First Impressions of Therevox Electro-Theremin

Posted: 6/3/2005 11:58:33 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Well, after over a year, it’s finally here. I suppose I am the first of only five people who will receive their Therevox ET-1 Electro-Theremin (assuming all of the others have already paid for theirs). Mike Beauchamp, the designer and builder of the ET-1, does not plan on building any more in the near future although that may change some time down the road. He finished five E-T’s to help fund his planed bike ride across Canada this summer.
For anyone who wants to see pictures and details of its construction, go to:

The appearance is much like as on the website…quite nice for a home-built piece. The ET-1 has a nice sound with both a sine wave and triangular wave to choose from. As you would expect, the notes are easier to find than on a theremin, but of course you still need to reach the correct pitch by ear. It obviously holds a steady note and a decent vibrato is not to difficult to accomplish. The new UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene) slide glides smoothly over the aluminum guide rod. The instrument has a range of three octaves, but there’s an octave switch that gives you the choice of three ranges one octave apart. So, it actually has a potential range of five octaves instead of the advertised six octaves.
Unfortunately, the final design does not include the momentary switch, which would allow you to articulate and play staccato notes. Perhaps I can consult the electronics wizards at work to come up with one that works. (I was told Mike couldn’t come up with an arrangement to interrupt the signal without an annoying “pop”.) One thing I noticed was a slight variation in the volume of the output as you covered the range of the instrument. I’m pretty sure it’s a characteristic of the Therevox E-T and not resonances of my sound system since I don’t notice the phenomenon when playing my Etherwave Pro.
The Therevox ET-1 Electro-Theremin is a nicely made instrument that does everything one would expect from an Electro-Theremin. But, no offense to Mike intended, in most instances I’d still prefer to play my Etherwave Pro.
Posted: 6/7/2005 9:12:53 PM

From: Seattle

Joined: 4/19/2005

Thanks for the report. I like the sound of the clips he provides. I have a French Connection keyboard, which is similar to Therevox in some ways, and it is FAR easier to play.

BTW, I did a theremin thing at the Seattle Paranormal conference. While they thought they might get an RCA in, they didn't. It was basically a non-event. They were running so late they cancelled me and had me sitting for a while in the exhibition area giving demos.


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