The Open theremin is pretty good. I actually use mine quite a lot in my home studio, since it can be tweaked easily to match my cramped space.
My main performance theremin is a PAiA Theremax…that was also my first one. I really love it, as it has a slightly buzzy tone, sort of a sharkfin waveform (a bit truncated on the lower on the scope)
I also have a tube theremin and an FPGA theremin that I’m always tinkering with. Last but not least I have a Model 142 that I found as a boxed, assembled kit on ebay.
I’ve played Etherwaves and thereminis before. I’m not a fan of the theremini…it’s not the plastic, it’s the tone…having said that the Etherwave pro is a wonderful instrument, but simply not worth $6k+ to me…even though I agree it’s a lovely looking instrument.
I quite like the look of the Claravox, and it seems to be an improved implementation of both the Etherwave Pro and the Theremini in one box. I’m concerned that the fabric faces will get damaged, but I like the portability, and worrying about cloth is probably without merit, as I have a few ancient amps with cloth faces that are still beautiful!
Yes, I preordered one.
Of course, I’d rather have a Tvox Tour…or even a Subscope. But I think the Claravox will be a great addition to my quiver, and I think it will sound as good as my Klippinger-based tube beast (which weighs 88 lbs in its enclosure). It’s hard to tell how it will actually sound based on a youtube clip.
If you can afford the $$ to buy one, and you are theremin-curious, I think it’s a reasonable investment. Moog has already announced that after the pre-order period they will not be for sale any more.
But they are like any other instrument…they take time and practice to master. I played 10 to 12 hours a week for 4 years before I started to sound like anything other than a kid on a slide-whistle. If nothing else, it really teaches you how to be still
The real value in a great theremin is really about pitch linearity. Not a big deal on volume, and I actually prefer a more log-shaped curve on the volume. But a long, linear pitch draw is what makes an instrument playable…and that is what is amazing about the EPro. I’m hoping the Claravox is similar! And it’s what is amazing about the FPGA based theremins.
But that’s where the Open theremin and most other digital or Arduino based instruments fall down…not tone, playability. The Theremax is a good middle ground.
But if you aren’t a theremin player, you couldn’t know that.
There are a lot of other monosynths that cost far more than $1500, and not too many people would want to argue that they have no value compared to your [insert DIY Arduino monosynth of choice here]
And I have to admit…I use and play my Otamatone Techno a LOT!!