Standard Moog Etherwave Theremin- is this all I need?

Posted: 8/5/2007 10:40:05 PM
lee miller

Joined: 8/5/2007

My name is Lee, and I am new around here. It's great that this website/community exists because I am tired of getting funny, puzzled looks from people when I mention that I am planning to get a theremin (as well as raving about how cool it is!)...

Anyway, I decided that the best way to go is with with a Standard Moog Etherwave theremin. I also found a decent website from which I plan to order it:

So my question is- how badly do I need an amp solely for a theremin? I have an amp for my electric guitar, from Fender, and my friend used to hook up his keyboards and such to it, and it worked fine. Do you think that for practicing at home in the begining, this will work just as well? I

Also I was wondering whether I can use a regular cable (like the one I would use for an electric guitar, keyboard, mic) to hook up the theremin to the amp. I am just a poor student so I am trying to be as economic as possible at the start...not to mention that not a single store within the Greater Toronto area had any theremin equipment, or knew what type of instrument it is! (can you believe it!??!?!) if I need any more things with it, I'd rather know now so I can order it and start playing right away!

Thank you for your answers in advance,


Posted: 8/5/2007 11:40:13 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Hi, Lee. Welcome to the theremin community.

If your amp works with a keyboard, then it should have no problem with the output from your Etherwave Standard. A 1/4" unbalanced cable will work fine (that is, the same cable you would use for a keyboard or guitar).

You may wish to get a dedicated amp for your theremin in the future, however your current amp should work fine.

All the best!

[i]-- Kevin[/i]
Posted: 8/6/2007 12:58:38 AM

From: Kansas City MO USA

Joined: 11/26/2006

first i want to welcome you to theremin world.
(kevin, where are your manners?)

to get my etherwave standard to play on a gutiar amp i had to do a very (i repeat VERY) simple modification to the circuit board. which you can find in the hot rodding manual.

i have a cheap gutiar amp that i bought at a pawn shop. and my theremin sounds like poop.
but when it's plugged into upper end equipment it had a rich and powerful voice.

so dont be dishearted if you dont like the sound from your amp
Posted: 8/6/2007 1:00:20 AM

From: Kansas City MO USA

Joined: 11/26/2006

i skipped the part where kevin welcomed you.
it's been a long day for me...

9 hours in a car is a drag.
Posted: 8/6/2007 5:33:15 AM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Hi Lee.

I used to put my Etherwave Standard through a basic guitar amp, without any modifications of any kind, and it sounded more than tolerable. This amp also had the advantage of a 3-band EQ system, reverb dial and effects panel, all of which a keyboard amp lacked. The EQ dials effectively give provide you with more timbres to work with, whilst reverb is incredibly useful for a beginner as it gives you a greater ability to monitor the sounds you're making.

I hope you have fun with your theremin.

Posted: 8/6/2007 11:42:52 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

Welcome, Lee!

For practice, I use a Roland Micro Cube. While the sound of the theremin straight into the Cube can be, as Charlie D puts it, more than tolerable, I find I can play louder with a better tone by running through a simple four-channel mixer, in order to attenuate the theremin signal before it goes to the amp.

I think Gordon Charlton uses a volume pedal to perform this attenuation. The volume pedal is more expensive than the mixer (unless you can find a good one, used), but the pedal has the advantage of also being useful as a standby switch (so that, when you're not playing, you can leave the instrument plugged in, and it won't growl and whoop when you walk by it).

All best,


P.S. For the record, the mixer I use is an ART PowerMix I four-channel model... I think I paid close to $50 a year ago, but I see it listed now by many vendors at $30 or less.
Posted: 8/7/2007 11:22:42 PM
lee miller

Joined: 8/5/2007

Thank you for the warm welcomes and such wonderful advice! I can't wait for my theremin to arrive so I can start practicing...or rather, learning. I hope I will be able to teach myself...I did it with the guitar and flute...but theremin worries me because if I get stuck...I can't exactly find an instructor.
Posted: 8/8/2007 5:13:00 AM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Don't worry! There's a thriving community of thereminists willing to offer you a mass of confusing (and often contradictory) advice!

You'll be in so short supply of guidance. Trust those people who produce music you like. Copy things which produce noises you too want to make. Don't just listen to someone because everyone else does.
Posted: 8/11/2007 1:25:33 AM
lee miller

Joined: 8/5/2007

That's great advice Charlie!
Today I actually went to order my theremin (thought it was easier and safer to order it via well known musical store in direct contact with Moog)..and I got so many "you are buying what?" questions from people. One guy ever said "I didn't even know they make those anymore!"...It's really surprising! Is there anything I really have to watch out for once I get my theremin...I read somewhere something about static shock and stuff...any other big no-nos aside from the obvious no liquids etc...
Posted: 10/9/2007 12:59:12 AM

From: SD

Joined: 10/9/2007

I have a similar question. Will I need a stand right away for an Etherwave, or will I be able to practice it just sitting on my coffee table? Will the table effect the sound?

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