View Full Version : BSR 810 Transcription Turntable


Art K.
08-17-2007, 05:46 PM
Decided I would try this again this week...not much response last week.

I bought one of these last week at a garage sale. Does anyone know much about them? What cartridge will perform well on them? I read somewhere that BSR designed this table to compete against the Dual 1219. BSR is not regarded well and from my memory for a good reason, but this table, with an Ortofon F15E mkII (whose better days are behind it) is performing remarkably well. The table is in near to showroom condition. What say you all....lol!

Thanks in advance for any responses.

bolly
08-17-2007, 05:54 PM
no BSR 810 TT listed in the bluebook AK, sorry.

Art K.
08-17-2007, 06:09 PM
Hera are a couple of pictures...

Celt
08-17-2007, 06:37 PM
Pretty table. :yes: I remember them from my youth, but sorry to say that I can't offer any info.

Orcinus
08-17-2007, 06:48 PM
I own one (paid CAD$40 for it at a flea market) and wish I didn't. Nothing but problems. Hum and rumble up the wazoo, and now the auto-return mechanism is so screwed up it won't play a record. The tonearm moves from the home position, sets down on the record, then lifts up and returns to the home position, over and over and over and over again. I hate the damn thing.

Art K.
08-17-2007, 07:24 PM
Sorry to hear it. I'm just hangin' on to it until I find a good buy on something else.

What cartridge do you have on yours?

Tube Radio
08-17-2007, 07:26 PM
The experiences I have had with BSR turntables were mostly in stereos from the sixties and seventies. All of them either had problems or ran slightly too fast. Not to mention the plastic platter some of them used.

NoTransistors
08-17-2007, 08:01 PM
Your BSR and the Triumph TR-7 sports car that graced my driveway for two decades actually share something in common besides a British heritage and good looks.
Both designers incorporated an overhead-cam design.
British designers have their hearts in the right place, but.....

Seth
Forever Analog And Covered In Parrot Poop

Orcinus
08-17-2007, 08:02 PM
Sorry to hear it. I'm just hangin' on to it until I find a good buy on something else.

What cartridge do you have on yours?

It came with a Pickering XV15-D400 but because the table won't play anything, I have removed the cartridge and put it on a spare headshell with my Sony PS-22 turntable. I've done some recording onto my computer using it, and the waveform is heavily biased to the "negative" side of 0, so I probably won't use it for much.

Art K.
08-17-2007, 08:14 PM
The experiences I have had with BSR turntables were mostly in stereos from the sixties and seventies. All of them either had problems or ran slightly too fast. Not to mention the plastic platter some of them used.

This one has a wood base and heavy metal platter...very unlike the BSR's I heard when I was a kid.

Orcinus
08-17-2007, 08:29 PM
This one has a wood base and heavy metal platter...very unlike the BSR's I heard when I was a kid.

Indeed. That's why I bought it. It seemed rather sturdy at the time. I hope to some day convert it to a fully manual table and gut all the crappy mechanics underneath.

bully
08-17-2007, 08:53 PM
I'm kinda thinking the 810 was their TOTL model unless there was a 910, but I think it was the 810. Remember the ads in stereo magazines.

dshoaf
08-17-2007, 10:56 PM
The 810 was BSR's one and only attempt to go upscale with audio in its day. As I recall, they claimed to have spent lots of $$ in R&D designing it. From a repair guy's standpoint, however, it was an unmitigated disaster. It is, without a doubt, one of the most complex contraptions ever designed to do a simple thing like placing the tonearm onto a record and then returning it at the end.

There were a couple of hundred parts just in the cam shaft assembly alone. Thank goodness BSR never tried to make tape decks.....

I'm pretty sure the store where I worked sold only a few of them and I'm also pretty sure they all came back.

Orcinus, be glad you got a Pickering cart out of the deal. If the thing works, give it a try but I wouldn't attempt any repairs unless you're _really_ good with cam shafts.

