Record Clamps?

How tight do these things have to placed on the record? I noticed one of my lighter colored labels is beginning to show a ring where the clamp contacts it.

Are there any heavy clamps that just rest on the record rather than screw down on the spindle?

Hold the LP label and clamp stationary by pressing them against the platter with the thumb and finger of one hand whilst tightening the clamp with the other. No rings.

How tight depends on why you're clamping...

To reduce intra-vinyl resonances:
Try knuckle raps in the deadwax. With the LP unclamped, rap at several points around the dead wax - note the (considerable) amount of ringing and resonance. Clamp a bit and re-rap, noting the difference (reduction) in ringing/resonance. Keep clamping tighter until that's minimized (usually requires very tight clamping).

To flatten a warp:
You can figure that one out. :-)
Hello Jay, If you're referring to the VPI Type Threaded Clamp, the 2 models (actually 3 if you count the least expensive Jr version Clamp) that VPI make, are two piece, but conjoined, so that when you tighten the Clamp to LP, the bottom portion remains motionless against the Label, thus never causing any marring of the Label, at least none that I ever noticed, or had a problem with.

And as you might know, VPI as well makes a Heavyweight Clamp, which I assume is not threaded.

There's of course other companies, one new one that I've recently noticed, called Thier VPI Style Clamps appear to me, to be one solid piece of metal, and I can imagine, that yes, while Clamping a one solid piece Clamp down upon the LP, that there's that possibility of Label marring. Only ttweight's Collet Style Clamp appears to be a two piece affair. also appear to make a number of Clamps/Weights with no threads, probably somewhat similar to the VPI Heavyweight, but possibly not quite as dished on it's underside? They look very nice, and are not really that expensive. Hope this helps. Mark
Thanks for the responses, especially the link, Markd51.

The clamp I'm using now is the stock clamp provided with the MMF7. Its a 2 piece as well, but it doesnt seem to really provide any benefit as it is thin, and only a small portion of the clamp actually touches record.

Maybe I'm miss-understanding the purpose of the clamp.

I've thought about taking an old felt slit mat, trimming it, and hot glueing it to the under side of the clap to prevent this going forward. At this moment, I dont see any draw backs to doing this, but if anyone more experience has any objections to doing this let me know before I muck up a probably perfectly decent clamp.
Fight, Yes there are many clamps that drop on. I use those on my tables. I clean with a VPI Typhoon and the two piece screw down design is a must. No label damage, no way. If I had a threaded spindle on a TT, same answer.
try a reflex type clamp - Sota makes a good one. They have a lever on top that clamps the spindle instead of rotating against the record label. Not sure how that would work over the threaded spindle on your MMF7 though. You might also simply try a heavy weight that doesn't clamp or screw down but works just be weight.
Jay, I'm not intimately familiar with your Turntable, and its Spindle, is it 1/4"-20 Threaded as the VPI is?

In actuality, the VPI Threaded Clamps probably don't fully contact the entire Label Area either, as they are considerably dished, because of the design priciple, that VPI uses a Rubber Washer on the Spindle, and has recessed the Platter for the Label. This when clamping down, the entire underside Label Area drops into the Platter Recess, and by proper clamping, with just the right amount of tension (per given LP) the entire underside of LP will completely. and properly couple to the Platter. The exception being, a LP with a odd-severe Lip Warp, and this was no doubt (one of the reasons) why Harry came along with the Periphery Clamp.

As ttweights I think mentions, and perhaps others, that they try to engineer thier non threaded weights to be most effective in coupling an LP to Platter, but this I feel is a very tough thing to do, to find one single non-clampable Weight that will properly work for all LPs due to variable warpage, and variable record weight (140g-180g-200g).

Collet Style, like the Michell might work fine, but there's the possibility (I'm not saying the Michell will, I'm not sure?) of marring-scratching the Spindle itself? Mark
The Music Hall clamp shouldn't continue spinning (and causing label wear) as you clamp it onto the record label. It's a two-piece design and the actual clamp disc shouldn't spin as you turn the locking knob down. Try bending the spring clip slightly to reduce the friction force between the clamp disc and locking knob.

I continue to use the lightweight clamp provided because I'm not sure what the long-term wear on the bearing might be using a heavy clamp or weight.

The disc doesn't need to have much surface area. The idea is to apply just enough circular pressure on the LP to couple the LP to the platter or mat. And not too much pressure. I found that too much pressure creates a dead sounding LP using a foam mat.

