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BIC turntables?

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Postby platara » 27 Jun 2011 23:27

Doug G. wrote:Lookin' beautiful Eddie!

Doug


Thank you for your comment Doug !

best regards
Eddie
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Bic Turntables

Postby Daryl L » 16 Aug 2011 04:12

Concerning the first generation of BIC record changers. VM Corporation, Voice of Music, designed these models to replace their first generation of professional record changers, which I believe, were expensive to manufacture. However, due to VM Corporation weak financial position, they never marketed these models under the Voice of Music trademark

BIC/Avnet was the distributor for Garrard record changers, until being terminated in 1973, by Plessey, the parent company of Garrard. In 1973, Pleasey became the distributor of Garrard record changers and turntables. Needing a turntable to sell, BIC/Avnet purchased the design from VM Corporation. VM hoped that BIC would use their factory to manufacture the BIC Turntables. BIC, however, used their own facilities to manufacture their record changers.

VM went bankrupt in July 1977.

BIC Turntables received top ratings from Consumers Report. However, Consumers Report quit recommending BIC Turntables due to “high out of the box” defects.
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Re: Bic Turntables

Postby fscl » 16 Aug 2011 16:04

Daryl L wrote:Concerning the first generation of BIC record changers. VM Corporation, Voice of Music, designed these models to replace their first generation of professional record changers, which I believe, were expensive to manufacture. However, due to VM Corporation weak financial position, they never marketed these models under the Voice of Music trademark

BIC/Avnet was the distributor for Garrard record changers, until being terminated in 1973, by Plessey, the parent company of Garrard. In 1973, Pleasey became the distributor of Garrard record changers and turntables. Needing a turntable to sell, BIC/Avnet purchased the design from VM Corporation. VM hoped that BIC would use their factory to manufacture the BIC Turntables. BIC, however, used their own facilities to manufacture their record changers.

VM went bankrupt in July 1977.

BIC Turntables received top ratings from Consumers Report. However, Consumers Report quit recommending BIC Turntables due to “high out of the box” defects.


Spied a RS Lab 400? at a record shop and could have sworn I was looking at a BIC 1000...... :shock: :shock:

Did VM make / supply turntables for Tandy? at one time? :-k :-k

Fred
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Postby Doug G. » 17 Aug 2011 15:13

It wouldn't have been a Lab 400. That was a typical Japanese table probably made by CEC.

I think BIC did make a table for Radio Shack but I think it was more like a model 920 rather than a 1000.

I'll see if I can find any info.

Doug
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Postby nat » 21 Aug 2011 02:01

I don't understand the comparison of Duals and BICs -- Duals do use plastic parts, specifically the automatic cam, but the main bearing is cast metal and other metal parts are steel, whereas the BICs are built up of aluminum sheet metal and thinner sheet steel. And there is no comparison between the arms -- Duals have much better bearings, and the tracking force spring is a long spiral with much better resolution and accuracy than the coil spring of the BIC, and the Dual headshell is much more rigid than the BIC, which may be well damped (I don't know) but is bendy.
I'm not anti BIC, and they can sound fine, but the build quality just isn't up to Duals of the time.
And let's not forget the grease -- Duals usually need some relubing, but half the BICs out there have frozen platters, and those that don't often have frozen speed/size selectors. Easy fixes, but still...
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Postby Doug G. » 22 Aug 2011 18:41

The main bearing in BICs is a steel spindle mounted on a thick bracket and I admit I have never checked to see if it is steel or aluminum (next time I have one apart, I will) but there is nothing wrong with aluminum. There is no thin sheet metal.

I don't think you can declare Dual arm bearings superior without in depth examination.

And, all of that aside, my 980 is 35 years old and is as quiet as ever and I bet it still would meet all of the original specifications which, at the time of their release, were the best of any automatic up until then.

The tracking force has always been spot on with a Shure gauge and I am so confident in it that I never bother to check between the two anymore. I trust the BIC scale.

Picking on BICs re grease hardening is totally unfair because it happens to all old turntables.

The platters only freeze because BIC used very high viscosity gear oil (the same as used in automobile differentials) on the bearing which, over time, hardens, just like almost any other lubricant.

It was, however, an excellent choice for a platter bearing due to its damping properties. I believe there are some pretty high-end turntables that use the same lubricant.

You just have to clean it off and refresh it every so often.

In short, and I realize this is anecdotal, my BICs just have never been any problem. They just quietly go about the business of playing records.

