View Full Version : BIC venturi formula 5 info.


somebizarredude
08-23-2012, 05:34 PM
Saturday I am going to trade a squier telecaster i have lying around for a pair of BIC Venturi Formula Fives and I cant find much of anything about them. from what I have found there are mixed opinions on the sound quality. but I also read that the older venturi series have a fairly high efficiency. so I think they might sound ok with my little magnavox project. If anything I will get them just to use the boxes since they are supposed to be in like new condition.
Can anyone give me some info on these? maybe even some specs?

mhardy6647
08-23-2012, 08:27 PM
ugh :-(

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/bic.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/mhardy6647/bic001.jpg

blhagstrom
08-23-2012, 09:24 PM
If you like to rock, these will do it.
The 5s tend to be pretty bright in the mid/tweet area.
They are adjustable (control panel on top).
Big, heavy, wood, powerful woofer, cloth accordian surrounds.
Back in the day, they were good top notch contenders for a better price.

Somewhere in the 100wpc rating.
No idea of efficiency, but they will get loud enough that you will turn them down.

I like them. They sound good on vintage Marantz SS. But, I use them mostly when I want to rock the house. Good party speakers for sure.

Many folks don't like the vintage BICs. I've had some since 1975.

You should try them before you commit. They are not for everyone.

The control panel has circuit breakers instead of fuses and mine were hosed and bypassed (I have 2 sets). I had to replace all of those.

somebizarredude
08-24-2012, 09:29 AM
thanks for the add mhardy6647, that has been the only info in Google i could find. still cant find any Specs though :tears:


blhagstrom I do like to rock so I will give them a try.
I have an SAHB album that might get along with these fairly well :yes:
anyways the cheap guitar I am trading isn't worth anything to me so we will see how it goes. I had a choice between these formula 5's or a set of formula 4's from different production run's. Non matching speakers just don't do it for me though.... but I might be able to talk him out of both sets :D

worst case I stuff them with something else :D

mhardy6647
08-24-2012, 10:46 AM
Personally, I'd rather rock with Altecs... but de gustibus non est disputandum.
The Black Crowes' debut album, e.g., on Duplexes is solidly in to die for territory, if'n you ask me.

The BICs'll be cheaper though, and probably tolerate more power from the "hey, it's got 400 watts per channel and meters, too" crowd.

DCinDC
08-24-2012, 10:52 AM
These are LOUD. I vividly remember the BIC room at the Washington Hotel in Washington DC for the Washington HiFi show when these came out.

Thanks for posting that ad. I find it interesting that you could swap Pioneer HPM-60s into that system with no change in price. And I would've coughed up the additional $24 to get the Pioneer PL-530 tt and $20 for the Pioneer SX-850, making it an all Pioneer system.

somebizarredude
08-24-2012, 11:48 AM
Personally, I'd rather rock with Altecs... but de gustibus non est disputandum.
The Black Crowes' debut album, e.g., on Duplexes is solidly in to die for territory, if'n you ask me.

The BICs'll be cheaper though, and probably tolerate more power from the "hey, it's got 400 watts per channel and meters, too" crowd.

I don't think anyone would trade a good pair of Altecs from that time period for a cheap Chinese guitar,: so that's not an option :p:
and i wont be pumping more than 5-7 watts into them, so hopefully they do have a high sensitivity. I think i may like them because i like a good boost in the 2k-6k frequency range. it will also be interesting to take a peek inside of them :D

mhardy6647
08-24-2012, 11:52 AM
oh, yeah - I forgot it was a trade deal.

blhagstrom
08-24-2012, 12:04 PM
I managed to find the documents I have.

BIC Venturi Formula 5

Max power 100wpc, undistorted prog. mat.
Effective response 30hz to 30KHz+
Sensitivity 96db/S.P.L. @ 1 watt, 1 meter
Dispersion 180 degree H X 120 degree V
Nominal Impedance 6 ohm

Bass 10" Hi Flux, Heavy Duty
Mid Biconex T-slot horn, Heavy Duty Dynamic Compression Driver on vertical alignment
Treble Super Piezo-electric driver on t-slot horn, horizontal alignment

Walnut veneer

26" x 14 1/4"X 12 1/4"

49 pounds

MSRP $219.95 each

The 4s are good but the Biconex horns tend to go out. Flippers offer them on ebay a lot. My buddy set me up with a spare set. IIRC, the 4s don't have fuses so you can blow them while RAWKING! I replaced mine and mice got one woofer. My buddy have some "super duper" woofers that fit and so mine are rocking again.

I bought 4s new in 1975 and from day one, the control didn't seem to do anything.

somebizarredude
08-24-2012, 12:21 PM
thank you for the info blhagstrom! that is a very nice sensitivity :D about 12db more than the MB Quarts I have now. from what you said about the Biconex mid drivers, i hope they aren't about to die. I will have to research that design though, I am not familiar with them.

blhagstrom
08-24-2012, 12:30 PM
thank you for the info blhagstrom! that is a very nice sensitivity :D about 12db more than the MB Quarts I have now. from what you said about the Biconex mid drivers, i hope they aren't about to die. I will have to research that design though, I am not familiar with them.



Like I said, the 5s have circuit breakers to protect the drivers. The info also says they have clipping indicators on the control panels (so IF anyone was watching, they may turn them down...)

