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hobbyists's views for hobbyists
The Universal Record Stabilizing Ring


Improved Stereo Image With Less Distortion


Martin Bastin's Garrard 401 with Hadcock arm, Cartridge Man's Music Maker III cartridge and The Universal Record Stabilizing Ring.

Martin Bastin's Garrard 401 with Hadcock arm, Cartridge Man's Music Maker III cartridge, and
The Universal Record Stabilizing Ring.
(Picture courtesy Stewart Wennen / HiFi World.)

"The Universal Record Stabilizing Ring", the wooden crate for safe transport and storage,
the Circular Centering Disc for perfect positioning of the ring on the record's periphery,
the extensive Instruction Manual, and the paper with the Philosophy explaining the how and the why.

The design and names 'Universal Record Stabilizing Ring', 'URSR', and 'The Universal RSR' are Copyright 2003-2013 by Rudolf A. Bruil.


Excerpts from Comments by Users of a Universal RSR:

(...) Mediocre pressings sounded much more musical than before and my better recordings and pressings were dazzling. (...) Thanks for designing such a killer product. It's one of the best Hi-Fi investments I've ever made.
Gary Ketron, USA

After several weeks playing LPs with your wonderful Universal RSR, I can conclude that I will play LPs with this RSR for the rest of my life.
Yiu Fai Wong, Hong Kong

I like the RSR even more than the Trio/Kenwood Outer Disk Stabilizer Ring DS-20 I used to own. I can always land the stylus well before the outer track starts and the round centering tool is more effective than the 3-point star tool.
Lawrence Kelly, USA

Alle platen die ik zonder de stabilisatie ring speelde, klonken niet meer goed, zelfs al had ik ze nog niet met de USR gehoord. Het toont eens te meer aan dat de verbetering van het 'front end' van het grootste belang is. Het is beter daar te beginnen dan kosten te maken voor nieuwe kabels, pluggen, of zelfs een nieuw pick up element.
Rob Veerhuis, Nederland

... the sound is considerably improved. Separation of vocals and instruments is clearer, bass is stronger and more controlled and highs are, well, higher! The Michell clamp works well and complements your product very well indeed.
Robert Jolley, Great Britain

Qualche novità...... Ciao, Gianni
Giovanni Cimbalo, Italy

The ring works and I can play all the warped records I have now with no need to worry.
Hab am selben Abend Verglichen (mit und ohne), da fiel mir komischerweise im gesamten Frequenzbereich ein deutlich klareres Klangbild auf. Weniger verschwommen und viel differenzierter. Ausserdem weniger nervös und verzerrt bei erhöhtem Pegel/dichterer Modulation. Allerdings höre ich so gut wie nie klassische Musik und kann diesbezüglich natürlich nicht differenzieren, doch fielen mir im Vergleich die v.g. Punkte auf. Der Bass kommt knackiger, weniger weich und erscheint mir kraftvoller.

Josef Schaffrath, Germany

This ring certainly enables the listener to really feel the emotional impact of music!
Surface noise is dramatically lowered, Stereo image is much, much larger. Bass is much tighter and treble to mid-range is a lot smoother.
This ring improved all of my turntables by an enormous margin. The ring allows me to play my pre-1961 LPs.
The sound is wonderful. It removes a veil from the recording and the music flows into my listening room. Thank you!

Stewart Wennen, audio journalist, HiFi World, Great Britain

I listened yesterday evening until night and the result is incredible. What struck me immediately is the balance of the sound when using the RSR; the sharp edges of the highs had completely disappeared. The base is more controlled and the stereo image is more open. High class, Rudolf.
Wim van Reusel, Belgium

The RSR has arrived and is already up and running. What a wonderfully cost effective upgrade this is. Even my thin old CBS vinyl now sounds beautiful. (...) My Rega P25 which in my view is a turntable that already performs well above its price level, now sounds like a super-deck.
Dr. Lawrence Watson, Great Britain

Well Rudolf, the RSR has landed on my turntable and all day long I can not make the silly smile on my face go away... The thing works big time!!! The improvements are : More of intimacy, timbre, instruments have much more presence, one can walk between the players in the orchestra, quieter background, vinyl noise gone, music simply flows much easier.
Zelimir Frigan, Zagreb <http://www.fbm-rondo.hr>

