...

look what i found in our local craigslist!

Bogen MO200A Amplifier (

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