Need help with strange pitch problem - Etherwave Standard

Posted: 12/21/2015 11:30:06 PM

From: Chicago, IL

Joined: 2/20/2008

Hi everyone,

All of a sudden I'm having an issue with my Etherwave Standard. Sorry in advance for my lack of technical terminology.. despite playing for years I'm still ignorant of how to explain this stuff. 

In the lower range, pitch seems normal. When my hand gets nearer to the pitch antenna, the pitch suddenly becomes "thin" and very high pitched, similar to the typical sound that occurs when one touches the antenna. As I draw my hand back towards my body this "squeal" persists, until it suddenly jumps to a lower (normal) pitch. 

Here's a video I made of this problem

Any help is very much appreciated. I haven't yet tried fiddling with internal tuning since I'm not sure if that's the issue. 

Thank you!


Posted: 12/22/2015 5:19:32 PM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Hello Megg,

That was a great video for diagnosing your issue, how could someone describe that in words. My best guess would be first to check how good the grounding is of the theremin. A theremin needs to have three prongs that plug into the wall, if not the amplifier you are using needs to have a three-prong plug into the wall receptacle. In my research I have found earth ground has more benefits than just completing the player capacitance loop, what ever that is. My impression is your pitch oscillators are locking on to one another, why it holds even after pulling away. "Proper grounding may alleviate some of the built up oscillator energy and tension". <= I just created that thought.


Posted: 12/22/2015 7:56:12 PM

From: Lausanne, Switzerland

Joined: 3/15/2005

Hm seems like it's gone totally out of tune. Are you able to get zero beat?

I think if you are not into technical stuff you need to send it to someone qualified, to be sure.

Posted: 4/5/2020 8:31:57 AM
Rein Liu

From: Sydney, New South Wales

Joined: 1/7/2020

Hi Megg,

I'm having the same problem. I recently installed the epse 01 module on my etherwave plus and retuned it. But whatever reason it was, it was constantly producing a strange high pitched sound and makes it hard to tune it. Did you fix your problem?


Posted: 4/5/2020 1:51:57 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

You write “I recently installed the epse 01 module on my etherwave plus and retuned it.”

If it is producing a strange high pitched tone afterwards, that means that most probably, you did not retune it correctly, but you overtuned it, so that the variable oscillator jumps on a secondary resonance which can in rare cases even cause damage to the oscillator because in this state, the serial resonant circuit formed by the antenna and the linearization coils represents then a too high load for the oscillator.

People who need help retuning their Etherwave may get professional assistance from the ESPE01 module’s inventor via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc. after contact via email thierry(at)theremin(dot)tf

If that remote assistance will be successful, people are invited to send a little “recognition” via PayPal afterwards, but that is not mandatory.

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