To mark the 100th anniversary of the Theremin, Moog unveils the attractive Claravox Centennial


It's been a whole century since Leon Theremin created the electronic instrument with his name to celebrate Moog publishes what certainly has to be the best-looking (and perhaps best-sounding) theremin of all time: the Claravox Centennial.

With a walnut case, brass antennas, and a host of wonderful buttons and dials, the Claravox looks like it came out of a pre-war recording studio, as it was actually intended.

It is named after Clara Rockmore, the Soviet musician who played the theremin with great success (and probably with confusion) in the 1930s and made a major contribution to the instrument's fame and design.

The one she played, however, was only a toy compared to those developed by electronic music pioneer Bob Moog, who developed his own plans from a magazine published in a magazine in 1949. He later iterated and improved the instrument to make it the versatile yet distinctive theremin that would become an integral part of many genres alongside Moog's own synthesizers.

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However, the Claravox is not intended as an exhibition piece. It's the ultimate theremin, packed with modern and old-fashioned technology. You can customize and switch between analog and digital oscillators. The wave shaping circuit comes from the Etherwave Pro. There is a built-in delay and a preset memory. The inputs and outputs allow use with many sources and controllers. There's even a matching stand (sold separately).

It works just like theremins always: the antennas detect the position of the hands (or other objects) in the area of ​​their electric fields, and one controls the pitch while the other controls the volume. Playing the instrument is as much a performance as the music itself, as evidenced by this excellent rendition of Debussy's “Clair de Lune”:

Interested (and deeply pocketed) theremin aficionados can pre-order their Claravox Centennial today for $ 1,499. It should be delivered in December – just in time for the holidays, if you want to surprise that special, synthetic-loving person.


Katherine Clark