What is the best Theremin currently available for a beginner?

Posted: 1/11/2022 2:26:53 AM
Zerfas

Joined: 1/11/2022

I wanted to buy a theremin so I could learn to play. I had decided to get a Moog Etherwave because that seemed like a decently priced instrument that could be used for serious play, but I have sadly learned that they have been discontinued recently. Are there any similarly priced theremins for serious play currently available anywhere?

Note: I am not interested in the Theremini as that is digital and looks like a toy. I am not interested in the Burns models as those look cheap.

Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted: 1/11/2022 3:50:57 AM
Yngvox Moogsteen

From: Midwest US

Joined: 9/23/2021

I highly recommend a Burns B3 deluxe.  Under $225.00 with Grillo dvd.  Not perfect but nice with pleasant tone.  Stays in tune good. A bit had to tune precisely.  Not bad at all.  I like it as a travel theremin.  You will enjoy it. Relax and have fun.  Be careful.  You may become addicted.  Theremin withdraws can be intense.......
The burns is like a gateway drug.   Soon you’ll be shopping for an etherwave PRO.  Be careful....

Posted: 1/11/2022 3:57:35 AM
Claгаяох

Joined: 12/14/2021

Thomas (Grillo) was a great instructor on that particular dvd that Moogsteen just suggested above!

Posted: 1/11/2022 4:02:32 AM
Yngvox Moogsteen

From: Midwest US

Joined: 9/23/2021

Grillo is a nice guy and makes you feel good watching him.  Very encouraging and inspirational.  Burns is not an etherwave but it is so affordable. 

Posted: 1/11/2022 5:51:22 AM
ContraDude

From: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA

Joined: 12/12/2020

If you are just starting out, get an Open Theremin. Great little instrument for the money. If you want to spend more, get a SubScope (which I don’t have) or a D-Lev (my favorite, although there are currently just a few out there). While the D-Lev is essentially all-digital, it’s vastly superior, in every way, to the Theremini.

Posted: 1/11/2022 11:52:14 PM
bendra

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

One reason to recommend the Burns to a beginner: it has no features or ability to adjust timbre, so the student will practice rather than get lost exploring different sound colors :-)

Posted: 1/17/2022 7:13:45 AM
gingercat

From: Whanganui, New Zealand

Joined: 11/4/2020

One reason to recommend the Burns to a beginner: it has no features or ability to adjust timbre, so the student will practice rather than get lost exploring different sound colors :-)

Good point - Have to admit there are so many options on the Claravox I do get a bit carried away adjusting things instead of playing

Posted: 1/17/2022 7:17:59 AM
gingercat

From: Whanganui, New Zealand

Joined: 11/4/2020

I am not interested in the Theremini as that is digital and looks like a toy. I am not interested in the Burns models as those look cheap.Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks.

Remember the Claravox is digital and definately NOT a toy. Digital just means you have absolute control over the sound which can't be a bad thing.

The open theremin is a good beginner theremin. It doesn't have the looks of a "proper" theremin and it is digital but it plays more like a traditional theremin and it is the lowest priced.

Posted: 1/18/2022 1:29:36 AM
bisem

From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Joined: 1/1/2011

When I was starting out I was given the tiny B3 as a gift.  As soon as I realized I was hooked I acquired the Etherwave Standard and still play it from time to time.  Then I decided to go back to Burns and ordered the Walnut B3 Pro.  Eventually I sold that because I felt the notes in the low range were rather weak and it didn't sound much different than the B3 to me.  A couple years later I found a good deal on the Etherwave Pro and to this day it is the goto instrument I play the most.  After that I got a Subscope Voicematic B3 and still enjoy it.  Next I found an antique Moog Melodia which was fun as a collector item but with limited playability. When the Claravox came out I ordered that but it was cancelled because of the production delay so I ordered a theremin from Charles Hobbs instead and love playing it as well.  

Sorry to bore you with my theremin addiction story but in the final analysis I believe that you can't go wrong with the Etherwave Standard.  They are becoming rare now but you can still get one on on Ebay for under $500 if you try. I think it's a solid instrument that you will not outgrow.  A professional will make the EWS sound like a million bucks but a Claravox played by a beginner will sound like any other theremin out there notwithstanding fancy sound effects. Watch lots of Youtube videos and with your budget in mind decide what you visualize yourself playing for the next five years or so.

Good luck on your journey and if you win the lottery buy them all!

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