Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

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Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby jon_p » Fri May 23, 2014 10:04 pm

Hello. Been wondering if a record clamp/stabilizer/weight is really effective in improving sonic performance? If so, which one do i use? Where do i buy?
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby tenderobject » Sat May 24, 2014 5:09 am

I'm using Michell record clamp. It's very useful for my dish warped records! Check youtube for the video.
About improving sonic performance. I can't really tell..
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby jon_p » Sat May 24, 2014 6:59 am

Thanks...will research re michell.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby darkest_error » Sat May 24, 2014 1:13 pm

In my observation, the "airiness" seems to be SLIGHTLY noticeable without the clamp, there is a wider soundstage. With the clamp, sound seems to be compacted and straight to the point. nice soundstage is still there but i think without the clamp, soundstage seems slightly wider. The difference is small. I bought a solid T6 aluminum rod scrap at T. Alonzo st. in manila and had it formed in a lathe machine. I used and followed the plans that is available online. Hope this helps.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby hearhead » Sat May 24, 2014 2:34 pm

Ive always wondered about this too.

Is there a standard weight for a clamp?

Wouldnt an ill conceived clamp have a bearing on a TTs accuracy?

Coz if a clamp hampers a TTs speed wouldnt that throw off your pitch as well as some setup options like VTA and the like?

Would want to try one out too for some mildly (very subtly) warped records i have.

More importantly does it improve sound audibly?
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby plasticman » Sat May 24, 2014 8:13 pm

As with most things in audio, there is no simple answer other than "IT DEPENDS...".

It depends on the turntable- some table are designed to work with clamps other without

It depends on the clamp design- reflex clamp, weight clamp, tuned clamp with springs, etc.

It depends on the material used-wood, brass, aluminum, plastic, delrin, combination, etc.

From experience diff designs, diff material on diff tables do affect sound to varying degrees.

Whether the change in sound us pleasing or not again DEPENDS on the listener.

So in the end, no other recourse but to try, listen and decide.

Again, sorry but there is no straight and simple answer :(
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby plasticman » Sat May 24, 2014 8:37 pm

It would make life easier if you can find someone w/ the SAME turntable using the same or at least similar cartridge and ideally with a similar system. Then get his opinion/experience with clamps used.

You can also try to borrow diff clamps from other members and try it on your system. This way, you dont waste money buying clamps only to find out it doesnt do your system any good.

Maybe you can post your turntable+cartridge combo so others with a similar setup can put in their experience.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby zenaudio » Sat May 24, 2014 11:36 pm

plasticman wrote:From experience diff designs, diff material on diff tables do affect sound to varying degrees.

Whether the change in sound us pleasing or not again DEPENDS on the listener.


+1

My experience -
Technics 1200: best without clamp
VPI Scout: best with a clamp/weight, tried diff types, settled with Audio Technica metal weight but with felt dots underneath.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Mamimili » Sun May 25, 2014 1:25 am

i still use the Michell record clamp for slightly warped LP's. To assist tracking.
In the past i tried the Thorens Stabilizer with a rubber mat......now i just use the rubber mat.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Mikey Pie » Sun May 25, 2014 11:50 pm

Have to research more on this.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Jervill » Mon May 26, 2014 6:11 pm

hearhead wrote:Ive always wondered about this too.

Is there a standard weight for a clamp?

Wouldnt an ill conceived clamp have a bearing on a TTs accuracy?

Coz if a clamp hampers a TTs speed wouldnt that throw off your pitch as well as some setup options like VTA and the like?

Would want to try one out too for some mildly (very subtly) warped records i have.

More importantly does it improve sound audibly?


It will have a bearing on the TT's accuracy if the main platter bearing cannot support the added mass and the wear and pressure affects it's performance. For most bearings this is not an issue. A central clamp puts the weight directly over the platter bearing so does not intrude on the drive systems ability to spin the platter. (Don't know for direct drive...) It has no added flywheel effect as such. Peripheral clamps on the other hand add weight on the edge of the platter increasing the flywheel effect. This may exaggerate any imbalance in the platter which may highlight wow and flutter issues. The weight and mass of both types may quieten bearing noise by damping it or increasing the pressure on the bearing. For the types of platters and motors in serious TTs, I doubt that these things would be an issue for accurate and consistent platter drive and rotation.

I can think of an ill conceived application if the clamp chosen is of sufficient weight and mass to deteriorate the bearing. That'll be like doing a work out every record change IMO :D . Also if the clamp and headshell combo stops the arm tracking the last bit of the grooves, as in the two touch stopping the arm from carrying on.

If it's just a matter of straightening out some mildly warped records then use a lighter weight. I use a cheap Pro-ject clamp for this purpose. I don't feel comfortable playing with anything too heavy as I'm conscious of dropping it on the arm! For using them on normal records, then the audible improvement would be reliant on how the weight damps the bearing and platter and how it affects the record and platter interface (controlling the vibration coming from the table or through the sound pressure in the air if you like cranking it up!).

