Record Weights/Disc Stabilizers

I was curious about folks' takes on record weights/disc stabilizers.  Let me start by saying that I'm not as interested in a disc clamp, although I understand why some prefer them.  I have a turntable (Technics SL-1210G) that can handle up to a 1kg weight so the first question--is more weight always better?  Any differences found in what they are made of (outside of how that affects the weight)?  Anything else I should be considering?

I hope to demo a few but wanted to narrow things down a bit if possible.



I tried the VPI weight, the Project Record Puck (very heavy) and settled on the HRS record weight.  They make 2 of which I bought the lighter one (500-600 grams) and I am ver happy.  With the heavy record puck, the table which is a SL1200G lost some of the PRAT.

@stereo5 Did you get to listen to both the heavier and more moderate HRS record weights?  If so, I'm curious about what you liked better about the lighter weight.

The heavier HRS weight is around the same weight as the Project record puck which I did not like.   I bought the HRS weight used so I never heard the heavier weight. 

I have both. I got a Wayne’s Audio periphery ring. It made a difference in sound. But another benefit of a center weight and ring is how they combine to flatten a record. Just make sure the beating on your TT is stout enough to handle the weight.

@badgerdms The use of a particular material and weight of such material has without doubt an influence, when used on the LP during a replay. There are plenty of experiences had where the user reports are, that the sonic perceived as being produced is a betterment .

This is not limited to weight applied from above, the Mat used to support the LP can have equal or even more of a influence on the perceived sonic being produced.

The use of a Platter Mat in some form is pretty much ubiquitous, a piece of Natural Material like Rice or Gasket Paper, Leather. A Dot Mat, or those with an increased substance such as Metals, Ceramics, Plastics or even Uber Modern Material. Stacked configurations of the above are also known of to myself.

The material type and material weight selected as a Platter Mat will not be seen as a typical material used by others. A search will show there is a substantial variety of materials in use.

The best is achieved from weight above the LP, when the LP is rested on a material that assists with the optimisation of the interface being produced across three material types. 

+1 on the HRS 

One function of a weight is to secure the record to the platter in lieu of a mat, which in my case is bare Delrin (mats are not ubiquitous).

Another function is to deal with vibration/resonance generated by the stylus. The HRS utilizes a polymer interface between the record, spindle and weight to deal with this which I found to be a noticeable benefit when compared to others I had tried which all used a cheap felt pad.

Lastly I use the light version which is 315g vs 850g for the Heavy which "is specifically designed to be used with mid to high mass turntable designs (approximately 15 lb. platter and higher)".      

I hope that helps.

@macg19 Thanks for your thoughts.  As close as I've been able to come to auditioning the HRS weights are the MoFi versions that were developed for them by or in conjunction with HRS.  Right now I have the Pure Fidelity SS-10 record stabilizer (which is the weight on my other deck, a Pure Fidelity Harmony) coming in at 765 grams, the MoFi Super Heavyweight (ironically not really the heaviest that they have) coming in at 367 grams, and a Furetech Monza coming in at about 350 grams.

The Furutech is probably the techiest and is a combination of stainless steel, carbon fiber, and a piezoelectric damping material.  It seems to add some better instrument delineation and space without changing too much of the Technics sound.  I like this one best with something well recorded,  It adds in the right places without being too much.  The Pure Fidelity SP-10 adds more heft to the proceedings, again without robbing the table of its basic nature.  I think a lot of folks would like this weight the best of the three.  I like it best with records that are not that well recorded (think current indie records), where the added heft is very welcome and helps balance what would be the harsher edges.  The MoFi somewhat splits the difference and gives up some detail for a smoother sound.  With the Technics, I feel it gets too far away from the basic strengths of the TT and is a little too polite for my tastes.

It's been an interesting exercise so far, I hope to try a few more before I'm done.

@z32kerber I used to own a VPI with had a periphery ring.  I found that to be a giant PITA but agree that it works well.

