Periphery Ring

I just got a VPI periphery ring.. What are your thoughts on it? And what are the belts on the outside for?
The black belts are probably there for decoration more than anything else. The "sripes" match the platter and motor belts. They may also prevent ringing to a certain degree, but I think they are there for their looks. The ring and spindle weight combination flattens the records on to the platter. This not only prevents the plastic from the lp to resonate, but it makes the record flat. Because of the flat record, the arm does not have to negotiate the hills and dales of a warp, and consequently makes for a better "ride" and therefore better sound.
I have used the periphery ring clamp on my VPI TNT-6 for over four years now. The ring clamp not only flattens any warp out of your LPs for better tracking of your cartridge, but it also is important to the overall voicing of the VPI turntables.

When I transitioned from the acrylic platter and Mk. V center clamp to the periphery ring clamp, I found the sound took on a more natural and fuller bodied sound with the ring clamp in place. By comparison, the turntable sounded somewhat analytical when using just the Mk. V center clamp with the acrylic platter. Since that time, I have upgraded my platter and bearing to the heavier "Super Platter." However, I have not done any fresh listening comparisons with and without the ring clamp with the new platter.

As for the role of the belts, around the perimeter of the ring clamp, I believe their purpose is to dampen any ringing of the metal clamp.

Why don't you do some listening with your new clamp in place and tell us what you are hearing with and without the clamp?

I think it is expensive for what it is but worth it I guess if it makes things sound better.
One of my favorite of the VPI features. Works better on dish warps than the undulating wavey stuff. I've also found the occasional record that it just doesn't fit that well. These, of course, sound better without the clamp.
Yes, the ring works if you have a VPI table that can accomodate it. I have an Aries I, and Harry has told me it will not work with that model. I'm looking into some of the after market rings but so far it does not appear they will work either. The platter on my unit is actually 11.5 inches in diameter. I could change the platter but it has gotten much better reviews then the arclyic platters. An alternative I am considering is purchase of one of the disk flatten devices. Anybody have experience with these flatteners?
The ring works great on the warped discs I have, but not sure if I heard that much difference on the flat discs. But then again, I have a lot of warped discs, so this is probably a good investment for me anyways.