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Thread: the Durand Record Weight; love it!

  1. #21
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    How does the record weight or clamp "fix" the problems inherent in the turntable design other than keeping the record in contact with the platter?
    Mike is right on the money here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    why does a typical record weight cause loss of energy? i'll take a stab at it......maybe typical record weights simply change the frequency and reduce the energy input to the stylus. consider an automobile suspension. it's designed to operate based on the specific designed carrying capacity. if it's too light it will be overly stiff and the wheels will lift off the ground on bumps. if it's overloaded it will bottom out on big bumps and become overdamped in reacting to changes in the road. but if it's within specific design weight envelope the suspension will operate correctly. also; the stability of the cargo (what it's made of or how it's built) can effect how stable the ride is.

    how the record weight interfaces with the center of the record, the spindle, and then the materials all will effect the result sonically like shocks and tires affect the ride of the car.
    As long as we understand that the stylus does not have the mass and friction to cause the record to vibrate/slip/etc. then that movement must come from somewhere else. Typically up from the platter mat, and from the spindle. The spindle has been one of the least addressed areas IMHO. Because of the interface between the hard shaft and soft hole, it changes the frequency of the vibrations that come through that to move the record.

    From Mike's description of the Durand record weight, the three sapphire feet serve to couple the wooden knob to the record and stop some of these turntable-induced vibrations and resonances from reaching the stylus/groove interface.
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  2. #22
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] Mike Lavigne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    The analog playback system as a whole has a very simple problem statement, but because of the simpleness of the problem statement, is extremely difficult to solve.

    The problem statement is: to transduce a physical shape into an electrical signal.

    The turntable has to deliver this physical shape (turn the record groove) in as stable a manner as possible. The stylus has to trace this physical shape as accurately as possible. The tonearm has to hold the cartridge (holding the stylus) as steadily as possible above this physical groove.

    To trace this physical shape perfectly (which is made of extremely delicate vinyl), the ideal is a stylus of zero mass (zero momentum and zero inertia) and zero friction.

    For just playing the LP to be the cause of vinyl resonance and record slippage, the stylus would have to have low enough friction to grab the record as it turns, and push the record from side to side as it attempts to trace the groove. Such a stylus would have to have high mass and high friction - enough to iron the grooves in the vinyl flat within a play or so. Assuming that the stylus is low enough in mass that it doesn't cause your LP to turn silent within a couple of plays (or degrade your LP at every play) then the problem is elsewhere.

    Any record weight or clamp (unless the turntable is designed with one) fixes problems (sometimes shows up problems) inherent in the turntable design.
    so any weight or clamp outside the specific original design of any particular turntable that improves performance to any degree indicates a design problem with that turntable? for every turntable?

    so if i place a weight on the record on the Tech Das and the sound improves then the design has a problem? really? or do you think it's absolutely perfect in that area?

    maybe try the weight on the version of the Tech Das without vacuum holddown and compare it to the version with vacuum holddown. if the one with the weight sounded better then would that indicate a design problem with the Tech Das?

    or are we trying to say something else?

  3. #23
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    Mike-I think everyone has accepted the fact that we have turntables in the market place that sell for over $150K and some people have the financial resources to buy them. In that context, $3500 for a record clamp is no big deal. However, if you are buying a mega-expensive table, one should expect it to come with the appropriate clamp, weight, or vacuum hold down. I bought a SOTA Star Sapphire when they first came out and I think it was around $1600. Think about the all of the parts that went into making that turntable including the sapphire bearing and outboard pump and the beautiful woodwork. Even today I think you can buy a refurbished one for less than the price of the $3500 record clamp. I just don't see the value there. All that really matters is that you are happy with it and you think it improves the sound of your vinyl playback. And, I'm pretty sure you didn't spend anywhere near $3500 for it.

  4. #24
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    so any weight or clamp outside the specific original design of any particular turntable that improves performance to any degree indicates a design problem with that turntable? for every turntable?

    so if i place a weight on the record on the Tech Das and the sound improves then the design has a problem? really? or do you think it's absolutely perfect in that area?

    maybe try the weight on the version of the Tech Das without vacuum holddown and compare it to the version with vacuum holddown. if the one with the weight sounded better then would that indicate a design problem with the Tech Das?

    or are we trying to say something else?
    Yes - correct. If the Durand weight on the TechDas turntable with without vacuum hold-down makes it sound better than with vacuum hold-down, then there is an inherent problem that still is yet to be solved.

    On a turntable with vacuum hold-down, to compare apples to apples, you may also need a peripheral clamp because the record weight only holds down the middle of the record. The vacuum holds the whole record down to the platter.

    However, in the case of the Air Force One, the label is not held down by the vacuum, and I would argue that we are still not comparing apples to apples. Also, it is also not an equal comparison using the Air Force One without activating the vacuum. You will need the special non-vacuum hold-down platter because the vacuum on the platter also holds the two sub-platters together and improves attack and liveliness.
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  5. #25
    [WBF Founding Member] Addicted to Best! JackD201's Avatar
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    Not necessarily Mike. There are many tables out there as you know where clamps are an integral part of the over all design. Needing a clamp doesn't mean a table isn't SOTA. It's just a cat skinned a different way.

