June 15, 2024

Hudson Big Ben Record Weight Improves Record Sound

Fans of vinyl records and turntables have a habit of going beyond the basics, looking for ways to make their collection sound better. There are expensive options–such as investing in a new turntable, cartridge or audio system–but there are also very affordable ways to make the sound just a bit better. One of these is a record weight like the Hudson Big Ben. Available in a matte black or chrome finish, at $26.99 this accessory is basically the price of a single record.

An Inexpensive Way to Make Records Sound Better

Essentially a lump of metal with a hole drilled in it, a record weight goes over the spindle and onto the center of the record. Its weight helps to hold the record in place by through downward pressure, improving contact with the platter. Doing so reduces vibrations that might reach the stylus and also helps to stabilize the record. Using one can make a noticeable improvement in record playback for more detail and better bass response, while helping warped records to play with less distortion.

Although a record weight adds mass to the platter, it is centered over the spindle so it doesn’t put strain on the motor. If anything, the additional weight can help to maintain a more consistent rotation.

Hudson Big Ben

The Hudson Big Ben is a metal record weight that tips the scales at 13 oz. Its bottom is covered in vegan leather to protect the record label. Measuring 3-inches in diameter and 1.5-inches high, it fit just about perfectly on my turntable. Do check to see how much clearance there is between your platter and a closed lid (if you use one) to make certain the record weight isn’t too tall.

The Big Ben comes packaged in a tasteful black box that makes it a nice option if you’re ever stuck for a gift for a record collector.

A Must-Have For Acrylic or Glass Platters

In addition to the general benefits a record weight like the Hudson Big Ben can offer, there is a specific use case where having one is pretty much a must-have. If your turntable is equipped with an acrylic or glass platter, you may choose to use it without a platter mat. That’s the approach I take–doing so reportedly has advantages such as reduced resonance, improved bass response, reduced static and a more convincing three dimensional sound stage. I can’t say for certain that this is always the case, but in my home setup, I do feel the naked acrylic platter delivers better sound.

The one downside is slippage. The record has a tendency to slip, especially when I’m using a record brush. However, using a record weight puts enough pressure on the record to prevent that from happening. Too little weight and the bond between record and platter may not be enough to prevent spinning. The Big Ben’s 13oz weight was well up to the task and kept my records solidly planted on the platter.

Recommendation

If you own a turntable with an acrylic or glass platter, you have some records in your collection that are warped, or you’re looking for an inexpensive way to make your records sound just a bit better, at $26.99 the Hudson Big Ben record weight is a cheap upgrade.

Interested in learning more about a wide range of vinyl-related products? Keep on top of the latest developments and new product releases including turntables, record players, turntable-friendly audio systems and accessories by checking out my regular Record Roundup feature. You can read the latest (volume 21) here.

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