Deperate need of help - BSR turntable repair

QuadraphonicQuad

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ArmyOfQuad

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I am desperate. Please - someone out there must be able to help.

I am often frustrated at how much I bend over backwards for random strangers online - but when my hour of need comes, I never find any help. I've picked up an old receiver, and really want to get the BSR turntable in it working again.

I turned to the help of a facebook group for BSR turntables. I asked for help, preferably someone local that I could bring it to and pay to service. Instead, I found some moron in England that assured me he would walk me through it online. After getting to a point where a part fell out from an inaccessible spot with a spring, he blamed me ,and blocked me, leaving me with a turntable hopelessly in parts that I barely remember how to put back together even if I could get the fallen part back in.

I'm sitting here in a panic, just staring at the parts desperately trying to hold on to as much memory of where they go as I can, while trying to figure out just how in the heck I'm ever going to get this fallen part back in.

Are there any places left online with kindness taht can help? Please - anyone here know anything about BSR turntable repair?
 

kfbkfb

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(I know this place is a long way from where you are, but it might be worth it to contact them and see what they could do - I've never had anything repaired by them though)


Kirk Bayne
 

ArmyOfQuad

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I've taken a video of the current state of the turntable, and roughly what I remember about what parts go where - but this is becoming a mess...

 

quadsearcher

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I"m not sure if any of this is what you want to hear but this would be my approach. This goes back 25 years when I used to see a lot of the common BSR in cheapo combo systems First, in assembled condition, the platter and/or main cam round gear up top might be frozen solid. There are techniques to free these up. As you know, the lube turns to glue. On the underside, I used a lot of rubbing alcohol on swabs and cut up strips of business cards to loosen lube and wipe it up with paper towels or swabs without disassembly. Sometimes after repeated treatments and drying, lube can be drizzled on shafts with a needle point dispenser. Even if a pivot point is still gummy, repeated cleaning, drying, and then a tiny bit of oil usually dissolved what was left of the old gummy lube. Lithium soap grease or similar light grease can be applied to hard to get surface-to-surface slide points with swabs after cutting the ends off, just sticks to get it in there. Less is best with lube, they really overdid it when these were made. The main points that need good lube will be oil on the platter shaft/sleeve, and light film of grease on the travel path of the cam follower on top. I think the cam follower also has a sleeve that often needs to free up so it will spin, that might take disassembly. Again with this being 25 years later after the tables I saw, there might well need to be disassembly to get to frozen pivot points. Then the main problems would be an idler replacement or rebuild. If it is an idler drive. These were $12 items back then, now maybe Voice of Music has old stock or more likely they can rebuild it with fresh rubber. Terry's Idlers also does this, with shipping back and forth to any rebuilder this will total around $55+. The cartridge, if it is a Tetrad small ceramic cart on a plastic clip with four pin connector that slides off the back, will be an adventure to source. They always get bad over time with distorted low output and balance issues. What was about a $95 rebuild of a common BSR in 1995 would likely be about $210+ today and that's if you find someone who doesn't mind 2-4 hrs of work for 130 labor and taking the chance on finding a cart if needed. I think I"d quote $250 if I was located there and still in that business.
This is why there aren't as many BSRs around as there used to be.

All that is my recollections of BSR, there might be significant difference in your situation, it might've been maintained and have relatively minor problems. I'm no fan of your online help guy either, that's no place to start without warnings of flying springs. You are lucky to have the e-clips, springs, and washers etc. Some less ordinary tools are needed too, along with a full box of q-tips and an alcohol dispenser.

What you or anyone working on it (unless someone knows the mech from memory, I don't) needs now is a service manual, at least something close, (and hope it has a clear breakdown of assembly) to know where things go back. I think there might be a model number on the red tag in the middle of a lot of irrelevant numbers. If you could take a clear photo of the tag I could search for a manual, even if it is not listed at vinylengine I might recognize it as something else. BSR Manuals | Vinyl Engine

Other things that would help anyone help you would be a clear still photo of the top, the underside, the cartridge (cell phone in selfie mode laying under the lifted arm is how I do it), maybe a pic of the top with the platter off as well, and of course the model tag.

I'm not suggesting you complete the service on it yourself, but if the parts are back in the right places maybe it wouldn't scare away any potential local servicer you might find. What you want is an old school TV shop with a tech/owner with audio experience about 60-75 years old. Not kidding. It was hard in the 90's to hire someone young to do tedious stuff like TTs and tape decks, now I suspect the newcomers are doing it is as a hobby for their own stuff. (excepting the pro gear places who might not touch it because repair cost would exceed value of the unit). I think that's why people on the web show rebuild videos and join forums for their brand, sort of a hobby club.

Let's find the model number and go from there. I've been to Providence long ago, that's close to where you are, that city is big enough for there to be one or two techs that do this. And I think there's a college there? That could mean a population of professor-types who are likely to have turntables to support a small shop. I could ask around the tech net once we have the model number. Plus Boston and the whole Eastern audio thing in the '70s makes it more likely to find someone. KLH in Cambridge etc.

Best of luck. And what's that model number? :)
 
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