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Who uses them, are they worth it and which one to buy?

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I use a weight on my big idler drive.  It certainly makes the record grip the mat better, and flattens some warping.   I like to hold a small brush on the record while it spins, before playing, to remove the last bit of dust, and the weight prevents dish-warped records from sliding while I apply the brush, for example.

 

As for sound difference - no I would not commit to any big differences.  I would need to do a DBT  before I was sure, so it cannot be a large difference but I think they look cool :) 

 

Which one?  Why not just get a cheap one from eBay to experiment?  That's all I am using.

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They are not suitable for suspended turntables. 

Which one?  They come with a wide price range, and I'm not sure that the different prices reflect anything different about them if they are of similar mass (and are just a weight, not a weight/clamp).  Some are heavier than others.  I would be wary of the very heavy, as these would put more wear on the bearing.  Otherwise, last time I looked most were of a similar mass. 

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I can send a pdf of a drawing of the weight I based mine on, weighs around 560 grammes.

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If on a DD table, make sure the motor torque is up to the task of the weight you use, or it may cause strain on the drive system.

 

Then there is the bearing wear issue as mentioned by @audiofeline

 

Clamps are probably better than weights for some tables.

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I use the JA Michell one which has a collet that grips the spindle.

Helps in all the ways Aussievintage describes above, and being a clamp rather than a weight, does not cause any significant load on the motor.

Noticed that the price of these has doubled since I bought mine, but to be fair, that was back in 2010.

 

 

JA Michell Record Clamp.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I don't own one (yet), but I do have a preference for the appeal of a peripheral ring weight, since seeing one at @Warren M.'s,  These can be more costly than a cheap turntable, but you probably would not use it with one anyway.

I have been checking out pricing and reviews for a number of weights and clamps for a while.

Here's one that is priced to promote sales right now. https://www.waynesaudio.com/product-page/turntable-outer-ring-for-vpi-clearaudio-basis-kronos-hanss-micro-seiki-music-lin

 

 

Edited by Uncle Seth
clarification and extra detail

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Posted (edited)

I've used a number of clamps and various weights.

1. Clamps which push down on the record at say 3 points, e.g. Audio Technica, are diabolically bad! They audibly degrade the soundstage. DO NOT USE THEM. I can sell you mine if you insist. Clamps which push down hard in a circle are not much better.

2. Clamps which gently couple with the record are a lot better, but in my opinion a good (and appropriate) weight sounds a lot better again.

3. Different turntables have different weight limits that they can cope with. Suspended subchassis turntables, like the Linn LP12, CAN cope with modest weights (say 350-450g) but the suspension MUST be balanced WITH THE WEIGHT ON. Critically, if you use a weight on a suspended subchassis turntable, you must ALWAYS use it!!! Check with a service centre or manufacturer that your turntable suspension can cope with the weight.

4. Unless your non-suspended turntable uses a very low torque motor, it should be able to cope with any reasonable weight.

5. I don't use a weight on my Australian Once Analog turntable. I use TWO weights! With every single record. I use the Once Nugget 1.4kg centre weight and the TTWeights TTMega 1.2kg ring weight. That's over 2.5kg added to the momentum of the record, as well as flattening tiny degrading warps, minor warps and most major warps. This combination offers profound audible improvements on almost every record I play! And I've never heard a record sound worse with the weights than without. See previous posts about alternatives to the TTWeights products which are no longer available.

Edited by Warren M.

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21 hours ago, Batty said:

I can send a pdf of a drawing of the weight I based mine on, weighs around 560 grammes.

I did think I could get a friend with a lathe to make one.

20 hours ago, Uncle Seth said:

I don't own one (yet), but I do have a preference for the appeal of a peripheral ring weight, since seeing one at @Warren M.'s,  These can be more costly than a cheap turntable, but you probably would not use it with one anyway.

I have been checking out pricing and reviews for a number of weights and clamps for a while.

Here's one that is priced to promote sales right now. https://www.waynesaudio.com/product-page/turntable-outer-ring-for-vpi-clearaudio-basis-kronos-hanss-micro-seiki-music-lin

 

 

I though this was my Wall album after my wife used it as a sunshade.
That's a brilliant idea

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Thanks for the input all I bought off ebay for $30. It has a level in the middle.
Not sure how a weight needs a freq rating? I got a 60Hz one incase it does some magic

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50 Hz for Australia.

