Choosing theremin & amp

Posted: 4/30/2014 10:42:48 PM

Joined: 4/30/2014

Hi everyone

I am strongly considering beginning to play the theremin. I have played a lot of classical music (mainly the recorder) but know almost nothing of electronic music.

I have googled around and watched youtube videos of B3 deluxe, B3 pro and Etherwave and like the sound of the B3 pro the most. Is one theremin more difficult to play than another or should I just choose the B3 pro?

Also, I have no idea what to look for when choosing an amp (except for the price)?

looking forward to becoming a part of Theremin World

Posted: 5/4/2014 2:14:26 AM
Chainsaw Willie!

From: Just a short walk away from Nike Missile Site S-13/14

Joined: 1/28/2011

One of the things I like about the B3 is that the volume knob is a regular old output level adjustment (not a volume loop tuner).  This gives a lot of flexability into what sort of amplifier you can plug into without an attenuator.  It means common guitar amps easily work pretty well with he Burns Theremin.

I also preferred he voice of the B3, but that decision was from youtube and other Internet recordings using PC speakers or headphones, not listening to both in person.  A LOT  of people like the the Moog.  I imagine you can't go wrong with either Theremin.

The amp issue has been covered on many threads before, so search this site for the existing discussions of the topic.  Lots is stuff will work well.  Guitar amps, keyboard amps, and powered PA speakers, are common options.  The only real losers are cheap guitar practice amps.  They dont even sound good with guitars!  In general stay away from little speakers with a guitar amp.  There maybe exceptions, but usually little speakers mean tinny 1970s AM pocket transistor radio sound.  Look at amps with a 10 or 12 inch speaker.  Reverb is a nice feature too.

Posted: 5/20/2014 11:54:32 AM

From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Joined: 1/1/2011

I own the B3 Pro and it is a fine theremin in a beautifully crafted solid wood cabinet.  One of the unique features that I like the most is the touch sensitive mute switch.  Having said that I seldom ever dust it off and play it because of it's limitations in sound and range.  In the upper register it has a very sweet string like tone but tends to be weak for playing lower notes and can sometimes be drowned out with music from backing tracks.

Personally I think that a beginner is better off with an Etherwave Standard for price point and versatility.  The Etherwave has the option of greatly modifying the sound or voice for the type of music you are playing.  You also have the option of having Theirry's ESPE01 module installed later and greatly improving the sound and linearity. The volume output on the B3 would be handy if you had to change the level suddenly on stage but it is not an issue for the most part.  As you progress in your journey you will appreciate being able to adjust the volume loop for the types of music you are playing or just overall response to your personal desire. Look on Ebay or Craigslist for a used one...if you persevere you will find one for the same price as the B3.   I like my B3 Pro but it definitely left me wanting more as my playing improved.

If you do a search for amplifiers on this site you will find multitudes of posts with good advice.  Overall is is best to stay away from a guitar amp especially if you decide to go with an Etherwave.  They aren't compatible with the output of the theremin.  Keyboard amps are better. Once you decide what you want Craigslist is probably the best source for a good used one.  

Best wishes!

Posted: 5/20/2014 12:54:14 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010


You always give great advice. Thank you!


You must be logged in to post a reply. Please log in or register for a new account.