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SOUND FOUNTAIN

hobbyists's views for hobbyists
The Universal Record Stabilizer Turntable Weight/Clamp

Original page first published in December, 2001

CHECK:

DIY

Universal Record Weight Soundfountain - Measurements

A Not Too Heavy Turntable Weight
(or Record Clamp) For Better Signal Retrieving,
designed in 1980.

And the 33/45 RPM 2006 design.

Weighing approx. 375 gr.

If you want to make it lighter, than simply change the height of the larger part. But do not forget to keep the hole for the spindle long enough.

Suitable for all Direct Drive Turntables, for
Suspended Turntables like Linn Lp12, Thorens 150, 160, 125, 126, Ariston, Oracle, Technics SL 1200 and other direct drive turntables.
Also suitable for Thorens TD 124,
Garrard 301 and 401. Can be used on the fly.


  • Less Distortion
  • Professionally Machined from Aluminum (NOT from Brass or Stainless Steel) to keep the bloom of the mid-band in tact
  • Improved Dynamics
  • Tighter Bass
  • Precise High Frequency Retrieval
  • Better Transient and Attaque
  • Stable Sound Image
  • Deeper Sound Stage
  • Natural Harmonics
  • For all EP and LP Records

How do you procure this weight?
You can copy the drawing, print it and go to a machine shop and have your weight turned and - if you wish - have it anodized as well.
Or you can order one from me.
I have a limited number of
anodized weights available.

NOTICE:

If you find difficulty having one of the weights made from the drawings of my designs on this page, you may order one from me.


$ 69.95 for the solid grey weight

$ 74.95 for the solid red, black or blue weight


$ 79.95 for the 33/45 grey weight
including adaptor for 7" records with large centre cutout/hole (see images)

$ 85.95 for 33/45 red or blue weight including adaptor for 7" records with large centre cutout/hole (see images)


Shipment via Registered Mail to countries outside the European Community $ 35.

Registered Mail inside the European Community $ 21.

Click to order the Record Weight of your choice.

Record Weight

Basic Turntable 1980 with Universal Record Weight

The Universal Record Weight and Basic Turntable, designed in 1980.
Picture taken by Alexander Smit.


There are various weights and record clamps on the market. But most of them are either too heavy or they can not be used because of the clamp mechanism.

For light sub chassis models (Thorens TD166, TD160, Linn LP12, Ariston, etc.) a very heavy weight is not recommended because it may effect the proper functioning of the springs and thus will alter the resonance of the design. If your suspended turntable is well adjusted than the addition of this appr. 360 weight does not alter the suspension. (See the Turntable Adjustement Page.)


In a forum some expert wrote that there are manufacturers who advise against the use of a weight. The writer cautions his fellow members but does not mention brands or names. He also states that the VTA can be changed by putting a weight (even this light weight stabilizer) over the spindle of the platter.

Well, the man certainly does not know how turntables work. One important aspect of any turntable is that bearing-spindle-platter-tonearm are firmly connected in the horizontal plane . and are an entity. There should be no play, no independent movement possible, horizopntally nor vertically. This construction is crucial.

If the construction was different, than the sound would change with every minute, vertical move of either platter or tonearm, and you would have blurred transients or in fact no transients at all. The frequency characteristic would change constantly.

The Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA) can only be altered by adjusting the arm base, by using a thinner or thicker turntable mat, or by putting sheets of thin cardboard or kraft on top of the mat, or by inserting a thin piece between the cartridge and headshell. No Direct Drive motor or tiny synchronous motor in belt drive turntables will suffer from this light Turntable Weight. See Turntable & Cartridge Adjustment

A screwable clamp (Michel, Goldmund, etc.) can not be used on a machine like a Thorens TD124 for instance, or on a Roksan Xerxes 10 or 20 turntable (if you leave the spindle in).

When a good turntable weight is used it will give a significant improvement of definition, tangebility of sound and transient response. Furthermore it will deminish distortion.

Some audiophiles consider a record clamp-system like the Oracle or Goldmund as the best solution. Others think that these clamps give tension to the vinyl. The Oracle turntable has a threaded spindle on which the clamp can be screwed down and the record automatically is clamped down in a slightly convex manner.
The Goldmund solution is a clamp which is to be used with their slightly concave turntable mat. The Goldmund consists of different materials and that is important for its working and for the effectiveness. A clamp should not have a negative effect on the frequency characteristic.
Screwable clamps have the disadvantage that additional pressure has to be applied in order to obtain the maximum 'bonding' of record and turntable mat (or nude platter) before it is screwed to the spindle. And because of the pressure the bearing of some designs could suffer in the long run.

