Upgrade help for older Big Briar version of Etherwave standard

Posted: 2/16/2020 4:46:41 PM

Joined: 2/6/2020

Hi folks, I have heard about an important mod to the etherwave regarding extending the bass range and linearity, and it also improves the tone. 

1- where can I buy this part?

2- is it a fairly simply process to install? (I’m a guitarmaker, and know a bit about wiring and soldering, but don’t want to mess it up)

3- will the part and its instructions apply easily and directly with an older Big Briar theremin, vs. the new ones for which it is designed?

Thanks for your help!

Posted: 2/16/2020 5:52:18 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Hi Luthier,

You can build a version of it yourself, it isn't hard and only takes a handful of parts, it's nothing but two simple emitter follower buffers.  The ESPE01 uses FETs but I rather doubt that there is much difference between them in terms of behavior.

Installation on the Big Briar Etherwave isn't too hard either, though it is a bit more involved than the later Etherwave Standard and Plus.  I actually did this a while back and documented it here: 


You might want to download the sound file there to experience directly how the mod influences the bass end of things, you may or may not like the change it introduces in the tone.  It does make the bass end easier to play though.

If you are new to the Etherwave in general I would recommend you play it for a while before modding it, just so you are familiar with what you are changing.  Though you can more or less jumper out my version of the buffer if it turns out it isn't what you wanted.  You might also play around with limited coupling to try to get the best of both worlds (I haven't experimented along these lines at all).

Posted: 2/16/2020 8:35:03 PM

Joined: 2/6/2020

Thanks, that’s great advice. I’m having Dominik make me a Subscope, so perhaps I’ll keep the Big Briar original, as a piece related to the early years of Moog.

I am so happy to be talking to Dominik, as supporting indy makers and artists in general is vital. Folks do this with me as a guitar maker, and it is important to validate and support the work of artists who take things in new directions!

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