Author: Karsten Hein
Category: Gear & Review
I remember vinyl singles mostly from my parents’ small vinyl collection in the seventies. The fact that singles have a lager centre hole than long-lay records was usually compensated by a thin plastic star that was clicked into position right after purchase. The centring star then remained in this position until the collection was stored in the basement and forgotten about. In this sense, singles were made to handle like LPs, and the advantage of them having a larger centre hole was lost.
From the 1950s until the middle of the 80s, vinyl records were the primary way of storing music in households, but also at public venues, such as nightclubs, bars, and radio stations. Due to their short running time, singles in many cases needed to be changed more often than long-play records. This could result in greater wear on the centre hole, especially, if the picking and placing was done by a juke box. The larger center hole distributed the forces along a larger surface and left greater margin for error, if the prong was conical in shape.
I bought my first vinyl singles in the early 80s and simply adopted my parents’ method of clicking the star in place. Then there came a long time without records, from about 1995 to 2017, during this time I sold my collection and forgot all about vinyl. And although it has been a few years now that vinyl saw a comeback to our household, vinyl singles had not been among my prized possessions until my friend Charles handed me a stack of singles to keep. To my surprise none of them had the little star inside, and I no longer owned the typical plastic puck that came with every original player.
When searching the web, I was actually surprised to find that one can still find the original plastic stars for centring vinyl singles, but I was not going to settle for this. I wanted to explore the benefit of singles having the larger hole and, frankly, I just wanted to own the best centring solution available on the market, one that makes best use of the possibilities that the design of a vinyl single provides.
The puck I came up with is turned from a solid piece of metal with a smooth and polished surface. Singles effortlessly glide over the hemisphere and land in perfect position. Exact machining ensures that the fit is neither too loose nor too tight. Weighing a solid 150 grams, the massive puck can be used as record weight for LPs. Especially vintage players benefit from a less heavy record weight to reduce bearing and motor wear but also to keep the player position level.
I love the fact that the puck remains decorative and useful, even if it is not centring a single or pressing down on an LP. When placed next to the record plate, the puck helps to minimise chassis resonances and looks quite sophisticated at the same time. What more could we ask for in a puck?