What's the best buying option for my case....

Posted: 4/4/2008 10:01:36 PM
eusourei

Joined: 7/2/2007

I hope i'm posting in the right section...

Here's my story: I recently bought a new guitar, so my budget is a little low :P ... I am looking for a Theremin now (my first). I'm looking for a 2 antenna one. I considered a Kees but i'd like something cheaper so i can have some money for an amp maybe...

Obs: I don't know pretty much anything about eletronics, so i can't build one

I was thinking of buying a used Theremin. Which one do you recomend me? And where can i find this kind of thing??(i didn't find on ebay =/)

Thank you all for the help!
Posted: 4/5/2008 6:30:58 AM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

I always recommend the Kees or Etherwave as a beginner theremin. I really think it's worth the extra cash. However, if you can find someone to build the kit for you, the PAiA Theremax is still a fun and somewhat capable instrument to give you the feel of what playing a theremin is like. Although I have to tell you... when I switched from my Theremax to an Etherwave, I felt like I had just taken off the training wheels and bought a "real" theremin.

How about others? Any good cheap theremin suggestions?

You may get lucky on eBay or perhaps Craigslist and find a cheap Etherwave. Make sure it works before you buy though!
Posted: 4/5/2008 11:30:54 PM
eusourei

Joined: 7/2/2007

Hey! Thanks for your help!

I was looking for a Kees Enkelaar on the internet and i just can't find a single place that sells it! A didn't find it on ebay nor any of the online music stores listed on your site.

Do you know any place that i can find one?
Posted: 4/6/2008 5:44:51 AM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Kees is not making theremins at the moment. There is no indication of when he might start again. :-(

At present [i]the[/i] budget option is the tiny Burns B3 (http://soundslikeburns.com/). As Thomas Grillo has demonstrated on youTube, it is a playable instrument, but Thomas has wicked skills. My suggestion would be that you enjoy your new guitar for the time being and get an etherwave when your budget permits.

(You can use your guitar amp with an etherwave, but you may want to put a low impedance inline volume pedal between the theremin and the amp if it does not have a line level input in addition to the guitar level input, to avoid saturating the amp and potentially damaging it. Or there is a very simple modification to give the etherwave guitar level output if you are handy with a soldering iron.)
Posted: 4/6/2008 1:54:40 PM
eusourei

Joined: 7/2/2007

I was doing research about the Jaycar and i read that these small theremins are not every good because one hand interferes with the other hand s antenna.

Is this really true? If yes, is it easy to mod it to a bigger case?
Posted: 4/8/2008 6:49:16 PM
eusourei

Joined: 7/2/2007

I searched for information about the B3, and I didn't find anything! I'd like to know if its size is big enough so that one hand does not interfere with the other. Does anybody know?
Posted: 4/8/2008 7:30:56 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

I don't know if the B3 is easily mod-able.

With regards to the size of the instrument, the distance from the pitch rod to the volume loop is pretty much the size of the usable area of the pitch field.

If this is small, as it is with the B3, it means you have a choice to make - you can make the pitch field fit completely inside the usable area and be able to play very low notes as well as high notes - but all the different notes will be very close together, or you can stretch the zone out in which case only high notes will be inside the usable area - but they will be comfortably spaced apart.

If you were a pianist with a 12 inch keyboard (*), would you prefer 88 very tiny keys or 12 big ones, or something in between? Or a bigger keyboard?


(*) Perhaps having met a genii with a hearing deficiency.
Posted: 4/8/2008 9:20:43 PM
eusourei

Joined: 7/2/2007

i think that increasing the size of the case must be very easy. I mean, the only thing you have to do is replace the wire that connects the antennas to the circuit board with a bigger one.(at least a think so....)

Replacing the antenna must be another simple task. If i replace the original with a better one, will the distance between the notes increase?
Posted: 4/9/2008 3:25:20 AM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

It does sound reasonable, doesn't it. After all, your portable TV comes with a crappy little antenna. Unplug that, plug in the antenna on the roof and get better reception...

Welcome to the whacky world of theremins.

I'm not an electrician either, so here's the non-electrician's version.

The antenna on a theremin isn't really an antenna, it just looks like one. It's a capacitor plate (even though it doesn't look like one) - your pitch hand is the other plate of the capacitor. This capacitor is part of a radio frequency (just about) oscillator. Change the capacitor and you have to change other parts of the oscillator to match. There's a knob on the front that lets you adjust it to a certain extent to account for the mass of the player and other nearby objects. To change it more you can probably open up the case and trim one of the coils. If that isn't enough then you're into replacing components.

I've not heard of anyone modifying a B3 - probably your best bet is to ask the manufacturer - Dan Burns.

There are other factors to consider - the linearity and stability of the field. Linearity - low notes are further apart than high notes - the more so, the less linear is the theremin, the harder it is to play high notes. You can compensate for this to a certain extent with playing technique, but generally more linear is better. Stability - the tuning on a theremin tends to wander a bit over time. Again, not a good thing. The more stable the better. I do not know how linear or stable the B3 is, but generally these are qualities associated with more expensive instruments.
Posted: 4/9/2008 11:45:40 AM
eusourei

Joined: 7/2/2007

Shit pickle! It is not that simple after all...

Well thanks for your help! I'll search for information on the B3...

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