I propose a pressure weight that can be used on practically every type of turntable.
It is heavy enough to be effective, and it is light enough to not interfere with the design of the turntable. On top of it this weight can be handled easily because of its ergonomical design.

The material, the volume and shape of a record weight is also important for the sound and its function should always be related to the turntable.
The record weight I devised was first of all judged when listened to on many different turntables. Beware of imitations.


HIGH PERFORMANCE

This quality turntable weight is not too expensive if compared to the prices some "audiophile" weights may cost. This weight works well with any stabilizing ring (including the Universal Record Stabilizing Ring which is not in production for the time being).

The quality of the reproduction depends naturally on the quality and nature of the rest of the system.

At right you can read what John Z., a serious audiophile from Great Britain, wrote.


"I was not prepared for its ability to greatly increase my enjoyment of music. (...) The music is now much more balanced and unified (this is the only way I can say it). Every note from lowest bass to highest treble and from pppp to ffff is in obviously correct proportion. Notes previously masked or almost unheard are audible without any straining to hear them. Strong, center-stage vocalists have often obscured individual instruments unless one strained to hear those instruments by taking one's attention away from the vocalist. Now all is heard, all the time, without concentrating on hearing this or that sound. The music is whole, organic, balanced and REAL".

Do never trust manufacturers who start selling you a piece by telling you that the object is beautiful. It should deliver the best sound in the first place. Beauty is secondary.

The measurements are well chosen so that the headshell stays clear from it when it reaches the inner grooves. The height however will not allow most dustcovers to be closed when playing. (But who wants to deteriorate the sound through playing with a dustcover on!)
The base of this design is 70 mm, but can be 80 mm, depending on the aluminum staff which is available in the fatory or work shop. With 7 cm you are on the safe side.
The percentage of lead in the aluminum has an influence on the dampening effect of the clamp on the vinyl. This influence is however relatively small and will only be more significant in high end systems.

The design - Copyright 1980-2013 by Rudolf A. Bruil -
may be used by individuals for personal use.

The height of 20 mm for the opening for the spindle leaves ample room for practically all spindles that you encounter. If you want to, you can make the spindle hole longer.

I designed this weight in 1980 along with my first Basic Turntable and have used it ever since on various turntables with all sorts of mats: rubber, felt, sorbothane. And it works extremely well.
Even if you use a turntable with a glass mat (I do not advise the use of glass). When using an acrylic mat you have to pay attention to it that the record does not slip on the acrylic. The same goes when you do not use a mat at all. Always place the weight on the record when it is not turning! (Note: Why don't I approve of a glas mat, read
The Turntable Mat).

This is the Special Stabilizer Centre Weight including a 45 RPM adaptor for playing 7" 45 RPM discs with large hole, but also for playing 10" and 12" LPs. This is the best and most handy way to play 7" 45 RPM records using a stabilizer weight.

DIY  Universal Record Weight for 45 RPM and 33 RPM Records

This is how to use it:

1. put the adaptor over the spindle.
2. put the record on.
3. place the weight over the adapter.

Now you can play the record. The result: the weight will keep the 7" record firm on the platter and improve the signal
as never before. Naturally this weight gives also excellent results when playing LPs
as it hardly differs from the regular design. Then the adapter is left out.

The design - Copyright 2005-2007 by Rudolf A. Bruil
It may be used by individuals for personal use.


SPINDLE HOLE

There was a discussion on the internet about the right size of the spindlehole and some people suggested that the stabilizer should have a snug fit on the spindle of a particular turntable in use. Spindle diameters vary. In my collection of turntables there is only one which has a spindle with a diameter of 7.25 mm. All other tables have spindles which measure slightly less. So the stabilizer's spindlehole should be at least 7.25 mm. A stabilizr that fits too tight is not easy to handle.

TOTAL WEIGHT

There was also a discussion on what material to take for this weight. Some wanted a heavy weight. They are the people who think that everything that is tight, strong and heavy brings about the best signal. So they think a very heavy clamp is the solution as they also think that damping a turntable with many bithumous sheets makes the music flow. That is not true at all. They forget or do not know that the material and the total weight added do have a specific influence on the quality of the signal.
It is about speed of sound in various materials. The speed of sound in stainless steel is different from that in aluminum.

HARMONICS

The harmonious build up differs also. Specifically the reproduction of the midband shows a positive difference. Why would you like to clamp down a vinyl disc of 125 gr (or 180 at the most) with 2,5 lbs. But not only that. Why would you add such a weight to a realtively light platter with bearing?
Others were afraid that the weight of around 350 gr. (or slightly more) would be too heavy for a Linn LP12 as it would need adjustments of the spring suspension. The Linn Sondek (whatever model) will support the weight of 350 gr. with ease. And what is important as well: the LP12 will benefit from the use of this weight.

