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BIC turntables?

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BIC turntables?

Postby Foxhound » 12 Apr 2010 15:29

Are there any fans of BIC turntables on this forum?

BIC 940 Automatic Belt-Drive

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BIC 960 Automatic Belt-Drive

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:?:
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Postby Vox T » 12 Apr 2010 20:49

Would you like one Foxhound?
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Postby Vulcan Viewer » 12 Apr 2010 23:10

Oooo they're computerised! Look, it says "program" on them! Very novel for their age.

Does that big sticky up thingie in the middle of the platter mean they've got WiFi too?
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Postby hags » 13 Apr 2010 00:42

I hate to be negative but I owned a BIC 980, their top of the line.......after picking up a Technics SL-D2 some time ago the BIC is in the garage for the kids to play with.

My example was mint from an uncle of mine. It didn't matter though....

Not much you can do with them. They don't sound particularly good, they weren't built very well, and they don't look like much.
Terrible arm, terrible bearings, probably the worst mat ever devised. I even rewired the arm with Cardas tonearm wiring in a vain attempt to salvage some kind of good sound from it, no way.

I would stay away, get a cheaper Technics if you want vintage on the cheap with good sound.
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Postby VinylIsTheBest » 13 Apr 2010 01:37

I had a BIC 940 and hated it, cheap junk!.

If you want a changer I suggest a Technics!.

I have a Technics SL-1650 turntable/changer. This is the best changer ever made IMO. It's direct drive and has the option of stacking 6 Lp's or 45rpm singles. You can see mine here in the VE Gallery under "Technics".

The SL-1650 is built like a SL-1200 MK II, metal plinth and very heavy. It's platter & tonearm are on a separate sub-chassis, just like a Thorens & Linn Sondek. The SL-1350 is built the same also.

Technics Changer turntable models:

SL-1350
SL-1650
SL-1950
SL-B5
SL-D5
SL-3350
SL-5350
SL-B500

Most of the spindles for these models are lost (Technics does not make them anymore). The SL-1350 has a longer spindle than the other models and they are the rarest! All the other turntable changers, the spindles are interchangeable. It's rare that you will find one with all 3 spindles, one for single play, one for stacking Lp's, one for stacking 45rpm singles.

My Technics SL-1650 has the original box and all of the packing materials. I also have all 3 spindles. I had to buy a Technics SL-B500 for the stacking Lp spindle. Lucky me it was a parts turntable but had the spindle I needed, bought it for a nice price.

You can find these turntable once in a while on Ebay. IMO they are a bargain for the money!

There is nothing like stacking some 45rpm records and watching them drop. The only why to play them IMO.
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Postby Foxhound » 13 Apr 2010 03:01

Vox T wrote:Would you like one Foxhound?


I'm actually leaning toward a vintage Garrard or Dual for my second system but I've not come to any kind of a final resolution yet.

The BICs caught me eye because I rather like some of the speakers the company made in the past. I didn't even know that BIC had made turntables at one point.

:)
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Postby Vox T » 13 Apr 2010 05:40

Foxhound wrote:
Vox T wrote:Would you like one Foxhound?


I'm actually leaning toward a vintage Garrard or Dual for my second system but I've not come to any kind of a final resolution yet.

The BICs caught me eye because I rather like some of the speakers the company made in the past. I didn't even know that BIC had made turntables at one point.

:)

Some people really like the sound of the BIC turntables, I can get one for you if you like. One of my friend's has one for cheap.
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In defense of BIC turntables

Postby porphyriaboy » 05 Mar 2011 18:09

While the general feeling out there seems to be negative I would like
to point out some facts and impressions of the BIC line. BIC basically gets a bad rap. They were fairly popular in the day, for me it was my first turntable (a 940). I was 13 and worked all summer to get it. I knew I was getting a budget table but a table that could sound great with a good cartridge and would not damage records. Do you remember taking a new record to a friends place and you see his system. Usually a BSR turntable of some sort. There is your junk. I would look at their filthy cheap shure stylus that was probably worn out. I would look at my new record and know that I would damage it just by playing it.
The BIC allowed me to have a table with a simple but excellent low mass tonearm, resonance damping in the counterweight, a 24 pole AC motor.
The motor is wonderful on these. The speed is determined by the 60hz
power it receives. Power fluctuations wont affect speed.
Many people just remove the "clip" for automatic dropping of discs, put in the short spindle and use it manually. That's what I did. I used Audio Technica cartridges mostly. One nice thing is BIC went with a heavier platter than you would think. Others was making featherweight platters
but in the end, the heavier platter was the better choice acting as a flywheel keeping it even more steady.
I think most people feel that they have too much plastic, a "cheaper" feel than some tables. These were budget tables. They cut corner where they could but without making junk. Of course there are better tables but do not dismiss the four BIC models that were designed well before the 80's and CD's which caused BIC to cheapen their turntables till the WERE junk (the Z series). The 940, 960, 980 and 1000 (it was the "top of the line, not the 980 though they are scarce). the 980 was a match for the Duals of the day. I would sit at the hifi shop for an hour switching back and forth listening. They catered to me because I was 14 but I knew my stuff and had good ears (I was already in a rock band..).
After a/b'ing the BIC and the cheapest Dual they had (would have been about late 1977) and I thought both were fine. I got the BIC on price and it was made in America.
And here it is, sitting in front of me, works great. I have never even lubed it. I have not replaced the belt. What this table taught me was that the two most important components in a system are a great cartridge and good speakers. Everything else should be silent and not make a fuss. Since broadcast radio is more or less worthless a tuner just isn't as important to me. I have radios for DX'ing that are better than most consumer tuners, so...that is my rant. If you can get a good used one, get it. I think you'll be surprised.
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Postby Doug G. » 05 Mar 2011 20:25

