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Clamp it, damp it or just simply add some weight!

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  • Clamp it, damp it or just simply add some weight!

    A picture from yesterday evenings geeky shootout. Me and a friend tried 14 clamps and recordweight on two different turntables!
    Some were good and one was so bad I´ll advise everyone to steer clear of it.

  • #2
    Inquiring minds want to know, after the smoke settled what were the clamps (I recognize a few) and more importantly which were the winners and what did they do? A number of years ago, I did an extended listen to the clamps available to me at the time and have since listened to a few of the newer clamps. Part of this is memorialized in my review of the Pierre Lurne clamp ( A good friend Albert Porter has been through a similar odyssey. In my quest, I settled on the Lurne clamp as having the best sound on my Rockport table, but I also very much like the Stillpoints clamp. Pierre Lurne wrote an article discussing what a clamp should ideally do and that article can also be found in dagogo. Contrary to my initial thoughts, clamping a record to ensure intimate contact with the platter is only one of the things which a good clamp should do. In any event, I look forward to hearing about your adventure.
    Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.


    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice review, Fred, with an interesting reply from Pierre Lurne.

  • #3
    Nothing geeky Per, I've accumulated a number of different record weights over the years some I find to be turntable+mat dependent and many more to be horrible no matter which tt. Only one that I can say with any certainty has universal application is the old AT-618, it has right around of mass and damping to suit many tables; of course there are some tts that sound best without any weights or clamps.

    Click image for larger version

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    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Racks
    Special Sales: van den Hul Cartridges
    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Jensen Transformers

    Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers


    • #4
      my favorite......the Durand Record Weight. better than vacuum hold down to my ears......

      system description and pictures.


      • #5
        Originally posted by Mike Lavigne
        my favorite......the Durand Record Weight. better than vacuum hold down to my ears......
        does your NVS have vacuum hold down and did you compare them back and forth?


        • #6
          I compared it side by side with my Rockport Sirius III
          system description and pictures.


          • #7

            I've experimented with clamps for several years. I don't doubt anyone's test but my findings are so variable to the point I would not say results can be adapted to another situation.

            In other words, the turntable itself, the mat, phono cartridge, overall set up and associated equipment can swing the vote one way or the other. Even the isolation of the turntable can effect what is perceived from the clamp or weight.

            Another factor is electronic noise, I had a Mu Metal shield made from Texas Instruments FerriShield and a turntable with electronics under the platter, it can have a substantial effect.

            It varies a lot, small change on Garrard 301 due to motor, but huge on a Technics SP10 MK2 where the electrically transparent platter offers little screening from all the electronics underneath.

            Attached is an image of what I currently own in the way of clamps, I've sold at least another half dozen and may sell off some of these at some point.

            Image on top is Texas Instruments FerriShield I made.

            Second row, left to right are:

            TTM Oil Damped weight, designed to be used with TTM Stainless platter mat.
            Walker Black Diamond clamp / weight
            TT Weights Superclamp Brass / Aluminum ~580 gram (I've had at lest eight TT Weights, this is the most neutral of that brand in my system).
            Audio Technica
            Pierre Lurne Audiomeca clamp (Non felt version)
            Stillpoints LPI

            Front row, left to right are:

            Sutherland Engineering Timeline
            Oyaide Variable Weight Stabilizer

            With my Air Tight Opus and Koetsu Coralstone and all tube electronics and silver wire the TTM Stainless mat and matching weight are best. Sound is drastically different with Micro Seiki CU180 and vary with other mats such as Funk Firm, Boston Carbon Fiber and so on.


            • #8
              Sometimes I feel like a weight, sometimes I don't. I have given up figuring out a clear cut preference either way.
              System Gear


              • #9
                The three most effective on the Walker TT, for my tastes, have preferred order...Dalby, followed by Shun Mook, and finally the Walker clamp. The Shun Mook is a tad loose, the Walker a bit stiff and the Dalby, just right. The three are expensive, but the Dalby lists at silly expensive. Occasionally, I'll re-visit the Walker and SM...not for more than a cut or two.
                Avalon Time, Walker Proscenium, Koetsu Coralstone, Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, Goldfinger Statement, Dalby record weight, Kondo KSL-SFz step-up, Jadis JP80-MC...heavily modified, Convergent Audio JL-2 Black Path, Sony NS999 ES Modwright modded, full loom High Fidelity Ultimate cables, Rel S-5 sub, Stillpoints ultra and 5's, Shun Mook, Dalby footers, Critical Mass bases, Acoustic System Resonators, Magnum Dynalab Etude, Telefunkens throughout, assorted fuses, Furutech outlets, PurePower conditioner.