See also: The Universal Record Stabilizing Ring

 

NOTICE:

If you find difficulty having one of the weights made from the drawings of my designs on this page, you may order one from me.


$ 69.95 for the solid grey weight

$ 74.95 for the solid red, black or blue weight


$ 79.95 for the 33/45 grey weight
including adaptor for 7" records with large centre cutout/hole (see images)

$ 85.95 for 33/45 red or blue weight including adaptor for 7" records with large centre cutout/hole (see images)

Shipment via Registered Mail to countries outside the European Community $ 35.

Registered Mail inside the European Community $ 21.

Click to order the Record Weight of your choice.

How do you procure either weight?
There are various possibilities:

You can save the drawing of the weight you want to have and print it. Then take the drawing to a metal workshop and ask the machinist to turn the weight you want to have.

If you want the 33/45 RPM weight: the adaptor measures 39 mm in diameter and is 8 mm high.

You also can take the 45 RPM adaptor you are currently using and have it measured by the machinist.

The room for the adaptor should be slightly larger in diameter so the stabilizer slides easily over spindle and adaptor.

Do ask for aluminum. If you take bronze or stainless steel, the proportions (especially the height) of the weight should be recalculated in relation to the density of the metal, in order to not exceed 350 to 390 gr. By using a different metal, you will also have a slightly different sound!

The drawings on this page will give a weight of about 370 grs. You can have it brushed and anodized or you just can polish it yourself which is cheaper. Ask the turner about the cost beforehand.

The Technics SL1100 turntable with Rabco Tangential Arm,
Universal Record Stabilizing Ring and Universal Record Weight.

A l t e r a t i o n s

Ever since it was designed in 1980, the proposed record weight is in fact just a plain piece of aluminum machined according to the drawings on this page. The most important aspects of the design were the relative low weight and the ergonomic shape, plus - of course - what this simple weight does to the reproduction of every long playing record, old and new, mono and stereo, and whatever music the groove holds. The significance of the weight and form can be heard: more precision, better transient response and less distortion. There is the improved reproduction of all frequencies without emphesizing one section of the response curve. And there is always the improved rendition of the mid band.

We have heard the same effects on high-end turntables in great audio sets as well as on the less costly turntables in affordable sound systems. I know of and heard the effect on a Linn turntable with a Goldmund mat, on two different Nottingham Analog turntables, on several Technics turntables and on the SP-10Mk2, on a Lenco 78, on a Transrotor Fat Bob, on the Thorens TD 124, etc.

The contact between the surface of the weight and the label of the records varies and is generally only partly, and most of the time the weight just presses on the label around and near the spindle. The 33/45 weight (described below) does the job in a different way. The weight has a chamber for the use of a 45 RPM adaptor. Therefor the contact with the label is over a larger area, away from the spindle, more towards the periphery of the label.

It was Philip Fregeau from the US, who - after procuring the "solid" weight - contacted me about the way the original weight touched the record label. He wanted a better contact and asked a machinist to make two modifications. He wrote:


"This is to let you know that I have had a local machine shop make 2 small modifications that have proven very beneficial. The first is a 1/16 inch X 45 degree bevel to the bottom outside edge which allows the weight to sit firmly within the depressed center portion of records that were pressed in that configuration. In my collection there are many. The second is a 3/32 inch by 60 degree flair to the spindle hole opening which eliminates contact between the weight and any excess vinyl left by the record hole punching operation. In my collection this vinyl debris is common enough for concern." - Philip Fregeau

DIY Universal Record WeightIn the past I have contemplated many times to alter the weight just by having a flair at he spindle hole as was done by several audio firms already decades ago, and in whatever form. It would have been logical to alter the design. However it never came to this because the results without a flair were very good. Originally the size of the weight was 8 cm (3/14 inch) but I reduced this to 7 cm (2 3/4 inch) as there were occasions when a wide headshell would touch the weight in the end. That was the only main alteration. I originally had a length of 25 mm (about 1 inch) for the spindle but this was reduced because even 20 mm spindles were not encountered, not even on the Technics SP-10Mk2. Though the length of the spindle hole seemed Ok, the weight is obstructed by the length of the spindle on Fregeau's VPI turntable.

 

 

Conclusion: If you are a DIYer or ask a machinist to turn the 1980 design, you can decide for yourself if you want to alter the weight by changing the flair or even go further and have the bottom beveled according to Philip Fregeau's idea. But be aware of what it does to the sound.

Original page first published in December, 2001



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