Those record clamps

…don’t do anything

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Different opinions won’t do that.

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Effective record clamps provide LPs with a much more solid base and support.

Without the use of a record clamp LPs are not stable and are probably supported in most cases by maybe 30% or less of the LP surface. Most LPs (no matter how well they are stored) will be warped to some extent, and will in extreme cases have warps that cause the stylus to mis-track. Even in cases where you can’t hear the evidence of mis-tracking, the mis-tracking may well still be there, and is still likely to have an accumulative long term impact on the sound of the LP, not to mention physical damage.

Irrespective of whether or not you believe that record clamps improve sound quality (and I do), it makes no sense in my opinion not to use one.

This is one instance (unlike for example the comparison of different digital cables) where intuition as well as experiment will inform you that record clamps are a worthwhile accessory.


Sometimes they’ll be an improvement, somethings they, sometimes the opposite and sometimes you’ll not hear any difference. Depends on the platter, mat, details of the clamp or weight. My Elite Rock is better with its screw down clamp and my Artemis SA-1 benefits slightly from its 100g puck but the HRS weight sucks some of the life out of the sound on the Artemis. Both decks put the record on a hard surface.
I had a Manticore before the Rock and had a clamp that gripped the spindle and pulled itself down when you released a button on the top, can’t say I ever noticed much difference from using it. On your Rega I wouldn’t expect much from a clamp but you’ll only find out by trying one. I’d suggest you don’t go to much trouble to do that.

Specifically for the Linn LP12 - Linn recommend that record clamps are not used as apparently it changes they way thet the energy from the record being played is dissipated and secondly the weight of the clamp is supposed to cause ware on the bearing…

However I see that Avid turntables cant be used without the correct clamp being used…

I am guessing that the use of a clamp is dependent on the design of the specific turntable

Rega have conducted extensive research into clamps (read Rega vibration measuring machine) Rega know what their talking about. Roy Gandy has specifically stated after many hours of listening clamps have a detrimental effect on the sound quality. They only use wool mats


It depends on whether your TT was designed to be used with a clamp.

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I had an SME deck before which was designed to work with a clamp. And indeed it worked better with it.
I tried some clamps on my past Rega decks, specially the P9. It sounded better without.

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I use a SOTA Reflex Clamp on my Sapphire TT. Very useful with warp vinyl.

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Does your SOTA also have vacuum hold down?

No it does not but it have the acrylic platter mat. I’m not sure they offered the vacuum clamping system when I bought it in 1985. Right after, the electronic flywheel was the next big thing but up to this day the little power supply never failed to do it’s job properly.

Whether or not a record clamp matters or makes a difference is very much dependant on the turntable, and cannot be generalized as beneficial or not. With that said, I use a clamp and an outer ring on my Clearaudio Ovation, and that sounds much better to me, not to mention, dish warps are inconsequential.

YMMV, especially If you have a turntable that is different than what I have, in which case it may or may not benefit.

well, i do have a rega TT
maybe that explains it

i picked one up a while ago and sometimes forget to use and
i have never noticed any difference much less an improvement

i guess if a record is warped maybe but i don’t any of those

Very simple: if your TT comes with a clamp, use it.

If it doesn’t, you might benefit from one, but it’s definitely not a cert. On top of it, you’ll need to experiment with different clamps maybe to find one that might improve matters. Life’s too short, don’t bother. Just enjoy the music :slight_smile:

Hi, I never used a clamp on any of my turntables since the last one that was conceived to be used with a clamp, a VPI Prime.
Very clever and effective solution. The clamp secure the record to the platter as a whole by mean of the threaded spindle. There is a rubber grommet underneath the record so that it flex to form a unique mass with the 10 kg platter.
No mat is required and it really works well, a very clever design.


Loved it on my P1…hate it on my P8…so it’s hiding in the spares drawer now.

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i can’t even tell the difference

can you describe what it’s doing you don’t like?

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wow, no mat
i’d be too scared to put 500$ records on a 1 inch rubber donut

I would not want to add any mass to that supported on the main bearing, unless this had been the designer’s intention. Even worse for suspended designes, where the manufacturer’s resonant frequencies will be changed.

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