The Basis clamp I had worked very well. Not cheap.
I just bought the TTweight clamp off ebay. For the price it is great... The bottom is dished though...
I guess it was possible that my clamp was tightened too much. It doesnt seem to have marked any of the other records I've played. And to be honest, the one it did mark is probably able to be wiped away with my finger.

I will look into at thread-less though. The threaded version just seems like non-sense to me. I haven't experienced any sonic improvement or drawback with or without it.
One advantage of clamps not mentioned, is that all of us do not possess a Record collection with all absolutely flat examples. Thinking back 20-30 years ago to my "clampless days", and watching a tonearm "bob' up, and down like a roller coaster surely didn't do much for visual impact, and certainly didn't benefit the sound sonically.

The clamp will lessen dishing, or minor warpage. The problem I see with threadless clamps, is not allowing adjustability in clamping force, making it then a "one clamp works for all", but this usually doesn't work out optimally, and for sure, heavier won't necessarily be better in this regard.

I would asume from a mechanical standpoint, and no soubt a sonic one as well, the lessening of Tonearm-Stylus deviation in the vertical plane (if is this the correct term?), and the flatter the record face is (lessening dishing-cupping of surface) has to be an advantage, for both Stylus-Cantilever, and the LP Groove as well. Mark
In addition to coupling the record to the platter, a clamp can be effective in changing the resonant signature of the spindle bearing assembly & drawing off bearing noise that would otherwise be conducted through platter to stylus. For this reason I've moved through heavier and heavier clamps, and noticed improvement with each step up to what might be considered an excessive load on the bearing. I am currently using 5 lbs. of brass. To draw off bearing noise, a heavy clamp should couple tightly to the spindle-- preferably threaded. Any good design should allow the threaded section to rotate independent of the surrounding weight, so that there is no scraping action on the record label as the clamp is tightened. A clamp works better if the bottom surface is slightly concave or machined with a recess in the center area.
I dont see myself milling out a 5lb cylinder of brass anytime soon. I'm positive it would cause problems for my motor, belt and bearing.

I'm just going to be more cautious not not allow the clamp to spin at all once the "plate" makes contact with the label.

In follow up though, does anyone have any objections to the addition of felt to the underside of the clamp? Several people brought up the impact on sound quality that clamps have on vinyl, would the felt take some of the "liveliness" of the vinyl?
Want to try an inexpensive clamp?

Go and buy a hockey puck, then pick up a bunch of smal round lead fishing weights. These are usually sold in small bags. Get the puck home and carefully measure out to find DEAD CENTRE. Then take a protractor and rule to measure out a series of spokes from the dead centre out to the edge of the puck. Then measure out along each spoke oh say at 1/2 inch spaces and mark these with dots.

Get a 5/16ths or slightly larger drill bit. If you have access to a drill press and can set depth you will be able to first drill the centre hole for the spindle. Make sure you drill deep enough so that the puck will sit over the turntable spindle and seat flush on record centre. Next drill out each marked demarcation deep enough so that you will be able to fit in the lead ball fishing weights with glue. Again if I recall 5/16ths or about 7-8mm drill bits should do. If the holes are too tight just open them up one size larger.

The puck should slip easily over the spindle but not too loose. I use a 10 ounce puck use by some European leagues. NHL standard pucks are 7 ounces and will work too. I was able to add maybe anther 6-8 ounces of lead balls to my puck and estimated it to be over 1 lb to maybe 1.25 lbs.. No its not that heavy and it won't flatten out warped albums but it connects the LP to the platter and as others say helps dampen resonances in the spindle. Besides it only costs a couple of dollar. 10 ounce pucks often are orange in colour so I painted mine flat black.
I use the one made by HRS.
Works great, dampens better than my Basis clamp and works with vacume hold down. It should work on your table,it has no threads though.
I have an old SOTA reflex clamp and it works great, for for what it's worth.
Hi everyone. Has anyone else tried to use either a 10oz or 7oz hockey puck as a record weight? If so what were your thoughts on it and the sound you heard from your rigs? What table did you use it on? I'm trying to do the record weight on a budget until the TTWeight that is appropriate for my table are in stock.

Thanks in advance.
One thing I forgot to ask as well is how does one tell what the appropriate weight for the record weight should be? I've seen some record weights range from .76 lbs to sometimes a little over 3 lbs. Thanks again.
If you are going to use a hockey puck I would bar Canadians with long sticks from the listening area. The weight depends on the table; something like the VPI can use a very heavy weight, lighter tables might struggle with it. In theory the more weight the better as it should dampen better and increase the flywheel effect of your TT. In practice enough is probably enough; the 3/4s should work well; heavier might be better , possibly not.