Disc Stabilizers - Yay or Nay?

caicai spacecho 362 Posts
edited October 2014 in Strut Central
These things...



I've never used one.. do they have a significant effect on sound quality?

I can imagine they might increase traction when playing a warped dynoflex LP but other than that.. I'm sceptical of the need for them.

Can anyone enlighten me as to why I should cop?
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  Comments


  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    Audiophiles fall for all kinds of hocus pocus.
    I always assumed, beyond helping with dished records, that this was one of them.

  • asstroasstro 1,754 Posts
    I have always been super curious about these things but I never wanted to pay the asking price. However I did see a thread somewhere about making a DIY version with a hockey puck, so I bought a couple of pucks off Amazon and gave it a try. After a lot of A-B testing I do think it makes a bit of a difference in that the bass response seems tighter and more solid with the weight on (this on a Tech 1210 with an Ortofon 2M Blue cart). It's not a massive night/day difference but when you listen it's there. For 2 dollars it's definitely worth a try, the hardest part is determining the exact center of the puck and drilling it accurately. Looks like this (excuse the crappy iPhoto)


  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,773 Posts
    I bought a turntable weight for digitising and also think it helps for bass response/"bass purity" (disclaimer: I listen to a lot of dance music). An extra bonus is that I have a few 45s with holes that are too big, so once I've found the centre I can play it with the weight holding the record in place. My turntables are direct drive Vestax, not sure if a belt drive would be effected by the extra weight.

  • kicks79kicks79 1,332 Posts
    I remember being in NYC in 08 and the DJ playing upstairs at APT had them. I had to run up and ask him what the hell they where as I'd never seen them before.
    Since that I've only ever really seen Japanese cats like Mitsu the Beats use them in actual DJ sets.

  • asstroasstro 1,754 Posts
    Duderonomy said:
    My turntables are direct drive Vestax, not sure if a belt drive would be effected by the extra weight.

    From what I've read if you have a audiophile type belt drive table you don't want a weight, you need a clamp that threads on or otherwise attaches itself to the spindle to apply pressure. The motors and suspensions on those kinds of tables don't like the extra weight.

  • I recently watched most of the John Dent RBMA lecture. This guy is an experienced Mastering engineer (http://www.loudmastering.com/).
    He says that Technics SL1210s absorb a lot of vibration which means less information is passed to the stylus. Putting an upturned glass over the spindle to weigh down the record onto the platter results in a much improved bass sound. He demonstrates it and it's easy to hear.

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,773 Posts
    These are my shits:



    I imagine if you played a gig that got a bit tasty they would double as excellent projectiles.

  • asstroasstro 1,754 Posts
    granjero said:
    I recently watched most of the John Dent RBMA lecture. This guy is an experienced Mastering engineer (http://www.loudmastering.com/).
    He says that Technics SL1210s absorb a lot of vibration which means less information is passed to the stylus. Putting an upturned glass over the spindle to weigh down the record onto the platter results in a much improved bass sound. He demonstrates it and it's easy to hear.

    If you look at the pic I posted above I also have small rubber o-rings placed along the tonearm of my table, the hollow aluminum tonearm on the 1200/1210 is prone to the same kind of vibration and the rings do a good job of deadening these vibrations. Some people have used rubber shrink tubing to do the same thing but I was nervous that I would melt the wires inside the arm trying to shrink the wrap so I went with the rings. They made an immediate difference, more noticeable than the weight did. And they also have the benefit of being cheap (I think a pack of 10 rings was $2.50 at Home Depot) and immediately reversible if you don't like the sound. Combined with the weight I personally really like the difference they make.

  • asstroasstro 1,754 Posts
    Duderonomy said:
    These are my shits:



    I imagine if you played a gig that got a bit tasty they would double as excellent projectiles.

    Those look nice but 40 quid each for these is bonkers IMO.

    Don't say it, I know: :poor:

  • asstro said:





  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,773 Posts
    asstro said:
    Duderonomy said:
    These are my shits:



    I imagine if you played a gig that got a bit tasty they would double as excellent projectiles.

    Those look nice but 40 quid each for these is bonkers IMO.

    Don't say it, I know: :poor:

    Before I became a teacher I had money spare for these kind of things. Now all of my spare cash goes on rum and rioja.

  • Hmmm I never thought about using some rubber orings to deaden some of the tone arm vibration. My Numark TTX-1's tonearm light and hollow as well, so I would probably notice some difference.

    Never tried stabilizers though. Seen a lot of people on Instagram flaunt them. The physics/theory behind it makes some sense.

