There’s currently a pair of very pricey Talentmaker discs on eBay. Please note that the seller claims these discs to be playable in an Optigan®, but this is only partly true. Yes, TM discs will work in an Optigan®, but the center hole size is slightly different, and the TM’s extra chords means that none of the chords/keys align properly. Nevertheless, you CAN get sound from a TM disc in an Optigan.
June 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm
This seller also claimed to have had a Talentmaker organ with 12 discs for 3500 too. They wanted a paypal payment but failed to produce a photograph of the machine and the records.
June 21, 2010 at 8:39 am
Just to clarify, Talentmaker discs won’t play in an Optigan® in any standard way. The tracks are placed exactly between the locations of the Optigan® tracks, so you’ll get two tracks playing on each note. If you put the Talentmaker disc into an Optigan® you’ll damage the center hole, or worse, the spindle will just bend the center of the disc up causing the disc to rub on the optical head, which damages the emulsion that contains the soundtrack image. The keyboard notes are arranged similar to the Optigan’s with the tones descending chromatically as tracks go toward the center of the disc (not like the Orchestron in which the notes are remapped with 4ths and 5ths adjoining).
I’ve previously posted this, but here it is again:
I did some measurements on the Talentmaker discs, and the only thing they have in common with the Optigan® discs is the outside diameter of the disc and that the disc is made from the same type of film stock.
Comparing the Talentmaker disc to the Optigan® spec:
1. The center hole is 0.2380″ (same as a size “B” twist drill). The Optigan® center hole is 0.250″
2. The number of tracks = 60. Optigan® has 57.
3. The position of the tracks fall exactly between the position of the Optigan® tracks.
So Chilton appears to have intended to make the Talentmaker disc incompatible with Optigans. Even if the center hole was the same, it still wouldn’t play right (max crosstalk on every note).
June 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm
It’s obvious they are trying to scam some unwilling collector just flag them down with ebay.
June 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm
Pea says he can get the disc to make sound. I asked him to watch the disc when he inserts it into the Optigan® to see what happens.
What seems to happen is that the spindle rises as the door closes, and the disc bulges in the middle. Since the spindle is spring loaded, it doesn’t deform the hole.
The crosstalk is less than expected. I suspect this is due to the bulge pulling the disc inward slightly; probably the 28 mils or so that it would take to realign the tracks.
Since the mapping is wrong and there are extra tracks, it still doesn’t really work that well on the Optigan.
BTW: If there were a lot of Talentmaker owners out there, I could justify making new discs. There is even a fairly straightforward way to make copies of the original discs, but I’d need to order a special fixture that would cost between $500 and $1000. Personally, I’d rather make Optigan® discs featuring some of the Talentmaker sounds. One idea I had was to hire musicians to recreate the Bossa Nova and Beguine discs, which are my favorites.
June 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm
Remaking the Talent Maker & Orchestron discs for Optigan® makes sense and I definitely would purchase it!
June 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm
Amen to what Tony said. Talentmaker for Optigan!
June 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm
Talentigan and Optichestron discs for Optigan!