The RSR gives that extra presence and accuracy and diminishes distortion. I am hooked on the RSR and could not do without it. All records that I played without the RSR did not sound right any longer, even if I had not heard them with the RSR before.
Once again it shows that the improvement of the front end is of the utmost importance. One better starts there before making expenses for new cables, plugs, or even a new cartridge.
Rob Veerhuis, Amsterdam

Great piece. Has a profound effect on the system. Best I have ever heard my records sound. Even my 14 year old gets it.
Thanks for a great product

Jim O'Donnell, USA

Thank you for the RSR: I am really enjoying it and I enjoyed reading your philosphy. (...) Congratulations on your work.
Dr. Leonard Lee, Australia

I got my periphery ring yesterday--started using it today. I've been listening to records straight since I got home from work. I don't want to leave the stereo. It is making every record sound better. Some by a very large degree. I wish I could call in sick tomorrow...
What I'm noticing is this:
-better focus and detail
-more and better defined bass
-reduced surface noise and inner groove distortion
It made some old UK London Roy Orbison monos I have sound like new presses...beautiful.

Dale Sinner, Japan

The product is excellent. My system is Garrard 301 with Riffaud bearing, and now Rudolf A. Bruil RSR. I am an idler believer for speed stability. After a while, changing mats and all (...), and now everything is better than ever. You get a bit more of every good thing, and no draw backs. Less background noise, more bass, middle, treble, even volume, perhaps it feels that way since the noise floor is down.
Ilkka Ipusa, Finland

 


The 'Universal Record Stabilizing Ring'
The Experience of Being There!
(With apologies to Mercury Living Presence Records.)

The Universal Record Stabilizing Ring:

  1. Optimum Coupling of Record to Turntable Platter / Mat as no other device can achieve
  2. Lowers Noise Floor Significantly
  3. Eliminates Resonances and Lowers Distortion and End-Of-Side Distortion
  4. Provides Pure Signal Retrieval
  5. Gives Realistic Sound Reproduction
  6. Improves Stereo Image and Focussing
  7. Stabilizes Sound Image
  8. Seperates Instruments and Groups of Instruments
  9. Less Record Wear as a Lower Downforce is Possible
  10. Will flatten most warped records
  11. For Musiclover, Analog Fan and High-End Adept
  12. Gives Improved Signal when Burning Quality CDs from LPs

Read the
Review in Positive Feedback On Line, Issue 20.

Read the
Review in HiFi World.

Visit the pages of Soundscape HiFi Singapore:
More Pictures
View TKP's System at the Soundscape Hifi Website

And have a look at
The Gallery of Pictures submitted by Owners of the Universal RSR

 

The Universal RSR received the PFO Writers' Choice Award, 2005.
Scroll down one third of
this page
Positive Feeback Online, issue 22.

How to Achieve Similarities Between Lacquer Cutting and the Playback of Lp Records.
Universal RSR for practically all turntables
The playback of a record should mimic the way the lacquer was cut as close as possible.
The stereo cutter head has two coils which move in a magnetic field.
The coils are connected to a yoke which has a limited freedom to move. It is not a fixed mount.
The cutter diamond has a specific shape.
The cutter head is a moving coil design.


These are all reasons why many people swear by a cartridge with moving coils (which is built in essence like the cutterhead).
They also swear by a stylus with a similar "sharp" shape akin to the shape of the cutter diamond.

NOTE: That is why Aalt Jouk Van Den Hul and also the late Dr. Weinz (of the Weinz Paroc tip) designed their needle tips with the specific shapes which come very close to the shape of the cutter diamond in the cutter head. These specific shapes make it even more necessary to minimize the tracking error of the cartridge/tone arm.
Since records were cut using coils wound of copper wire and since the mixing consoles and amplifiers were also wired with copper and the microphone cables and other connecting cables did and still do have copper leads, I personally am against the use of silver wire in coils, cables and electronics. I am also against the dominant use of lead in so called sophisticated cables and turntables for that matter. I also do not like cabinets and loudspeaker enclosures which have large compartments filled with sand.
If lead is used it should always be used in small percentages. Too much lead and using it pure kills the transient because it changes the linearity of the frequency curve and suppresses basic frequencies, and it limits the speed of the signal.