These are the conditions that I think the clamp addresses mainly and the reason why result is dependent on application and why there are a lot of different weights to choose from. I'm sure there are other theories.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby hearhead » Mon May 26, 2014 6:43 pm

Jervill wrote:
hearhead wrote:Ive always wondered about this too.

Is there a standard weight for a clamp?

Wouldnt an ill conceived clamp have a bearing on a TTs accuracy?

Coz if a clamp hampers a TTs speed wouldnt that throw off your pitch as well as some setup options like VTA and the like?

Would want to try one out too for some mildly (very subtly) warped records i have.

More importantly does it improve sound audibly?


It will have a bearing on the TT's accuracy if the main platter bearing cannot support the added mass and the wear and pressure affects it's performance. For most bearings this is not an issue. A central clamp puts the weight directly over the platter bearing so does not intrude on the drive systems ability to spin the platter. (Don't know for direct drive...) It has no added flywheel effect as such. Peripheral clamps on the other hand add weight on the edge of the platter increasing the flywheel effect. This may exaggerate any imbalance in the platter which may highlight wow and flutter issues. The weight and mass of both types may quieten bearing noise by damping it or increasing the pressure on the bearing. For the types of platters and motors in serious TTs, I doubt that these things would be an issue for accurate and consistent platter drive and rotation.

I can think of an ill conceived application if the clamp chosen is of sufficient weight and mass to deteriorate the bearing. That'll be like doing a work out every record change IMO :D . Also if the clamp and headshell combo stops the arm tracking the last bit of the grooves, as in the two touch stopping the arm from carrying on.

If it's just a matter of straightening out some mildly warped records then use a lighter weight. I use a cheap Pro-ject clamp for this purpose. I don't feel comfortable playing with anything too heavy as I'm conscious of dropping it on the arm! For using them on normal records, then the audible improvement would be reliant on how the weight damps the bearing and platter and how it affects the record and platter interface (controlling the vibration coming from the table or through the sound pressure in the air if you like cranking it up!).

These are the conditions that I think the clamp addresses mainly and the reason why result is dependent on application and why there are a lot of different weights to choose from. I'm sure there are other theories.


Thanks for this. If I use the statement as a jumping off point (to think more about the "warped record playability" of the OP), it would seem that any effect a clamp of any weight would have, will be synergistic with the mat underneath. Meaning, if subtly warped records are a concern the cooperation of a clamp and the mat underneath will play a big part on successfully playing a slightly warped record.

Of course, as the previous poster posited, it will all play on the "it depends" factor of audio upgrades and proper research may play a part to get a definitive answer.

But again thanks guys!

It seems that i'll research a mat at the same time as researching a clamp.

:)
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Jon Agner » Mon May 26, 2014 9:01 pm

Clamps can be a hit or a miss, depending on the weight, material and actual use. Its also dependent on the material and design of the turntable platter, and likewise, the design and material used for the tonearm.

A few years ago, MandyM and I were toying around on how different materials for the clamps affect the sound, with quite an interesting result. Its not simply to flatten records or to simply provide stability.... there's a science to this and sometimes, its harder to explain this with words as its much better to listen to it.

MandyM still continues to experiment on this BTW, so a visit to Lake Sampaloc is something you can consider. In my case, well, try to check with Kabubi/Buboy if he can lend you the clamp that I gave him, and let me know how if there's an effect :) I wish I could lend you one but I'm too far away now and much of my system is now in storage.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Superman » Mon May 26, 2014 10:51 pm

Jon Agner wrote:Clamps can be a hit or a miss, depending on the weight, material and actual use. Its also dependent on the material and design of the turntable platter, and likewise, the design and material used for the tonearm.

A few years ago, MandyM and I were toying around on how different materials for the clamps affect the sound, with quite an interesting result. Its not simply to flatten records or to simply provide stability.... there's a science to this and sometimes, its harder to explain this with words as its much better to listen to it.

MandyM still continues to experiment on this BTW, so a visit to Lake Sampaloc is something you can consider. In my case, well, try to check with Kabubi/Buboy if he can lend you the clamp that I gave him, and let me know how if there's an effect :) I wish I could lend you one but I'm too far away now and much of my system is now in storage.


No longer in Pasig, bro?
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Jon Agner » Mon May 26, 2014 11:13 pm

Superman wrote:
Jon Agner wrote:Clamps can be a hit or a miss, depending on the weight, material and actual use. Its also dependent on the material and design of the turntable platter, and likewise, the design and material used for the tonearm.

A few years ago, MandyM and I were toying around on how different materials for the clamps affect the sound, with quite an interesting result. Its not simply to flatten records or to simply provide stability.... there's a science to this and sometimes, its harder to explain this with words as its much better to listen to it.

MandyM still continues to experiment on this BTW, so a visit to Lake Sampaloc is something you can consider. In my case, well, try to check with Kabubi/Buboy if he can lend you the clamp that I gave him, and let me know how if there's an effect :) I wish I could lend you one but I'm too far away now and much of my system is now in storage.


No longer in Pasig, bro?


