A record clamp

So I picked up the cheap ($30 or so) Record Doctor clamp from Audio Advisor. I fail to understand how the clamps that cost many times more are worth the extra $$. I get it that other gear may warrant extra $$(amps, speakers, etc) but a clamp that seems to fill the intended purpose isn't really all that complex, is it?

In any case, for $30 this thing seems to be fairly well built and does the job for me.
Yep, my name really is Bob.
Parasound HCA1500, Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, "upgraded" Polk SDA 2B.

Comments

  • SIHABSIHAB Posts: 584
    I bought a clever clamp a few years ago and it does the job for me.
    It is only used for LPs the need help however.
  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 1,967
    I've got into the habit of using the clamp all the time. But it still escapes me what the much more expensive ones have to offer that this fairly cheap one does not.
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500, Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, "upgraded" Polk SDA 2B.
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 12,684
    Does it lift the center of the LP up, while pushing down on the LP while at the same time, grasps the spindle, lifting it up to completely couple the LP to the platter?

    If so, I would imagine just a difference in tone and lower register playback differences.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.
  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 1,967
    I guess this is where the difference is. Doesn't lift up or push down. Simply clamps to the spindle. I apply a bit of downward pressure before turning the knob to grasp the spindle. Maybe one day I'll spring for a higher end one and listen for any difference.
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500, Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, "upgraded" Polk SDA 2B.
  • WillowWillow Posts: 9,315
    Do clamps really matter?

    I feel you I have no clue
    2Ch- B&W 703, SVS PB10 NSD, Marantz NR1607, Parasound 1500a, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (Yellow) with Acrylic platter, Pro-Ject phono pre, MIT AVT 2 speaker cables, MIT AVT 1 and AVT 2 ICs, XLO Jumpers, Tributaries Optical, Signal Cable Magic Power Cables x3, Samsung 55JS7000, Harmony 1100, Sony BDP-S6200, Rotel RDV 1045 (as Transport), Cambridge Audio DAC Magic100, Monster 3600MKII, Android Mi Box3 and Apple TV. - Pool /Gazebo Yamaha RX-A1010, Polk Patio 25x4, Marantz DV 4200 (as CDP) MIT AVT3 ICs - Work - Spotify Premium or Neutron App to my FiiO Kunlun into my Grado SR125e

  • Easy RunninEasy Runnin Posts: 421
    I for one, don’t have a clue. Could someone clearly explain? I thought the definition of couple was to join or link two things together. If you lift the center of an LP up, how is it linked or joined to the platter? How do you lift something up while pushing down? If the clamp is lifting the center, I envision the LP with a shape similar to a contact lens. I can picture the outer portion coupled to the platter but not the inner portion. Wouldn’t such a scenario create tonal difference between the beginning of playback and the end of playback?
    HT- Samsung PN50B860/Integra DTR 30.3/Rt55 Fronts
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  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,247
    The one I have (VDG), which mimics The Clamp, uses a spacer (appropriately sized to compensate for any platter pad thickness plus a little more) to slightly lift the center of the LP before the clamp is applied. When the clamp is tightened, the collet "pulls" on the spindle, this applying downward pressure to the outside edge of the clamp and forcing the LP to lay flat on the platter.

    So a contact lens is a good, if not exaggerated comparison. A clamp is most useful for warped vinyl.
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 7,125
    I use a clamp every time I play a record.
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 558
    I use a Michell clamp, which looks to be similar (in price and operation) to many others, except that a small felt ring is placed over the spindle and sits around the base, underneath the record. I push down on the clamp before tightening. It's more effective on some turntables than others. For example, old changer tables where the spindle can be swapped between single and multi-play don't work very well with clamps since the spindle and clamp will just pull right off even when tightened. A weight would be better than a clamp in this case. Of course this is with the single play spindle...can't put a clamp on a tall multi-play!

    As far as what purpose they serve, I see it as two-fold. One is to help flatten warped records. Newer vinyl pressings of 180 or 200g are so thick that they don't really warp, so the clamp may not be necessary. But older, thinner records can have warps, so a clamp can help flatten them...a bit.

    Second purpose IMO is that the clamp (sort of) couples the record to the platter. Heavier platters are better than light ones, but either way, the clamp attempts to make the record part of the platter, and sort immobilize it for more solid playback and response, particularly in the bass department.

    That's my two cents FWIW. Using one is part of my routine, along with the cleaning/brushing process for vinyl and stylus.
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
  • Dr_WuDr_Wu Posts: 100
    edited February 7
    I use the Record Doctor clamp. To lift the center of the record while using a little downward force while clamping, I bought a few difference thickness neoprene fender washers (about 2.5-3.0" diameter with .25" center hole) at the hardware store. Put one under the record label before clamping (the more the record is warped, the thicker the disc) and the record is secure to the platter and level.
  • I could eat on my plates from college, or my mother's fine china. Both serve food equally well. One is just considered to be nicer. Has a nicer weight, nicer details, nicer feel. All that jazz. That's the main difference I'd expect with various record weights. Just different materials and designs, but functionally the same.

    On the extreme technical end it could be argued that using more exotic material with extremely tight manufacturing tolerances could also help with absorbing, isolation, yadda yadda. But I would shocked if 1/1000 people could tell the difference in any system.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
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  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 12,684
    I don't even have the TT setup some on this board have and I can tell a difference between all 3 record clamps I have. That is very discernible. I would only imagine it would grow exponentially more discernible with a top end TT setup.

    This goes for not only regular LP's but 180/200g as well. YMMV, FWIW.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.
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