On both my Technics SP10R and Nantais Ref II Lenco, after trying (and still owning) myriad weights and clamps, including the HRS, I found the Origin Live Gravity One to sound the best. It is also the lightest.

@badgerdms I’ve found the Waynes Audio ring fairly easy to put on and take off. The jig works pretty well. 


The only instance where a record weight might improve playback is with a dished record when playing the convex side. Otherwise they do next to nothing. With perfectly flat records you don't need anything at all. Unfortunately, that applies to less than 10% of the records we purchase. The problem is not a resonating record. It is pitch variation as the tonearm tracks up and down warps. This is way more audible than people think. Put a test record on and stick a dime under the edge of the record then play it and you will hear the tone warble at 33.3 times per minute. It is not as obvious with a complex signal but it ruins the illusion of being at a live venue. 

Peripheral rings do flatten some warps but are a PITA to use and dangerous around delicate cantilevers. They are always used in conjunction with a record weight. In the absence of vacuum clamping reflex clamping is the best solution. The Sota, JA Michell and Basis clamps are examples. They are no more difficult to use than a record weight. You just have to add a twist.

@mijostyn I'm not going to agree with that.  I'm rotating three different weights/stabilizers (and of course are comparing those to not using a weight at all) and my general sonic impressions are similar across all of my records, regardless of whether they are dished,  I actually have one that's somewhat dished and you definitely hear the warble, but that's not the difference that I'm hearing across the board. 

@badgerdms I am a member of what I refer to as my local HiFi Group.

I has quite a few get togethers in a year, some based on having musical encounters only and other mostly based on experiencing Audio Equipment or Supporting Ancillaries.

The intention usually is to become familiarised with a particular device in a well known system, and evaluate whether it might be worth creating the experience of the device in ones home system. 

Platter Mats and Platter Weights have all been put up for trials.

For Platter Spindle Weights both Branded and Home Produced have been used, with materials such as, Metal, Plastic, Wood, Densified Wood and Composites. For certain materials, these have been used as different weights. 

For Platter Mats apart from a 0.9mm Leather type, all other Mats have been bought in, even though a few were not a dedicated Mat, they were cut from a raw material to the dimension for a Platter Mat. Materials used are:

 Metal (Gun Metal in different thicknesses), (Duralumin), Stainless Steel) (AT 666 Vacuum).

Ceramic (singular and stacked).

Composite (Graphite), (Thermoplastic), (Rubber-Cork).

Rubber (Various Types), Oil Filled Rubber, Forex Foam (different thicknesses).

Leather (different thicknesses). 

I have been familiarised with the bulk of the above being demo'd as a group activity, where they have been used on a DD TT, in multiple permutations on TT's used in different homes. Prior to this, I have had the experience of a large proportion of these as a group activity, where they have been used on  I D TT's in different homes. Additionally, I have also experienced a lesser proportion with group members in different homes on BD TT's. 

My own collection of weights and mats have also been loaned out to group members for a long-term evaluations, where extended periods if usage for each permutation that can be put in place is able to be catered for, especially enabling any VTA concerns to be addressed.

As a group activity, time is the constraint. A lot is to be gotten through when this activity is the Topic of the get together. Two Tracks per permutation is the time allowance, ultimately becoming two tracks that are listened to repetitively until the pain threshold is too much, as some attendees have stated, have we found a new form of  torture. Additionally, VTA adjustments are always being considered so some permutations known of for the materials are not duplicated during the demo's. 

A discovery made through the overall experiences having been attended, is that certain TT's are not compatible with the weight that can end up be placed on them. Additionally, TT's that can receive all weights produced from the permutations, respond differently to the permutations of weight/material in different environments.

There is not a ubiquitous method for a selection of materials or materials weight. This ideal combination to be used on a particular TT, is seemingly to be discovered through trials of materials in a particular environment and particular mounting method for the TT.