                • Socrates
                  Socrates commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hmm I must admit I do not find the Shun Mook --(loose?)I had the Original version that one maybe--I now use the latest Full size one--but I do agree the Dalby
                  which I have heard is just ahead--but insane pricing-ha!
                  My Mook is superior in nearly all parameters to others I have used on my Shindo 301 and Feickert/4Point.

                • siddh
                  siddh commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hi Soc,

                  The Shun Mook is loose-r when compared to the tautness of the Walker. Could be due to the SM creating a less tight coupling to the platter. The Dalby, with its greater weight, just does the music right.

              • #10
                I didn't see a SOTA Reflex Clamp among those pictures so thought to mention it. One of the great clamps for smooth spindles, at least in its day.

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                I found Chris Brady's cocobolo clamp vastly superior to his phenolic version on a Teres cocoblo table. Nowadays I go back and forth between the Stillpoints LPI and the screw-down clamp that came with my Monaco 1.5. The latter uses washers of different durometer between platter and record which are chosen based on record thickness.

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                Stillpoints on the left, Teres cocobolo on the right.

                The new Monaco 2.0 offers what Alvin calls his "LED True Pressure Clamp System". An internal platter sensor evaluates the pressure and a small LED on the clamp lights up when it is correct. The clamp uses needle roller bearings for fine tuning.


                • Rob
                  Rob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I used the first iteration of the SOTA reflex clamp on a SOTA Star and the Cosmos when it first came out. It was good in its day and came in handy to create a seal around the spindle when using vacuum.
                  Last edited by Rob; 12-01-2016, 06:25 PM.

              • #11
                let me comeback to you all with the result.


                • #12
                  I used a Pro-ject Puck (weight) and the results were spotty and all over the place. My Oracle Paris comes with a supplied Delrin clamp (the platter is Delrin as well). I suspect its use is part of their philosophy so I use it with every record.
                  Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables


                  • Per Sundell
                    Per Sundell commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The Pro-ject Puck was actually the worst of the 13 pucks/clamps I tested.

                  • Johnny Vinyl
                    Johnny Vinyl commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm not surprised!

                • #13
                  I have tried several clamps and the ring and clamp that came with my table have been the best so far.

                  A clear audio weight and ring as it sits rather than clamps


                  • #14
                    Originally posted by Mike Lavigne
                    I compared it side by side with my Rockport Sirius III
                    Mike, is this the same Durand clamp you're using?
                    from what I gather its more of a weight w/o a locking collet that pulls the clamp tight to the spindle but rather press fits (?)


                    • #15
                      Ok so here is the list of pucks/clamps I tested on the Palmer 2.5 (the Wand/Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC) and Nottingham 294 (Acespace 12"/ Zyx Fuji R100). Other equipment used was: Brinkmann Edison phonostage, LFD MCT phonostage, LFD preamp, LFD mono poweramps, Sonus Faber Amati Guarneri Evolution, Nordost TYR 2 Cableloom.
                      Stillpoints LPI
                      Furutech Monza
                      Furutech Monaco
                      JR Audio
                      Oyaide STB-MS
                      Thorens Stabilizer
                      B-fly PG1+
                      Clearaudio Twister Clamp
                      Clearaudio Clever Clamp
                      Michell Engineering
                      Top five were (in this order): Stillpoints, Oyaide, Furutech Monaco, Michell Engineering, Clearaudio Clever Clamp.
                      The top five added microdynamics, inner detailing and generally a calmer playback.

                      The Pro-Ject Puck was without a doubt the worst. The result was overdamped and it sucked all life out of the music.