. . . simply me fiddling, a suprising result . . . ?
I've been having a play . . . who said 'so whats new'? OK, I thought I might have a go with an 'Acrimat' from Inspire hifi, all this chat of acrylic and all got the jucies rising. All very well but acrylic mats are very smooth, so some form of holding the record firmly on the mat might be a good idea? These 3mm mats seem to be offered with 'weighted Spindle Pucks' as an extra? Acrylic mates are designed to replace the standard felt mats found on all sorts of TT platers and claim to improve the performace?
I dug around in my box of 'useful one day bits' . . . came up with a couple record clamps, the 80's equivalent of modern spindle pucks. Two clamps, one by NAD the other from Michell engineering. So I thought, I have three options;
1 obviously, no fixing, simply drop the record over the spindle, as nature intended
2 weight one of the clamps, and use it as a 'Puck', in this case, the NAD lent itself to this process. I fashioned a 6oz weight as can be seen making a total weight of approx., 8oz. The whole fits over the spindle, but the clamp is not tightened.
3 Use the Michell clamp as it was originaly deigned, light pressure and turning the knurled clamp knob, an old fashioned idea revived?
As I say, its simply me fiddling as one so often does, not really expecting much. The result was a surprise . . . The standard un fixed record was played as a sample, usual tracks were chosen, so I knew what to expect in its standard form. Hazel was sitting beside me on the sofa, resting, she is still convalescing from her operation.
I swapped backwards and forwards, a few times . . . had a break, made a cup of tea. Hazel had said nothing. Back to the listening, 1, 2 and then 3 . . . without any prompting from me, I did not even realise she was listening, Hazel piped up, "the old fashioned clamp sounds best".
She was spot on, unclamped was as we had heard many times before in various tests, excellent. The weighted puck was disappointing, closing the soundstage down to within the speakers, depth was good, but overall, the sound lacked openness but detail was good. The light weight, old style Michell clamp was the surprise, a slight improvement over the 'control unweighted standard'. More air around the performance, extra width and depth in the sound stage, base and voicing were maintained. Not world shatering, but a subtle improvement in the image and openess, perhaps we did know what we were doing in the 'good old days'?
The interesting thing will be when I get the Acrimat and try the above again, will the old style clamp still be superior?? Should the modern 'spindle puck' be re reconsidered?