A record stabilizer (also known as a turntable weight or clamp) is a puck-shaped object that you place on your turntable's spindle. Its job is to add extra weight so that the record lies as flat and as still as possible. This helps the stylus read the vinyl more accurately so that, ultimately, your system sounds best.
If you have a turntable and you're looking for affordable ways to make it sound better, buying a record stabilizer is a great way to do just that. (You can also buy a platter mat or isolation pucks, both of which can be pretty affordable.)
When deciding which record stabilizer to buy, generally the heavier the better. That said, you should also pick one based its material and how on its looks. It's going to sit on top of your turntable, so treat it like a statement piece, too.
Hudson Hi-Fi LittleBen
Hudson Hi-Fi is one of our favorite makers of hi-fi accessories. Its LittleBen is made of metal and finished in chrome. It also has a leather pad that acts as a buffer between it and the record. It weighs 13 ounces.
Clearaudio Souther Clever Clamp
The Souther Clever Clamp is a different kind of record stabilizer because it's designed to lock the record in place without weighing down the record. The logic is that it doesn't add extra drag on the motor which, according to The Turntable Lab, makes it ideal for low torque turntables. It's made completely of plastic and weighs less than an ounce.
The AT618a is a slightly more substantial record stabilizer. It's made of machine brass and has a protective rubber cover, which also prevents it from accumulating finger smudges. It weighs 21.2 ounces.
Pro-Ject Clamp It
This is another lightweight record stabilizer that doesn't actually add extra weight to the record. Instead, it has a clamping mechanism that grabs the center spindle and locks the record into place. It's made of diamond-cut aluminum and nice leather leather accents. It weights 4.2 ounces.
Pro-Ject Record Puck
This is an extra heavy record stabilizer that's best for high-end turntables. The metal puck has a beautiful brass finish along with leather accents. It weighs 1.7 pounds. (If shiny brass isn't your thing, it's also available in an all-black version.)