You are correct about the BIC original 900 series, of course, and those other guys above are just plain wrong.

The reason they are good is because they make no sound of their own and let you hear the record.

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Postby cafe latte » 05 Mar 2011 23:51

No relation to Bic pens i guess :lol:
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Postby sktn77a » 06 Mar 2011 03:33

If I recall correctly, BIC was just a US marketing company. Their turntables were made by BSR. I forget who made their speakers. Never really paid much attention to the turntables but I liked the speakers - very "Advent" and "EPI" -like, in the day. I understand they still market speakers in the US (made in China).
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Postby pivot » 06 Mar 2011 04:39

Information at the current BIC wesite:

http://www.bicamerica.com/about.php

Read the ad copy with more than the usual grains of salt:

"In 1973, BIC introduced its own brand of loudspeakers and the industry's first belt drive turntables." (The Acoustic Research XA belt drive turntable was intoduced in 1964 by the by...and I don't think that was the first).

I don't think BSR made the tables for BIC. I believe most BSR production at the time was in England while BIC tables were made in USA. BIC made a "deal" out of the USA manufacturing.

I knew the BIC table when they were current. They sounded okay when fresh out of the box but were not renown for durablity or long life. When I was a salesman it was one of the few brands we were FORBIDDEN to take as a trade in.
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Re: In defense of BIC turntables

Postby fscl » 06 Mar 2011 05:45

porphyriaboy wrote:While the general feeling out there seems to be negative I would like to point out some facts and impressions of the BIC line. BIC basically gets a bad rap......Snipage..


Spied a BIC 1000 at a tag sale and was going to pass until I saw the Shure V15 Type III... in the headshell... :shock: :shock: :-k Had always sought after the Shure and when the price of the entire unit was way less than fleabay pricing for just the V15 couldn't resist..... #-o #-o

Original plan to extract the cartridge and selling the
BIC has proven hard to execute as it seems the Shure is specifically / permently mated to the headshell.

After fiddling with the long dormant BIC, finally got / learned the controls and cycling of the mechanism and was able to use this table manually...... :shock: :shock: Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I never thought this auto changer could sound so good. The novel VTF and Anti Skate setting with springs is also surprisingly accurate, verified with digital scale and blank LP.

So, rather than sell, decided to keep and try returning to stock condition. Was able to secure the missing auto changer spindle and 12" LP rim support. Degreasing and relube with modern lubricants should do the trick.... :) for both manual and autochanger play. Perfect test for some of the thrift store boxed sets....:):):)

So I do agree the BIC generally gets a bad rap..... :?, maybe due to its autochanger status / capability.... :-k :-k

I think BIC supplied Radio Shack with 1000s sold as Lab 400s with Radio Shack Shure V15s....:) as I saw the exact same tt and had to do a double take on the brand name.

Fred and tried again just yesterday to remove the Shure with no success :? really hope BIC didn't epoxy the entire cartridge to the headshell..... #-o ](*,) and yes JaS hope to get a scan of the owner's manual to you soon.....
Last edited by fscl on 06 Mar 2011 05:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sktn77a » 06 Mar 2011 05:46

Yes, I've seen their current web site but I don't know if the 2011 BIC is anything to do with the 70s/80s BIC, other than the name. The 70s models were dead ringers for the BSR units and BIC were in bed with Plessey (Garrard) at that time. Can't say I kept up with their product line into the 80s.
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Postby pivot » 06 Mar 2011 21:37

sktn77a wrote:The 70s models were dead ringers for the BSR units and BIC were in bed with Plessey (Garrard) at that time. Can't say I kept up with their product line into the 80s.


Which 70s BSR models were "dead ringers" for BIC units? Are the BSR units you are thinking of belt drive?

My understanding of BIC history is Garrard tossed them out of bed rather rudely in the 1970s and that is why BIC developed their own turntable line.
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