Big issues with Etherwave after a few months of non-use and a move

Posted: 8/13/2023 5:42:25 PM

From: Copenhagen

Joined: 12/29/2018


I haven’t used my Etherwave in a while, and now when trying it these days, it has sounds issues and isn’t playable.

Hoping it has nothing to do with my recent move to a new place — it was well packed within its case bag and with plenty of soft padding around. I also cannot tell if the sound change happened before or after the move, as I didn’t use it for a few months before that. But it had otherwise worked well since 2018.

Could it be that there’s some electrical anomaly with grounding in my new place? (how to test that? I tried a few different sockets)
Could it be that there’s some sort of shortcircuit or similar within the internals of the Etherwave? (it’s the DIY kit one)

How to describe the sound issues…

– It’s like the note isn’t clear and unique anymore. I don’t have enough of a musical ear and knowledge to describe this in detail, but it might even be that there’s actually two notes at once, if that’s even possible.

– Most importantly, using the Pitch knob to adjust the space does not lead a useable set-up anymore (with the lowest pitch where you stand and the highest at the antenna). This result cannot be achievable, and turning the knob does change the range, but never properly. In fact, in most cases it is reversed, with the lower notes away from you and the higher closer.

– There’s a quasi-constant electrical buzzing in the back.

Nothing else have changed. I still have the same set-up as I did before:
(a Behringer MA400 amp to play with headphones, and a custom ground cable – as the EU Etherwave plug does not have a ground pin and I’m not connected to other grounded equipment, but that extra wire solution has worked perfectly in the past)

Any idea of what is going wrong and how I could fix it?
Really hope this is solvable


Posted: 8/13/2023 7:23:17 PM

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

Generic advice: make sure you have a good ground connection where you are playing. Try a different outlet and see if it makes a difference 

Posted: 8/13/2023 7:51:40 PM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Copenhagen ? How exciting as I just live in the Old West, on an Indian Reservation in So. California.

You most likely have an earth ground issue.

An analog theremin must be directly connected to Mother Earth for several reasons, most importantly for the beautiful sound from Nature. You might pound into damp soil outside your own metal rod, two meters or longer. Then run a wire through a window. Also but not as good is to connect to a metal water pipe in your house.

Reminder: The original theremin design had a soul that has been removed in modern day budget theremin design, now requiring reverb to give any sense of artificial life. One day her voice will return, now being studied at MIT.

I wish you the best,


Posted: 8/13/2023 9:41:50 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

If you post a sound clip we might be able to figure out what's going on.  No amp or reverb, just straight out of the EW.

Posted: 9/17/2023 8:24:04 PM

From: 30 km south of Paris (France)

Joined: 12/23/2022

I just discover this last month thread.
Two different notes probably means that there is, somewhere around, another oscillator close to the frequency of the pitch fixed oscillator.
This parasitic oscillator could be a switching power supply such as a phone or computer charger.
It happened to me last summer.

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