  • GaryGary 3,982 Posts
    I use them on my gp-3










    No I don't

  • CBearCBear 902 Posts
    I think it's foolish to dismiss all audiophile pursuits categorically. Making your system sound good doesn't mean you have to waste money. Stabilizing your record so more vibration is transferred to the stylus does improve the sound and it can be accomplished with pretty much anything. Those fancy weights pictured above are just hockey pucks, but they look a lot better. There's beauty in good design and good sound.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    CBear said:
    I think it's foolish to dismiss all audiophile pursuits categorically. Making your system sound good doesn't mean you have to waste money. Stabilizing your record so more vibration is transferred to the stylus does improve the sound and it can be accomplished with pretty much anything. Those fancy weights pictured above are just hockey pucks, but they look a lot better. There's beauty in good design and good sound.

    This thread has convinced me. Not that I am going out to buy hockey pucks.

  • I got bought a stabiliser as a gift, looks great for sure, and did make a difference on a 1210 with slipmats, tightened the bass a little...

    HOWEVER the significant difference came when I moved to a Funk Achromat instead of standard slipmat. A LOT of surface noise disappeared & the sound has tightened up on the bottom, the top end is more pronounced and clearer. Add on the stabiliser and the noise is almost digital quality, as in its gone (if that makes sense).

    All of my vinyl sounds better, but as said, the slipmat was the real difference (and I was a great unbeliever on all this)
    Attached files

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    soulcitizen said:
    I got bought a stabiliser as a gift, looks great for sure, and did make a difference on a 1210 with slipmats, tightened the bass a little...

    HOWEVER the significant difference came when I moved to a Funk Achromat instead of standard slipmat. A LOT of surface noise disappeared & the sound has tightened up on the bottom, the top end is more pronounced and clearer. Add on the stabiliser and the noise is almost digital quality, as in its gone (if that makes sense).

    All of my vinyl sounds better, but as said, the slipmat was the real difference (and I was a great unbeliever on all this)

    It pains me to see so many 1200s out there with the original rubber mat tossed and replaced with a slip mat. The OG rubber mat makes a huge difference in sound quality and the engineers who designed the 1200 apparently spent 100s of hours getting it just right. If you're actually scratching etc then I understand the slip mat, but for home listening it's fairly disastrous sound quality wise.

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,773 Posts

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    Horseleech said:
    soulcitizen said:
    I got bought a stabiliser as a gift, looks great for sure, and did make a difference on a 1210 with slipmats, tightened the bass a little...

    HOWEVER the significant difference came when I moved to a Funk Achromat instead of standard slipmat. A LOT of surface noise disappeared & the sound has tightened up on the bottom, the top end is more pronounced and clearer. Add on the stabiliser and the noise is almost digital quality, as in its gone (if that makes sense).

    All of my vinyl sounds better, but as said, the slipmat was the real difference (and I was a great unbeliever on all this)

    It pains me to see so many 1200s out there with the original rubber mat tossed and replaced with a slip mat. The OG rubber mat makes a huge difference in sound quality and the engineers who designed the 1200 apparently spent 100s of hours getting it just right. If you're actually scratching etc then I understand the slip mat, but for home listening it's fairly disastrous sound quality wise.

    I researched this before changing to slip mats.
    The audio forums said it was a taste issue.
    I didn't notice a change.

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    LaserWolf said:
    Horseleech said:
    soulcitizen said:
    I got bought a stabiliser as a gift, looks great for sure, and did make a difference on a 1210 with slipmats, tightened the bass a little...

    HOWEVER the significant difference came when I moved to a Funk Achromat instead of standard slipmat. A LOT of surface noise disappeared & the sound has tightened up on the bottom, the top end is more pronounced and clearer. Add on the stabiliser and the noise is almost digital quality, as in its gone (if that makes sense).

    All of my vinyl sounds better, but as said, the slipmat was the real difference (and I was a great unbeliever on all this)

    It pains me to see so many 1200s out there with the original rubber mat tossed and replaced with a slip mat. The OG rubber mat makes a huge difference in sound quality and the engineers who designed the 1200 apparently spent 100s of hours getting it just right. If you're actually scratching etc then I understand the slip mat, but for home listening it's fairly disastrous sound quality wise.

    I researched this before changing to slip mats.
    The audio forums said it was a taste issue.
    I didn't notice a change.

    Were you listening through this?


  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    Horseleech said:
    LaserWolf said:
    Horseleech said:
    soulcitizen said:
    I got bought a stabiliser as a gift, looks great for sure, and did make a difference on a 1210 with slipmats, tightened the bass a little...

    HOWEVER the significant difference came when I moved to a Funk Achromat instead of standard slipmat. A LOT of surface noise disappeared & the sound has tightened up on the bottom, the top end is more pronounced and clearer. Add on the stabiliser and the noise is almost digital quality, as in its gone (if that makes sense).

    All of my vinyl sounds better, but as said, the slipmat was the real difference (and I was a great unbeliever on all this)

    It pains me to see so many 1200s out there with the original rubber mat tossed and replaced with a slip mat. The OG rubber mat makes a huge difference in sound quality and the engineers who designed the 1200 apparently spent 100s of hours getting it just right. If you're actually scratching etc then I understand the slip mat, but for home listening it's fairly disastrous sound quality wise.

