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  1. #1

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    Default Neat Little Gadget

    A little while ago, I was talking with one of the members of our forum, Joe , or hearingimpaired as most of you know him. He's really into vinyl, to say the least... He's also a MAD TWEAKER.

    Well we got to talkin' stuff and Joe tells me tells me about this tweak he has. It's called The Clamp. Basically it's a device that you would use on you turntable to make the album sit tight down to the platter. It will also cure the problem if your albums have any warpage. Now I know that there are alot of products out now that do this, but this one is pretty sweet. And it was designed ten years ago, by Joe. You can ask him about that story...

    Joe sent me one to check out. I open it up, read the intro and instructions, which are very clear, and took a good look. Very well constructed, nicely balanced with a fair amount of mass and heft. It will add mass to the platter quite nicely, which would be a good thing. The gripping surfaces are nicely knurled and the action is smooth as silk.

    The operation is simple. The clamp comes with three shims of different thickness'. Which one you'll use depends on the TT and the album. You slip one of them over your spindle and place the album on top of it. Then you slip the clamp over the spindle and turn it. It will grip your spindle and then draw in on it's self, which it wll force the LP to flatten out and couple to the platter.

    Does it make a difference? Hell yes!!! I am currently using a very light (micro) tracking force cartridge. I found I had to increase the tracking force on it at times due to it lifting and distorting. Now I have only .8 grams force on it, which save tremendously on record and stylus wear. Another extremely nice benefit of this is you can extract so much more detail from the recording, as the stylus is not forced down it can pick up and tranfer the vibration much more efficiently.

    This little device also just about eliminates flutter (this is my calling, not by the true definiton). By making such intimate contact with the platter, no air can get underneath the LP and create the unwanted extra vibration which would lead to a cluttering of your signal. (Now if you have problems of true wow and flutter with your TT, this isn't going to cure that.) What you get is a lowered noise floor and a much better defined soundstage. You also experience a much tighter bass response with more definition.

    Definitely worthy. Absolutely...
    I smell ass, burning ass, glowing cherry red spanked ass.

    RT1

  2. #2

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    Hi Anthony,

    Joe was over my place tonight to pick up his Timbre DAC. A short visit (he wouldn't leave till he had a bowl of Maria's tortellini soup) but we got talking & he told me about the clamp he designed & that he had a business & sold them for about 10 years. He said he sent you one to give it a try. It sounds like you like it a lot. He'll really enjoy hearing how much you are enjoying it. We got talking about TT's (I know absolutely nothing about) & he said that the SME V (?) series arm he has goes for around $4500. I said no way, boy was I wrong. I just hope he can clean up all his water damaged vinyl. The poor guys a mess over it.

    Phil
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  3. #3

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    Hi Phil,

    Yeah I can't imagine how I'd react to that. I hope it works out and he can get them cleaned up.

    I was surprised at what the clamp did. I don't even have a really good TT, either. I really dig it, though. I think he should look into doing this again.

    Anthony
    I smell ass, burning ass, glowing cherry red spanked ass.

    RT1

  4. #4

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    This thread is completely effin' useless without pics.

  5. #5
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    Default Thanks Antny

    Quote Originally Posted by amulford
    A little while ago, I was talking with one of the members of our forum, Joe , or hearingimpaired as most of you know him. He's really into vinyl, to say the least... He's also a MAD TWEAKER.

    Well we got to talkin' stuff and Joe tells me tells me about this tweak he has. It's called The Clamp. Basically it's a device that you would use on you turntable to make the album sit tight down to the platter. It will also cure the problem if your albums have any warpage. Now I know that there are alot of products out now that do this, but this one is pretty sweet. And it was designed ten years ago, by Joe. You can ask him about that story...

    Joe sent me one to check out. I open it up, read the intro and instructions, which are very clear, and took a good look. Very well constructed, nicely balanced with a fair amount of mass and heft. It will add mass to the platter quite nicely, which would be a good thing. The gripping surfaces are nicely knurled and the action is smooth as silk.

