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Some analog products I recommend…

I neither sell these nor was I given a free sample to review. 

Sota Reflex Clamp

Available here.

This clamp has been something I have wanted to try for a long time. The only thing holding me back was the price @ $285.  Well, one appeared on FB Marketplace for less than half price and I snapped it up. My history and opinion of clamps has changed over time. I still sell and use the Bren-design Record Weight, but instead of using it for all lps, I have now reduced use to just my thinnest lps…the ones that really need the most help making firm contact with the mat.  The Sota Reflex Clamp is about 8oz and the Bren is closer to 14oz.  That 6 ounces makes a big difference  when you are talking a belt drive turntable with a spring suspension. It can easily be the difference between your platter bottoming out on a 180 or 200 gram lp.  Most assuredly, its less wear and tear on the motor and belt. The great thing is the reflex action easily makes up for that 6oz difference…really helping the lp to make good contact with the mat.

I don’t know why, but I always got the impression the clamp was plastic or delrin. It’s not. It’s very nicely machined black anodized aluminum.  It really feels great in your hand and the clamp action is sure and smooth.  I’m not one to make hyperbolic statements about products, but I do believe in the benefit of a good clamp or weight, and the Sota is definitely the nicest I have used.

Turntable Lab Triple Operation Record Brush

Sold here. 

A little easier on the wallet is this great record brush from Turntable Labs.  I’ve been using a Carbon Fiber Brush for a lot of years now, and the one thing that’s disconcerting about using one is what happens to the dust accumulated in the carbon fiber bristles as you go to remove/lift it off the record.   Sure, some seems to adhere to the bristles, but if you ever looked in good light, quite a lot also ends up on the top of your deck, no matter how good your technique is. The Triple Operation Brush solves that by grabbing the excess dust onto its microfiber surface,  The directions state to place (the leading) cleaning pad gently on the spinning record, slowly sweep upward using the carbon fiber (CF) bristles, and then finish with the second pad.  This makes sense to me. The first pass of the microfiber removes surface dust, the pass with the CF bristles gets dust a little deeper in the grooves, and then the second pad ensures everything gets off the record AND not land on the top of your deck.  I like this so much, soon I will have one next to each turntable in the house.

The Dr. Feickert Universal Protractor

Available here by mail only. But also sold elsewhere online.

This is another item I admired and lusted after from afar but never took the plunge to spend the money. (Which is entirely stupid given how much time I spend per week mounting and aligning phono cartridges. )  I love using this device. It is well thought out in every way, and makes correct alignment a cinch, provided you can accurately determine the pivot point of your tonearm.  The picture on the website shows a Jelco arm with a damping well on top.  Drop the pin into that well, and you are good to go. I can tell you from experience, it’s a little trickier with Rega variants and other arms that don’t have a readily apparent pivot point like the Jelco 550/750. Still, I use mine almost every day and love the heck out of it.  It’s awesome to have all three of the major alignment geometries there for you to use. I know it’s expensive for casual listeners who align a cartridge once every several years, but perhaps you can find a couple of analog friends to split ownership???

I neither sell these nor was I given a free sample to review.