Moog’s new Claravox Centennial Theremin could be the ultimate hands-off instrument

Moog and the theremin go way back - Bob Moog started building them in the ‘50s - so it seems fitting that the company is marking 100 years of the gestural electronic instrument with the launch of the Claravox Centennial Theremin.

Beloved for its eerie sound and a staple in countless TV and movie soundtracks, Leon Theremin invented his eponymous instrument back in 1920. The Claravox Centennial is a limited edition model that’s designed to celebrate the theremin’s past, present and future, retaining its simplicity while also adding new features.

Named after Clara Rockmore, the original theremin virtuosa, the Claravox Centennial is designed to be the ultimate instrument for performing thereminists, and offers both Traditional and Modern modes of operation.

In practice, this means that you can choose between heterodyne analogue oscillators and multimode DSP oscillators (sine, triangle, saw, wavetable) with assignable scales, quantisation, and octave ranges.

There’s also an analogue wave-shaping circuit derived from the Moog Etherwave Pro and a built-in analogue BBD delay.

Claravox Centennial Theremin

(Image credit: Moog Music)

Players can calibrate and control the Claravox Centennial just as they want to, and connectivity options include DIN MIDI, USB, and CV inputs and outputs. There’s also front-panel preset storage for instant recall of your favourite sounds and settings; pitch quantisation and scale selections to help educate newer players; and a dedicated software editor to further expand the instrument’s control and sonic capabilities. 

And then, of course, there’s the look and feel of the instrument: it offers brass antennas, cloth-bound control panels, and a fine-grain walnut hardwood cabinet. If you want the ultimate in theremin luxury, you can team it with the optional Claravox Centennial Theremin Stand.

As you might have gathered by now, the Claravox Centennial Theremin isn’t a budget, mass-market instrument: it’ll be in production for a limited time and the price is $1,499. Pre-orders open today and shipping will begin in December.

Find out more on the Moog Music website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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