    The operation is simple. The clamp comes with three shims of different thickness'. Which one you'll use depends on the TT and the album. You slip one of them over your spindle and place the album on top of it. Then you slip the clamp over the spindle and turn it. It will grip your spindle and then draw in on it's self, which it wll force the LP to flatten out and couple to the platter.

    Does it make a difference? Hell yes!!! I am currently using a very light (micro) tracking force cartridge. I found I had to increase the tracking force on it at times due to it lifting and distorting. Now I have only .8 grams force on it, which save tremendously on record and stylus wear. Another extremely nice benefit of this is you can extract so much more detail from the recording, as the stylus is not forced down it can pick up and tranfer the vibration much more efficiently.

    This little device also just about eliminates flutter (this is my calling, not by the true definiton). By making such intimate contact with the platter, no air can get underneath the LP and create the unwanted extra vibration which would lead to a cluttering of your signal. (Now if you have problems of true wow and flutter with your TT, this isn't going to cure that.) What you get is a lowered noise floor and a much better defined soundstage. You also experience a much tighter bass response with more definition.

    Definitely worthy. Absolutely...
    Hey Brother,

    Wow Ant, I didn't expect this, I'm humbled by you wonderful review. Thanks so much and I guarantee you the more you use it and fine tune which shims goes under which record you will find even more sonic benefits. Plus the more familiar you become with actually how much reflex action to exert you will find even more sonic benefit. Jeezzz I'm starting to sound like Pierre at Mapleshade 1/3 more octive and 1/3 more octive and 1/3 more octive. . . just kidding I love Mapleshade products . . . mmmmmmmmm drroooooooolllll tweeeeeeeaaaaaakkkkkksss.

    Joe

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    Default Pictures

    These are pictures of the The Clamp on Al's (dangerboy) turntable.

    Joe
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared
    These are pictures of the The Clamp on Al's (dangerboy) turntable.

    Joe
    cool!

  8. #8

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    Wicked awesome HI...

    You should really start a thread listing some budget-oriented tweaks.
    I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and you're going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it. Thank you.Herman Blume - Rushmore

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by amulford
    Hi Phil,

    Yeah I can't imagine how I'd react to that. I hope it works out and he can get them cleaned up.

    I was surprised at what the clamp did. I don't even have a really good TT, either. I really dig it, though. I think he should look into doing this again.

    Anthony
    Ant,

    When we were talking at Phil's that night, although I don't think you will remember the conversation as you were either zoned or snoozing LOL, I thought about doing the thing that Doro did with the cables. Start a list and send a clamp out and have people try it and give their impressions on it. I think that feedback could help in determinining whether or not to "do it again."

    We could even made it a joint forum venture that we could all enjoy the benefits if it does take off again. As I said in a previous thread, I'm not in it for the money, I just wanted to make a better clamp because I really know that such an item will dramatically improve the sound of a TT rig.

    By today's standards I think the clamp would need to be streamlined. I've been checking (pictures only) out other company's clamps again and they definetely look sexier and more streamlined. The thing I'll bet though is that their clamp only work on their turntable. This one and any one that I would want to design would have to work on ALL turntables from the most exotic to the lest expensive starter table.

    OOOOOOOOO ya got me all excited again.

    Thanks again for the great write up.

    Joe

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    Default

    I think that's a good idea.

    PT was right. I have some pics of it also:
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    I smell ass, burning ass, glowing cherry red spanked ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zombie boy 2000
    Wicked awesome HI...

    You should really start a thread listing some budget-oriented tweaks.
    You aint ****tin Brother I should.

    Any company out there that has a tweak (most of them work to one degree or another) charge an arm and a d1(k for them. I would love to get back into the designing and manufacturing of tweaks that work and that ANYONE can afford. I know materials are expensive but some of the tweaks that I've been looking at out there are outragiously priced. I mean who the hell could afford to buy one set of brass footers for one component at $200 a pop that is ridiculous no matter how well it works.

