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Tedrick's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 6 2006 - 6:51pm
Old turntable worth re-fit??

I have an old turntable that my Father gave me, a BSR 810 Transcription. When my Dad got it 30 years ago, it was supposedly a pretty nice machine, and I spent many an afternoon after school jamming to records playing on this machine. It has a heavy, machined platter and what looks to be a pretty decent tonearm with adjustments for stylus pressure and VTA.

The 'table still works, but it needs some upgrades, including headshell leads, tonearm cable, cartridge, and maybe even tonearm. My question is, is this old 'table worth an upgrade, or would I be better served spending my money on something newer? Thanks for any feedback.

Buddha's picture
Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Old turntable worth re-fit??

Going out on a limb here, so don't do anything until others arrive.

I think that table was about as high end as BSR ever went, one of two belt drive tables I can recall them making.

I would call this table a coin toss as to whether you should spend one penny on it.

So, spend low. There are various belt sellers that can cheaply get you a fresh drive belt.

Cartridge leads can be used on a new table, so can a fresh cartridge, so you won't suffer greatly if you buy and the thing don't sing.


Give those first things a go, and see what's the sitch.

If that sounds good, keep playing it until it dies. Consider it the hi-fi equivalent of a beater car - drive it 'til it dies, then walk away smiling.

Feel free to spend time on it - make a plinth if you are handy, etc...but don't spend money on any pieces that would be unique to this creature.

In fact, before you buy anything, "play" with the arm to see how freely it moves, how it zero balances and "floats" around. If anything seems screwed up, jump out on the first date.

So, that's what the spirit of Bacchus and I would say right now.

Reptiles00's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 16 2006 - 6:28pm
Re: Old turntable worth re-fit??

Good Question!
I'm spinning the same issue through my head. Just picked up a Dual 521 (30 years old) and although its in nice shape, it does need some things to make it sweet.
I'm pretty handy when it comes to tweeking things so soldering in a new set of interconnects and AC power cord would be easy, but it all adds up.

Lub kit: 25 plus S&H
Cartridge maybe.... has Ortofon M20FL.... another 100.00
Belt: 20 plus S&H
Maybe new cartridge mounting plate: 40.00 online plus S&H

Another 120 and I can bring home a Debut III.
Wow, I shouldn't wrote this since now I'm even more confused

Decisions, Decisions, Good luck with yours.


Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: Old turntable worth re-fit??

You have the best model available from what was already a mediocre company by the time the 810 was produced. Read a few threads here:

You might contact some of the folks who do "vintage audio repair" (just type that into a search engine for a few results) to get a better perspective on what needs to be done and the cost to get the table in proper shape. I would tend to say use it until it stops and then don't turn back. Or, see if anyone doing repair is willing to trade out for a better product. Matching cartridges is difficult with the arm supplied with the BSR. The bearings are horrible and the play in the arm is less than ideal. What you will find is a combination of arm and cartridge that would concern me with excessive record wear to any LP I considered valauble. This would be a table I would reserve for a cheap cartridge and playing those "public library" and garage sale records with the one side that looks like the dog played with the record out in the alley. Buy a better table for any new vinyl you'll be buying.

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