Posted: 3/18/2013 5:53:50 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

Hi all! :) I've just launched a new series on youtube called, Theremin Review. It's being done in response to requests other thereminists, and enthusiasts have made in regards to way of comparing theremins between makes and models, and learning where in the world these instruments are readily available near, or within each viewer's respective country.

So, rather than launch one video containing a sort of parade of theremins, I thought it best to produce a series of review videos which viewers can search by make and model. This allows viewers to just compare between a couple of known makes, rather than sit through an hour or more of so many instruments.

The first episode is already available on youtube, and features a manufacturer based in the United Kingdom. The company's name is Lost Volts, also known as Electra - 1 on ebay. You can catch this review at:

Lost Volts just launched their formal web site at:

Other makes of theremins will be covered in the series in the coming months.

Posted: 3/18/2013 6:20:15 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

Sooooooooooooooooo... does that mean I need to mail you my Subscope? ;)

Posted: 3/18/2013 6:38:53 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Hello Thomas,

The website does not give the conversion to dollar but my first impression is I would recommend the Lost Volt Electra for the value and sound.

It would be nice to have a TW forum called "Theremin Models" then post Lost Volt Electra as a header and others models over the years to come, we can then add comments from experience. Anyone into theremin design knows it is a never ending process and this would allow the designer to update his info and evolution as feedback arrives.

This design has my thumbs up!


Posted: 3/18/2013 7:14:06 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

@Amethyste, That would be awesome if you could. I'd get her back to you safe and sound, and quickly. :)

@RS Theremin, Well, this thread's a cool place to start, but yeh, a formal forum added to TW that would allow each make and model to be chronicled there, along with links to product reviews would be great.

Naturally, as manufacturers revise their products, for example, enhacncements to linearity, ect, I would add that information to a Theremin Review episode's descriptive text, and if the updated product is in studio, a follow-on episode would be produced.

Posted: 3/18/2013 7:33:07 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

Let's talk about it over Skype Thomas :)

Posted: 3/18/2013 7:41:39 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

@Amethyste. Ok, will do. :)

Posted: 3/18/2013 9:06:28 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Thomas, very nice!  This kind of hands-on review is super useful!  That case strikes me as physically too small, is there enough distance between the pitch & volume antennas?

I don't want to make extra work for you, but could I make a few suggestions? 

- When demonstrating the pitch field, could you do so with the camera angle perpendicular to your arm movements so we can see what those movements look like in terms of real distance to the antenna?

- If you find one pitch setting more linear than others that would be really useful info.

- Any obvious temperature dependence is important (though some dependence can't be can't be easily controlled due to the changing electrical properties of air with temp).  Anyway,  I'd like you to point this out whenever you encounter it.

- If a control is really sensitive and touchy this IMO means they should be using a multi-turn pot or whatever instead of a single turn control - could you also harp on this when you encounter it?

- If battery powered, could you measure the current drain so people might get some idea of how long the battery might last?  Connecting the battery input to a variable supply might give some insight into how low of a voltage will keep it functioning (battery life again) and what happens when the voltage changes (i.e. is it fairly immune to voltage fluctuation or not?).  But that's probably above and beyond.

- Please always comment on bass coupling and negative pitch field.

- Negative comments are sometimes more useful than positive, so if anything bothers you please say so.  And don't hold back, please rip it a new one if it's essentially a piece of crap.

A big THANKS for all your efforts!

Posted: 3/18/2013 9:30:05 PM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007


This is a really useful and interesting series you are launching, Many thanks for all your efforts! - I feel this series will be a great help to potential purchasers and to those developing / improving theremins.

I agree with everything said by Dewster - Also, From a developers perspective (and to enable manufacturers whos theremins are featured to improve their instruments) , critical comment is extremely useful.

For the sake of those who want to submit a theremin for you to review, could you please explain how one would do this? I expect that once manufacturers become aware of your series, those with theremins they are happy to show off will be keen to get their instrument reviewed by you - Just wondering what (if any) criterion you have in place .. For example, would you review pitch-only instruments? (If you did, I think you will be kept busy for the forseeable future! ;-)

Once again, thanks for this extremely interesting video / series !

Posted: 3/18/2013 9:50:27 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

@dewster, @FredM All suggestions noted, and yes, if ever potential negatives are noticed when evaluating a mnufacturer's theremins, these will be pointed out in the videos as well. I did not find any major negatives with the LV-3, other than the progressive linearity, and on-battery grounding when also on battery powered amps.

The LV-3 is actually longer than the B3 Original, and was quite playable, because the volume antenna is very long.

I actually had a third camera over head, but it's hard drive crashed during production, which left me with two cameras. Yeh, the perpendicular cam angle would've been better for demonstrating the field widtch. At the time, that's what the top cam was going to take care of like when I shot the vid on tuning the ESPE01 enhanced EW Std.

Prior to filming, I also contacted the manufacturer to inform them of all findings after an multi-point inspection of the instrument's performance. I wanted to do more, but thought it best to keep it simple for those who are new to the theremin.

For example, when I do the EW Std review, yeh, the chirp on contact issue will be pointed out Along with my solution. :)

I also tested the LV-3 with different types of lighting in the studio, which most folks would not encounter, but gave that information to the manufacturer. Mostly, no problems were encountered with things like low power residencial CFL, LED panels like those used by DJs, and bands, no problems, but did note issues with the kind of led strips that go under kitchen cabinets. Had there been major issues with those items, I'd have mentioned those as well.

I do intend to include the pitch only theremins as well as full theremins in the future.

Posted: 3/18/2013 10:12:46 PM

From: Toronto, Ontario

Joined: 3/6/2013

Excellent review. Seems like a nice, affordable theremin with interesting features. I just wish we could hear the theremin more! The volume seems low and we cannot fully appreciate the demo of the low range.


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