New theremim player

Posted: 7/30/2019 10:53:45 PM

From: The East of the Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

An amplifier meant for guitar may be designed to overdrive/distort sooner when the gain/volume is dialed up, and the signal from a theremin is usually stronger (line level) than from electric guitar (instrument level) that needs more gain, so the dials of guitar amps give very little dial room between silent/quiet and (too) loud and unintentionally distorted.

Some people, including myself use some type of pre-amplifier, actually using it as an attenuator, like a (passive) volume pedal, an ART tube preamp or a Behringer clone thereof directly after the theremin, beforing going in (guitar) (multi) effect pedal(s) and/or a guitar amplifier.

In many guitar tube amps that stock go into overdrive soon, one could replace some or all of the higher gain pre-amp tubes (usually 12AX7) with a pin-compatible lower gain type. I've done such tube-swaps in both my Vox Lil' Night Train as well in a Fender Pawn Shop Greta (both are small tube amps meant for guitar, only a few Watts). It's also quite easy to make a fixed or variable passive attenuator to adapt the theremin's signal to a guitar amp.

Keyboard amps are designed to expect a line level signal, and to sound clean, so they usually work without issues.
Bass guitar amps can work well too, they usually can be set up to handle a stronger signal without going into overdrive/distortion (also for bassguitars with 'active electronics').

Posted: 8/1/2019 12:39:30 AM

From: France + Germany

Joined: 7/29/2019

Thank you DreadVox for that detailed information!

Posted: 8/19/2019 1:04:30 PM

From: Halifax, Canada (east coast)

Joined: 7/28/2019

My brother just gave me a Yorkville YSM-5 Studio Monitor.

The sound it produces is *completely* different from the little guitar amp I'd been using.

The guitar amp distorts totally randomly at different frequencies and volumes and the Studio Monitor doesn't at all - and the very low pitches that my Moog Etherwave can produce are beautiful, deep, rich and loud.  It has vastly enjoyed my practice experience.

It is NOT built for touring; there's no cover over the drivers and the first time it was dropped face down it would be ruined.

Brother tells me that the YSM-6 has lots more sound and an even richer low end and that I should go try it out by renting it for a few bucks a month from the local music rental store.

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