I’ve never been one for accessorising my turntable; record clamps, weights, attachable brushes and fancy mats have never appealed to me. That said, anyone who has amassed a vinyl collection will almost certainly have encountered a warped record, particularly if the records are purchased on the used market. My collection is no exception; and so the time came to pick up a record clamp to aid in playing them back.
Naturally, there are a few choices on the market where clamps are concerned. There are weights which rely purely on weight to press the record flat, and there are screw-type clamps which are pressed over the record label and locked to the turntable spindle. The TangoSpinner Twister 1.5, hereafter referred too as the ‘Twister’, is different.
As can be deduced by its name, the twister features a butyl rubber grip surrounding the central spindle hole allowing it to be placed over the record spindle and twisted to clamp the record in place. The name TangoSpinner is a reference to the products conception, design and manufacture in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Made from a heavy solid aluminium, the clamp closely resembles other products on the market; though with better styling and a design optimised for aerodynamics and optimal weight distribution. butyl rubber rings surrounding the top allow for better grip when installing and removing the clamp; and the enlarged label contact area beneath enables you to centre a record with a large centre hole with a reasonable degree of accuracy, with another butyl rubber ring for extra grip.
Installation is simple. With a record on the platter, the clamp can be pressed over the spindle and twisted on a circular motion until it is flat against the record label, at which point the record is effectively clamped to the platter. The clamp can be pulled up and twisted to remove it from the spindle, though as it does grip the spindle tightly removal can be a little more difficult. Adding a drop of dry silicone or teflon lubricant to the spindle hole is recommended to aid in installation and removal, and to prolong the life of the product.
The clamp is designed for use with Rega turntables, though it will work with any turntable providing it has a decent spindle length. It was tested with the modified Rega RP6 turntable featured in numerous Audio Appraisal posts, fitted with the Tangospinner sub platter which has an extended spindle for use with just such a device. The clamp is extremely easy to use, though centring large hole records requires some trial and error; I opted instead for a thin centring device for those records.
In use, the twister does, noticeably, impact the sound. Bass becomes tighter and is better defined; and, on warped records, noise is reduced as the stylus no-longer has to travel the warp. The twister also helps to further isolate the record from external interference such as vibrations transmitted through the plinth and the platter.
The twister 1.5 record clamp does what it says on the tin. It’s a simple, stylish record clamp and weight. It’ll bring those warped records back to life; and, providing you don’t mind taking a little extra time to turn over the record, it’ll make a noticeable improvement even when playing back new, or flat, vinyl. It’s available from TangoSpinner.com. Highly recommended.