Cheers,

David

Celt
08-17-2007, 11:26 PM
Thank goodness BSR never tried to make tape decks....

Actually, they did in the 50's and 60's. But they were rather simple 7" transports with a T lever and a single motor driving the capstan and take up reels.

Orcinus
08-17-2007, 11:27 PM
Orcinus, be glad you got a Pickering cart out of the deal. If the thing works, give it a try but I wouldn't attempt any repairs unless you're _really_ good with cam shafts.

Cheers,

David

Yeah, I'm not gonna attempt repair. I'm just gonna try to gut it and make it fully manual. The buttons will be strictly for show.

Blue Meanie
08-17-2007, 11:37 PM
Decided I would try this again this week...not much response last week.

I bought one of these last week at a garage sale. Does anyone know much about them? What cartridge will perform well on them? I read somewhere that BSR designed this table to compete against the Dual 1219. BSR is not regarded well and from my memory for a good reason, but this table, with an Ortofon F15E mkII (whose better days are behind it) is performing remarkably well. The table is in near to showroom condition. What say you all....lol!

Thanks in advance for any responses.


Can you get your 5 bucks back?:D

hakaplan
08-17-2007, 11:48 PM
I love Rube Goldberg type contraptions. It if it were me, I'd keep it intact as an example of over-engineering, especially being so rare, and just look for a better turntable. Gutting it won't improve the sound quality or speed stability. What would really be cool would be to get it working and replace the base with plexiglass so you can see the mechanisms in action.

Orcinus
08-18-2007, 12:16 AM
I love Rube Goldberg type contraptions. It if it were me, I'd keep it intact as an example of over-engineering, especially being so rare, and just look for a better turntable. Gutting it won't improve the sound quality or speed stability. What would really be cool would be to get it working and replace the base with plexiglass so you can see the mechanisms in action.

I've already got two better turntables (a Sony PS-22 and a Telefunken S300D), I'm not worried about finding a better table.

Tedrick
08-18-2007, 12:29 AM
My Dad had a BSR 810 for years and never had any trouble with it. He used a Shure cart of some kind on it (but not a V15). It made pretty decent sound, but I will say that it always had a low-level rumble that he could never get rid of...not real bad or anything, but you could always here it between tracks. I think it was probably motor noise. Also, this table is driven my an idler wheel, as opposed to the more common (and easier to execute) belt- or direct-drives.

Dad gave the 'table to me serveral years ago after it had been out of use for a long time. By the time I got around to messing with it, it needed more work that I wanted to put in to it (and I had just gotten my VPI), so I gutted it to use as a 'lazy susan' for cleaning records. As dshoaf said, this bloody thing has hundreds of parts, many of them coated with grease that had set up to a thick, almost paste-like consistency. I was amazed at how long it took me to disassemble it.

NoTransistors
08-18-2007, 12:35 AM
Now I want one.

I can fix almost anything, including long-out-of-production English cars.

Seth
Forever Analog and Covered In Parrot Poop

RaymondLeggs
08-18-2007, 12:35 PM
BSR made many otherthings such as stereos and I saw a BSR subwoofer once!

Art K.
08-18-2007, 01:21 PM
Well for now (crossing my fingers) it works flawlessly. I use it in the manual mode. I bought it because it is a beautiful table and I had never seen one before....meanwhile I bought my wife a Philips Electronic 312 which has a beat up dust cover but is otherwise in great shape. One channel didn't work but I cleaned it up and cleaned the contacts for the cartridge and voila...gorgeous vinyl sound! I think she got the better end of the deal. That's ok, if mine works long enough for me to find another table...good 'nuff. After all I do have the P5 makin' beautiful music in the main system.

mobo_man
02-01-2010, 11:58 AM
I have one that works great, but rumble IS noticeable between tracks. I'm used to DD tables. To eliminate the hum: Remove the thin tonearm cable all the way from the cartridge slide down to the RCA jack assembly, and run decent shielded tonearm cable from the cartridge push jacks to the mute switch under the cueing lever. The cable I used was Cardas, obtained on ebaY. You'll need about 16 inches. I used 15 inches, and it worked fine, but I found myself wishing I had purchased 16-20 inches.

