Clamps are an effective means to enhance the sound abilities of your turntable but there’s other options out there. Paul Rigby looks at just one, a damping puck from Soundeck
Machined and formed from stainless steel, including a strip of sound absorbing polymer within and weighing 500g, the DPS puck fits snuggly over the top of the turntable’s spindle. It is not a clamp and doesn’t grasp the spindle itself.
Playing Nat “King” Cole’s up tempo song, Shooting High and backed by a swinging jazz orchestra, adding the weight to my Wilson Benesch Circle turntable also added emphasis to the overall soundstage, bringing the brass section, in particular, into focus. That focus also benefitted Cole’s vocal delivery which previously tended towards slight forwardness during crescendos. Now, Cole offered precision during his performance while a sense of clarity behind him only added to the impact of his singing. Also noticeable behind Cole was the bass which offered power and a sense of rhythm.
I then played the post rock release from Pipedream, featuring detailed and expansive slow percussive effects plus synth soundscapes with lots of potential frequency smearing. The DP tightened up the percussive sounds, giving the drums added focus while increasing impact and giving the resident cymbal taps a fresh, fragile cloud-like response. The synths were also focused in their output, the smearing was largely controlled, becoming precise in their presentation which, in turn, created space and air that gave the synth suite a lightness of touch.
Turntable weights tend to help audiophiles during expansive system tweaking. That is, some turntables benefit from a weight, others benefit more from a replacement mat, others like both. Some user ears will love the heavy SDS puck for its meaty bass and control while others might prefer the lighter Oyaide SBS, which I used as a reference for this review, which reduces bass impact but adds midrange air. I highly recommend trying different variations, if you are able, to find the best combination for you. As it stands, the SDS Soundeck DPS puck corrects inherent frequency aberrations and improves sonics.
Tel: 0191 2590700
GOOD: soundstage focus, high frequency control, rhythmic bass, clarity
BAD: careful matching required