1. Adjustable Playback Equalization Curve

The modern tips do a very fine job, specifically with records from the nineteen seventies. But also with vintage recordings the retreiving of the engraved signal is stepped up significantly and will reveal much more detail because of the improved contact of the stylus with the groove wall. This also results in less distortion.
On top of that there are collectors who want to bring their playback systems to perfection and use a preamplifier with an adjustable playback curve which makes it possible to mirror the curve that was used by the cutting engineer of that specific label, before the RIAA curve was generally adopted.
These and other measures are of course only paying off if important adjustments have been made:
- loading the cartridge correctly (impedance and capacitance),
- the correct downforce and anti skating have been applied,
- the correct azimuth has been adjusted,
- the best vertical tracking angle has been set.
See: Turntable Set Up & Tonearm Adjustments

2. The Use of a Weight or Clamp

Still at one point the mimicking of the way the lacquer disc was cut is not fullfilled. During the cutting process the lacquer from which the matrix is made was held tight to the platter of the lathe by means of air suction (vacuum pump).
That also has to be achieved in one way or another during the playback of the record.
In order to improve the immobility of the record during playback all sorts of devices were developped in the nineteen seventies:

1. A record stabilizer put over the spindle, which by its weight holds down the record in the center.

2. A record clamp with a screwing device which tightens around the spindle and keeps the record in contact with a slight concave (Goldmund) or convex (Oracle) platter/mat. The contact surface is improved and warps can sometimes be minimised.
The aim of any clamp or stabilizing weight is to lower and attenuate the resonance frequency of the record and turntable mat and to give vibrations no chance. Despite these gadgets a good contact between record and platter could still be improved. Hence the emerging of the more professional solutions of Micro Seiki and Kenwood.

3. Using a Vacuum Platter or Vacuum Mat

Micro Seiki and SAEC

1. Micro Seiki produced those wonderful giant turntables like the SX8000 with air bearing and vacuum platter suction. But also the less expensive models BL-99 (with a SAEC 407/YM or Micro MA505MkII tonearm depicted here), the SX-555 and the SX-111 machines were equipped with a vacuum platter which had a light force, just sufficient to keep the record in contact with the mat over its entire surface.

2. Another device to improve the immobility of the record is the "Thorens disc-contact". The mat works like any vacuum mat, but in this case the vacuum pump is not incorporated in the turntable. The mat has to be glued to the platter.

After putting a record on, the special puck is placed on the spindle. A tube which is connected to a small vacuum pump is placed over the valve in the center of the puck. After 15 seconds a vaccum is obtained between record and mat. After disconnecting the tube, the valve has to be locked by placing a small sealing discs (the size of a 45 RPM adaptor) so no air can return to the cavity between mat and record. Then the playing can begin.

4. Adding a Periphery Ring or Peripheral Clamp

Kenwood L-07D
1. Kenwood produced their heavy L-07D turntable with a centre stabilizing weight and a matching record stabilizing ring (DS-20) to keep the record at its periphery in firm contact with the mat for improved signal reading, and for flattening warps.
Kenwood DS20
L07D - Iimages of the Kenwood turntable with stabilizing weight and Outer Disk Ring provided by Mr. Howard.

 


Designing and Using a Stabilizing Ring

The Trio-Kenwood "Outer Disk Stabilizer" was meant for use with the top of the line L-07D turntable developped in the late nineteen seventies and marketed in the beginning of the nineteen eighties. The profile of the specific stabilizing ring fitted the platter of that 35 kg. heavy turntable. You can try to visit Howard's Kenwood L-07D page.