Solder the new cables directly to the push-on connectors for the heavier cable that connects the mute switch to the RCA push pin jack assembly, or use new push-on connectors. The mute switch has two male pins for each contact. You'll need a fine solder pen and thin rosin-core or silver solder, and use a tiny screwdriver or something similar to scrape some of the oxide from each push terminal at the mute switch (unless you use new connectors). Run a ground wire (I used green, like the original) from the tonearm cable shield to the main ground lug by the motor, where the green ground wire from the amplifier attaches. I found a hole in the metal pivot arm for the cueing lever to attach the tonearm cable shield to so that it won't move around and break. The hole is near the fulcrum for the pivot, and mine has never broken because there’s not much movement. Make sure not to attach to any of the sliders, because they DO move a lot!

That's my solution, which made the hum extinct. This was BSR's best ever TT, with a claimed wow & flutter of under 0.1%, remarkable for idler drive. If you use my solution, you will get perfect muting switch operation also. The original scheme, which used a parallel set of wires from the mute switch assembly to the RCA pin jacks, added hum. And the tonearm cartridge slider was a major source of hum.

This TT was nicknamed the "Cam-O-Matic" because of all the moving parts. Mine was bought back around 1980 as a present for my mother, but she didn't like the tiny 3% pitch control because she was a concert pianist and teacher, and she was used to a table with 10% or more pitch control (an old Channel Master/Neat Model 6653, which I also have). So after about a week of use, the 810 went into mothballs. That's why the grease is all fresh, and it works like oiled mink. And the wood base is beautiful. Try some gun stock oil, and you'll be amazed. My stacking spindle works great, also, but the single-play spindle got lost over time.

Watch out for that grease when you're working on it, BTW. It's a mess. I use my 810 as a backup, or for parties at someone's house where I'm not sure what kind of TT they have. The new crap by Crosley and Teac will ruin an album in one play.

wegsleep
06-28-2012, 01:08 AM
Heh, I just nabbed one of these at a flea market! It's hilarious. Shure Hi-Track cart.

stereofisher
06-28-2012, 06:58 PM
I'm kinda thinking the 810 was their TOTL model unless there was a 910, but I think it was the 810. Remember the ads in stereo magazines.

Sold these new out of the box they failed. Hard to work on and most got returned to the distributor. Like Seth (notransistors) said, its good looking but... If yours works great. Clean and lubricate it and go. No 910 was made but there was a 710.. Many came with Shure carts before BSR purchased ADC, a cartridge company. We sold a lot of the 510. basic and releiable. Our $200 starter systems used one. good luck with it.

MikeT.
06-28-2012, 07:11 PM
Decided I would try this again this week...not much response last week.

I bought one of these last week at a garage sale. Does anyone know much about them? What cartridge will perform well on them? I read somewhere that BSR designed this table to compete against the Dual 1219. BSR is not regarded well and from my memory for a good reason, but this table, with an Ortofon F15E mkII (whose better days are behind it) is performing remarkably well. The table is in near to showroom condition. What say you all....lol!

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Does this table have a suspended tone arm and platter sub-chassis?

number13
06-28-2012, 07:42 PM
Got one for sale in the ship right now. It was a b!tch to get running, but works fine now.
I dropped it into a 710 plinth with a fold down accessory drawer and it turned out looking good. I can certainly understand all the frustrations mentioned, it is far from a perfect table, but still a good rim drive.

gadget73
06-29-2012, 01:01 PM
Is it any worse than a higher end Garrard underneath? The Lab 80 is a mechanical malady under the hood. I've also been told that Duals are a real mess under the hood too, but I've not had the pleasure of working on one.

