Has anyone built Clara Rockmore's Theremin by Schematic?

Posted: 9/8/2016 10:52:56 PM

From: Oak Harbor, WA

Joined: 12/26/2013

Long time no see TW! I miss all your faces! Been reading everyone's posts and marveling the deep conversations.

Last week, having a conversation about instruments with another artists. I mentioned as to date I've been playing the Theremin for two years now and grown to really love the instrument. My friend mentioned it would be really cool to build a personal one. Though I explained Moog has a build it yourself kit, he was under the impression of grabbing gear myself and building a Theremin from schematics.

So, looking at schematic via TW and just wondering if anyone has actually built Clara Rockmore's Theremin based on schematic and may I have a photo of what it looks like? Inside and outside.... Any pointers on building. Etc. I'd like to get my feet a little wet in the construction and techno side of the instrument.


Thank you to anyone who helps me with my endeavors.


- Sean.

Posted: 9/9/2016 6:04:58 PM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

In answer to your question an older gentleman named Henk Brand did this remarkable accomplishment.

Visit TW Link


Posted: 9/10/2016 12:03:08 PM
Henk Brand

From: Schiedam The Netherlands

Joined: 12/22/2014

Hi Sean,

I indeed built a Clara Rockmore theremin after the schematic traced out by Bob Moog. It was after reading the article by Adrian Bontenbal and building an Etherwave Plus from scratch that I was confident enough to start buiding this theremin. This was 2 years ago and you can see some photo's in Media and Photoalbums on page 3. A Clara Rockmore Theremin replica. After recovering from an illnes last year in which I couldn't  do very much I decided to continue. So this summer I brought my theremin to Colmar, to the Summer Academy to ask Thierry's opinion to optimize what I had built . As it turned out it was the Volume part that needed attention, something I already had thought of. This is by far the trickiest part to built as there is not much known how the circuit is actually working. Now, after many measurements, I think I am starting to grasp what is going on and hopefully get it working the way Lev meant it to do. The Pitch part is working well, it has an even greater range than the original according to Thierry. On Thierry's Facebook site: Theremin:Lutherie et Musique there is a little video on which you can see Thierry playing my theremin and I am playing the guitar. So this project is not over yet and there is still a lot to learn and making it better. In any case I am very excited that another person has taken the challenge to built a Clara Rockmore theremin and ofcourse I wish you all the best and luck to succeed. Furthermore it would be nice if, in future, we could exchange some thoughts on how to improve things. I am on holliday now in France but when I am back in Holland I will post some new photo's of the latest developments.

Posted: 9/19/2016 10:56:44 AM
Henk Brand

From: Schiedam The Netherlands

Joined: 12/22/2014

As this is an ongoing proces I added some new photos in Photo Albums

After reading the book Vacuum Tube Voltmeters by John F. Rider from Technical books on line, it became more clear to me how the 53 detector tube is working. So I decided to make a new adjustable couple coil with many taps to figure out what would be the best. In my case this is between taps 3 and 5 with a frequency of almost 400 kHz. from the volume oscillator. This gives an anode voltage for the 27 audio tube from -3 to roughly +20 Volt.


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