    I researched this before changing to slip mats.
    The audio forums said it was a taste issue.
    I didn't notice a change.

    Were you listening through this?


    Fair enough.

    Those do reflect my tastes.

  • asstroasstro 1,754 Posts
    Horseleech said:
    soulcitizen said:
    I got bought a stabiliser as a gift, looks great for sure, and did make a difference on a 1210 with slipmats, tightened the bass a little...

    HOWEVER the significant difference came when I moved to a Funk Achromat instead of standard slipmat. A LOT of surface noise disappeared & the sound has tightened up on the bottom, the top end is more pronounced and clearer. Add on the stabiliser and the noise is almost digital quality, as in its gone (if that makes sense).

    All of my vinyl sounds better, but as said, the slipmat was the real difference (and I was a great unbeliever on all this)

    It pains me to see so many 1200s out there with the original rubber mat tossed and replaced with a slip mat. The OG rubber mat makes a huge difference in sound quality and the engineers who designed the 1200 apparently spent 100s of hours getting it just right. If you're actually scratching etc then I understand the slip mat, but for home listening it's fairly disastrous sound quality wise.

    I agree, unless you are scratching the stock rubber mat really is perfect for the 1200. Especially if used with the flat side up and the ridged side down. I was curious about the Achromat but I read some reviews that said it works much better on belt drive tables than it did on a 1200. And it costs $100.

  • discos_almadiscos_alma discos_alma 2,164 Posts
    If you are recording something, use the rubber slipmat. Makes a big difference, IMO.

  • caicai spacecho 362 Posts
    Arrrg I was one of those dumb hip hop kids that threw out the technics rubber mats. Now that I'm all grown up I think I'll get some more..

    Thanks for the replies everyone, very interesting.

  • kicks79kicks79 1,332 Posts
    I haven't seen my rubber mats in the thirteen years since i've had my 1200s.
    I have vague memories of throwing them out ??

  • I've only heard that they were "shipping mats" and were to be used for transport. If they add sonic value with their weight, why wouldn't they just make the platter heavier instead of giving you the option to remove them?

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    Otis_Funkmeyer said:
    I've only heard that they were "shipping mats" and were to be used for transport. If they add sonic value with their weight, why wouldn't they just make the platter heavier instead of giving you the option to remove them?

    I've read a fair amount on this subject and have never encountered the 'shipping mat' idea. In fact, iirc, the mat is packed separately from the platter when shipped.

    And I don't see anybody saying it's the weight that makes the difference - it's the vibration dampening of the rubber.

  • asstroasstro 1,754 Posts
    The mat is definitely packed separately, I have a 1200 still packed in the box with most of the OG packing material in place. The rubber mat is in the original brown paper sleeve. The platter isn't even mounted on a new, fresh-out-the-box 1200, to prevent the spindle/motor being damaged in transit. If you ever have to ship one you should make sure to remove the platter or you could be responsible for not packing it properly if it gets damaged.

    Otis_Funkmeyer said:
    I've only heard that they were "shipping mats" and were to be used for transport. If they add sonic value with their weight, why wouldn't they just make the platter heavier instead of giving you the option to remove them?

    When the 1200 was designed there was no though that anyone would want to remove the mat, it was an integral part of the design to limit resonance. Remember it wasn't designed for designed for DJ's, DJ's adopted it and made changes that worked and Technics recognized that and made some of those things standard (like slipmats and getting rid of the dustcover hinges).

  • asstro said:


    Not bad, never thought about trying one but for this cheap why not. Good DIY hack, I can see myself being too lazy to put it on all the time though..

  • FlomotionFlomotion 2,390 Posts
    asstro said:
    The mat is definitely packed separately, I have a 1200 still packed in the box with most of the OG packing material in place. The rubber mat is in the original brown paper sleeve. The platter isn't even mounted on a new, fresh-out-the-box 1200, to prevent the spindle/motor being damaged in transit. If you ever have to ship one you should make sure to remove the platter or you could be responsible for not packing it properly if it gets damaged.

    Otis_Funkmeyer said:
    I've only heard that they were "shipping mats" and were to be used for transport. If they add sonic value with their weight, why wouldn't they just make the platter heavier instead of giving you the option to remove them?

    When the 1200 was designed there was no though that anyone would want to remove the mat, it was an integral part of the design to limit resonance. Remember it wasn't designed for designed for DJ's, DJ's adopted it and made changes that worked and Technics recognized that and made some of those things standard (like slipmats and getting rid of the dustcover hinges).

    I think it's not so much the platter weight as the surface the record's sitting on. A decent mat should be the first call before loading stabilisers onto a deck. On belt drive machines I'd be wary if adding a ton of weight - the motor is designed to drive a certain mass - but guess direct drive machines are a better bet. Recently switched back to a rubber mat on my deck and definitely noticed the difference with sharper top and mid-range. Irony is that I think a lot of my records sounded better before.
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