Celt
06-29-2012, 01:06 PM
One of the reasons I've always preferred manual tables. Not nearly as much to go wrong.

oldvinyldude
06-29-2012, 01:14 PM
Now I want one.

I can fix almost anything, including long-out-of-production English cars.

Seth
Forever Analog and Covered In Parrot Poop

In that case, I have an e-type rotting in my garage. Knock yourself out :D

gadget73
06-29-2012, 01:26 PM
One of the reasons I've always preferred manual tables. Not nearly as much to go wrong.

yeah but theres no triumph in getting one running either. They basically can't break. If you can make something as over-engineered as a full auto record changer tick along without a hitch it feels like you've accomplished something.

NoTransistors
06-29-2012, 01:32 PM
In that case, I have an e-type rotting in my garage. Knock yourself out :D

Why is the Jaguar rotting in the garage? It seems to be begging for a new, appreciative home.

NoTransistors
06-29-2012, 01:34 PM
Is it any worse than a higher end Garrard underneath? The Lab 80 is a mechanical malady under the hood. I've also been told that Duals are a real mess under the hood too, but I've not had the pleasure of working on one.

Garrards are utter simplicity compared to these two BSR.

dshoaf
06-29-2012, 01:43 PM
Is it any worse than a higher end Garrard underneath? The Lab 80 is a mechanical malady under the hood. I've also been told that Duals are a real mess under the hood too, but I've not had the pleasure of working on one.

Don't know where you heard that about Duals. That's not the experience I ever had with them. They were reliable, mechanically sound, and relatively easy to work on.

As for the Garrards, this was BSR's main competitor, IMHO. They had products at the same price points as BSR. The '810 mentioned here, though, separated BSR on the high end in that Garrard's higher-end table, the Zero-100 at the time of the '810s was a stunningly complex piece of machinery whereas the Garrard just went to more plastic parts. Either way, the results weren't all that stunning for the consumer.

Duals, on the other hand, kept making solid 'tables with more features that interested the consumer and made LP playback more pleasurable.

Cheers,

David

Art K.
06-29-2012, 01:47 PM
Does this table have a suspended tone arm and platter sub-chassis?

It's been almost 5 yrs since I owned that table. It had a lot of mechanical things goin' on. I sold it while it still worked perfectly...didn't want to face the repair when something went wrong.

Nat
06-29-2012, 06:43 PM
I wish I could find one -- years ago there was one at Goodwill, but I was on good behavior at the time so passed on it.
The cam system that ran things seems to me similar to the cam system that ran things in Petri SLRS, and while repair people hated them, they were actually kind of cool if you could get them to work.

jeffhamman
01-18-2014, 09:47 PM
I have one of the bsr 810s,operation is ok but its missing the cartridge holder that slides into the headshell.never had one on it when i picked it up for 10$ otherwise right now sitting on a shelf in the garage,even has the stacker spindle and changes records very good.

GP49
01-19-2014, 12:43 AM
The BSR 810 is the turntable featured in the infamous "left-handed turntable" ad, from a hi-fi trade magazine.

And yes...its mechanism was as flaky as has been described in the thread. It was like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's “There was a little girl.”

"THERE was a little girl,
And she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid."

Nat
01-19-2014, 09:59 PM
I'm with gadget73 -- the fascination of what's difficult (which is probably the first time Yeats has been quoted in defense of BSR) is in a lot of ways its own reward. Of course it also gets me in over my head fairly often...

jmchrislip
01-20-2014, 02:59 PM
I had one of these is the 70's and in my opinion it was fantastic. I never experienced any hum or rumble. It came with a Shure M91ED but I used an Ortofon VMS 20E tracking at 1 gram. I still own a large number of vinyl recordings from that time and they are in spectacular condition. I don't know about a 910 model, but as I recall, there was a 710 model. I gave mine to my sister in the early 80's and as far as I know, it's still working with no problems. Most of the BSR line wasn't built as fine as the 810. Would I own one again? Without a doubt.