Newbie question: Advice on setup for Kees Enkelaar theremin

Posted: 10/4/2014 4:00:04 PM

From: Wales, UK

Joined: 10/4/2014

Hi all - I hope someone can steer me towards to the right place. I have a Kees Enkelaar theremin that I bought new some years ago. The problem I have is that the volume control works in reverse - i.e. it gets quieter the closer you move your hands towards it, rather than louder, so effectively, the theremin is always on until approached. Does anyone know how I can fix this?



Posted: 10/4/2014 4:07:10 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Quieter volume as you approach is the traditional way a theremin works. To switch directions might get into future trouble. It is sort of like I trained myself to ride Japanese dirt bikes back in the 70's then jumped on a 441 BSA and the foot brake was on the wrong side, how that ended up was a loud scrape in the street. I jumped up and told the crowd "I'm ok, I'm ok".

Edit: This is why a Mute switch is a good idea so you can walk away from it or to silence it when first turned on and waiting for it to stabilize.


Posted: 10/4/2014 5:08:52 PM

From: züriCH

Joined: 3/15/2014

hello crispy,

welcome to TW,

the simplest way  to mute any normal working theremin is done by hanging the cable to/from the amp over the volume antenna, or the headphone cable, if you are using some.

if you like to reverse the function of the volume antenna completely, ie,the closer the louder. then it might get a bit more difficult. i think it should be doable. but i'm not familiar with the kees, or how the circuitboard looks like.

Posted: 10/4/2014 8:34:39 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

Crispy, what you describe (volume increases the more far your hand goes away from the volume loop) is the normal, standard and default behavior of almost all theremins. Only a hand full of people prefer it the other way round and these had to request individual modifications of the circuitry by one of the rare theremin experts in the world.

The Kees Enkelaar theremins can be modified this way. The discriminator stage has to be modified and then the volume oscillator has to be internally re-calibrated. But it would be a pity to touch at such a rare instrument to change its original character.

Posted: 10/20/2014 7:34:29 PM

From: Wales, UK

Joined: 10/4/2014

I feel such a fool! The reason I thought it was wrong was because when I first got it it worked in the opposite way - No idea why - maybe it got knocked in transport, and so I opened it up and tinkered with it (again don't ask me why as I had no idea what I was doing - I sometimes can't help myself) - then I had to get detailed instructions emailed from Kees Enkelaar to set it all up again from scratch and I've been convinced ever since that it is set up the wrong way round! I obviously got it right (which I am a bit amazed by as it was a nightmare...)

Thanks for the replies. I've never performed with it but I suppose to control the volume I would just turn the volume down until it was needed.

Also - I didn't realise they were rare? At the time it was the only one I could afford that had both pitch and volume control. Is he not making them anymore then?

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