The Kenwood inspired those who had heard the effect this ring has on the reproduction. But with the advent and prolifiration of the Compact Disc, black vinyl was just for a few backward people who - while being well aware of the user friendly aspects of the CD - knew very the limitations of the CD format. To my knowledge similar rings were not proposed by other manufacturers untill much later. Clearaudio from Germany made their Outer Limit Ring available and other turntable manufacturers like VPI and Merrill introduced their peripheral record clamps/rings, in the 1990s. Lateron Christos Skaloumbakas (Audio Club of Athens) designed his own heavy Disc-'o'-Ring which differed from Mr. Suchy's Clearaudio Outer limit Disc Ring. Since the Introduction of the Universal Stabilizing Ring more designers are in the process of experimenting and will come up with a ring eventually. Most recently (2008) the TTOuter Stabilizing Ring of 600 Gram Solid Copper has been designed.
However, there is a distinctive difference between developing a peripheral ring or designing such a ring.

Experiments

In the year 2003 I made various prototypes of stabilizer rings, using a variety of materials.
In order to be able to produce a few rings, it was necessary to ask hifi hobbyists and music lovers to participate in a DIY project so it could be financed. That is why participants could obtain a ring for less than the price of the materials and the cost of the hours of work, let alone the cost of the design.

Initially three different rings were constructed and evaluated:

1) A heavy, all stainless steal ring weighing about 1133 grs. for turntables with heavy platters from 6 to 20 kg.).

2) An all stainless steel ring weighing approximately 740 grs. also for use with relatively heavy turntables with strong suspensions.

3) A ring of stainless steel with acrylic weighing appr. 550 grs. for use with all sorts of turntables: light floating suspension tables and very heavy turntables and all the types in between. This ring is especially for those people who use more than one turntable, light and heavy ones.

On first hearing the addition of a heavy, all steel ring of 1133 gr. to a heavy turntable system one is struck by the clean sound and the depth of the sound stage. But the heavier the ring, the heavier and deeper the sound of the instruments will be. The plasticity of the sound increases and the soundstage improves, and at the same time the sound is very well controlled, but the sound lacks the speed it normally has without the use of a ring. The second ring (the all steel ring of 740 gr.) does in fact the same to a somewhat lesser extend.
The question however is: How heavy should a ring be for a specific cartridge-arm-turntable combination.
There is also the fact that the playback system used by the producer, the recording technician and the cutting engineer who together made the recording, played a significant role in the final product. If there were aspects in the reproduction which were not to their liking, alterations could be made in the final mix and in the dynamics when cutting the laquer disc. The playback system they used (which was their reference) certainly did not have a Record Stabilizing Ring.

Universal Use

So the 550 gr. ring became The Universal Stabilizing Ring.

1. This ring is effective in flattening most lightly warped records.

2. It is very effective in damping of resonances in the vinyl which are generated by the cartridge and are caused by the fact that the record lays loose on the platter. The application of the Universal RSR is that the cartridge performs correctly as it now can read the signal in a more immobilized groove.

NOTE: A trough at the arm base (SME) or at the level of the cartridge (Townshend) will reduce the proliferation of the resonances stemming from the groove, but will not stop the occurrence of these resonances. Stopping them can only be done by a Record Stabilizing Ring.

3. On top of that this ring can be used on many turntables, the lighter suspended chassis types and medium and heavy turntables.

4. Furthermore the point of gravity of this ring lies below the vinyl record.



Many audiophiles want to free the signal of distortion by using specific phono stages and interconnects and specific loudspeaker cables.
Some turntables and/or tonearms have a small or large trough to control the behaviour of the cartridge and the arm. The troughs do purify the sound by controlling the low frequencies generated in the cartridge. At the same time they suppress the top harmonics which are part of the natural sound. The cartridge does not function as it is intended to.
Purification can sometimes go too far. It does not take too much insight to understand that the solutions of phono cables and troughs are in fact the proverbial horse behind the cart.

So is the Direct Metal Mastering solution. In many cases I do not like records cut the Direct Metal Mastering way too much. This method eliminates the microscopic vibrations of the acoustic instruments as the cutter diamond has to plow through "heavy metal". The signal has to be fed to the coils in the cutter head by very powerful amplifiers. The result is a very controlled signal. Controlled, yes. Finely detailed? No!
DMM compensates for an anomaly in many turntables: the bad coupling of the record to the platter. And that is where the Universal Record Stabilizing Ring comes into play as it provides an optimal coupling of platter and whatever record you play, be it vintage or modern.

Better invest in a better coupling first and decide about cables and troughs in the second place.

