Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby bdp24 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:59 pm

Brf wrote:The benefit of the screw down reflex clamp is that it not only couples the record to the platter to provide damping, but it can help eliminate small record warps. Using a record weight only provides damping and in some instance, can accentuate small record warps. A record weight in conjunction with a periphery provides both superior damping and record flattening.

If I had to choose only one, it would be a screw down reflex clamp.


When I acquired my first VPI table in the early-90's---an HW-19 Mk.1---the integral screw-down clamp transformed the sound of my LP's. The HW-19 was the first table I owned that satisfied me (precious tables included the original AR, the reissue AR ES-1, a Thorens TD-125 Mk.2, a Thorens TD-150, a Panasonic direct-drive, and a couple of Garrards). When the Delrin platter was introduced on the HW-19 Mk.2, I got one of them, and have been sold on that combination ever since. I have clamps by VPI, TT Weights, and BDR.
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby babybird » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:58 pm

Well I ordered the VPI stainless Steel screw down clamp yesterday that BRF linked. Should be here in a day or so and will report back on how things differ compared to the stock and standard all delrin screw down clamp. I know many folks don't like screw down clamps because of the time it takes. Never bothered me, and only takes a few seconds which normally I'm not in that big of a hurry.

Thanks to everyone for their opinions and advice. Maybe one day I'll even belly up to the bar and get that Still Points weight.
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby DeeCee » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:21 pm

babybird wrote:Well I ordered the VPI stainless Steel screw down clamp yesterday that BRF linked. Should be here in a day or so and will report back on how things differ compared to the stock and standard all delrin screw down clamp. I know many folks don't like screw down clamps because of the time it takes. Never bothered me, and only takes a few seconds which normally I'm not in that big of a hurry.

Thanks to everyone for their opinions and advice. Maybe one day I'll even belly up to the bar and get that Still Points weight.

I'd be interested if you hear differences between the steel and the delrin... what is your associated equipment?
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby Votan » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:46 am

babybird wrote:Well I ordered the VPI stainless Steel screw down clamp yesterday that BRF linked. Should be here in a day or so and will report back on how things differ compared to the stock and standard all delrin screw down clamp. I know many folks don't like screw down clamps because of the time it takes. Never bothered me, and only takes a few seconds which normally I'm not in that big of a hurry.

Thanks to everyone for their opinions and advice. Maybe one day I'll even belly up to the bar and get that Still Points weight.

Hi babybird,
Record clamp requires that rubber washer be placed on the spiendle before the record is placed, otherwise there is a fear that record may be deformed, and/or may lose its necessary contact with the platter as we approach its periphery.
Also take into account that due to the washer in the spindle and the screwed clamp, is creating a small uphill of the record towards the spindle that adds a small antiskating force to the already created from the lemo wire of JMW tonearm, which means that you have to be restrained and sparing when (and if) you charge the additional antiskating device of JMW.
Finally, be aware that the degree of tightness of the record clamp can affect the sound. IMO a slight tightness is the optimum.
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby bdp24 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:38 am

Votan wrote:
babybird wrote:Well I ordered the VPI stainless Steel screw down clamp yesterday that BRF linked. Should be here in a day or so and will report back on how things differ compared to the stock and standard all delrin screw down clamp. I know many folks don't like screw down clamps because of the time it takes. Never bothered me, and only takes a few seconds which normally I'm not in that big of a hurry.

Thanks to everyone for their opinions and advice. Maybe one day I'll even belly up to the bar and get that Still Points weight.

Hi babybird,
Record clamp requires that rubber washer be placed on the spiendle before the record is placed, otherwise there is a fear that record may be deformed, and/or may lose its necessary contact with the platter as we approach its periphery.
Also take into account that due to the washer in the spindle and the screwed clamp, is creating a small uphill of the record towards the spindle that adds a small antiskating force to the already created from the lemo wire of JMW tonearm, which means that you have to be restrained and sparing when (and if) you charge the additional antiskating device of JMW.
Finally, be aware that the degree of tightness of the record clamp can affect the sound. IMO a slight tightness is the optimum.


