Sunday, July 20, 2008

Talentmaker Restoration

Yesterday and today I opened up the Talentmaker and got the old can of component cleaner out to go to work in it. It was filthy. Full of sowbugs and roaches and little plastic tags from clothing. The entire inside was coated with a cigarette smoke yellow dust that wouldn't wipe off without component cleaner. I replaced the drive belt with a standard postal rubber band, and I fixed an arm tension problem with a strip of electrical tape. So I'm happy to say now that the instrument will start, turn off, and lift to let me change disks like brand new. Until I swapped the belt, it was kind of a routine that I would have to put the belt back on. So now it's been completely cleaned and it's holding a tune rock solid- according to my junky guitar tuner and my even less reliable ears. So the total cost of fix was under a dollar so far.
Somehow, after putting it back together I now have a ground issue. If I can't isolate it, I'll just have to ground the jack to the stainless steel plate with the chord buttons.
I'd post a picture, but my stupid camera likes to have dead batteries more often than not.

The sample above is, of course, the "Cocktail piano" disk. As you can hear, the Talentmaker holds a steady beat, and has a lot higher fidelity than the Optigan. The highs get a lot better as you slide the mixer toward the chords section. It actually surprised me how well this sounds on a lot of the disks.
Here's the list of disks I have:
  • Hawaii 4/4
  • Hawaii 3/4
  • German Band
  • Polka
  • Guitar Waltz
  • Bounce-A-Long
  • Cocktail Piano
  • Marching Band
  • Dixieland
  • Rhumba Rhythm
  • Skating Rink Waltz
  • Organ
I also have the following literature from this sale:
  • Talentmaker Contempo Hits
  • Talentmaker Sacred Songs
  • John M Williams Older Beginner's Piano Book (1946)
  • The Chord Organ Library: Country Gold
  • Chilton Talentmaker Optical Organ Manual
  • Optigan Oldies and Evergreens
Oh, and one more thing. The Dixieland Disc is hilarious:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, do you have the organ for sale?