Doug
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Bic980

Postby glrickaby » 23 Aug 2011 02:25

I have a BIC 980 along with several Duals and a Garrard. I've
tinkered with and lubricated all of them. I see no obvious
quality difference between the BIC and the others. Some
things, like the Belt, are considerably bigger and heavier.
The 980 Headshell, can be adjusted for VTA. While the
engineering seems different, the 980 is just as complicated,
if not more so, than a Dual or Garrard. Soundwise, the
BIC sounds as good as my Duals, with the same cartridge.
The arm post with bearings, seems as tight as my Duals
which are:1228,1225,1242,1244. I've sold a 1237 and
1229. My Garrard is a 95B. Frankly, the 1229 rise and
lowering mechanism for single or multi-play is all plastic
and very easy to break and yet this is considered one
of the best Duals ever made! Also, the cartridge holder/
headshell arrangement on the same generation Duals
presents a real problem in case of needing a rewire.
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Postby KentT » 23 Aug 2011 14:06

BIC (British Industries Corporation) was the official importers for Garrard Turntables and Changers and Wharfedale Speakers. After the company lost Garrard, they needed a changer to sell. They partnered with V-M Corporation and purchased the tooling and manufacturing rights to their Belt Drive Professional Series line changer. It became the basis for the 900 line of changers.
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Postby nat » 24 Aug 2011 15:21

My views on BICs are based on finding almost every one of the ten or so I've come across with seized platters -- its well known that the grease they used hardens if not used for a while. This is not true of any other brand I've come across. It's usually an easy fix, and not needed at all if the table is used frequently, but that doesn't change the fact that it happens often.
Certainly the grease hardening and making the speed/size functions not work is a problem shared to a much greater degree with other brands.
My comments about the thin aluminum parts actually stems from having tried loosening the platter by main force -- what happens is that the main bearing (which is a casting) is held in place by crimped sheet aluminum, and the aluminum can't withstand the torsion, so the bearing twists in it, which then means that the automatic mechanism is no longer aligned properly. Again, this too can be fixed easily -- just twist it back into proper alignment and superglue or expoxy the bearing in place. And use heat or penetrating oil in the future to loosen the bearing.
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Re: BIC turntables?

Postby yukor » 24 Feb 2012 04:26

I have a BIC. I still have it with the v15v and it sounds great.......
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Re: BIC turntables?

Postby platara » 24 Feb 2012 09:18

Hi Yukor,
Welcome to Vinylengine !
Yes, the combination with Shure V15's is wonderfull.
I've finally changed my Shure M75 for a V15 type IV on my BIC 1000, and the sound improvement, impress me. More detail and refinement and still with warmth and great bass.
I'm using a Electrovoice 3060DE stylus on it. I prefer using the damper/brush with 1.4 stylus pressure. For future upgrades, I think I will by go for the JICO SAS stylus. I have never heard the V15 type V. I can imagine that it plays great :-) Are you using the original stylus on it, and what BIC model are you using ?

Eddie
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Re: BIC turntables?

Postby platara » 24 Feb 2012 11:58

I would like to ask forum members about an old Empire Cartridge.
As I mentioned, Im using a V15 IV on my BIC. However, I recently got
an Empire 999 XE/X cartridge mounted on BIC lightweight headshell with a unmarked red (aftermarked ?)stylus.

It sounds warm and fullbodied and with good detail.
but it doesnt outclass the V15 in detail/ refinement...

but on some older records (from the early 70's)it shows potential. I wonder if anyone has experience or info about it. Is it worth putting money into a new
aftermarked stylus or possibly a NOS stylus ? I suspect that the present stylus
does not show the Empire 999's full potential ...?
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Re: BIC turntables?

Postby Doug G. » 26 Feb 2012 12:10

Hi Eddie,

Yes, definitely worth getting a NOS stylus if you can find one. It will add detail an aftermarket stylus usually can't deliver since the stylus mass is usually greater than the originals.

Empire was always very conscious about minimum stylus mass in their better cartridges.

Doug
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Re: BIC turntables?

Postby platara » 27 Feb 2012 18:36

Hi

I'm glad your chiming in Doug ! I will definately than look for NOS Empire stylus.
Do you, by any chance, have any specific info about the 999 XE/X ?
(On vinyl engine's database, there is no data filled in yet)

Oh, by the way , I finally found the wide WB 22 walnut base for my BIC.
The turntable really looks good with it's "new house"

Eddie

Doug G. wrote:Hi Eddie,

Yes, definitely worth getting a NOS stylus if you can find one. It will add detail an aftermarket stylus usually can't deliver since the stylus mass is usually greater than the originals.

Empire was always very conscious about minimum stylus mass in their better cartridges.

Doug
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Re: BIC turntables?

Postby Doug G. » 02 Mar 2012 00:31

Sorry, Eddie, I don't have anything specfic for the 999 XE/X but the 999 SE/X is 8-32000 Hz, 8mv output (that sounds high!),.5 - 1.5 grams. At least I believe those to be the specs. I'm strictly going by memory.

So, the XE/X should have slightly better specs.

Congrats on your WB22 base. They certainly are attractive and add to the table's appearance.

Doug
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