    Phil and Billy and I have been talking about this. I think we need to get serious about it.

    Joe

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    And some more:
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    I smell ass, burning ass, glowing cherry red spanked ass.

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    Looks like a very nice design clamp. Probably better than many of the ones currently available. I think clamps are essential to get the most out of a turntable setup. Thankfully, my Oracle had one integrated into the original design!

  14. #14
    Old Polk
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    Cool! I'd be interested in buying one if they're available. My Sota clamp works well, but does little to improve warped LPs. The only other solution I've seen is a weighted ring--but, the thickness of the platter on my Blue Note makes most of them problematic with the belt driven platter (ring too thick to achieve sufficient mass.)
    Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say

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    This would cure that. It relies on mechanical action to force the LP flat. Your not relying on weight...
    I smell ass, burning ass, glowing cherry red spanked ass.

    RT1

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    I am interested in getting one, too. Any more info, Joe?

    -fredv-

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    I started using a clamp on TTs back in the early 80's. It wasn't as elaborate as the one in this thread, but it got the job done and playback sounded better when using it. Fortunately, a clamp is built into the design of my VPI TT. I definitely recommend using a clamp for playback.

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    a well executed clamp is one of the best things in analog....

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

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    Quote Originally Posted by amulford
    (Now if you have problems of true wow and flutter with your TT, this isn't going to cure that.)
    It won't cure it Ant, but it will stabilize the platter, spindle, bearing assembly which minimizes the effects of wow and flutter thus improving the actual overall musicality.

  20. #20

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    Default Clamp

    Hi,
    I was just thinking a clamp is needed for the denon. I just rewired it and have been on a vinyl trip lately. I want one. I need one. How much and when? Thanks.
    D: SDTrans384 via I2S Teleporter-> Twisted Pear Audio Buffalo III DAC w Legato III I/V via XLR to Relaixed2 Preamp via XLR to Parasound A-21-> SDA-2.3 w/ RDO, Soniccrafts caps, Larry's Rings;
    A: Soundsmith Ruby LC Denon DL-103R-> Nothingham Spacedeck-> Hagerman Bugle2;

    C: Flac with Mediamonkey4 via coax SPDIF from Juli@24/192 -> Buffalo III
    V: Vinyl rips-> ESI Juli@24/192-> SPDIF-> Buffalo III

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    HI,

    Can you give us a little more insight on the clamp? How you came up with the specific design?

    I think a demo program would be a FANTASTIC idea as we are having a resurgence of interest in vinyl here on the forum.

    Any back stock? I know that I, and I'm sure others here would be MORE than willing to buy one. Who knows, maybe ClubPolk could be on the bleeding edge of the next big audiophile tweak.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

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    I'm working on all these details guys. . . I will get back to everyone very soon.

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    I want one now!
    Carl

  24. #24
    Old Polk
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMDPicker
    Cool! I'd be interested in buying one if they're available.
    Line starts here, Mr. Impatient. :D
    Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMDPicker
    Cool! I'd be interested in buying one if they're available. My Sota clamp works well, but does little to improve warped LPs. The only other solution I've seen is a weighted ring--but, the thickness of the platter on my Blue Note makes most of them problematic with the belt driven platter (ring too thick to achieve sufficient mass.)
    I owned a Sota clamp (still do for demoing my clamp purposes) and that is one of the reason's I decided to make a better one. No dig on your clamp intended.

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    I'll take one.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared


    By today's standards I think the clamp would need to be streamlined.
    I dunno Joe. Big knobs are a turn on for some of us.:D

    Nice clamp!
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  28. #28
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    Put me on the list. I want one.
    SRT For Life; SDA Forever!

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    Four main satellite speakers, six powered subs, two dedicated for LFE channel, two center speakers for over/under screen placement and three Control Centers. Amaze your friends, terrorize your neighbors, seize the audio bragging rights for your state. Go ahead, buy it; you only go around once.