The Biconex stuff is BIC only (I think). It was a weak point on earlier BIC (2s, 4s) and I suspect it was because WE ALL PLAYED THEM LOUD!

I had a party on the farm once and had my 4s (and/or my 66s) running pretty hard. They said they could hear them quite well at 1/8 mile away.
I drove them with a Marantz 2275.

Oh, the "good" old days......

somebizarredude
08-24-2012, 12:36 PM
Like I said, the 5s have circuit breakers to protect the drivers. The info also says they have clipping indicators on the control panels (so IF anyone was watching, they may turn them down...)

ahh, well if one does happen to die on me it will give me something to dissect :D
I am very curious as to what made them so special :scratch2:

blhagstrom
08-24-2012, 01:05 PM
I am very curious as to what made them so special :scratch2:

What, the Biconex?

According to the lit. for the 4s The Biconex Pyramidal horn/compression driver unit (patents pending) was developed to eliminate the need, as in other speakers, to interrupt the critical, ear sensitive midrange spectrum with a distortion producing crossover network, the operating range of this unit is 1500 to 15000Hz. The wide-angle dispersion pattern is uniform in all directions, permitting the cabinets to be used vertically or horizontally as decor and phsical needs dictate. A new INERT substance, material used in the horn totally eliminates metallic coloration of the sound. The specially designed driver unit provides both an exceptionally smooth response throughout its assigned frequency range and an unusually high power handling capability to match the BIC VENTURI bass section.

The 4s are 100wpc, 23-23000hz 120degreeX120degree dispersion, at no time under 4 ohm imperdence, 10" woofer. 25"x13 1/4"x13", 45 pounds MSRP $149.95
SOOooo, the 5s took it a step further with more dispersion and a piezo (maybe that's why I find the 5s so damn bright!) A little piezo goes a looooong way.

It sounds like BICONEX was the horn material developed to get rid of that nasty old metalic sound....:D

The 5 lit says the dispersion is so good you get good sound even when standing almost next to the speaker.

BIC was into dispersion. They made a wild set with the drivers on their backs. Weird tower things with 360 degree dispersion. Upward firing drivers (I think) with cones to spread the sound. Cool looking, never heard a set.

The pain with BIC speakers is searching for them due to BIC pens and razors. :lmao:

Oh and these BIC were made before they became BIC America. They were still British Industries Company, Division of Avnet, Inc. (Westbury, NY 11590)

somebizarredude
08-24-2012, 01:43 PM
I am even more interested in them now, simply because of the hype in the descriptions :D also they don't seem to be very common.



The pain with BIC speakers is searching for them due to BIC pens and razors. :lmao:

I noticed that actually..... I ran into the same situation when I was hunting down the 2 self titled "Seal" albums on vinyl...... every search also included "Sealed" so I still haven't found them :scratch2:

blhagstrom
08-24-2012, 02:07 PM
They (BIC VENTURI) float up around here from time to time.
They are not unknown, there is some thread activity here about them.
Seems that people either like them or hate them.
I think they are much like the CV AT series.

I see them on ebay a bit too.

The bass drivers are some full-on heavy duty units.

After actually reading the lit myself, I learned a couple things.

I didn't realize the low impedence levels on them.

For as hard as I drove mine, that's a testiment to how strong the Marantz 2275 really is!

AH HA! Found the weird ones.
TPR-200 and TPR-600 SOUNDSPAN

http://www.zenn.com.sg/BIC_TPR_600.JPG

somebizarredude
08-24-2012, 03:46 PM
that is a very interesting set of speakers :scratch2:they look more like a modern Zen fountain :lmao:

mhardy6647
08-24-2012, 05:41 PM
b&o made an even more modern variation (of sorts) on this theme... the beolab 5 speakers.

http://www.hifi.nl/gfx/beolab5_14_11122003.jpg

somebizarredude
08-25-2012, 09:52 PM
these speakers are very good in my opinion :thmbsp: they have a nice boost in the upper mid's that i like so i can now bypass my EQ :D the knobs on the front don't seem to do anything at all though. so i suspect the caps might be dead in them so i haven't driven them very hard yet.
when I figure out how to remove that control panel I will do a recap on them :scratch2: the 3 screws on the front panel seem to only be there for looks....

Hat Alto
10-24-2012, 04:31 AM
these speakers are very good in my opinion :thmbsp: they have a nice boost in the upper mid's that i like so i can now bypass my EQ :D the knobs on the front don't seem to do anything at all though. so i suspect the caps might be dead in them so i haven't driven them very hard yet.
when I figure out how to remove that control panel I will do a recap on them :scratch2: the 3 screws on the front panel seem to only be there for looks....

Ok, I have been playing withe BIC 4's I got at SA a week or so ago. The xover is on the floor of the cab not behind the control panel. The knob and switch affair does nothing, as others have said.

Speakers do sound good to me- pretty in the mids and effortless up to higher ranges, much higher than other mids I am familiar with. The actual (phenolic) tweeters don't do much at all on mine, I think they cross very high. I say the mid horn really worked on this. Pretty voice.

I was playing Milt Jackson on vibes so that may have flattered that mid horn. Might be wonderful with female vocals. I have maybe 5 hours of Ella FLACS and a HOTAUDIO DAC.

BIC Venturi, go figure.