Poll: Vinyl clamp or not to clamp

Seeing a lot of pics of turntables with and without vinyl clamps (or weights - they’re synonymous in this poll). But not seeing any correlation between investment in vinyl and the use of these passive devices. Seems to be a preference for clamping among non LP12/Rega crowd. I’m curious how people really think about these.

  • Yes, I clamp and think it sounds better.
  • Yes, I clamp because I can, but have never heard a benefit.
  • No, I don’t clamp. I’ve never tried it.
  • No, I don’t clamp. It sounds worse.
  • No, I don’t clamp. It’s utter nonsense.
  • No, I don’t clamp. It sounds better but I can’t be bothered.

0 voters

I owned a P3, P8, and now P10. Rega does not want me to clamp, so one thing less to worry about.

This is where I think the difference between clamping and weights is relevant. The bearing and motor need to be able/designed to take the additional weight. As a broad generalisation, a DD won’t have too much of an issue, a BD might very well. A clamp obvioulsy adds less weight than a weight.

FWIW the manufacturer of my suspended chassis / belt-drive advises against using them.

My DD manual explicitly states that weights up to 1kg can be used. I use a 760gr one with it, but to be honest I’m not sure there’s an audible difference.

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I think much will depend on the turntable, platter design, and interface (mat etc…) as to whether a clamp is either necessary or desirable. For example, on my Systemdek III, the platter is designed so it must be used in conjunction with the supplied clamp. The LP12s and the Rega RP10 on the other hand aren’t really designed for a clamp, and indeed, their felt mats allow you to keep the platter spinning constantly even when changing LPs, which is great.


own an LP12 never clamped and never will just perfect the way it is now


My avid has a clamp provided. I use it if the record doesn’t sit super flat.
“… has great sonic benefits, reducing surface noise, timing errors caused by slippage and rigidly clamping the record to the main bearing allowing for maximum transfer of vibration”

Is this from the Avid’s manual or something you can confirm to be the case on the Avid?

Rega P9, then P10…clamping on these two is a destroyer of music. All the life is removed. Others might disagree.


The reason I was curious was I have a load of vinyl from the 60s and 70s I’m cleaning up. Most is from the Oil Shock era and nearly translucent it is so thin and not that flat.

I have a moderately massed device arriving in the next couple weeks, which of course I will try for myself. But was curious as to any consensus. My TEAC turntable is a bit unusual as it has a very low torque direct drive motor that takes a few seconds to get to speed, much like a belt drive and therefore, also is supplied with a felt mat route rather than rubber.

My Townshed mk2 Rock has a screw down clamp, a slightly dished platter and there is a small teflon disc in the centre. The clamp pushes the record down near the outside of the label with the teflon disc keeping the centre up. It can flatten the playing area of a dished record either way up and even helps with an outright warped record. I’ve tried removing the teflon disc and leaving the clamp off but always returned to using it. The platter itself is vinyl faced but mostly cast from a filled plaster of Paris (Herculite?)

My Artemis came with a 100g delrin puck with a felt covered facing that contacts the label, it also doubles as an adaptor for those singles with a large hole. The Artemis’ platter is aluminium with a thick acrylic mat and flat, dished records stay dished.

I also have an HRS record weight.

I’ve run the Artemis without, with its puck and with the HRS weight but settled on the puck as the best compromise.

And P8… clamp was dreadful on mine…consigned now to the spares drawer.

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My thoughts are that some TTs are designed to work with clamps, or even tuned to work with clamps.

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Owned a Clearaudio table and clamped because it was there, never thought to try without.I now have a rega planar 8… at the demo I was surprised that not only there was no clamp but the dealer changed records with the platter still spinning, but that’s how I’ve used it since and forgot that clamps exist.


Can’t be bothered fussing with a clamp or a weight. Another advantage (for me) of my LP12.

Back in the day I had a VPI TNT 3, it came with a screw down clamp, that’s how I used it.

My TT doesn’t allow for clamping.

Ahh the Xerxes. Direct Drive at it’s finest. Bizarre hybrid though. DD motor… with a belt!

Mine has arrived. To be specific, it’s on the weight side of the fence rather than a clamp.

I’ll sit tomorrow and see if it makes any difference on new quality vinyl versus 70’s slightly warped thin vinyl. Hopes aren’t super high but I’m open minded. It seems from comments that if the turntable manufacturer thought it would benefit, they would have supplied one in the first place.

And indeed, my TEAC is designed for flipping without stopping the platter.

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Do let us know. May I ask how heavy? Does your manual state anything?