;) :)
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby kabubi » Mon May 26, 2014 11:50 pm

nasa Bikol na sila, Jen!
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Jervill » Tue May 27, 2014 8:43 am

Jon Agner wrote:Clamps can be a hit or a miss, depending on the weight, material and actual use. Its also dependent on the material and design of the turntable platter, and likewise, the design and material used for the tonearm.

A few years ago, MandyM and I were toying around on how different materials for the clamps affect the sound, with quite an interesting result. Its not simply to flatten records or to simply provide stability.... there's a science to this and sometimes, its harder to explain this with words as its much better to listen to it.

MandyM still continues to experiment on this BTW, so a visit to Lake Sampaloc is something you can consider. In my case, well, try to check with Kabubi/Buboy if he can lend you the clamp that I gave him, and let me know how if there's an effect :) I wish I could lend you one but I'm too far away now and much of my system is now in storage.



That's a very interesting experiment. Somewhat difficult to evaluate as I imagine. For any given material there is a difference in mass. To achieve the same weight, for example, of say aluminium (2.7g/cm3 density) to Delrin (1.5 g/cm3) then the physical dimensions of the puck would be different. How would one then eliminate the possibility that the difference in sound was from material and not the puck's geometric shape? (To achieve the same weight, a clamp made from Delrin would have to be taller than an aluminium one if the diameter of both was to be kept away from fouling the arm on the run-out grooves, for example. The height difference I assume would have an effect depending on the type and condition of the platter bearing.) If you kept the physical dimensions of the pucks the same, how would one eliminate the possibility that the difference is then attributable to mass as opposed to material?

I need to try it I suppose and do some listening tests for myself. I've not delved in to clamps as much... Need to get over the fear of dropping one on the arm. :sweat:
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Jon Agner » Tue May 27, 2014 10:31 am

Jervill wrote:
Jon Agner wrote:Clamps can be a hit or a miss, depending on the weight, material and actual use. Its also dependent on the material and design of the turntable platter, and likewise, the design and material used for the tonearm.

A few years ago, MandyM and I were toying around on how different materials for the clamps affect the sound, with quite an interesting result. Its not simply to flatten records or to simply provide stability.... there's a science to this and sometimes, its harder to explain this with words as its much better to listen to it.

MandyM still continues to experiment on this BTW, so a visit to Lake Sampaloc is something you can consider. In my case, well, try to check with Kabubi/Buboy if he can lend you the clamp that I gave him, and let me know how if there's an effect :) I wish I could lend you one but I'm too far away now and much of my system is now in storage.



That's a very interesting experiment. Somewhat difficult to evaluate as I imagine. For any given material there is a difference in mass. To achieve the same weight, for example, of say aluminium (2.7g/cm3 density) to Delrin (1.5 g/cm3) then the physical dimensions of the puck would be different. How would one then eliminate the possibility that the difference in sound was from material and not the puck's geometric shape? (To achieve the same weight, a clamp made from Delrin would have to be taller than an aluminium one if the diameter of both was to be kept away from fouling the arm on the run-out grooves, for example. The height difference I assume would have an effect depending on the type and condition of the platter bearing.) If you kept the physical dimensions of the pucks the same, how would one eliminate the possibility that the difference is then attributable to mass as opposed to material?

I need to try it I suppose and do some listening tests for myself. I've not delved in to clamps as much... Need to get over the fear of dropping one on the arm. :sweat:


In the experiments that I did, material is more important than mass. While its true that some turntables run better with the clamp on, I realized that for good vinyls, the clamp's weight didn't do much on improving the quality of the sound. But, the type of material used for the clamp did have an effect. I've toyed with Brass, aluminium, cast Iron, acrylic and different types of wood. Well, each type of material has an effect but then, its influence on the overall sound is also dependent on the turntable, the tonearm and the cartridge used.

The geometry of the clamps also comes into consideration, and likewise the particular design on the cavities carved around, under and even inside the clamp.

It's still a continuously on going experiment, and the clamp I'm using now, which is of Ebony, does provide me with interesting results.
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby TheAnalogSource » Tue May 27, 2014 5:49 pm

i dont like clamps and peripheral rings. takes an extra step to enjoy a record hehe

i think my good friend dnk despise it very much hehe
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Re: Is a record clamp/stabilizer/weight really effective?

Postby Jervill » Tue May 27, 2014 6:43 pm

Hi Jon,

What is the platter material that you combo with the ebony clamp? I'm using a Lenco with the original rubber mat. I've tried acrylic, felt, cork and even a 180g vinyl as a mat. The original seem the best followed surprisingly by the 180g LP! Do you have a recommendation, as a starting point for me, to try to combo with the Lenco set up?

I'm also trying to design and cost out a platter machined out of Delrin to stack on top of the original platter. (Just need to see the machinist's quote to see if its viable.). For this, I'm planning for it not to require an additional mat. It'll add another 4kg to the the the platter assembly so I've upgraded already my main bearing in to something more robust to get better tolerance. So if you have a recommendation to match with that, maybe I'll throw in a clamp design to get it machined at the same time as the platter. Thanks :)
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