BIC turntables?

snap, crackle and pop
Post Reply
Doug G.
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1028
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 02:03
Location: Rochester MN

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by Doug G. » 02 Aug 2018 05:15

Good luck with your Realistic Lab-65. It is indeed the BIC 960 in Radio Shack disguise (It is VERY sad the Radio Shack stores closed).

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!

Doug

rbbugs
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 59
Joined: 29 Apr 2011 00:37
Location: Lakeside oregon

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by rbbugs » 06 Aug 2018 00:45

Still looking for a Bic Micro x 150, they are hard to find.

leftoverii
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 Jul 2018 07:42

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by leftoverii » 17 Aug 2018 08:50

O.K. I now need to decide which cartridge to use on my 960. I have an AT13ea, a RXT4 Era IV(M97), a R27ED. I have considered an LPGear A3SE or are there any others I should consider(trying to stay sub-150 costwise) or would it be best to get a stylus for one of the ones I already have?

Doug G.
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1028
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 02:03
Location: Rochester MN

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by Doug G. » 19 Aug 2018 05:15

If you can find a genuine AT stylus for the AT13ea, I would use that. It's a great cartridge. Your 960 will work with any of those, however. The BIC arm works with a wide range of cartridges.

Doug

leftoverii
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 Jul 2018 07:42

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by leftoverii » 19 Aug 2018 06:25

My Lab came with the r27ed, I ha a friend years ago give me the RXT4 without the stylus, and the at13ea came with the 960 I just received, alas they al are in need of styli, hence the question. Now to get one ordered. I have not heard the at nor the rxt so wasn't sure, although the "specs" favored the at, then the rxt, with the r27 last. Sometimes specs don't tell the "story." Having used the r27 in the past I was hesitant to jump at the others due to "specs." Thank you.

Doug G.
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1028
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 02:03
Location: Rochester MN

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by Doug G. » 20 Aug 2018 04:04

Both the R27ED and RXT-4 cartridges are the Radio Shack (Realistic) version of Shure cartridges (M75 and M97, respectively) and are fine, too. So, find a genuine stylus for any of them and you'll be all set for good sound.

Doug

Vinyllover1999
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Oct 2018 23:18

Re:

Post by Vinyllover1999 » 10 Oct 2018 23:33

sktn77a wrote: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).
BIC was indeed just a US marketing company that was set up by Voice of Music. They sold turntables that were manufactured by VM (not BSR). VM had done "audiophile" turntables before, but were unsuccessful simply because their brand was widely associated with cheap record changers.
BIC turntables did garner a little respect by HiFi snobs, but not enough to save VM from bankruptcy (notice that BIC turntables disappeared about the time that VM went bankrupt? 1977).

Doug G.
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1028
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 02:03
Location: Rochester MN

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by Doug G. » 12 Oct 2018 16:41

Most of that is incorrect. BIC originally imported HiFi equipment from England and Europe, including Garrard turntables. The Garrard tables were a large part of BIC's business and when Garrard decided to market their turntables on their own, it left BIC with a big sales loss. They decided to manufacture and sell their own tables, the first of which were the 980 and 960 in 1974.

VM did not build the tables. BIC manufactured them in their own building in Michigan. VM's involvement was limited to some of their engineers aiding with the design, some of which was based on VM's professional line.

End of production of BIC tables was totally unrelated to VM going bankrupt. Their tables were manufactured into the early eighties. Competition from Japanese companies and the "monolith" designs were the main factors in BIC's demise. There was no real major connection to VM, at all.

Doug

Bad Andy
member
member
Posts: 38
Joined: 10 Nov 2015 04:26
Location: NYC

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by Bad Andy » 19 Oct 2018 09:38

Paraneer wrote:
19 Jan 2016 12:46
Bad Andy wrote:The OP's pic looks a lot like the BIC at my folks' house, with the somewhat well-regarded Pickering XSV 3000 under the shell, brush removed.

I think when Mom kicks the bucket I'm grabbing that turntable. 8)
Wow! I sure hope you have to wait a real long time for that turntable too.
Regrettably, your hopes were not sufficient. :(

Mom won her fifth (or was it sixth) battle with oral cancer (thanks, Marlboro), survived and recovered (more or less) from rather grisly surgery to do so, only to die from pneumonia because her immune system got crippled by kidney stones and she caught a friggin' cold. Sore throat one morning, dead the next night. We gave her the option of a breathing tube when things went really pear shaped but smart woman, she said no way, and went on her terms.

Life is short, kids. Make the most of it while you can. She did. No regrets.

Anyway, we're cleaning out her apartment and I've decided that BIC turntable isn't coming home with me. Rather than bother with eBay I'm going to put an offer out here: If any of you are in the NYC area, contact me to pick it up, free. If one of you want it, aren't local, and are willing to pay shipping, send me a box, appropriate padding and freight costs so that all I have to do is drop the turntable in the box, tape it closed and drop it at the post office or UPS or whatever. Beware, the BIC's plexi cover has long disappeared. Plan accordingly.

If someone local does decide to pick it up - it's in Queens - they have the option of taking other goodies along with them. A set of Infinity speakers (pre polypropylene cones, sorry) for example. Sorry, my brother already got all the LPs.

