the Durand Record Weight; love it!

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#1
over the last year Joel Durand has brought over prototypes of a record weight he has been working on a few times, trying various designs and various materials. as i understanded it; his intentions were to make sure that this record weight would 'subtract nothing' from the performance and 'to guarantee that the record is in the best contact with the platter'.

i think he has succeeded in his efforts to build a record weight that only helped. and yesterday he delivered my new Durand Record Weight.

up till now i have had three choices for playing records on my NVS turntable; nude, with the NVS clamp and spacer, and with an Extremephono mat. all three approaches are good, but of the three i have preferred the Extremephono mat, which is 2 part.....a carbon fibre upper and foam pad lower. and i have been quite happy with the mat. it was the most lively and focused of the three approaches.

i own one other tt weight (Thorens Stabilizer--really sucks!) and have tried many over the years and never have liked any of them. 'nude' has always sounded best to my ears...until now.

the Durand Record Weight adds focus, energy and naturalness. i love the textural detail, the added snap and leading edge definition, while adding naturalness and never sounding brighter or edgy. it adds body and harmonic richness to all the tiny details, fleshing them out. i think it does this by removing resonance from the record. Joel left yesterday at 4pm and i continued to listen until 1am, then was listening again this morning. i love it when every record is newly better in a good way.

i would characterize and quantify this change as a small (not tiny) effect with large consequences. when you are already at high resolution something that makes peaks more natural, or focuses vocals better, or defines bass notes better, or simply gives you more a sense of musical flow, has lots of value even though it is subtle in degree of change.

i can only comment on how it works with my Durand Telos tonearm with the Ortofon Anna cartridge on my NVS turntable; i've not tried it on other set-ups.
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#4
So how many thousands is it? What's it made of?
$3500.

from the Durand website;

......a five-level barrier of different materials to act as a filter for undesirable vibrations. The combination of hardwood, exotic metal and Teflon for the main assembly, and sapphire for the feet guarantees a drastic reduction of the macro- and micro-vibrations that damage the original signal contained in the grooves.
http://www.durand-tonearms.com/Accessories/accessories.html
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#5
Jul 9, 2011
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Chicago, IL
#6

Johnny Vinyl

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May 16, 2010
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Calgary, AB
#7

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#8
Pray tell, what is one getting for his $3500?
it's about context. if you have pushed the envelope of vinyl performance to a certain place, then small steps are valuable. if not, then no way to relate the value of taking exceptional vinyl performance a little further. and i'm not claiming any universal benefit beyond my gear and system, although i would expect the Durand Record Weight to be effective in most non-vacuum hold-down set-ups, i'm simply guessing about that.

i'm assuming you have read my comments. if so, they do explain my perceptions of the benefit i percieved.

besides that, i'm not exactly sure what you are asking.....with all due respect, of course.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#9
A piece of wood! (sorry Mike...I couldn't resist);)
thanks for that. i accept that stuff like very spendy record clamps will bring out a certain type of response, and i respect that is a reasonable thing. i'm glad that you responded like that.;)
 

MylesBAstor

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Apr 20, 2010
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#10
thanks for that. i accept that stuff like very spendy record clamps will bring out a certain type of response, and i respect that is a reasonable thing. i'm glad that you responded like that.;)
Mike:

Did you ever try the Shun Mook or Hi-Fi Tuning wood record weights?
 

Peter Breuninger

[Industry Expert] Member Sponsor
Jul 20, 2010
1,231
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#11
The Walker at $1,700 is now a bargain.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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#12
I like my aircraft grade aluminum record weight that was machined from solid billet aluminum. I think it cost me $50. Does the Durand record weight come in an ultra fancy museum quality wooden box like his tonearms do?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#13

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#14
I like my aircraft grade aluminum record weight that was machined from solid billet aluminum. I think it cost me $50. Does the Durand record weight come in an ultra fancy museum quality wooden box like his tonearms do?
it does come in a fancy box.

as far as solid aluminum billet; the idea of a record weight is to bleed off resonance from the record so it's not part of the sound.. simple mass will only change the resonance, not bleed it off. most record weights have dulled the sound to my ears. the trick is to bleed resonance while not doing any tonal shift.

obviously every platter and tt design can present a different challenge to controling the record. so likely record weights must be judged in specific contexts.

vacuum hold down needs to be engineered so it retains livelyness and tonal balance. it can potentially deaden the sound just like many record weights.

every approach to keeping the record from slipping has the same challenges.

have you compared your solid aluminum record weight to other types?
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
6,872
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Northern NY
#15
have you compared your solid aluminum record weight to other types?
owning a variety of weights and clamps. I have a beefy Aluminum billet weight. It worked pretty well until I tried a Stillpoints LP1. That design does bleed off resonance/vibration. I imagine the Durand is doing the same thing using a different implementation. Was this puck (developed/voiced) to the NVS/Telos combo ?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#16
owning a variety of weights and clamps. I have a beefy Aluminum billet weight. It worked pretty well until I tried a Stillpoints LP1. That design does bleed off resonance/vibration. I imagine the Durand is doing the same thing using a different implementation. Was this puck (developed/voiced) to the NVS/Telos combo ?
no. although he does frequently use my room for testing he also uses other's too.