The Universal RSR improves the contact between record and platter (mat). A lot of the distortion in the sound reproduction are resonances in the vinyl, generated by the cartridge. These resonances are increased because the record has 'free play' (bad contact between record and platter).
With the Universal RSR the record lays still. The result is that distortion is minimal. And what is important: the distortion from a worn groove does no longer with the minute vibrations of a loose vinyl disc. The addition of the Universal RSR makes that the distortion from a bad groove is now less complex and no longer irritating to the ear.

The Universal RSR will flatten most slightly warped records. The main function of the Universal RSR is the increased precision of the signal which no heavy ring can give: width, depth, height, fopcussing. With the URSR the saxophone player is a human being, the singer has soul and the instruments sound completely real as never before.

One realizes oneself that much of the ultra high frequency content normally delivered by the cartridge is mere distortion, caused by the minute movement (vibrations) of the record and it is not information engraved in such a way in the groove.
In other words: with the RST the high frequencies are no longer fantasy-high-frequencies as with the extreme oversampling in digital formats. The use of the URSR increases the realism of the symphony orchestra and really gives the feeling of 'being there'.

The RSR Versus Vacuum Mat

There are various vacuum systems. They were devised and marketed in the nineteen seventies by Audio Technica, Micro Seiki, and Luxman. There was also a Thorens vacuum pump which had to be placed over the spindle.

There is a significant difference between the sound read from a record held down by a vacuum and the sound read from a record coupled to the mat/platter by means of the weight of a peripheral ring and a stabilizer weight or clamp placed over the spindle.
The difference lies in the weight. By adding a Universal RSR to the LP, additional mass is added to the vinyl because it is in contact with the mat/platter. This means that the record itself becomes a different object. In what way is determined by the weight of the ring and spindle weight. In other words: it depends on the weight of these objects. A heavy weight compresses the sound somewhat and alters the natural balance of it. In principle, a lightweight ring (like the Universal RSR) does not alter the sound balance, but only will make the sound more precise. That is why the final version of the Universal RSR was empirically devised and then carefully re-calculated.

By making use of a vacuum to hold the record down and couple it to the mat or directly to the platter, there should not be a more, or a less vacuum. Vacuum is vacuum. But in practise the quality of the signal is not the same from beginning to end. (There is actually an owner of a vacuum mat who still puts a Record Stabilizing Ring on the priphery of the record and thus obtains the right coupling he wants to.
The Universal RSR acts always in the same manner.


The following records are significant in testing the Universal RSR:

* Milt Jackson+Count Basie+The Big Band : Good Time Blues - Pablo 2310 822.

* Gérard Badini (tenor) and The Swing Machine, with Xavier Chambon (trumpet), Marc Hemmeler (piano), Jack Sewing (bass), Michel Denis (drums): Swing Revival, The Eely One - Disques Black and Blue 33.060.

* Roger Williams's Songs of the Fabulous Forties: Nature Boy - Kapp KX 5003-S.

* Bizet's 'Jeux d'enfants', Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra - Philips 9500 443.

* Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 played by pianist Mischa Dichter - Philips 6514 073.

* Pepe Romero (guitar) plays Joaquin Rodrigo: En los trigales, Sonata a la espagnola - Philips 9500 915.

* Myung Wha Chung, cello, and Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Charles Dutoit playing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations - Decca SXL 6955 (411 210-1).

* Ann Burton Louis Van Dyke Collection: I can't give you anything but love - Artone DJV 6003

* Marius Constant and "Solistes de l'ensembla Ars Nova": "14 Stations pour percussion et six instruments" (M. Constant) - Erato

* Philippe Entremont plays 'Oeuvre pour le piano' (Ravel - Complete Works for Piano) a beautiful French pressing and extraordinary recording. Record 76311 with Pavane pour une infante defunte, A la manière de Chabrier, etc. - CBS

Plus a variety of monaural and stereophonic recordings. These records provide drama, subtlety, dynamics, transients, timbre, the recordings were made in small and large spaces and have the sound of all sorts of instruments.

