1960' Moog Vanguard "tube" theremin

Posted: 7/22/2013 5:52:39 PM

Joined: 7/22/2013

FS is a very nice 1960' Moog Vanguard "tube" theremin.

Mostly original except 4 plastic straps that hold the coils in place and the antennas are custom made from stainless steel. It works great and has all the original tubes. My intentions are to sell but I'm not sure what a fair market price is on this unit. I've only seen reference to a few online.

Any help is appreciated! 

Offers are welcome. Pictures will be sent upon request!

I might trade for the right vintage Gibson or Fender guitar/bass/amp or a pile of vintage effect pedals.

Best regard,


Posted: 7/22/2013 8:12:33 PM

From: Brooklyn,NY

Joined: 12/1/2009

I request that you post images here for all to see!  Create a photo album.


Posted: 7/22/2013 8:51:19 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

I second that!!!

Posted: 7/24/2013 8:53:33 PM

Joined: 7/22/2013

Photo album has been added. Take a look! I'll be adding more pics soon.

Posted: 7/25/2013 5:33:31 PM

From: Tucson, AZ USA

Joined: 2/26/2011


Your photos are very well done. This theremin would be more for display than a musical instrument for useable play. The use of vacuum tubes and being an early Moog is nostalgic. Theremin market interest is very soft these days so comparing what you have to a vintage Gibson tells me your expectations may be overreaching.

That video of the Vanguard theremin being played was very painful to watch and I bet for many.

My rule of thumb for theremin value, currently, is to not pay more the original selling price of the instrument using the dollar inflated adjusted value from the period it was originally sold. As a collectable yours would be very good. There are many more theremins sitting in the closet today than active members in the theremin community. You should consider doing something with your local music museum if you don't find that special collector.

You give no indication of where the product is located or method of contacting you? My guess is you are searching for the value rather than selling?


Posted: 7/25/2013 5:58:26 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Wow fuzzwave, thanks for the pix!  Especially those of the internals. 

The hand marked EQ coils are really interesting, 108 mH on the pitch side, 11.05 mH on the volume side - makes me wonder what exactly is inside those tubes (going by the size they are almost certainly ferrite core inductors).

I'm kind of shocked that the electrical connection between the pitch EQ coil and the rest of the electronics is handled so casually, just an unsecured wire running around that (from the way it is positioned) likely has some significant capacitance between it and the chassis.  Perhaps this is intended, but it doesn't strike me as good physical design.

Posted: 7/25/2013 9:58:08 PM

Joined: 7/22/2013

 Thanks for the feedback.

Video of a theremin virtuoso with a Vanguard is non-existent. I apologize for the shock of the rock videos to theremin purists but they do show a Vanguard in use. I love electronic effects of all types and thought Jon Spencer's use of his Vanguard to enhance his live stage show was genius, as raw as it was.

Can someone point me to some classical theremin music as well some new avantgarde artists?

The collectibilty of this instrument reaches beyond the theremin community to collectors of all things Moog related. 

It is for sale and I am open to offers. 





Posted: 7/25/2013 10:14:36 PM

Joined: 7/22/2013

Would Robert Moog have built this theremin himself in 1960?

Posted: 7/25/2013 10:19:15 PM

From: Toronto, Ontario

Joined: 3/6/2013

Interesting to note that the same trick as the "all american 5" radios is used for the tube filaments, to avoid using a transformer.


Posted: 7/26/2013 1:53:38 AM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Interesting to note that the same trick as the "all american 5" radios is used for the tube filaments, to avoid using a transformer."  - roguewave

Am I correct in assuming the "trick" is to wire the filaments in series?

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