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BIC Acoustech PL-200 II Review

By Jim Wilson (theJman)​


BIC seems to be the master of economical subwoofers. The H-100 impressed me when I reviewed it back in 2014, and their F12 is a perennial best seller. Now they release a new PL-200, the model II, which is their top-of-the-line offering. Nothing this company sells is expensive, yet neither is it cheap (with "cheap" meaning shoddy or poorly implemented). This is the budget friendly company many people turn to first. They certainly have longevity in this industry - having been around since the early 70's - which means they must be doing something right. With a tried-and-true philosophy of low cost/high value products, the BIC PL-200 II continues that tradition and should be considered a good choice for those with limited funds.


For the full review Click Here
 

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FYI, I feel I may have identified a manufacturing defect in these speakers.

I, and another recent buyer, have both encountered inordinate chuffing from the right port on our PL-200 II's purchased from Amazon. Thread can be found here:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-subwoofers-bass-transducers/2946946-bic-pl-200-ii-chuffing.html

So if anyone has difficulty with chuffing, pop the driver out and wiggle the right port. If its loose, you may need to seal it.

Hope this helps someone out there!
 

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BIC's been around a long time - which means they know how to make stuff - so more than likely it's not a manufacturing defect as much as an isolated instance. But time will tell if there's a bad batch or if it's just an occasional unit.
 

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Well, 2 units is, by definition, not an isolated instance. That being said, I'm not knocking the product. Everything about it is high quality and great value.
 

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2 out of how many though? If that's all there was from a batch numbering in the hundreds than it would still be considered an isolated incident. If it's just the tip of the iceberg, and we're about to hear of more exsamples like this, then that's a different story.
 

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Just wanted to report back that a little silicone around the ports and pin receptacles made a vast improvement. It is now a great little sub.
 

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Im thinking of purchasing this unit to replace a cerwin vega ht-s12A. The Vega has been around since the late 90's and has been a great unit. I had the woofer reconed recently as it was starting to scratch - since the reconing the cone has seperated twice so I guess Im going to need a new unit as I dont want to have the woofer reconed a third time. Anyone know how this unit will perform compared to a 20 year old Cerwin Vega?
 

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How would a 20 year old car compare to one from today? ;)

Subwoofers, like many things, have advanced significantly in the past 2 decades. A $1000 sub from back then probably costs $200 today. If the PL-200 fits into your budget you should consider one. It's likely to best the CV in almost every area.
 

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Why can we not get passive subs today? I much prefer my setup, with an outboard power amp and processor driving dual subs.

After reading the excellent review, and doing more reading on products offered by BIC, it is clear that Klipsch is in their crosshairs. They have taken on brand K in a full frontal attack, with pricing at one third to one half of what Klipsch charges.

In a blind listening test, how many consumers would agree to pay double the price?

5 of the eleven speakers in my theater are reference series Klipsch. In a secondary audio system, in another room, a pair of BIC DV-84’s work part time. They are fine speakers. At the price, they are a bargain.

I too, have a soft spot for good performing gear, at affordable prices.
 

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You can indeed get passive subwoofers, but they're few and far between (unless you're talking about DIY where they are plentiful). With an integrated amp you can tune the DSP specifically for the driver/alignment/enclosure size, along with adding protection mechanisms and external controls for things like a 'room size' adjustment. A passive system means the owners time and expertise come into play for those things, and neither is guaranteed to be sufficient.
 

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You can indeed get passive subwoofers, but they're few and far between (unless you're talking about DIY where they are plentiful). With an integrated amp you can tune the DSP specifically for the driver/alignment/enclosure size, along with adding protection mechanisms and external controls for things like a 'room size' adjustment. A passive system means the owners time and expertise come into play for those things, and neither is guaranteed to be sufficient.
With my external amp and separate preamp/processor, it is easy to tune for speaker distance, crossover freq., relative volume, etc.

The room itself is audio friendly, with the walls having acousti-panels in place, and the walls are not multiples of each other to avoid standing waves.

I have never been fond of an amp attached to a low frequency vibration prone box for a number of reasons.

I’m actually considering adding two of the BIC’s to the rear of my theater, firing from behind.

