Versa Dynamics - John Bicht
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  1. #1
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    Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    I was surprised that there is no Turntable forum here so posting this in General.

    In the mid 80s when CDs came out and I gave away or sold all my albums, I ironically ended up working in a small Machine Shop in Ivyland PA. During that job, I got to do much of the machining and assembly of John Bicht's Vacuum Platter TTs as well as working directly with him in the shop. I found a really good article on the history of Versa Dynamics and at the bottom are several pictures of the TTs showing all the parts I made including the actual grooves in the acrylic platter from the center ring to the outer ring. (I did not do the Lathe work, but all the milling work/parts)

    I never got to hear a final product, nor did I fully understand the history I was part of making back then. I still have never heard a Versa Dynamics TT.

    Has anyone here had experience with John's TTs?

    Here is a great article of the history of Versa Dynamics.

    https://www.psaudio.com/article/vers...Ii43lg38h1iAZA
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    Brian

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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    The last time I spoke with John he told me about an evolution 'table he took to CES several years ago to test the market. By then he found few people recalled the 2.0 and 1.0 tables and it was like starting all over again. He received marginal interest and little traction with dealers so the project remained stillborn. Unless you've been in the hobby for a significant amount of time, or have owned or listened to vinyl replay at the highest level, you won't appreciate the enormity of John's work. There was a 2.0 languishing on ebay recently for a ridiculous low price (by my reckoning) and STILL there were no takers. I presently have a 2.0 and owned a 1.0 back in the day when they were current. IMHO and in spite of their age, they remain SOTA in design and execution by todays standards.
    Linn Kilmax LP12 | Channel D | Audio Research | Wadia | Innuos | Klipsch Cornwall IV | Falcon LS3/5a

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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    Quote Originally Posted by puroagave View Post
    The last time I spoke with John he told me about an evolution 'table he took to CES about ten years ago to test the market and he received marginal interest and little traction with dealers. Unless you've been in the hobby for a significant amount of time youl wont appreciate the enormity of John's work. There was a 2.0 languishing on ebay recently for a ridiculous low price (by my reckoning) and STILL there were no takers. I presently have a 2.0 and owned a 1.0 back in the day when they were current. They're still SOTA turntables and arms by todays standards.
    That's awesome, so you have and had the ones I machined most of the parts for.
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    Brian

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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    [QUOTE=Shadowfax;293344]I was surprised that there is no Turntable forum here so posting this in General.


    Ah ! its right here you must have overlooked it

    https://www.audioshark.org/turntables-146/


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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    I owned a Versa 1.0 (whatever the lower priced model was) back in the late '80's or early '90's.. My dealer at the time knew that I had been talking about getting a super high end turntable, but it was wishful thinking. He called me, saying that he was helping out the widow of one of his customers sell the customer's very high end equipment, including a Versa 1.0 turntable. I had read about the Versa in Absolute Sound as the best of the best at that time. The price was right, so I bought it. It came with a vacuum pump enclosed in a massive box that I had to locate in a closet to minimize the noise. It both sucked (the vacuum platter on the turntable) and blew (the air pressure for the linear tracking arm.) The dealer had a vdH Grasshopper Gold III cartridge which he included with the Versa for just a little extra. When it was working well, it was an incredible set up. Unfortunately, that was less often than I liked. So I eventually sold it for a more reliable system, not as good, but more reliable. The part that I left out was that the customer was a dentist who committed suicide. Don't think the Versa had any part in that.

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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    Quote Originally Posted by astrotoy View Post
    The part that I left out was that the customer was a dentist who committed suicide. Don't think the Versa had any part in that.

    Larry
    My recent acquisition of a Rega P3 was from the widow of a guy who did the same.

    Thanks for the TT story too.
    -----------------
    Brian

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    Rotel 1072 CDP / Rega P3 > Luxman 505UX Mark II > Dynaudio Audience 82s > Synergistic Cables

    Secondary - OPPO 93 > VAC CLA 1 MKII Pre > Odyssey Stratos > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs Cables


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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    Quote Originally Posted by astrotoy View Post
    I owned a Versa 1.0 (whatever the lower priced model was) back in the late '80's or early '90's.. My dealer at the time knew that I had been talking about getting a super high end turntable, but it was wishful thinking. He called me, saying that he was helping out the widow of one of his customers sell the customer's very high end equipment, including a Versa 1.0 turntable. I had read about the Versa in Absolute Sound as the best of the best at that time. The price was right, so I bought it. It came with a vacuum pump enclosed in a massive box that I had to locate in a closet to minimize the noise. It both sucked (the vacuum platter on the turntable) and blew (the air pressure for the linear tracking arm.) The dealer had a vdH Grasshopper Gold III cartridge which he included with the Versa for just a little extra. When it was working well, it was an incredible set up. Unfortunately, that was less often than I liked. So I eventually sold it for a more reliable system, not as good, but more reliable. The part that I left out was that the customer was a dentist who committed suicide. Don't think the Versa had any part in that.

    Larry
    Dentists do have a higher suicide rate than the general public, its a thing. The previous owner I bought the 1.0 from is a well known audio dist. He sold it to me with the proviso I'd not mention the table to him ever again. He was clearly done with it and went back to a Sota Cosmos/SME V. He had nagging issues with condensation in the airline while he owned it which fouled the tonearm, a problem that was easily cured buy keeping the compressor box and control box at the same ambient temperature. with 50' of airline most owners were tempted to put the compressor in a cool space like a closet or basement (a no-no). The several years I owned mine, it operated flawlessly but i'm the type that will perform my own set-up and trouble shoot gremlins.
    Linn Kilmax LP12 | Channel D | Audio Research | Wadia | Innuos | Klipsch Cornwall IV | Falcon LS3/5a

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  10. #8
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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    Quote Originally Posted by puroagave View Post
    Dentists do have a higher suicide rate than the general public, its a thing. The previous owner I bought the 1.0 from is a well known audio dist. He sold it to me with the proviso I'd not mention the table to him ever again. He was clearly done with it and went back to a Sota Cosmos/SME V. He had nagging issues with condensation in the airline while he owned it which fouled the tonearm, a problem that was easily cured buy keeping the compressor box and control box at the same ambient temperature. with 50' of airline most owners were tempted to put the compressor in a cool space like a closet or basement (a no-no). The several years I owned mine, it operated flawlessly but i'm the type that will perform my own set-up and trouble shoot gremlins.
    Hello - Is there a dryer after the compressor?


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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    Excalibur Audio in Alexandria, VA had a prototype or 2 of John's TT. We all loved it, it outperformed any SOTA and arm we compared it to, but it wouldn't stay working, reliability was it's downfall. Maplenoll was another great sounding TT that didn't make it bigtime.

  12. #10
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    Re: Versa Dynamics - John Bicht

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraFast69 View Post
    Hello - Is there a dryer after the compressor?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    the 2.0 did not, the 1.o did have one in the control box nearest the turntable with a condenser coil and drain. The tables were produced but for a couple years before the they ended. Had they carried on, all of the kinks would have been worked out. The air bearings used was next level stuff requiring 40-50 PSI to operate which required a heavy duty compressor. The maker of the bearings also produced them for inertial navigation systems aboard spy satellites. JB sought DOD clearance to acquire them, at the time we were still in a cold war with the Soviet Union.
    Linn Kilmax LP12 | Channel D | Audio Research | Wadia | Innuos | Klipsch Cornwall IV | Falcon LS3/5a