    Your system is very high resolution and capable of very low frequency generation. Your room is also very quiet. You or anyone in your room would pick up on differences much easier than most be it a clamp or an AC outlet. So logically, in another setting, it wouldn't be far fetched at all if someone with a lesser system couldn't pick out differences between an NVS with a clamp or without. Clearly the 3.5k is worth it for your quite unique situation but may be just eye candy for someone else.

    Too bad you've already unloaded your other turntables. It would have been great to get your impressions of the clamp on the others.
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  6. #26
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Mike-I think everyone has accepted the fact that we have turntables in the market place that sell for over $150K and some people have the financial resources to buy them. In that context, $3500 for a record clamp is no big deal. However, if you are buying a mega-expensive table, one should expect it to come with the appropriate clamp, weight, or vacuum hold down. I bought a SOTA Star Sapphire when they first came out and I think it was around $1600. Think about the all of the parts that went into making that turntable including the sapphire bearing and outboard pump and the beautiful woodwork. Even today I think you can buy a refurbished one for less than the price of the $3500 record clamp. I just don't see the value there. All that really matters is that you are happy with it and you think it improves the sound of your vinyl playback. And, I'm pretty sure you didn't spend anywhere near $3500 for it.
    And all I am trying to do is to point our readers to where this $3500 record weight is contributing it's solution. Your OP made it sound like the record itself is slipping and resonating. It's not caused by the stylus/groove interface. That's the last place you want to look for a problem for a record clamp/weight/vacuum-hold-down to fix.
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    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  7. #27
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] Mike Lavigne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    Yes - correct. If the Durand weight on the TechDas turntable with without vacuum hold-down makes it sound better than with vacuum hold-down, then there is an inherent problem that still is yet to be solved.

    On a turntable with vacuum hold-down, to compare apples to apples, you may also need a peripheral clamp because the record weight only holds down the middle of the record. The vacuum holds the whole record down to the platter.

    However, in the case of the Air Force One, the label is not held down by the vacuum, and I would argue that we are still not comparing apples to apples. Also, it is also not an equal comparison using the Air Force One without activating the vacuum. You will need the special non-vacuum hold-down platter because the vacuum on the platter also holds the two sub-platters together and improves attack and liveliness.
    i suppose this line of discussion depends on how you define 'design problem'. with mechanical systems we can only approach perfection, but never quite reach it because of how it works with such things. we always can get a little better as time goes by.

    so by definition every turntable's record-platter interface has problems, just some more than others.

    btw; i'm not suggesting that the Durand Record Weight would prove to be better than the Tech Das vacuum hold down system, although it would not greatly surprise me should that be the case. i did live with the Rockport Sirius III vacuum holddown system sitting next to numerous non-vacuum holddown turntables for a few years so i have sense for how those might compare.

  8. #28
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] Mike Lavigne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackD201 View Post
    Not necessarily Mike. There are many tables out there as you know where clamps are an integral part of the over all design. Needing a clamp doesn't mean a table isn't SOTA. It's just a cat skinned a different way.
    Jack,

    i'm not clear what comment of mine you are reacting to. i don't think i made any such comments that a tt with an integral clamp is not SOTA. my NVS has one of those, btw.

    Your system is very high resolution and capable of very low frequency generation. Your room is also very quiet. You or anyone in your room would pick up on differences much easier than most be it a clamp or an AC outlet. So logically, in another setting, it wouldn't be far fetched at all if someone with a lesser system couldn't pick out differences between an NVS with a clamp or without. Clearly the 3.5k is worth it for your quite unique situation but may be just eye candy for someone else.

    Too bad you've already unloaded your other turntables. It would have been great to get your impressions of the clamp on the others.
    i was very clear in my original post to say that my comments are only for my system only. i agree that getting one's ROI for this clamp would require a high resolution starting point.

    i already have plenty of time with vacuum hold down to know it's attributes quite clearly. and enough time with other tt's next to it for a good idea of how that goes.

    it would have been nice to have been able to keep those others; but one must make choices. no regrets for this guy.

  9. #29
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    i suppose this line of discussion depends on how you define 'design problem'. with mechanical systems we can only approach perfection, but never quite reach it because of how it works with such things. we always can get a little better as time goes by.
    Absolutely. That is why I was careful to word my response the way it was worded. My objective was to make sure that WBF readers were not mislead into thinking that the stylus/groove interface causes resonance that needed to be fixed by a record weight. Different turntable designers approach the problem from different directions and solve problems in different order.

    It's not just the record-platter interface, but the Durand weight may also address issues caused by bearing noise, cogginess in the motor, belt spring, resonance in the chassis structure, etc. I believe it's the same things being addressed by the Stillpoints puck.
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  10. #30
    Addicted to Best! cjfrbw's Avatar
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    Record clamps would be the easiest audio devices to do double blind studies on, since nothing changes but the clamp.

    The Durand is pretty to look at, and is an excellent solution for audiophiles who think something needs to be outlandishly expensive to work.

    As has been pointed out, however, if it "works", then what was wrong with your setup to begin with? Hmm, weighty questions that lead in many directions, perhaps better not to go there.

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