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    Default 1987 CES Award

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD
    HI,

    Can you give us a little more insight on the clamp? How you came up with the specific design?
    I had three turntables, a VPI, a Sota, and for a short time a Goldmund. All three came with their own clamps. At the time there was a big debate going on much like the debate on ICs, power cords etc about whether a clamp really made that huge difference that some people were touting. There were also vacuum systems that would literally suck the LP onto the platter to make initmate contact but they were noisy and a pain in the butt to maintain but they really did make a huge sonic difference.

    None of the clamps that came with my turntables worked very well. So I purchased anything (clamps) that was out there. No internet then my friends. . .walking and phone calls and yes CATALOGS.

    The VPI clamp was made of acrylic and was very much like the clamp that comes with the new Marantz TT-15s Ref Series TT except it was reversed. You could place a lot of pressure on the inside perimeter of the record label but the cirumference contact area was flat so it just couldn't deliver the pressure needed to force the record from runout groove to leadin bead into intimate contact with the platter plus it has no mass to it whatever so it had no vibration damping abilities. The Sota clamp was just plain fluff and good looks as far as I was concerned, I still have it. It has a very soft rubbery foam type substance that made contact with the record label and that is about as much as it did as far as clamping the record down. Now the Goldmund clamp was really pretty. It had some mass but it just didn't take out the warps or make the record cling to the platter. They did make a sonic difference when compared to no clamp but that really sucked in my eyes and could be made a heck of a lot better.

    There were/are lots of other clamps out there, they just didn't and don't work very well.

    What the heck was I looking for? I was looking for a clamp that would force the record to make intimate contact with the platter from the edge of the clamp all the way out to the outer bead. This would have to remove all warps no matter how bad, and make the record appear to the stylus like it was the same thickness as the platter. See, if the stylus sees a one inch thick piece of vinyl vs. an LP thick piece, the vibrations and nasty movement vibrations caused by the stylus would be deadend. But that is not all because even a one inch thick platter still can't kill all the airborn or stylus induced vibrations. What happens here is that the vibrations from the stylus (and the airborn vibs) radiate out towards the spindle and then reflect back towards the stylus and believe me the stylus and tonearm picks it all back up and as all kinds of harmonics to boot. Think of it as holding a stick in the middle of a tub of water and dropping a pebble into the tub . . . you get the idea. Therefore I needed to come up with a way where the stylus and airborn vibrations that radiate from the stylus towards the spindle would be drained down the spindle harmlessly into the bearing area where they can do no more harm.

    Are you guys still with me here?

    Ok, so I had to find out what materials matched the closest, impedance wise, to the LP, most platters, and the stainless steel spindles. I had to also come up with something massive enough to dampen the vibrations but not too heavy as to cause excessive force on the bearing thus wearing them out. I also needed to come up with something that would work on every known turntable made (that is when the panic attacks started). Well delrin was the closest in impedance and really is a first cousin to vinyl or atleast what they were calling vinyl back then. It also was what most of the mid to high end turntable manufacturers were making their platters out of. So delrin was the easy choice there. Now I had to match the impedance of the delrin mass to some metal that would match the stainless steel spindle and I also had to take into consideration that spindles could be as tall as "not much thicker than the record" to over three inches (record changers, yuck). Then I had to attack the downward force produced by the clamp on the inside perimeter of the record.

    Okay, here's what I came up with. Brass and stainless steel have a very good relationship with each other good impedance match. Steel on steel is awful it's like ringing a bell when two pieces touch and vibrations are introduced. So I decided on making a colet of solid brass that would be able to grasp firmly any size or shaped spindle (some TT manufac. used tapered spindles) and I decided to make the collet hollow from bottom throughout the top, just incase some nut er a sorry some record changer lover wanted to use the clamp on their device? I wanted this collet to be able to make such a tight grasp that if you picked up the top of the clamp the turntable would be lifted with it. I then designed the rest of the clamp. If you look at the picture Anthony posted of the bottom of the clamp you will see that the nib, the portion that makes contact with the record is rounded THAT IS WHERE I BEAT OUT THE OTHER CLAMP MAKERS. That rounded nib made a fine line of contact with the LP but because it was so fine, so small in area, the pressure exerted by the downward force was something like 25 times more pressure with less clamp action and this is what made the clamp work so well. I also had to come up with a shim system so that this reflex clamp would have something to use like a lever. After I had gone through a couple of prototypes, I came up with the rough "draft" of what you see now. I had taken it to a local recording studio owned by a friend of mine who was just as nutty as I am about all things audio and tweaks. He had vibration detecting machines that looked like lie detectors and all kinds of measuring devices that would make you head spin.