Joel has at least 2 turntables, there are other local tt's he's tried it on, if you look on the Durand website i think there is a picture from 2013 CES where it's used on (what looks like to me as) a Clearaudio like yours.

my perspective is that any very high resolution tt/arm/cart combo will get a similar benefit. but since i've not done the listening to various combo's i'm just making an educated guess.
 
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mep

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Apr 21, 2010
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#17
it does come in a fancy box.
I just knew it did. ;)

as far as solid aluminum billet; the idea of a record weight is to bleed off resonance from the record so it's not part of the sound.. simple mass will only change the resonance, not bleed it off. most record weights have dulled the sound to my ears. the trick is to bleed resonance while not doing any tonal shift.
I would love to see an in-depth technical discussion of the resonances involved in playing back an LP. I thought the main purpose of a record weight or clamp was to cause an intimate contact relationship between the LP and the platter which could prevent resonances that could occur between the two if they weren't making intimate contact. I personally don't understand how any record weight or clamp could drain away a resonance from an LP when the weight is centered over the label of the LP. That would infer that all of the resonances that exist in an LP drain toward the center of an LP and the record weight or clamp could somehow dissipate all of the resonances by sitting on the label.

have you compared your solid aluminum record weight to other types?
No, Mike, I haven't. I used to have a VPI TNT before I bought the SP-10 MKII and the VPI had its own screw down clamp which was pretty effective at keeping the LP in contact with the platter except for warped records which I don't tend to play anyway.

Billet aluminum isn't cheap and machining costs are cheap either. But if I can buy a machined record weight made from aircraft-grade billet aluminum for $50, it's hard to understand how any record weight could cost $3500. That is more money than many people have invested in their entire LP setup. I thought the Still Points LP weight was expensive at around $500, but now I see that is a relative bargain. Again, I would love to see a discussion about the physics behind how exotic record weights are able to drain away resonances from an LP when they sit on the label which has no grooves.
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
#18
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.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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#19
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 Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#20
I would love to see an in-depth technical discussion of the resonances involved in playing back an LP. I thought the main purpose of a record weight or clamp was to cause an intimate contact relationship between the LP and the platter which could prevent resonances that could occur between the two if they weren't making intimate contact. I personally don't understand how any record weight or clamp could drain away a resonance from an LP when the weight is centered over the label of the LP. That would infer that all of the resonances that exist in an LP drain toward the center of an LP and the record weight or clamp could somehow dissipate all of the resonances by sitting on the label.
i'm no engineer or even very technically informed. i can only observe cause and effect. my oberservations typcially show me results of use of a record weight is loss of energy. record clamps purpose designed as a system for specific turntables are different than third party record weights that i have heard used. so let's leave record clamps out of this as they serve a slightly different function to typically 'bend' the record or put it under a leveraged pressure. as opposed to a record weight that dampens by loading.

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.

we listen to results of anything we do to load the record and judge what we hear. i happen to really like what i'm hearing from the Durand Record Weight. i can't really argue the technical merits. i can only report what i hear and my previous experience with similar products.

No, Mike, I haven't. I used to have a VPI TNT before I bought the SP-10 MKII and the VPI had its own screw down clamp which was pretty effective at keeping the LP in contact with the platter except for warped records which I don't tend to play anyway.

Billet aluminum isn't cheap and machining costs are cheap either. But if I can buy a machined record weight made from aircraft-grade billet aluminum for $50, it's hard to understand how any record weight could cost $3500. That is more money than many people have invested in their entire LP setup. I thought the Still Points LP weight was expensive at around $500, but now I see that is a relative bargain. Again, I would love to see a discussion about the physics behind how exotic record weights are able to drain away resonances from an LP when they sit on the label which has no grooves.
i'm not getting into value. that's for everyone to judge for themselves. i'll only say we have all accepted a $90k turntable as no big deal. we celebrate every new member of that club. so this is not that big a deal.
 

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