Floyd Engels, builder of the modern theremin cello is shown above with
one of his recreations. Since no schematics existed for the instrument,
Mr. Engels was obliged to “backwards engineer” the construction
based on original vintage instruments in museums.
The theremin cello consists of two elements: the controller (that is the instrument you see
being held by Mr. Engels in the photo at the top of the page with its touch sensitive
fingerboard), and a cabinet which contains the sound producing electronics,
the amplifier, and the speaker.The photo above shows the inside
of an early original cabinet on the right, and Floyd Engels'
modern reproduction on the left.
Faded photo of the outside of an original theremin cello cabinet.
The same original cabinet with its rear panel open.
The lower shelf (floor) of the cabinet.
The upper shelf of the cabinet.
The inner mechanism of the original controller. The stick is connected to a spring
and pulley mechanism and is for left hand control of the volume.
The inside of the connector panel on the rear door of the cabinet.
The rear of the cabinet with the door shut. The original theremin cellists often used
the cabinet as a stool on which to sit when playing their instruments.
Here is a photo of the inside of Floyd Engels' controller.
The controller and cabinet of Floyd Engels' superb reproduction.
Floyd's modern theremin cello cabinet with its rear cover removed.
Closeup of the engraved brass plaque on Floyd Engels' instruments. It reads as follows:
LEON THEREMIN'S STRINGLESS CELLO
BY FLOYD ENGELS
Most of the photos on this page have been generously provided by thereminist
Howard Mossman and come from his personal archive.