The VPI rubber spindle washer is 1/8" thick and 1-1/4" in diameter, which raises the LP quite a ways off the platter, requiring a clamp be tightened enough to bring the LP into firm contact with the platter across it's entire surface. Herbies Audio offers it's own Grungebuster version of the washer, but in three different thicknesses: 1/8", 1/16", and 3/32". Using one of the thinner washers raises the LP not as far above the platter, meaning less clamping force is required to flatten the LP.
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby Mr_Putty » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:21 am

There is a discussion about using dimes under records instead of the rubber washer, you should read. This is what I use (2) with various screw down clamps. They improve sound on some TTs, and also help flatten warped records. I use the same setup under even flat records. Their use requires a bit more setup to get the flattest record when there is a warp. I find the extra effort worthwhile. In general about five seconds more is required. It is always a trial and error compromise to get the flattest record possible, if warped. I don’t think there is a list of which TTs people have reported benefits. I have a Prime. I do not use traditional record mats, but rather one layer of 3M friction tape is several places. I have other suggestions for what can be used under the screw down clamps, but that’s another discussion. :D :D
Search for “dimes under records”
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby babybird » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:05 pm

@ Mr Putty: I remember reading that conversation awhile back regarding dimes and other coins. Tried it but never heard much if any difference so I moved on. Perhaps I have two tin ears:)) I don't use a record mat just the naked metal platter on my Classic 1. Interesting use of the 3M friction tape though.

@ BDP24: I agree the use of the rubber washer does create an ever so slight uphill climb to the spindle. On my TT using a very accurate bubble level it registers approximately 1.25-1.5 degree rise. In the past I have also used various thickness's of rubber washers as well available at most hardware stores.

The new VPI clamp just arrived a short while ago but will not have time to make any comparisons until much later today.

Thanks for all the comments
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby Packgrog » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:03 pm

regular weight < reflex clamp < weight with Gary Koh's gem tweak < Stillpoints LPI

A reflex clamp will do a better job of flattening small warps, but a weight with vibration dissipation (gem tweak or the plates and BBs of the Stillpoints) will ultimately sound better.

Here's an example of a used Bren1 that someone here gave me that I used with the gem tweak. Startling improvement over my old Michell reflex clamp, which was in turn better than any flat weight I'd ever tried, sound-wise. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10860&p=49986#p49986
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby babybird » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:10 pm

Thanks for the link Packgrog. Read through the entire thing again, tried the dime thing again last night albeit with the SS-Delrin screw down clamp as opposed to a record weight. If there was a difference it was not discernible to me with or without the dimes. One would think some difference even if not to the maximum reported by people using a weight might be evident. However on numerous occasions I have strategically placed various brass weights on the plinth which by any measure really can make a difference but to my ears its all detrimental. Go figure. Consistently what I notice using this method is a reduction in the bass to varying degrees depending on where, how many and how heavy the weights are.

Suffice it to say resonance control is a very mysterious and often frustrating aspect of this hobby. Why a weight on the plinth would suck the life out of bass is a pure mystery to me.

All that out of the way, using the newly acquired SS screw down clamp does make a difference though I wouldn't refer to it as a major change compared to the all delrin screw down clamp but rather more along the lines of the power of subtlety. I do like the looks and feel of the SS screw clamp though.
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Re: Record Clamps vs Record Weights?

Postby Mr_Putty » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:41 pm

babybird wrote:@ Mr Putty: I remember reading that conversation awhile back regarding dimes and other coins. Tried it but never heard much if any difference so I moved on. Perhaps I have two tin ears:)) I don't use a record mat just the naked metal platter on my Classic 1. Interesting use of the 3M friction tape though.

Using tape is part of the requirement for success with the dimes. IMHO

@ BDP24: I agree the use of the rubber washer does create an ever so slight uphill climb to the spindle. On my TT using a very accurate bubble level it registers approximately 1.25-1.5 degree rise. In the past I have also used various thickness's of rubber washers as well available at most hardware stores.

The dimes are thinner than most spindle washers, but do affect record uphill climb, antiskate and azimuth alignment. In combination, if not tuned can lead to a dulling of sound. If you have not done so and wish to repeat testing, I suggest you use headphones as a general guide.

The new VPI clamp just arrived a short while ago but will not have time to make any comparisons until much later today.
As a precaution make sure the clamp threads are clean and add a small amount of lubricant to make everything last longer.

Thanks for all the comments
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