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Clearaudio Souther Clever Record Clamp Review

Sunday, June 12, 2022


$39.99. Available from online retailers and your local Clearaudio dealer.


Simple and inexpensive record clamp fits most any turntable spindle.


I’ve used this clamp for many years on various turntables including models by Technics, Pro-Ject, and Thorens.


Place the record on the turntable, then hold the Clever Clamp by its outer edge and press it down on the spindle until it makes tight contact with the record. Clamp stays in place until you hold it by its outer edge and pull upward, at which point the plastic flexes to allow the clamp to release its grip on the spindle and be removed.


In my experience, there are two main advantages of using a record clamp. The first is to flatten the record if it doesn’t naturally lay flat on the platter. A clamp can help correct minor warps so the tonearm can travel across a more level surface. This definitely improves sound quality when needed.

The second advantage of a clamp is to better secure the record to the platter while using a dry brush to remove dust. With a clamp in place, you can be sure the record will continue rotating with the platter even when you apply pressure on the brush. Having a record skid and slip on a rubber or cork mat is to be avoided.

Why do I like this clamp instead of other designs? Well, I’ve never used a screw-on type, so I can’t comment on those. But I have used the weighted metal kind, and I can say without a doubt I like the Clever Clamp better.

First of all, the Clever Clamp is light and doesn’t have any sharp edges. Accidents happen when handling records and clamps are no different. I’ve accidentally dropped a heavy metal clamp onto a record while trying to place it on a spindle. It wasn’t pretty! The light plastic design is much less likely to damage your record should an accident occur.

Also — and this could perhaps be a bigger reason to go with a light clamp — heavy clamps put extra weight on your spindle bearing, altering the design and increasing wear on your bearing. A metal weight could represent a small difference or a large difference, depending on the weight of your platter.

Lastly, the transparent plastic used in the Clever Clamp allows you to (kind of) read the label even while the clamp is in place. This comes in handy if you want to check something on the label but don’t want to stop playing the record.

As for value, I think $40 is a little steep given the cost to produce these and the fact they have been in production for several decades. However, given the advantages of the design and the cost of the alternatives, I actually think $40 is a good value. Similar to the AudioQuest carbon fiber record cleaning brush, it’s a tried and true design that lasts a very long time. Get one before the price goes up again!