Take care, everyone.

audiopile
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1996
Joined: 11 Feb 2010 07:48
Location: Milwaukee ,Wi. USA

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by audiopile » 20 Oct 2018 02:54

I sold BIC tables during the late 70's -into the 80's. I remember BIC standing for British Import Company -they sold Garrard in the USA. My understanding is that the tables were made in the factory that had made Voice of Music turntables in the USA. I thought they were decent tables -at least weren't record reamers and were "keenly priced" at the time. For my sins - I serviced these for years afterwards and can tell you that what has become a common problem with most old auto-changers today -was a super common problem with BIC's less than a decade after they were manufactured . I was setting up four and five at a time on my bench -disassembling , cleaning the lube-glue off of everything-relube-re-assemble and they worked. I have no idea what they used for lube -but it quickly turned to something like cooled tar. But it's fixable. IMHO opinion -decent tables -but have to be serviced and will not work unless the glue/lube has been replaced. Whatever BIC used - it is so sticky after a few years that the biggest challenge to repairing them is prying the platter off the spindle -what it's like now decades after being first applied ? Keep that in mind before buying a non-working BIC.

Doug G.
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1028
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 02:03
Location: Rochester MN

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by Doug G. » 20 Oct 2018 07:19

Bad Andy wrote:
19 Oct 2018 09:38
Paraneer wrote:
19 Jan 2016 12:46
Bad Andy wrote:The OP's pic looks a lot like the BIC at my folks' house, with the somewhat well-regarded Pickering XSV 3000 under the shell, brush removed.

I think when Mom kicks the bucket I'm grabbing that turntable. 8)
Wow! I sure hope you have to wait a real long time for that turntable too.
Regrettably, your hopes were not sufficient. :(

Mom won her fifth (or was it sixth) battle with oral cancer (thanks, Marlboro), survived and recovered (more or less) from rather grisly surgery to do so, only to die from pneumonia because her immune system got crippled by kidney stones and she caught a friggin' cold. Sore throat one morning, dead the next night. We gave her the option of a breathing tube when things went really pear shaped but smart woman, she said no way, and went on her terms.

Life is short, kids. Make the most of it while you can. She did. No regrets.

Anyway, we're cleaning out her apartment and I've decided that BIC turntable isn't coming home with me. Rather than bother with eBay I'm going to put an offer out here: If any of you are in the NYC area, contact me to pick it up, free. If one of you want it, aren't local, and are willing to pay shipping, send me a box, appropriate padding and freight costs so that all I have to do is drop the turntable in the box, tape it closed and drop it at the post office or UPS or whatever. Beware, the BIC's plexi cover has long disappeared. Plan accordingly.

If someone local does decide to pick it up - it's in Queens - they have the option of taking other goodies along with them. A set of Infinity speakers (pre polypropylene cones, sorry) for example. Sorry, my brother already got all the LPs.

Take care, everyone.
I am so very sorry for your loss. As one who has lost both parents, I know what it's like.

Are you sure about not keeping the BIC. Don't you think your mother may have wanted you to?

Doug

Doug G.
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1028
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 02:03
Location: Rochester MN

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by Doug G. » 20 Oct 2018 07:30

audiopile wrote:
20 Oct 2018 02:54
I sold BIC tables during the late 70's -into the 80's. I remember BIC standing for British Import Company -they sold Garrard in the USA. My understanding is that the tables were made in the factory that had made Voice of Music turntables in the USA. I thought they were decent tables -at least weren't record reamers and were "keenly priced" at the time. For my sins - I serviced these for years afterwards and can tell you that what has become a common problem with most old auto-changers today -was a super common problem with BIC's less than a decade after they were manufactured . I was setting up four and five at a time on my bench -disassembling , cleaning the lube-glue off of everything-relube-re-assemble and they worked. I have no idea what they used for lube -but it quickly turned to something like cooled tar. But it's fixable. IMHO opinion -decent tables -but have to be serviced and will not work unless the glue/lube has been replaced. Whatever BIC used - it is so sticky after a few years that the biggest challenge to repairing them is prying the platter off the spindle -what it's like now decades after being first applied ? Keep that in mind before buying a non-working BIC.
"British Industries Corporation".

BIC used Anderol lubricant on all the sliding/rotating surfaces except for the spindle which was 90 weight gear lubricant, the same lubricant used in automobile differentials. That was for damping to reduce chatter/vibration.

These lubricants were fine in a new table but they both solidified over time, exposed to the atmosphere. They should have just used regular wheel bearing grease and 30 weight motor oil. Engineers always think they have a better solution.

My original 980, purchased in 1976, has been operating flawlessly for many, many years after replacing the original lubricants.

Doug

audiopile
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1996
Joined: 11 Feb 2010 07:48
Location: Milwaukee ,Wi. USA

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by audiopile » 20 Oct 2018 07:38

Once cleaned/degreased and relubbed - BIC's seemed to go forever. I certainly had no incentive to re-use what they originally put in for "lube" -was interesting to find out what it was. My nomination for worst idea in the history of the LP turntable.

rovohn
Canada
Posts: 2
Joined: 28 Nov 2015 21:20
Location: Langley,BC Canada

Re: BIC turntables?

Post by rovohn » 20 Oct 2018 22:59

I still use the BIC speakers I bought 40 years ago at A&B sound in Vancouver,BC

Post Reply