Salutations! ( from a new kid) and it has a question

Posted: 7/12/2017 9:36:44 AM
Moogli Vox

From: California

Joined: 7/12/2017

Hello! How is it going ? Hope well! I'm brand new to "theremin world" . And my question is : is it safe for the components to be exposed frequently? I ask because I often get frustrated with my Etherwave std (i bought it second hand , the enclosure has been cracked and reattached with wood screws by the previous owner) I'm not sure it has an effect or not on the tuning which I'm having the hardest time with . When I take the cover off , my Moogli ( I know not that original 🤣) sounds way better (at least to me) and seems to be more responsive and I have no difficulties finding "zero zone" . With the cover on ,however , I can't seem to get anywhere ( well I do but the range is smaller and the bass is not very rich or much of) . I've been trying to learn for a few years now . I'm just as exited and intrigued with my theremin as with termen-vox in general as I was in the beginning . Though am getting nowhere fast with tuning . If someone has the time and inclination, please help ! 


Moogli Vox 

my story of falling for a termen-vox is a long and windy one 🖤 😉

Posted: 7/12/2017 2:28:58 PM

From: züriCH

Joined: 3/15/2014

welcome to this world.

if you're a careful one, nothing happens to the circuit without the cover. blow the gathered  dust off and that's it. but it's always better to use it with the cover on. some parts are delicate. and murphys law does the rest most of the time.

your cover is already cracked, so you could easily drill holes into it to get direct access to the 3tuning coils. that's what i and many others did and it helps for that ****tuning procedure a lot. how to find the right spot for the holes? one way is: just a cigarette filter into the hole of the 3 tuning coils, some paint on top and place the cover really-really carefully. like a stamp. drill hole big enough so the red tuning-stick fits. you can cover the holes later on with whatever you like.

finally, you should get the same range and sound with the cover on as with off. i don't know your skills on handicraft, but a carpenter should be able to fix the cover with some glue and clamps in no time.

if i understand it correctly, did the previous owner just drill new holes etc. and did not use the original metric screws? you get those from any hardware store. 

Posted: 7/12/2017 3:04:25 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

I second xtheremin8's suggestion to drill holes to access the tunable coils with the top on.  I wish Bob Moog had done this, or maybe mounted the PCB upside down and provided access holes in the bottom of the case, or used coils with top & bottom access and put holes in both the PCB and bottom of the case.  

As it is, removing the top, adjusting things, replacing the top, trying it out, removing the top to touch things up, replacing the top, trying it out, etc. is frustrating and pointlessly time consuming; and owners are generally loathe to drill holes in the pretty top.  

Bob probably should have provided an adjustable tiny C in parallel with the antenna as well, as intrinsic / environmental C is the real thing you are actually "tuning" for in an EQ coil Theremin.

If you were on the east coast I'd invite you over to casa del dewster where I could probably help you out.

Posted: 7/12/2017 3:17:40 PM

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Although I don't have my top drilled, I do have hole position markings somewhere which would mean you wouldn't have to make precarious measurements, potentially damaging the tuning coils in the process.

As dewster says, it is a real pain to have to take the cover off, adjust, put it back on, take it off, adjust, put it back on and so forth.

Expect Thierry to pop up with words cautioning the over adjustment of the tuning coils, with good cause, I'd have to say.
The last thing you want is to have to replace a knackered tuning coil.

Posted: 7/12/2017 4:59:41 PM

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017

Patience - adjust the pitch coil, replace the cover and if it doesn't do the trick, repeat until you get it right.

I haven't played one of them for over 7 years, but I used to do adjustments first by adding some aluminum foil to the antenna, or by placing an object on the case near the antenna to adjust he playing field.

You can also change the length of the antenna, which also adjusts the playing field. Toilet inlet pipes - the metal kind not the metal braided hoses, make good antennas and you can trim them to length. Don't forget the compression fittings which hold the antenna under the nut.

Before I got one and trimmed it to length, I used a copper coil antenna, which could be adjusted by stretching it out, or compressing it. If the playing conditions were off,.it was easy to squeeze or pull it into a playable range.

The coil antenna has one advantage, whack it and it waves back and forth making for perfect mechanical vibrato.

I use plate antennas now since walking down a sidewalk is less taxing than walking a tightrope.

Posted: 7/12/2017 6:39:36 PM
Moogli Vox

From: California

Joined: 7/12/2017

  1. Xtheremin8, dewster, RoyP, and rupertchappelle , hello! Nice to meet you! And thank you , for your help! 
  2. I'm now armed with a few good options 😄
  3. Will post back as soon as I get some headway with the undertaking 


The  top cover is intact it's the side walls that had been compromised with the crude screws  . the screws / fine threaded bolts that hold the top down are fine and functional. I'm fairly handy with a drill and such ,so I should be able to be gentle with "the delicate machine" 

again thank you very much 

I'll be back with the updates soon


Moogli Vox

p.s. dewster I'd totally take you up on that generous offer ,if geography was not such as it is 😄

Posted: 7/13/2017 12:57:35 AM

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Ok, I've put a diagram outlining the positions of the holes on the case of the EW (from top, knobs to the front) in the photo album 'Open Theremin'. This is from Amos Gaynes (at Moog) via Thomas Grillo (at...ehhh...Thomas Grillo). Obviously, give and take and if you are metric then convert to millimetres (25.4 millimetres to an inch).
Oh, and remember to drill when the top cover is removed from the instrument!

Posted: 7/13/2017 1:41:29 AM
Moogli Vox

From: California

Joined: 7/12/2017

Rad! Thank you, RoyP! 

Yes, most definitely will remove the top prior to drilling 🤣

Posted: 7/13/2017 1:51:05 AM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Hello Moo lady,

You might find interesting stuff here, miss guided is still miss guided.

What city are you in?


Posted: 7/13/2017 2:00:57 AM
Moogli Vox

From: California

Joined: 7/12/2017

Thanks again, Christopher ! That was very helpful 

a few things to try before drilling 😉

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