1928 Theremin For Sale

Posted: 9/19/2011 9:14:07 PM

Joined: 9/15/2011

I'm posting this for my father-in law who owns the Theremin, I know very little of the fascinating instrument so please, direct all questions to the number listed below.

This is what I have been told:

Year 1928
Condition: Like new
RCA Serial #194
Has the external speaker cabinet w/original embroidering

Asking $25,000 or best offer

Phone (719) 684-6010
Posted: 9/20/2011 12:09:11 AM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Hello Bill,

From your brief description your father-in-law has a real treasure but your asking price deserves at the very least a link to a photo to validate your claim and a history of this RCA Theremin. Periodically ads like yours come up at Theremin World and on Craig’s List making similar claims then vanish a week later. "Uncle Bubba found this incredible relic in grandma’s attic."

I envy whomever purchases your RCA and that they have the proper place to accommodate it.

Posted: 9/20/2011 7:00:28 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

I have watched the prices of vintage RCA theremins for years, and if Serial # 194 is as described above, the asking price of $25,000.00 is a little high. A mint condition RCA of this sort, in today's market, should fetch about $15,000.00 tops. If the instrument had a unique and well documented history, like the instruments that belonged to Clara Rockmore or Samuel Hoffman, that would increase its value significantly but this instrument, if I have understood correctly, does not have that kind of provenance. I would advise the seller to mount a webpage with video of the instrument in action and detailed photos. The video does not have to be a virtuoso performance, just proof that the instrument functions and that its volume and pitch circuits are working.

It is always exciting when an RCA comes onto the market. Good luck with the sale!
Posted: 9/20/2011 7:08:28 AM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

My suggestion would be to have the instrument checked by an expert who cannot only judge about "works" or "doesn't work" but who will also be able to tell about pitch range and volume response and check the plate currents of the vacuum tubes in order to estimate their remaining lifetime.

I think that nobody would spend $25,000 for a used car without having it checked by an expert too.
Posted: 9/25/2011 7:17:31 PM

Joined: 9/15/2011

Thank you for your replies and we hope to have photos soon. After sharing your comments he agreed that the asking price maybe too high, he's definitely motivated and willing to entertain all reasonable offers

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