Etherwave vs. PAiA

Posted: 1/13/2006 7:11:03 PM

Joined: 1/13/2006

Hi. I'm new to this whole thing but I'm very interested in purchasing a Theremin. The problem is I don't have a hellovalotta money.

I have posted on CraigsList and other spots asking for information and it seems that I've come down to two choices within my price range (max $400- hopefully less). Some people have told me PAiA's kits sound awfull, others say they're great.

I need an instrument that I can use on stage, and in the studio, and I'm not just looking for neat effects- I want to be able to play lines.

Any advice?
Posted: 1/13/2006 9:56:10 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

I own a Paia Theremax and an Etherwave Pro.

While the Theremax has a nice sound, the stock antenna makes it very hard to play. Other's have modded their Tmax's with better antennas and report much improved playability.

If you are interested in precision playing and choosing between the Tmax and the Etherwave Standard, I would advise you to go with the Etherwave.
Posted: 1/28/2006 7:49:47 PM

Joined: 2/21/2005

Comparing the Theremax to the Etherwave is really an apples and oranges proposition at best, so let's get a few things straight:

The Etherwave is hands-down the better instrument, but is considerably more expensive than the Theremax. Professional musicians who do not necessarily wish to construct their own instruments will choose the Etherwave over the Theremax without too much thought.

The Theremax is first and foremost an electronics kit, designed to give the builder the experience and satisfaction of creating their own instrument from the most basic beginning parts. But it is a good instrument, one of the best for the money, and can be made considerably better with modifications.

I ordered the Theremax because I couldn't afford the Etherwave. I also wanted the experience of the electronic build-up, an experience the Etherwave does not provide.

I am currently using a custom-built wood cabinet and homemade solid brass antennae. I am thoroughly pleased with the Theremax as it has given me the experience I wanted, and for the money I have invested (still less than the Etherwave) I have received a good, playable instrument in return.

The Theremax remains today what it always has been: an excellent low-cost hobbyists' alternative to much more expensive professional-oriented instruments. If you can handle a soldering iron, the Theremax is a worthy and worthwhile investment.
Posted: 1/28/2006 11:20:41 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Etherdave, have you posted any pics of your Tmax with the brass antennae? Would enjoy seeing it.
Posted: 1/30/2006 3:24:33 PM

From: Toledo Ohio

Joined: 1/9/2006

Six monthes ago I puchased a Theremax,built it and installed it in a custom wood cabinet.Many of us that want that first Theremin experience for a low dollar amount have followed this same path. I am very happy with my Theremax. As stated in previous posts the antennae included in the optional faceplate/ antenna kit are quite filmsy. I upgraded to a larger diameter brass stock and followed the great electronic tweeq/
upgrade advice posted by Scott at Paia Electronics and feel I have a very playable instrument.
Posted: 3/19/2006 9:38:24 AM

Joined: 2/21/2005

Sorry, Kkissinger, I can't post photos at this time... I sent a rather interesting news story to Jason with some photos, hopefully it gets to Thereminworld some time soon. Keep a look out!

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