Pumping

Posted: 10/24/2012 2:12:27 PM
AlKhwarizmi

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010

I totally understand you, Amey... it's the same for me, even shipping my modest EW gives me the shivers (apart from being unable to play for some time), that's why I haven't done it yet in spite of the fact that I'd really like to have Thierry's improvements. Well, I guess at some point I'll step forward and just do it (just like the moment when I decided to buy my first theremin) but I don't know when I'll make up my mind :)

Posted: 10/24/2012 6:34:27 PM
Thierry

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

Well, let's talk a bit about the Wavefront theremins and especially their volume response.

First, an engineer will most probably discover some similarities between the Wavefront and the Etherwave circuit. He would then probably come to the conclusion that both are perhaps based on a common root, the EM-theremin, a circuit published by Dr. Bob around 1996. And we would find out that both have evolved in different directions since then. That means that the principle of operation of the different circuit parts might be the same but that there are several differences and/or improvements on both sides which makes each a unique instrument with unique and clearly distinguishable characteristics.

Now, let's come to the disclaimer: Up to now, I had only Wavefront Travel case theremins in my hands. I strongly suspect that the circuit of the Wavefront classic is the same, thus the following informations should work for both.

The volume response: there are two possibilities if the response is too snappy, either the volume oscillator needs to be adjusted or something is defective. Thus, everybody should try first to adjust (fine-tune) the volume oscillator. Only if that does not give satisfying results, you may consider your instrument defective and (at least those on the other side of the big pond) contact me for further instructions.

Adjusting the volume oscillator: bring the volume tuning knob to its center position. Take the white tuning tool with the "screwdriver" side and locate the leftmost (rightmost for the lefty variant) hole in the black plexiglass. Below this hole, there is a variable coil. Try to locate the slug of this coil with the plastic screwdriver through the hole and turn it very slightly 1/20 to 1/12 of a turn counterclockwise. Then bring your theremin back into normal playing position (close the lid of the Classic / bring the TravelCase cover back in the 10° angle) and try if it's better. If not, repeat the procedure until you are satisfied. But if you come to a point where you can't continue turning the coil's slug without the volume field getting wide enough (at least 6") or you encounter weird effects (ghost tones, squeaking) even before, turn the slug somewhat back clockwise to restore the "normal snappy" behavior and contact me by email service(at)theremin(dot)tf

Posted: 10/24/2012 11:19:58 PM
coalport

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Thierry! I love the way you described your experience in the third person - "an engineer" etc. etc. - presumably in order to indemnify yourself. Best laugh I've had all day! There isn't anyone in the theremin community who knows their ass from their elbow that doesn't know the Wavefront is an Etherwave rip-off.

I'm not sure why everyone is so evasive and secretive about it. There is nothing illegal involved, and Bob Moog knew exactly what he was getting into when he failed to patent his Etherwave innovations. 

Posted: 10/25/2012 12:56:26 AM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"There isn't anyone in the theremin community who knows their ass from their elbow that doesn't know the Wavefront is an Etherwave rip-off" - Coalport.

8-(

I dont know my RS from my L-Bow...  Never seen a Wavefront theremin, only their crappy Midi interface.. Seeing the Wavefront video and reading Thierry's comments above were the first clues I had that something which, whilst not "illegal" still leave a bad taste in my mouth, was going on..

An EW Rip-off !? Really !? Lets see - $1400 for a nice wooden cabinet !?

Look - I suspect there is a great deal of rip-off involved.. But I think there must be more to the Wavefront than just a EM/EW - I have never heard an EW sound like the sounds I heard in Amey's last presentation..

Too many mysteries - too many contradictions - too much BS .. Dont know who or what to "trust" in this theremin "world" anymore.. The only "certainty" seems to be that nothing is what it seems..

IF the wavefront is essentially an EM / EW, getting data on tuning it should be quite easy ;-) .. In fact, buying an EW "kit" and replacing the board in the Wavefront could be cheaper than transporting the thing and having it repaired...

 

Posted: 10/25/2012 5:28:29 AM
Thierry

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

That's what I thought first, too - an EW rip-off. But I discovered with the time that's only half of the story. The Wavefronts sound different and they behave different. And, a thing which I can confirm, several circuit parts are different. Thus you can't fix a Wavefront by putting an EW circuit board in it, at least if you don't want an EW (with its sound and behavior) in a Wavefront housing, loosing all the Wavefront particularities.

European car specialists could compare the situation with AMG, a company which takes original Mercedes chassis and builds their own cars based on that by modifying the engine, the traction and even the car body to get a result which is more luxurious and sportive.

Posted: 10/25/2012 8:27:02 PM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

Perhaps a notable difference between AMG and Wavefront is that AMG actually buy the Mercedes they modify, and dont rip that off!

Posted: 10/25/2012 8:47:50 PM
Amethyste

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

... i understand your point of view Fred... :) But if Moog didn't patent his board, and it is available for people to replicate, then there is nothing to buy and hence, it is not stealing... Am I wrong?

Posted: 10/25/2012 9:44:09 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

Wasn't the Wavefront based on the article Bob Moog published in Electronic Musician in 1996, before the introduction of the Etherwave as an actual product? 

Posted: 10/25/2012 10:15:06 PM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"... i understand your point of view Fred... :) But if Moog didn't patent his board, and it is available for people to replicate, then there is nothing to buy and hence, it is not stealing... Am I wrong?" - Amey

If anyone is "wrong" its Gene - "right" "wrong" who can judge? - My rule of thumb is that if something feels "wrong" to me, then for me to do it is probably "wrong" - And I will often do things which feel "wrong" if they dont feel "seriously wrong" to me, and the gain outweighs my conscience. Also, ones personal "morality" or "situation ethics" are, well - personal. "Judge not and you wont be judged - for the standards by which you judge others are the standards by which you will be judged" - (IMO probably one of the daftest things Jesus is recorded to have said! - Lovely idea though!  ;-)

Buying A WF certainly IMO is not "stealing" - But I personally think Gene is probably "stealing" - certainly, if I had done what he's done, I would feel like a low-life scum.. But it all comes down to personal ethics - He is an American businessman - In my expierience, American business "ethics" and the Ferengi codes are often well aligned!

I also think there is a "grey" area - If the excuse is that, as Bob published the EM, "I have the right to use this", one gets into the area of the "collective" mentality - Which means that you should likewise share your developments.. To rip-off the EM, put it (in improved / disguised form) into production, give no credit to the originator, keep your additions "under wraps", and not support customers who have paid your absurdly inflated prices.. Well, Dishonerable is, IMO, too small a word!

"Wasn't the Wavefront based on the article Bob Moog published in Electronic Musician in 1996, before the introduction of the Etherwave as an actual product?" - Jason

I believe this is true - But I dont believe this makes any difference (certainly no ethical difference in my view) - Published articles in hobby magazines were (and are) published for the purchaser of that magazine to be able to construct the project for themselves - These articles are copyright and should not be used as an excuse for IP theft.. The fact that one can recognise the EW board and core circuitry is probably enough to take legal action - but the costs and complexity of doing so simply wouldnt be worth the effort, even if Bob had a patent..... And thieving scum know this!

Fred.

Posted: 10/25/2012 11:13:55 PM
coalport

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Fred: In my experience, American business "ethics" and the Ferengi codes are often well aligned!

 

The Ferengi home planet is the only place in the quadrant where the death penalty is imposed for the crime of engaging in an unprofitable enterprise.

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