So I want to get a theremin...

Posted: 1/6/2009 8:37:07 PM

Joined: 1/6/2009

So, I want to get a theremin. I want to spend no more then $200, preferably closer to $100. The other option, is building my own. I have worked with robotics in the past as was wondering what kind of guides are out there for doing that cheaply and easy(as in, easyish).

I want to get a PAiA but its just a little too much.

Edit: Looks good

Edit (Again): Has anybody worked with a volume control that uses a photocell to control volume rather then a loop? (As seen here:

Edit (Yet Again): Has anybody heard anything about these: ..never-mind that..just heard one on youtube..sound awful.

Edit (Yet Again, Again): I may just get a Thermax without a case (Theremax Theremin Electronic Kit (no case: 9505K) + Front Panel and Antenna Set (9505FPA)) It's still a little more then I want to spend

Actually, before I do anything, B3 Theremin? Anybody? Comments? Its cheep, and preassembled (Massive bonus). Anybody?
Posted: 1/7/2009 9:35:59 AM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

Hello Slyf

I guess the problem with cheap theremins or lower-priced theremin kits is that they don't always sound that good. Whether these would suit you will depend what you want a theremin for; if it's simply for making spooky noises, then ok - but if you want to play music they may not satisfy you.

The Moog Etherwave Standard would be an excellent entry-level theremin if you're seeking an instrument - however, it may well be beyond your budget, (although 2nd-hand bargains do sometimes crop up on eBay).

Taking all your comments into consideration, I'd suggest you consider the B3 Deluxe at around $199 (buying off eBay direct from the maker); with its longer body it seems more playable than the original shorter B3 ($149) and seems well worth the extra fifty dollars. If you want to hear how a B3 Deluxe sounds you can listen to a 30 minute concert played by Thomas Grillo by visiting his YouTube homepage:
Posted: 1/7/2009 9:43:33 AM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

The B3 is a very fine beginners instrument.
+ low price
+ ready assembled and tested, hand-tuned by the manufacturer
+ pleasant smooth sound (not like this "enclosed insect" sound of some new Japanese theremins)

Naturally it has some restrictions, due to the low price:
- No waveform or timbre control
- 3 octaves only pitch range, not too linear, but with a bit of practice...
- Small housing, so that intense movements above the volume loop might theoretically affect pitch. I discovered that in reality one may nevertheless play it without problems.

I bought my B3 first in order to see if the theremin would be really interesting for me. As I saw this, I switched later to an Etherwave Standard. But there are still pieces which I prefer playing on the B3.
Posted: 1/7/2009 1:28:13 PM

Joined: 1/6/2009

Thanks, I will look into getting a Deluxe B3. Very excited. That removes two of the limitations you mentioned, its five octaves, and has an expanded case size. Its still not very linear and does not have any octave or timbre control, but it should get the job done for me.

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