This doesn't really help you since it's out of your price range at about $5K, but my Raven One table sounds best (to me) with no clamp and no mat.
On my previous table, WTT - a clamp was required, so it's nice not to have to use one- even though my Raven did come wth one.
why is it so important to have a TT that does not require the use of a record clamp. If it's because it is inconveniet? Than vinyl is not your bag.
Rega sounds better with no clamp
Nottingham turntables do not require clamps.
I found that tables "requiring" clamps could sound as good or better without them. Nothing to do with convenience or inconvenience. My old VPI TNT Mk. II had a threaded spindle, but sounded a bunch better with a Boston Audio Mat I (and no clamp) than with a $250 carbon fiber (BDR) clamp. For that matter, it sounded better with a Ringmat. It's worth trying ANY table clampless and see what you think, IMHO at least. Dave
dopologue is right. as for a good(maybe great) table and arm combo for 2k, these pages generally have many.
Roksan Xerxes (at least the earlier ones) and Linn TTs don't use clamps. The Xerxes is a very fine table, even in its earliest versions.
Thanks for the replies. Yes it is for inconvenience. And yes vinyl is my bag. So even the ones that come with can be used without apparently. I have a Linn right now and I know it would drive me nuts to have to use a clamp (on a new table) as I play the thing regularly.
I apologize for my rude statement. You have every right to look for a tt that has no clamping goodluck.
The clamp is kind of a "tweak". As with all tweaks, there will be some who swear by it and some who hate it or are indifferent to its use. So, in the end with any table, it will be a matter of your own opinion based on your own listening. Having said that, I can tell you that my "new" Lenco is less affected by use of a clamp or record weight than any other table that I have ever owned. This observation is made while using Herbie's 2mm mat. With some other mat, I might come to a different conclusion.
i agree with Rcprince. Check out Roksan Xerxes either a used Xerxes 10 or the new Xerxes 20. Not only do you not use a clamp but you can take the spindle top once you center the Lp in a way that you don,t have contact of the lp hole with the spindle; and yes it does makes small a diffrence. i,m very happy with mine: great dynamics ,musical, etc...
Go for the Sota with the vacuum - one switch and the table turns and vacuum holds down the record!
How hard is it to drop a clamp on a record???? It takes two seconds right?
And how cold a record possibly sound better without a clamp? If a clamp stabilizes a LP to the platter and flattens out minor warping, folks here are saying that their records sound better unstable and warped. Doesn't make sense? What negative attributes could a clamp possibly add???
What negative attributes could a clamp possibly add???
A clamp changes the frequency and intensity of resonances, and presumably redirects vibrations. Depending on the rest of the setup, that could be a bad or a good thing.
As a general rule, I clamp thinner LPs, but in some cases of heavier records, a clamp overdamps.
Besides, when can you be sure that a clamp option is the result of careful research with accelerometers and/or stethoscopes to see exactly how the vibrations are being changed or redirected?
It could be a generally effective tweak, but not necessarily a cure-all.
Pawlowski, A clamp could (in theory) transmit bearing and/or motor noise into the record, causing smearing of the audio signal. Obviously, warped records might benefit from the use of a clamp. However, I own a Sota reflex clamp which is/was touted to flatten such records; in my experience there are very few LPs for which this flattening effect really works as described. Usually the warp is worst at the outer edge of an LP, and the center clamp does very little to help. Moreover, if the warp is to the up side of the LP, the clamp can do nothing to help.
Imin2u, It's interesting that Sota at least used to recommend use of their reflex clamp even on their products that sported vacuum hold-down.
Hey Dopogue, the Avid 'tables and the Oracles actually raise the LP at the spindle area so they will wobble greatly without a clamp. Very much the opposite of sitting securely.
I don't think you really have to clamp an LP on any record player, whether is is supplied with a clamping device or not.
Good opinions and reasons for both sides on this one . I use a clamp and am much happier with it than without . Thats for my personal use and preference but I was wondering would a clamp not eliminate spindle wear on your lps? Thoughts ? Cheers
Hey Headsnappin, on those tables you're obviously forced to use a clamp :-)
I suppose the same could be said for those VPIs like my old one where there was a rubber washer around the spindle that effectively raised the center (label) area of the record. Took me a while to figure out I could remove the washer.
I've been wondering if the clamp could imbed dirt into the back side of the record. Do those in the clamp camp take special pains to ensure the platter and back side of the record are clean before clamping?
Honest1; I don't think it prevents much but, I have a can of compressed air and I "puff" the platter before I put my record on it.
12-17-07: Lewm said:
"The clamp is kind of a "tweak". As with all tweaks, there will be some who swear by it and some who hate it or are indifferent to its use. So, in the end with any table, it will be a matter of your own opinion based on your own listening."
True, for the most part, but some ceramic, mattless platters are pretty slick and really need a clamp to couple the disc with the platter.
My SOTA sounds great just with the Vac outer hold down system, I use the reflex clamp for records with a bit of warp.
Dcstep, Then you would agree with my inference that the decision to use a clamp will be in part determined by the nature of the record mat (or the absence of one in your case).
More controversial to me is the advent of ring clamps used to hold LPs down at their periphery. Seems like a great idea for really taming warps, but I am sure I would destroy my cartridge in very short order by snagging the stylus on the metal ring.