How much more would one need to spend to realize a significant upgrade in bass performance over the BIC?
 

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Generally the next leap would be the $500 range, although subs like the RSL Speedwoofer 10S are starting to emerge of late. At $400 it's regarded quite favorably.
 

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Getting Issue with BIC ACOUSTECH PL-200 Rattling

Few weeks back, my BIC PL-200 have started rattling/ cracking noise with each and every drum/ bass beats. I thoroughly inspected the subwoofer for any physical damage, however the cone is completely intact. Also opened the box of subwoofer, but nothing loose inside the cabinet.The kharrr-kharrr like noise is coming out from the Cone Periphery and its very distracting on slow songs, while the same is unnoticeable on Hard rocks or other general songs/ movies. My setup is Denon X1200W -- Taga Harmony TAV606F speakers and BIC Acoustech PL-200 subwoofer. Please let me know, is it some problem with Subwoofer circuit or its CONE IS GONE. Whole setup was purchased in 2015 from ebay, as imported piece, no warranty. Is the life of subwoofer Over after 4-5 years? The rattling is present on low to moderate volumes too, so it is not issue that I am going on too much volume. I have also completely checked that, the sound- noise is only coming from Sub only, and not from rattling of any room door/ window etc. Any fruitful reply is awaited. Thanks in advance.
 

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Is the life of subwoofer Over after 4-5 years?
There is no planned obsolescence with the PL-200. It is a very inexpensive product, but BIC didn't design it to last only a certain number of years.

One suggestion would be to tighten down the screws holding the woofer to the cabinet, just in case they started to loosen up over the years. Be careful not to over tighten them, they're wood screws in MDF so it won't take much force to strip them.
 

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Thanks for your suggestion, however I already thoroughly inspected the sub for any loose screw or any loose object inside, but nothing, which can create rattling. The noise is exactly coming from the cone, not from the guide rubber ring nor from the woofer metal housing. I also inspected the spider underneath, it is also intact. Only thing I found inside the cabinet is much much dirt and a chocolate wrapper thrown inside by my child. I cleaned everything and again fitted the Speaker/ Driver very carefully. However the noise is as it is. Also note that subwoofer response is not deteriorated, nor it is farting. Only problem is kharr-kharr like noise with every drum beats emitting from the cone. Any more suggestion from your side awaiting.
 

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Does it grind when you push on the cone? I’m only guessing, but if you really pushed it hard with some content it may have come out of alignment. Whenever I’ve heard a driver make that sound on every kick drum, it was junk.
 

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Thanks for your suggestion, I tried to push the cone gently by my hands when power OFF, it is not creating any cracking sound, it smoothly goes in an out. I don't think the alignment is changed as it is still creating smooth bass response. But when I am playing song, the rattling starts. First it looks like something is loose inside/outside the cabinet, which is vibrating but on close inspection during music playing ON, the sound is emerging from the cone itself. I am unable to attached video file here. Although cone and rubber ring not seems to be detached at any point, I am really unable to spot any physical damage. As spending Rupees 50K is like spending 1-2 months full salary in India for Job Person, it is not possible to go for new Sub presently, any fruitful suggestion to rectify / repair the issue is most welcome.
 

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I can’t see any of the pics, sorry.
I also hate to say, it sounds like the driver is shot. Burnt voice coil maybe? Like I said, every time I’ve heard that “crack” sound on transients, it was too late. Maybe you can buy just a replacement driver on eBay, or get one from BIC to save some money. You can probably get a different driver from just about anywhere, but since they’re engineered to work together with the enclosure, and amplifier, it would be a shot in the dark. Could work out, could be horrible.
 

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Thanks for your prompt response. If really, the cone is gone, then I can't say BIC is a brand that last for years, as I had never overused the sub by any kind. Also I found one more issue that is while rotating the Volume knob, the sub is creating hissing noise, that shouldn't be there if good quality volume control POT is used. Also look at the LINE IN RCA Jack photo, after 4 years of use, it is corroded, it is not truly Gold Plated. I think My TAGA & Mumbai based Astonia DF10 Subwoofers are much better in Material Quality, although it can not be compared with BIC's sound Output. Is it possible to repair the cone, or full driver needs replacement?
 

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