The turntables we tested the Universal RSR on were:

a) Linn Axis with Basic arm and Van Den Hul Grasshopper;
b) DIY turntable with DIY tonearm with Denon DL103; Check.
c) Technics SL1100 with Rabco SL-8E and Shure M75 (what a sound!);
d) Nottingham Analogue Hyper Space Deck with Space arm and NA3 MM cartridge;
e) Thorens TD 150 with original arm and Pickering V15;
f) Goldring Lenco L78 with Denon DL103.
g) Technics SP-10mk2 with Yamaha tonearm and with Shure M75, with Shure V15VxMR, Philips GP422mkII and Audio Technica ATN 120 cartridges.
h) Linn LP 12 with Itok and with EMT Van Den Hul and Michell Record Clamp.
i) Micro Seiki BL91 with Origin Live tonearm and Grado cartridge.
i) Nottingham Analogue Hyper Space Deck with the Music Maker Conductor arm and Music Maker 3 cartridge.
j) Garrard 301 and 401. Unfortunetaley for the owners of a 301 with Shindo platter, the RSR cannot be used with this larger platter.

(And many more.)

The RSR cannot be used on the Thorens TD 124 because it will touch the handle (knob) of the clutch. Some do use it and have added an extra thick mat for clearance. I myself do not use the RSR on the TD 124. Also the Technics SP-15 and SP-25 do not accept the RSR because of their large platters.

In nearly all cases the audio systems had high end components and speakers: Audio Research, Hiraga, Accuphase, Bowers & Wilkins, Cardas loudspeaker cable, interconnects and power cords, Monster M1 Mk2 loudspeaker cables, etc. And in all cases the Universal Aluminum Disc Stabilizer/Record Clamp, a Goldmund clamp and in case of the LP12 a Michell clamp was used.

On the Nottingham, the Technics SL-1100, the Technics SP-10mk2 and the DIY turntable my Universal Aluminum Disc Stabilizer/Record Clamp as discribed on another page was used. On the Linn Axis with Goldmund Mat the special Goldmund Clamp was used as well as the aluminum clamp. The heavy rings were tested on my DIY turntable with DIY arm and Denon DL-103 because these rings were too heavy for most of the other turntables.

The Universal RSR performs well with all turntable mats: acrylic mats and various rubber mats can be used, and with no mat at all as on the Nottingham Analogue Hyper Space Deck. Even with the felt mat on the LP 12 the RSR performed wonders and brought the Linn a step higher on the quality ladder.

There is always that touch of improved harmonics which ads to the realism of the instruments. The heavy rings are not suitable for the lightweight platter turntables like the suspended types (Linn LP12 and Thorens TD 150, 160 etc.) and are also not suitables for the Linn Axis and the Technics SL-1100 because they represent a too heavy burden for these tables.

The 550 grs. Universal RSR is suitable for the Technics SP-10mk2 only if the mechanical break has been adjusted to give a smooth start-up and breaking time. And only in conjuction with a centre stabilizing weight. The sonic result is really excellent.
How the RSR performs on various turntables is reported by owners at the beginning of this page.

Technics SP-10 with universal RSR

Since the lightweight ring can be used on practically all turntables with different platter diameters, it really is a universal ring.

The interesting thing is that the Universal RSR is the only ring of its kind world wide and can be used on most light weight turntables as well as on turntables with heavy platters.
(For all other rings commercially available a turntable with a very heavy platter is necessary.)

The Universal RSR is not suitable for every turntable.
The maximum size of the platter should not be greater than 318 mm (12.4906713 inch).
The distance between spindle and arm base should be at least 170 mm (6.67740288 inch) which is the case with practically all tonearms on the market, except for the Triplanar VII which has uncommon measurements as Doug Deacon found out.
If the turntable is a belt drive with the belt around the periphery of the platter, there should be at least 7 mm (0.274951883 inch) space between top of the mat and the belt. And the same distance between the top of the platter and any other obstacle, knob, motor housing, etc.

Check minimum clearance

There is another important fact: the RSR cannot be used with vintage cartridges of Decca and Ortofons (and some new Ortofon models) because of their very short cantilevers. There should be a clearance of at least 0.6 mm, preferably more.
With most modern cartridges, low end and high end, with normal cantilevers, the Universal Record Stabilizing Ring can be perfectly used.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is the differencce between the Universal RSR and the other rings available on the market?

