I started in the repair department of a local musical instrument and stereo resale store in 1978. I was getting bored with all the broken items that needed repair. It was a very negative situation dealing with defective items and customers that rightly felt bad that their item was not working properly and having to spend hard earned money to have the items repaired. I tried something new by taking a defective effect pedal and rewiring it by adding parts to make it do what it was never intended to be. About 20 years later I would learn that this is called circuit bending. In 1985 the 'Blown Speaker Emulator' was created and actually sold! This was quickly followed by the 'Ugly Monster Distortion Pedal' but my boss wanted me to stop this wasteful nonsense. I know that these archaic creations are now called 'boutique pedals' and can command many dollars. I sold mine for $20 payable to the company store....oh.....ouch!. I then learned about Reed Ghazala!
No, I did not build my first theremin as a child, I had to wait until I was about 30 some years old when a Maestro Theremin was being offered at a Ham Radio swapfest marketed as a burgler alarm that didn't work very well. (Very close description!) It was in nice condition. I believe they made only around a thousand units. Please correct me if you see a serial number not much higher than 1,000.
I have been manufacturing Theremins since 1993. These are musical instruments that you play without touching the unit. My product line includes analog 'black box' theremins as well as a no-solder theremin kit. Theremanaics Theremins also has lower cost CMOS Integrated Circuit Theremin available. CMOS IC 'chip' Theremins function much the same way as Vintage Theremins but they use square wave pulsing signals to generate sound. Vintage Theremins will generate two sine wave radio frequencies that combine for a richer sound. (and a higher cost!)
The reason you see only one antenna is that most of my theremins are pitch only. This keeps the cost down for the consumer, while allowing me to deliver to you the best sounding theremin for the money. I do have a volume control unit available that adds the second volume antenna to either the CMOS or the vintage style Theremin unit. This allows you to assemble the right Theremin for your needs and your budget. A new two antenna pitch and volume Theremin is now available with removable antennas.
People that don't mind doing some work to get a one-of-a-kind theremin will prefer the Kit Theremin but you do have to install it in some sort of non-metallic container prior to using it. The sound most people associate with the theremin is similar to the sound sample on this site. It is achieved by running the theremin through a delay effects pedal. Many people run their theremins through effects pedals (to obtain that classic full horror movie sound). It is very easy to run the theremin through a volume pedal as well if you choose to do so. Who have we sold to? Many famous names. Many.......
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