Posted: 9/15/2007 5:20:59 PM

Joined: 9/15/2007

i am completely new to the theremin, however i am very interested in it. i would like to know if i need to spend money on an amp specifically made for the theremin, or i could just as well use a keyboard, guitar, or bass amp... all of which i have floating around my house somewhere.
Posted: 9/15/2007 6:42:35 PM

From: Brussels, Belgium

Joined: 8/27/2007

keyboard amps work, with guitar amps you have to be lucky i think

it's just that most theremins output line level signal
Posted: 9/15/2007 6:45:59 PM

From: Fresno, California USA

Joined: 3/26/2006

Keyboard amp specifically; a guitar amp will force the output of the therimin into a guitar's audio range, even if it has a compatible input. (So I understand...)
Posted: 9/15/2007 7:05:00 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

That is true of the majority of theremins. The Kees Enkelaar theremin has an output volume control so can work with any amp. I bought a guitar amp for my Kees as I liked the sound of it. When I bought my etherwave I discovered it had precisely the problem Alan and Aidy describe - the line level signal produced by the etherwave are way stronger than guitar levels, and it distorts badly. (To overcome it I use a volume pedal to attenuate the signal.)

Posted: 9/15/2007 8:43:56 PM

From: Redmond, WA

Joined: 9/1/2007

I think it also depends on what you are going for, too. I currently have my EtherWave Standard plugged into a small Yamaha guitar amp with half distortion turned on. I'm getting some pretty cool Cello, Violin, Sax, Tuba, Trombone(...) sounds out of it. The more I raise my volume hand, the more distorted the sound becomes! I think it's pretty nifty. But yes, for a clear, smooth, unchanged sound, Go for something with a Line-In level plug.
Posted: 9/15/2007 11:53:42 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Check out this thread -- someone else was asking about the same thing:

Don't be put off by the name of the thread ("Help Me I'm an Idiot") -- it has some good info in it that answers some basic questions about amplifiers, etc.
Posted: 9/16/2007 2:21:06 AM

From: Fresno, California USA

Joined: 3/26/2006

I was in a bit of a pinch as far as an amp was concerned. I couldn't see any way to test my theremin once I had built it without having an amp, and without having it tested I could hardly walk into a store selling amplifiers to see what sounded good (assuming I cold tell). I also feared falling into the clutches of a salesperson who would capitalize on my inexperience. So I started out looking at the Moog theremin amp, kept poking around from there and ended up with a Behringer keyboard amp/PA:

I know that's not the most highly prized brand, but it wasn't much more than the Moog, it has decent reviews, and it has a lot of features that don't show up in similarly priced amps from other makers. More powerful than I need (so less likely to distort), line in and line out (so it can be used as a monitor and output to a PA system--as if I will be playing in public with a band! HA!), graphics equalizer, and lots of special effects. Also inputs for microphones, CD player, etc. Not unreasonable for a starter, I think. Will find out what it sounds like with my theremin later on...
Posted: 9/16/2007 2:26:45 AM

From: Fresno, California USA

Joined: 3/26/2006

STAND BACK! I have a flanger and I'm not afraid to use it!
Posted: 9/17/2007 12:20:14 AM

From: Undisclosed location without Dick Cheney

Joined: 2/21/2005

I started out with an Etherwave and a small inexpensive guitar amp, which I bought because it was cheap and I didn't know what I was doing.

I had to keep the amp turned extraordinarily low at all times to avoid being unreasonably loud.

While appearing with my Theremin at the World Science Fiction Convention some years back to give a discussion and demonstrations, I was placed in a loud, crowded room and had to turn the amp up a little to be heard. The Theremin promptly blew the speaker, which had an annoying buzz until I eventually threw out that amp.

I now have the Moog Theremin Amp, which I intend to use until I feel I'm good enough for it to be worth my throwing $400 at a nice Roland amp.
Posted: 9/21/2007 12:55:32 PM
Paul Cat

Joined: 8/29/2007

I just bought an Alesis Sumo 15w keyboard amp, its pretty cheap here (£70) in the UK so I guess it wont be too bad in the states. Its plenty loud enough for practise sakes, and has a nice little effects unit built in...Im loving it!

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