A. All other rings are machined out of one piece of metal, be it stainless steel, brass, aluminum, or whatever material is suitable. The Universal Record Stabilizing Ring is a sandwich construction, consisting of segments of stainless steel and acrylic which determine its acoustic properties and the effect it has on the sound reproduction. In that it is unique. On top of that the Universal RSR weighs 550 gr. which is very light if compared to most rings weiging up to 1.6 kg.

Q. Will the Universal RSR slow down the platter so that the record will not play at the nominal speeds of 33 and 45 RPM master recordings?

A. No, the RSR (like any other weight added) will not prevent the turntable from spinning the records at the right speed. In case of a very light floating sub chassis turntable, there can be a slightly longer start up time of the platter. It is more likely that this is caused by an old stretched belt. Our experiences with various turntables did not show any slowing down. If you have to adjust the variable speed control, there is something wrong with your turntable. The Technics SP10 was immediately spinning at the right speed of course. And even the Linn Axis was quickly turning at 33 RPM with the Goldmund clamp added. It is more likely that the nominal speed will gain stability because of the weight added at the periphery of the platter.

Q. Can the bearing of the turntable be damaged with the added weight of 550 gr. of the RSR?

A. If the turntable is a quality turntable, there will not be any damage done. Even if the additional weight of the 350 gr. Stabilizer Centre Weight (Clamp) has been added as well which brings the total added weight around 900 gr. Even on cheap direct drive turntables with the shaft (spindle) resting on a small, thin metal strip (glued to the circuit board of the speed regulation), the 550 gr. of the RSR added to the platter's weight of 1.9 kg, does not make a difference as the manufacturer has been calculating his design with a safety margin. But who is using the RSR on a cheap $25 second hand DD turntable?

Q. Can the motor of the record player handle the platter with extra weight?

A. Generally motors have sufficient torque to start the platter turning. As said before, it may take a bit more time for the platter turning at the nominal speed. You need a stopwatch to measure the small difference. Once the platter turns at its nominal speed, the motor does not have to work harder, it just has to keep up speed as it always does.
If the motor has really difficulty in starting the platter to turn, than this is not because of the RSR. There are other causes:

a) the bearing needs cleaning,
b) there is not enough oil in the bearing housing,
c) the bearing is not sealed (in case it should be),
d) the belt is too loose and needs exchanging (in case of a belt drive),
e) the tension of the belt is OK but it is dirty and needs cleaning with blue methylated alcohol (in case of a belt drive TT),
f) the idler wheel is oily and slips, and needs to be cleaned as well, and also the stepped pulley needs cleaning. This should be done with blue methylated alcohol (in case of an idler wheel drive TT).

These of course are problems which are practically only encountered with second hand turntables which were not used and maintained for years. If a direct drive turntable has problems reaching the nominal speed with the URSR, than the turntable is at fault.

Q. Will the magnet of the phono cartridge of a Moving Coil cartridge be attracted to the ring and change the downforce?

A. No, that will not happen because the ring is made of non-magnetic high grade stainless steel (and an intermediate layer of acrylic).

Q. Can I play all of my records? Vintage, nineteen seventies and modern pressings?

A. All records which comply with the international standard measurements of the long playing record can be played with the Universal Record Stabilizing Ring. You may encounter records with a too large or too small diameter. Generally these are records which are clumsily pressed, probably in haste.

Q. Can I use the RSR on a Techniocs SL-1200 turntable?

A. The RSR can only be used with a SL-1200 and similar turntables if an acrylic disc of at least 2 to 3 mm has been placed between platter and turntable mat. The RSR can be used however with a Vestax without adding a shimming disc. Some turntables use a fluid damper (silicone in a trough). The trough may be in the way of the ring. So carefully take all measurements given above.

If you have more questions, please e-mail me.


Universal RSR for practically all turntables

The design and names 'Universal Record Stabilizing Ring' and 'The Universal RSR' are Copyright 2003-2013 by Rudolf A. Bruil.

