Buying cheap(er) theremins from ebay

Posted: 2/1/2007 10:53:23 AM

From: London

Joined: 2/1/2007

Hi everyone,
Is there anyone out there with an extremely tight theremin budget, who's bought one of the theremins from ebay from the UK sellers?
There seems to be 3 choices:
1) Theremaniacs (which I'm leaning towards but is more expensive and only one aerial)
2) A seller called w.h.smith who sells kiet for a bit cheaper and with 2 aerials.
3) A seller called andyconsultant but they seem a bit small.

Can anyone offer any opinions on any of these?

I'm looking for a basic model as a present for someone. This someone is very musical however, so I don't just want to get a novelty, I'd like it to have some degree of playability.

Thanks for the help,
Posted: 2/1/2007 11:14:15 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

One stick theremins are not especially playable - mostly they are well in the novelty category, but the general opinion is that the theremaniacs model is one of the better ones. Suitable for a Led Zeppelin tribute band or similar.

The second one looks suspiciously like a jaycar kit which can be transformed into a playable instrument with appropriate mods to the circuitry, but is a novelty straight out of the box.

I do not know anything about the third one, but note that it too is a one-sticker.
Posted: 2/2/2007 2:26:13 AM

From: sunnyvale california

Joined: 1/28/2007

I looked around a bit myself before getting my etherwave standard kit, and decided the bare minimum was probably the Paia, but it would take a lot of fiddling with, so I just got the Etherwave kit.

If your friend is able to replace a broken volume "pot" or build his own guitar cables, he'll be able to build the kit just fine.
Posted: 2/2/2007 2:42:01 AM

From: Undisclosed location without Dick Cheney

Joined: 2/21/2005

The Etherwave kit comes with the hard work already done, it's basic assembly of prefab parts. The jaycar kit and its equivalents is significantly more difficult because it's a pile of electronics pieces that have to be soldered onto a circuit board.

I haven't finished mine yet, I'm trying to find time to get together with my friends again for another evening of me working on it and them watching stuff from my video collection in between giving me advice.
Posted: 2/2/2007 5:21:55 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Rule 1 of musical instrument purchase: Don't buy anything you can't try out first.
Posted: 2/2/2007 10:26:36 AM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

[i]Don't buy anything you can't try out first.[/i]

That is a pretty good rule when one has a standard of reference.

For example, one can walk into a piano store and try out different pianos side by side -- same with guitars.

One is confronted with a problem when one desires to compare theremins. To find one Theremin is tough enough and to find an array of Theremins to compare side-by-side is a rarity.

Don't despair, though... you will likely find the information on Thereminworld to be helpful and accurate and is the next best thing to a showroom full of Theremins.

Price and playability tend to be directy proportional. The inexpensive Theremins will provide a lot of fun and a novel means to create sound-effects.

There really isn't anything I can add to the comments already posted to this thread -- lots of good information.
Posted: 2/2/2007 10:31:22 AM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

I bought my Etherwave without having ever actually seen one in real life.

It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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