    We tried the clamp on a very warped record, now I didn't plan on this outcome but because of the smaller diameter of the rounded bead of the clamp that makes contact with the record we noticed that after two rotations, a vacuum was formed sucking the record firmly to the platter. Viola' it not only pressed the record on the platter making intimate contact but it caused a vacuum to form sucking the record flush on the platter. This was on a dished platter. I must tell you that this clamp works best with dished or concave platters but will work on even the least expensive rubber grooved (I don't recommend those types of mats they are awful) mats.

    We tested the crap out of this bad boy and it did everything I wanted it to do. It dampened airborne vibrations, it drained and dampened stylus vibrations, it flattened out even the most warped of records, wow and flutter seemed to be reduced, etc etc etc. Let's face it the damned thing just plain worked!!!!

    Next question was does it work on all turntables. So I ran to every store from New York to Delaware to Maryland, New Jersey, and PA trying it on any and every turntable I could get my grubby little hands on. I flew to California to a friends store and tried it on some really esoteric tables. I even went to Wall to Wall Sound (remember them) and tried it on $50 tables on rack systems (remember them)? It worked on them all. No matter what the platter type or material used it worked. Now in all honesty, it worked dramatically better on some than others but it does work.

    No matter how cheapy or expensive the TT, it made an improvement in the sound of the LP playback.

    Plus it looked damned good atleast for the late 80s. I was so sure about the performance of this device that I had the arrogance at the time to call it "The Clamp." Back then the in thing to do when you thought you had the end all of a certain product was to call it "The XXX" like I do remember a couple of companies calling their product "The Amp", "The Preamp" etc.

    I took it to the 1987 CES and it was well received by the high end TT manufacturers. . . I was completely blown away. I didn't do this to make money, I did it to make a better clamp and it far exceeded any expectation I had.

    Now-a-days it looks like the turntable manufacturers are making their clamps a bit sleeker and sexier looking. I think I could do that too if I put my mind to it.

    Now that I completly put you all to sleep . . . next question.

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD
    I think a demo program would be a FANTASTIC idea as we are having a resurgence of interest in vinyl here on the forum.
    I don't know how to go about that but I definetely would like to learn. I would like to do what Doro did with the cables if I could please.

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD
    Any back stock? I know that I, and I'm sure others here would be MORE than willing to buy one. Who knows, maybe ClubPolk could be on the bleeding edge of the next big audiophile tweak.

    BDT
    Yes I do have some, how many complete sets I don't know yet. I hadn't given "The Clamp" a second thought after my company closed its doors until I got back into this obsession of ours this past June.

    I have them at my new home and as soon as I get settled (before that I am sure) I will get them together and start the process. Believe me, I'll probably be able to think of little else till I get the demo going. If some of you would just like to purchase it without the demo I think I can accomodate you. In all honesty, I would wait to see how the majority of people's experiences with the demo goes.

    Troy thanks for the brain teasers here. . . I havn't had to go back into those memory cells (I'm surprised they're still there) in a long time.

    Merry Christmas every one and have a Blessed New Year also. . . let's not forget why we celebrate Christmas!

    Joe

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that I won an award for one of the top five best new products of the year at the 1987 CES for the clamp.
    Last edited by hearingimpared; 05-31-2007 at 03:11 PM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer
    I dunno Joe. Big knobs are a turn on for some of us.:D

    Nice clamp!
    I love big knobs too Rich!!!

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