Mechanics, Mass and Music

The ring puts the record down at its periphery. The center weight or clamp placed over the spindle does the same at the position of the label. The result is that the engraved part of the record lays as flat as possible on the mat/platter. Shifting of the record is less possible.

By placing a weight over the spindle, many have already experienced an improvement. Those who own a peripheral ring have heard that an even better contact has its effect on the signal.

Because of the improved contact between record and mat, there is mass added to the record. The mass and effectiveness depend on the weight of the platter and the weight of the peripheral ring. In all events the resonance frequency of the record itself is lowered (Fs). But it will also be decreased in level (dB).
The heavier the ring and center weight, the lower the frequency and the decrease in level.
This means that the resonance frequency is positioned farther away from the audio band and it has a different influence on the signal, even though 20 Hertz is accepted as the low frequency of the audio band.

By using a ring and center weight, the generation of vibrations by the cartridge riding in the groove is decreased as well. Vibrations occur in all materials, but in this case especially in records beause of the "softness" of the vinyl. The softness of the vinyl varies from label to label and from era to era.

It is probable that in a record made of diamond (if that was possible), vibrations will not occur or if they would occur, they will be positioned outside the audio band far above 20.000 Hz. and at a very low level. Stiffer and heavier materials generate less vibrations and resonances.
The use of a peripheral ring on 78 RPM shellac records is not necessary and not advised.

The acoustic properties of the peripheral ring and the center weight will not only alter the fundamental frequency of the record, but will also have an effect on the audio band itself, its level and the frequency characteristic.

A ring of heavy metal will change the frequeny characteristic. It works like a filter and the filter ation starts with the low frequencies and is translated in the sound of the mid and the high frequency bands.
We found that a light metal ring will accentuate the mid and high frequencies.
A light metal ring will not lower the fundamental frequency of the record sufficiently.
Furthermore a light metal ring will emphasize the high frequency content of the sound. Although sound does travel at a convenient speed in acrylic, this material will behave in a different way.

The URSR is a sandwich construction using different materials: stainless steel, acrylic, and a certain type of glue. These all have different properties:
fundamental frequency, frequency charateristic, speed of propagation at different levels and frequencies. The proportions of these materials are significant.

There are variations in the combination of these materials possible.
For example by increasing the acrylic mass. This will not only alter the fundamental frequency of the ring, but also the frequency characteristic because of the dampening effect of acrylic in the ring. There is a difference in the propagation of sound in arylic, at a different frequency, compared to stainless steel. By using too much acrylic, the sound was less detailed in the midband. That was our experience.
It is necessary to find a balanced proportion of stainless steel and acrylic to arrive at the desired frequency characteristic and the wide frequency band. If in the end the ring would be nickle plated, the sound will differ also from a non plated ring.

We found out that a peripheral ring should have a certain weight in order to improve the contact between reord and mat. It should however not be too heavy.
It should lower the fundamental frequency of the record.
The ring itself should have a specific fundamental frequency.
It also should have an even (harmonious) frequency characteristic.
Only than it can do justice to the music engraved in the vinyl.

It is obvious that the creation of the Universal Record Stabilizing Ring was the result of experiments, later combined with reasoning.
It is indicated that the "right" platter of a turntable would not be just plain acrylic, but is that one which is a combination of acrylic and stainless steel or acrylic and aluminum, but in the "correct" proportions. That would need more emperical research.


If you want to receive additional information about
The Universal Record Stabilizing Ring,
just send an e-mail.



The URSR has been produced in small quantities only. The production was stopped when the factory bthat made the segments went broke in 2009 due to the banking crises.

Since then we have been absorbed with many other projects and we did not find the time nor the inclination to restart the production. There were firms and manufacturers interested in buying the design, but negotiations did not bear results.

We are contemplating to start producing the URSR again sometime but we have not taken measures to materialize the idea. If production will start again, you will see it on this website.

Read the
Review in Positive Feedback On Line, Issue 20.

Read the
Review in HiFi World.

Visit the pages of Soundscape HiFi Singapore:
More Pictures
View TKP's System at the Soundscape Hifi Website

And have a look at
The Gallery of Pictures submitted by Owners of the Universal RSR


Rudolf A. Bruil - Page first published December 2003
The last section of this page was modified in July, 2014

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