Please help: Right handed Theremin for left handed play - which is better suited, Burns B3 Deluxe or Moog Etherwave Plus?

Posted: 9/20/2012 2:23:27 PM

Joined: 9/20/2012

Good day, everybody!

I am interested in buying a Theremin, my budget is rather limited, but I have have an offer for an used Moog Etherwave Plus for somewhat more than a new Burns B3 Deluxe.

I'm also left handed, so in either case I'd have to turn the Theremin 180 degrees around. 

As far as I could gather, there are no left handed Theremins in my reach - both geographically and financially.


Now, I'm here to ask for your advice:

Which of the Theremins above mentioned is more suitable for turn-around play?

Will the assymetrically shaped second antenna of the Moog cause more difficulties when played from the other side?

Would it therefore be wiser to buy a B3 as this instrument has a symmetric second antenna?


Thank you very much for your answers.


Posted: 9/20/2012 5:10:09 PM

From: portland

Joined: 11/30/2011

Im at work and its not in front of me, but I believe, the etherwave volume loop unscrews and can be flipped for left hand use. 

Posted: 9/20/2012 5:38:14 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Nieradka is correct, the etherwave volume loop can be fitted backwards, placing the bulge of the loop at the back of the instrument.

However, the volume loop is not horizontal - it slopes down towards the front of the instrument. (By "front" I mean from the perspective of a right handed player, the side with the knobs.) This can be overcome by attaching the volume loop only by the rear fitting, which will work fine but look a little odd.

You may find that you are happy with the volume loop in its usual position. I have never actually seen any left-handed player fit the loop any other way in performance.

The more frustrating aspect of using a right-handed theremin will be adjusting the pitch and volume fields, which will require reaching over the instrument to the knobs on the front.

(-: Also your back will be to the audience. :-)

Posted: 9/20/2012 7:11:52 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

You might contact Wilco Bothermans via his website

He has found a way to build true left-handed Etherwaves by replacing (among others) the side parts of the housing, so that the antenna positions are correct.

Posted: 9/20/2012 7:25:20 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

Yget an also contact dominik Bednarz of Subscope. He built me a left handed theremin and it is wonderful... 

Posted: 9/21/2012 2:25:26 AM

From: Flying with the Phoenix

Joined: 3/9/2011

You may want to try learning the Theremin in the "Right Handed" position. When I got my first Theremin (B-3 Deluxe) I tried learning both right handed & left handed (I am left handed myself). I found the right handed way to be more intuitive. If you end up with the B-3 it is not difficult to transfer the two controls to the other side of the housing. Let me point out, I'm not talking about moving any of the original components. You would be "Adding" external mechanical controls to the "outside" of the enclosure. I wish you a long and enjoyable journey with the Theremin.
In His Service ---- Dana
Posted: 9/21/2012 10:05:54 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

In the early days of the theremin there was much discussion about whether the pitch antenna should be on the right side or the left side of the instrument. After all, traditionally violinists and cellists play with the left hand controlling intonation while the right hand bows the strings. It is only fairly recently that left-handed fiddles have been available. 

Since Clara Rockmore was a violinist, when she was forced to abandon the violin and take up the theremin instead, Leon Theremin offered to make her a special "left handed" instrument so she could continue playing pitch with her left hand (even though Clara was not left handed). Clara decided against this.

The task of intonation on the theremin has been given to the hand that has the most dexterity. Control of the loop is a relatively simple thing but accurate pitch control takes a great deal of skill and coordination. 

Henry Solomonoff, whom you may remember from the documentary ELECTRONIC ODYSSEY, was one of the original left-handed thereminists back in the 1930's, along with bandleader Rudy Vallee. Both men played leftie RCA's.

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