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1 hour ago, Peter-E said:

Not sure how a weight needs a freq rating?

 

It's a strobe for speed checks.  I think it's really to make it look cooler :)  The level actually helps.

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58 minutes ago, Peter-E said:

Thanks for the input all I bought off ebay for $30. It has a level in the middle.
Not sure how a weight needs a freq rating? I got a 60Hz one incase it does some magic

The Frequency rating is only for the strobe printed/etched on the weight.

So don't use the strobe on the one you've purchased to adjust your turntable speed.

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ok i just noticed the freq marking on top.
I guess it's to pretty the thing up a little.  

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18 minutes ago, Peter-E said:

ok i just noticed the freq marking on top.
I guess it's to pretty the thing up a little.  

The strobe markings can be good to check the tt's running at the correct speed, but the markings are dependent on the electric supply in the country it's used in and viewing under an incandescent light.  A 50hz strobe in Australia will have the lines appear stationary when the speed is correct, they will appear to rotate slightly if the platter's rotation is slightly fast/slow.  The 60hz strobe lines will look like a blur in Aust.  There are 50hz strobes that can be downloaded and printed from the interweb for free. 

 

So they are practical as well as pretty.  Another use is that it gives you something to look at if you are very bored by the record that's playing, or have indulged in substances which make you captivated by otherwise trivial things while listening to music! 

 

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1 hour ago, audiofeline said:

The strobe markings can be good to check the tt's running at the correct speed, but the markings are dependent on the electric supply in the country it's used in and viewing under an incandescent light.  A 50hz strobe in Australia will have the lines appear stationary when the speed is correct, they will appear to rotate slightly if the platter's rotation is slightly fast/slow.  The 60hz strobe lines will look like a blur in Aust.  There are 50hz strobes that can be downloaded and printed from the interweb for free. 

 

So they are practical as well as pretty.  Another use is that it gives you something to look at if you are very bored by the record that's playing, or have indulged in substances which make you captivated by otherwise trivial things while listening to music! 

 

i think i'll just use the TTs built in speed adjustment.
I'm passed that kind of indulgent afraid to say

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1 hour ago, audiofeline said:

  A 50hz strobe in Australia will have the lines appear stationary when the speed is correct, they will appear to rotate slightly if the platter's rotation is slightly fast/slow. 

Of course it's only as accurate as the mains frequency and that can be wrong.  I believe it used to be specified as an average over some period, so it can be wrong while you actually use it for measurement and still meet the overall specification.

 

I have found phone apps that are quite accurate - not the strobe ones, but the ones that measure the phone's rotation directly.

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2 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Of course it's only as accurate as the mains frequency and that can be wrong.  I believe it used to be specified as an average over some period, so it can be wrong while you actually use it for measurement and still meet the overall specification.

 

I have found phone apps that are quite accurate - not the strobe ones, but the ones that measure the phone's rotation directly.

I've brought a laser tachometer cheaply from China/eBay.  Accurate and easy to use. 

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does anyone has a summery of what problem(s) a weight/clamp is supposed to solve?

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24 minutes ago, jeromelang said:

does anyone has a summery of what problem(s) a weight/clamp is supposed to solve?

Two benefits that I can think of

  1. it enables the record to be more securely coupled with the platter, which would presumably result in enhanced response, soundstage and separation
  2. if the record has a slight warp the weight/clamp could help flatten the record and therefore removing artifacts that result from the warp, and improve the aspects suggested above.

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10 hours ago, Peter-E said:

Thanks for the input all I bought off ebay for $30. It has a level in the middle.
Not sure how a weight needs a freq rating? I got a 60Hz one incase it does some magic

I have one of those. They are well made and look really good......I got mine for 'decreasing resonance'😁.

 

I'm not sure if it makes a real noticeable difference but as I said, it's looks really good.😎

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Mine.

IMG_0004.thumb.JPG.6156ad887364dc0610eb82fbdb3976cf.JPG

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