Outer Platter Rings

Quit curious about outer rings, but now the two well-known products TTWeights & Universal Record Stabilizing Ring are both no longer in production. Are there other interesting ones?

Do these have a beneficial effect?

I use the VPI brand with my Aries 3 turntable.  It is self centering so no adapter required.   I noticed an immediate improvement when compared to a screw down clamp only.  Bass was more controlled and soundstage increased.

 Outer rings are nice when you have a record that is a little warped. I am sure this is probably very table dependent. But on my Clear Audio Innovation Wood, I prefer the sound without the outer ring. To my hear the ring deadens the sound a tiny bit.

Ok, so there are positives like flattening the record and more controlled bass, but also contradictory results like increased soundstage and deadened sound. 

lostbears: Which model ring do you use?

I had a ClearAudio Ring. But after a while, I used the ring so little that I just got rid of it. It gets to be a pain if you use it often. The ring is large and heavy. You have to remove it and set it somewhere every time you change or turn over a record.

Ok here's what I found with my TTW outer ring.....
If you use ANY compressible platter mat on your turntable....it simply kills the dynamics. The 'air', transparency and 'life' of the recorded performance is simply suffocated.
It does however flatten warped records 😎
If conversely you use no platter mat but place the record directly on the platter (or use a solid metal platter mat)....the outer ring tends not to then rob you of those vital ephemeral nuances.
As I have but two or three discs warped badly enough to warrant 'flattening.....the ring is rarely utilised.

If conversely you use no platter mat but place the record directly on the platter (or use a solid metal platter mat)....the outer ring tends not to then rob you of those vital ephemeral nuances.

But is there a sonic benefit in this situation, apart from flattening records?

So if there is a benefit from a ring, it's very dependent on the material underneath the LP, i.e., the platter or platter mat. Miner42 above gets a benefit with VPI Aries 3, which I think has an aluminum platter presumably without a mat.

I can't say I've heard any sonic benefits with the outside platter ring (whereas I do hear benefits with a centre record weight).
The best I can say about the outer ring when used on a bare platter or metal mat, is that it didn't appear to degrade the sound....🙈

Sampsa55,  I encourage you to read the many threads on this very subject (periphery rings).  Consider the physics behind the objective of a stylus attempting to trace the grooves of a record, the resonances (energy) created by the stylus as it performs its function, and where does the energy get transferred.

Try to avoid these expressions of "sucks the life out of the record" or "deadens the music."  The critical listener either hears a truer reproduction of the sound or they do not.
This is a thorough explanation of record weights & rings by Mr. George Merrill:
 The LP record ranges in weight from approximately 80 grams (Dynaflex 1969) to 200 grams. Most pressings weigh from 100 to 130 grams. One reason the heavier and thicker records sound better is the vinyl will not vibrate to the degree as the light weight records. The 180 and 200 gram records are the choice for less vibration, and can render better sound. The rule is simple, the more damping applied to the LP the better it sounds. This result can be obtained from its own vinyl mass or external. To achieve the best external damping, the record vinyl needs to come in total contact with a vibration damping material (mat). In the past a few record mats have used small rings or points to support the record in a few places. This flies in the face of common logic.
Holding the record to a damping material is the job of weights and clamps. An LP record’s label is thicker than the vinyl playing surface. The label varies from approximately 20 to 60 thousands of an inch thicker than the vinyl. A record mat will have a depression in the center to allow the record vinyl to lay flat, otherwise the label would be the only contact point. If a center weight is used that is very heavy, let’s say 2 lb. the lighter records will lift from the mat. This happens because the mat depression edge will act as fulcrum. This information tells us we should use a center weight tuned for the record thickness and weight. However this is impractical. Here is the solution: Use a center weight that weighs 8-12 oz . This weight will work with all but the lighter records. The alternative to a weight is the screw down clamp. These clamps have pluses and minuses. The plus is down force on the record can be controlled. The minus is if not designed properly (unfortunately most are not) spindle energy is coupled into the record. It takes very little intrusion of external energy to cloud the mechanical output of the stylus. (I wrote a paper on proper screw down clamp design about 25 years ago.)
The best answer is the periphery clamping weight along with a center weight. The weight balance between these two should be calculated for even and optimal down force on the entire vinyl area.
As the stylus traces the groove, energy is radiated in all directions, as it reaches the periphery of the record it is then reflected back into the groove area. The periphery clamp will help damp this edge energy before it is reflected into the groove area. The center weight also acts as a damper.  The first production periphery clamp was used on the Merrill Heirloom Turntable 1980. Kenwood also introduce theirs about the same time. Other manufacturers are now discovering the benefits of this type of clamp system.
Hope this helps!
I have noticed benefits using an external vaccum mat in the past and now with the TTweights brass center weight and periphery ring.

the ring has weights which add a flywheel effect as well.  

Perrazi pointed out that the label is thicker and isn't this why many platters have a cut out for the label area?
Absolutely correct "emailists".   That is included in the above explanation.
Glad that you are achieving positive benefits with the TT center weight and peripheral ring!

Best regards
Thanks for the comments, perazzi28 & emailists. This could be worth checking out. But since TTW and URSR are no longer in production, are there other options outside of the rather expensive VPI?
I am using an HRX center clamp with a Wayne's audio outer ring on my VPI Prime. 

It it looks like the older tt weights. 

It is machined with precision and does the job perfectly. A good price too. 

About 2 years ago I bought NOS TTW 2.5 lb. ring weight. I wouldn’t be without it and use it (with a center weight) on all records, though when they are demonstrated it is often with badly warped ones and it does make some formerly unplayable disks sound very good. As an aside I wonder whether a PERFECTLY flat record actually exists.

Everything is improved with it. I use it on an original VPI acrylic-lead platter. It secures the disk to the platter far better and far more easily than the VPI screw clamp. It also adds flywheel. It makes light weight disks sound like heavier ones. I have paid more for smaller improvements.

They’re expensive but a lot of lesser improvements are as well. TTW is out of business but as stated above Wayne Audio (no connection) is manufacturing a similar device, "Turntable Outer Ring", formerly available on Audiogon and still available on ebay.