Etherwave or Kees? help me please!

Posted: 12/28/2006 6:05:12 PM

From: Devon, UK

Joined: 12/28/2006

Hello everyone on Thereminworld forum, sorry if this has been asked before but I really need some advice please. I am going to buy my first theremin and I have been searching the internet for info for far too long now in an effort to make a decision, but can’t quite make one just yet….please help!!

I can’t decide between a Kees and an Etherwave standard.
I think I am leaning towards the Kees right now, but I am not 100% certain.

I am looking for a versatile, playable theremin that will also be good for sound effects. I would like whatever I buy to be compatible with my existing (guitar) kit which is: 15watt Ibanez guitar amp with a cd input, Vox AD30VT amp with no line level input, ZVex Fuzz Factory, Boss ME50 effects pedal board, Korg Pandora PX4 effects processor.

Is it fairly straightforward to run either/both of these theremins through effects pedals?

I am on a tight budget, I’m pushing the limit looking at Etherwaves, and so would like to avoid buying a keyboard amp until later on if possible, as I understand it the Etherwave must have a line level amp but the Kees will run through any amp, have I got this right?
Is a cd input on an amp the same as line level input?

Has anyone from the UK on here imported a Kees recently, roughly how much is the postage, and will I get a huge bill for import duty and such?

Is there a big difference in playability and sound quality between the two, I have listened to samples and think they both sound fantastic.

Any help with this is greatly appreciated, I just can’t wait any longer to get my theremin, which ever one it maybe.
Many thanks.
Posted: 12/28/2006 6:24:42 PM

From: Kansas City MO USA

Joined: 11/26/2006

i believe the CD input is for line level,
I am playing my etherwave through a crate guitar amp. i simply changed one resistor (per moogs instructions) and it sounds great to me. not that that means anything.

Posted: 12/28/2006 6:55:06 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Hi Kirstie,

I bought a Kees a year and some ago, and upgraded to an etherwave about a year later. Nothing wrong with the Kees but it let me down on my first gig and I ended up playing a friend's etherwave instead - the power cable got twoinked just before I was up and Keesses take a good 15 minutes to warm up when it's outside at night and there's a fresh breeze!

Yes, a Kees plays fine on a guitar amp provided you keep the output volume turned down. So does an etherwave, provided you either change a resistor in the circuitry as Buddy mentioned (you can find the etherwave hotrodding manual on the moog website) or (as I do) run the etherwave through a volume pedal and keep that turned down. You need a low impedance inline volume pedal (I got a Bespeco VM14L from Purple Turtle Music - they have an eBay shop - cheapest I could find.)

Same with effects pedals - if they're only suitable for guitars then make sure the volume is lowered one way or another before the signal gets to them. Some effects are good with theremins - others not so - I like delays - just got my third one for Xmas! It's a Boss PS2 - it's also a pitch shift, which is pretty good too. :-)

Check out my myspace site for both Kees and etherwave plus effects - mostly delays. Everything is Kees except the videos Hadal Zone, Void Ship and In The Potting Shed, which are etherwave.

I didn't get import taxed. I forget what postage was, but it wasn't outrageous - the Kees is surprisingly light!

They're both very playable. The etherwave has a slight edge, perhaps, but there's not a lot in it.

Welcome to Theremin World!
Posted: 1/22/2007 4:49:27 PM

From: Devon, UK

Joined: 12/28/2006

Oooooh I’m excited! In a few days I will be the proud owner of a lovely Kees theremin!
I can’t wait!!!
Thanks for your help and advice GordonC and buddy_craig, Theremin World is such a fantastic resource for theremin newbies like me.
Sorry for the huge delay in replying, my job has gone a bit mental at the moment – work/sleep/work/sleep etc….

I decided to go for the Kees mainly because I think they sound superb, also the Etherwave was pushing my partners spending limit (it’s my birthday present!). I would have no idea how to replace a resistor in an amp for Etherwave purposes, and the Kees is most compatible with what I already have without having to buy many more pieces of kit.
Gordon, I listened to all your compostions on your myspace, they are excellent, I found it quite hard to decide between Kees and Etherwave, but did prefer the sound of the Kees.

I have chosen to have the mic stand adapter fitted so if anyone can recommend a good stand please let me know, I would like one with a heavy solid base I think.

Looking forward to getting started!
Posted: 1/22/2007 9:01:19 PM

From: Kansas City MO USA

Joined: 11/26/2006

so when's the concert?

(and why is it that no one spells my name correctly)
Posted: 1/23/2007 5:49:07 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Thank you for your kind comments. :-)

Pretty much any mic stand will be fine - just drop into your local music store and get the cheapest one they have. Weight is not an issue with the Kees - but you do want it to be wobble-free. My feeling is the ones with the wide tripod base are probably a trifle more stable than the heavy solid disc base ones - while you're in the shop give it a shove and see how long it rocks back and forth.
Posted: 3/8/2007 3:51:13 AM

From: Lausanne, Switzerland

Joined: 3/15/2005

Kees is a fine theremin. I own both etherwave and a kees, and kees for its money is a fine theremin.Great playability, great construction.
It also has a different sound, more like the rca if added a little bit of reverb. The only small "problem" is that it takes some time (about 10 mins.) to warm up and have a stable pitch playing.

Posted: 3/8/2007 9:13:53 AM

From: Kansas City MO USA

Joined: 11/26/2006

my E standard has to warm up for about 10-15 minutes too.
Posted: 3/10/2007 7:42:51 AM

From: Wales: UK

Joined: 3/6/2005

Hello Kirsty
Yep! I own a kees theremin great choice! What I like about it is the choice of woods in its consruction. It is very playable. I use a bass amp with mine and effects pedal. Its a very responsive instrument when you give it time to warm up. About two years ago I had a wooden case made for mine with molded wooden inserts for the rod and loop by A CABINET MAKER who did a great job. Although the theremin is quite rigid in its construction the inner components are delicate. So if you are thinking taking the instrument to gigs Take reasonable care in its transportation Look after it and it will possibly give you a lot of enjoyment. I love playing classical music on mine. Happy playing and best wishes

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