Record clamps


New member
Username: Tdub

Saskatoon, Sask. Canada

Post Number: 2
Registered: Nov-04
I have read many rave reviews of the benifits of record clamps or weights, but the cost seems high for something I may not notice with my turntable. Anyway I have a machinist friend who would build me one if I supply him with some dimensions. Would like to build one out of stainless steel. Anybody have or know were some dimensions could be found.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

You don't need dimensions for a record weight. Make the weight as heavy as you can for a size that fits under the dust cover of the turntable and doesn't extend beyond the record label. The spindle hole MUST be exactly centered. Be advised that not all turntables like a weight put on their main bearing. The most obvious problem is the additional weight can slow down the platter. A strobe disk can show when the physical limit of additional weight has been reached. The more important consideration is the damage the aditional weight can do to the thrust bearing of the table. Too much weight will eventually wear out the bearing and then you will have, quite possibly, a very expensive repair on your hands. Make certain your table can support the additional weight before using anything on the table that can do damage. An alternative is to look for a record clamp that does not rely on weight to do its job.


Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 242
Registered: Sep-04
There are three main designs of record clamp:

1. Threaded spindle
2. Lightweight friction fit
3. Heavyweight friction fit

The 1st type screws into a threaded centre spindle so this is not an option for you.

The second type is the most popular. My lightweight Michell clamp is 104grams in weight with a diameter of 8.6cm. It has a knurled knob which screws down onto an aluminium pipe that is split into 4 sections and squeezes onto the spindle as the knob is tightened. I also know that the latest Michell clamps are lighter in weight than mine, but I don't know by how much. Ensure that whatever it's made of is non-magnetic!

The 3rd type is the least common. My SME clamp is beautifully made, has the same diameter of 8.6cm and weighs 374grams! Once again it has a knurled knob but this is where SME have gained the weight - it's almost as wide as the clamp.

Some clamps do different things. The SME, for example, has a bevelled base and comes with a small 25mm diameter disc that sits beneath the record and helps the clamp to flatten even the most warped records. The clamp can be used with or without the disc. Personally I've only used the SME clamp a couple of times, not really enjoying what it does, but I still have plans to play with it some more one day. On the other hand, the Michell clamp works really well and the deck isn't as good without it in place.

Then again, I've tried a clamp on a Rega deck and it definitely doesn't work! I believe whether a deck needs a clamp or not is down to the way it channels the energy of the system when a record is being played so some benefit from a clamp and some don't.

Good luck with your experiment.

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