It is the environment / TT support that are contributing to the energy being transferred to the Platter/ LP and ultimately the Styli. It is the permutations of materials selected to be placed Under/Over the LP. With the materials being selected, used solely for separating the LP from the Platter/Sandwiching the LP, prior to the styli making an interface, that are the main impact on the perception of a sonic being produced. These permutations are capable of producing a sonic that can increase/decrease the attraction for the sonic being used.

In use, are these permutations of materials / weights able to overcome fundamental issues caused by using poorly thought out support structures and mounting methods for a TT? I doubt this very much, support structures for mounting a TT is a different subject. Tidying Up a sonic, to what one perceives to be more attractive to the individual is   what is immediately available from Mat / Spindle Weight permutation.       





Then if you want to hear a remarkable improvement get yourself a Michell Engineering clamp, inexpensive but effective. If it is not good looking enough for you there is the Sota and the Basis clamps. They all work the same way.

I also forgot to mention one other approach that seems to be effective. I noticed a friend's CS Port turntable had an extremally heavy record weight. Because it uses an air bearing the CS can get away with this. But why so heavy? An older person with weaker hands might have difficulty with it.  The answer is the platter. There is no record mat and the surface of the platter is ground concave. Putting a straight edge across it the spindle is down about 1/16". The heavy weight is flexing the record into the concavity, clever. 

If you think you hear a difference put on blinders and have another person man the turntable changing records and weights keeping a log. If you can reliably identify any particular situation you have made a believer out of me. If not then you are letting psychology rule the day. This kind of statement always pisses people off. It should not. I have exactly the same psychology. The only difference is I have learned to identify when it is interfering. On the other hand I am not at all adverse to good looking equipment. It impresses the hell out of your friends.

Beware the unabashed totalizers, who universalize their experience and speak in axioms and absolutes.

I use VPI's screw-down stainless/Delrin reflex clamp and periphery ring.  They work great IMO - there's no better way to flatten out your records short of a vacuum platter.

All the tedious set-up steps we go through with our cartridges (VTA, VTF, azimuth, overhang, alignment, etc) assume an unwarped record.  IMO everything goes right out the window if you don't use a weight of some sort and something to keep the edge of the record flat against the platter. 

@kfscoll I had a VPI for a while and started with the clamp and moved to the center weight and periphery ring.  Over time I just found it detracted from my wanting to play records.  I respect anyone who wants to squeeze every ounce of performance out of their deck, but a little like record cleaning, it needs to be simple.

For example, I'm not s person who would ever go through the Kirmuss method of cleaning a record, but I would put in in a Degritter and hit a button.  Likewise, I'll get the initial setup right but refuse to do things like VTA on the fly for every record.  To me, anything that might actually make you avoid playing a record is a negative, That's pretty much why I'm sticking with weights/stabilizers for the Technics--I want to enjoy listening to records but not fixate on the setup, so I'm in total "set and forget" mode here.

@badgerdms I hear ya.  I never mess with VTA-on-the-fly either, primarily because it's a PITA but also because changing VTA also changes VTF.  I used a generic 180g record to set up my turntable and those are the settings I use with all my records.

I can totally understand if you don't want to use the periphery clamp.  I don't find it much of a bother, and I've never come close to damaging my cantilever when using it, so I just go for it.  There are a few records I have that are just a bit too small for it to work...oh well!

@wrm57 Great call on the Origin Live Gravity One!  I'm still comparing it to the Furetech Monza, but it sure seems like the winner right now.  It seems to provide a more three-dimensional image in which individual instruments in complicated passages are much easier to pick out.  And everything it does seems to be for the positive with no negative side-effects.  

@badgerdms , glad it’s working out for you. I think it is terrific, the only one I’ve found that doesn’t affect tonal balance and the energy of the recording. It seems merely to dissipate some slight, spurious resonance or chatter, bringing notes and transients more into focus while leaving the music itself intact and lifelike. No real tradeoffs to me. I haven’t tried the Monza, which people seem to like. But I’ve gradually determined that, for me on my turntables, mass is counterproductive. Seems good at first, especially in the low frequencies, but ends up subtly discombobulating timing and my toe stops tapping.