Yes, it is a concern, and one reason I wouldn't want a TT Clamp for free no matter how pretty it looks. The other major reason is, is this manufacturer veered from the original VPI design, in that the underside of the TT Clamp bears no similarity to the VPI Clamp design.
Without the proper dish in the underside of the clamp, you can chuck your rubber spindle washer away, in hopes of the TT Clamps properly clamping-coupling the record to platter, which it cannot.
Why does so many think they have a better mousetrap than Harry W?
Maybe, when they'll make a Clamp that is two piece, adheres to Harry's proven design, and clears the inside of a stock HW-19 dust cover, by not being too tall in height, I "might" consider one. Otherwise, stick with the stock VPI clamp, and spend the money making improvements elsewhere. Mark
I don't think so, I just bought 2 of them for my VPIs. Since I am a VPI dealer I will confine myself to saying that the clamp is not my favorite VPI product. If you are worried go with a record weight instead of a clamp. I have not used them long enough to check long term effect, but then at 70 long term doesn't worry me like it use to. I tried both the aluminum and brass ones and they do sound different. I tend to like the sound of brass or copper, I was using one of their 2.3 lb. weights before I bought the clamps and am now alternating them with it. If all my labels fall off I'll let you know.
I use TTWeights top of the line VPI center weight. This one does not screw on. It is stainless steel and has a silky-smooth damping material on the bottom. You do not use the VPI rubber washer with it. I like it much more than both of the VPI screw-down clamps I have (stainless steel/ delrin, delrin). Some people may think that a cupped LP sounds better though that seems counter-intuitive to me. The TTWeights gets kudos from me also for ease of use and build quality. It is very pleasing to the eye and ear. No affiliation with TT Weights- just a happy repeat customer.
I use the VPI ring clamp. In e-mails with VPI and Elusive Disc, both indicated the ring clamp does the job of holding the LP down and flat. A spindle "device" can then be used for resonance control, but does not necessarily need to "clamp" the LP down or add additional weight. Doesn't mean you can't use a "weighted" or "clamping" spindle device, though.
On there recommendations, I chose to use the VPI ring clamp with the BDR The Clamp. Very pleased.
I had forgotten, that such a topic, like all other audio topics can have as many opinions as there are posters.
Should the moderators permit, this could probably be a thread that could numbers into the dozens of posts.
Most feel the benefit of a clamp to be resonance control. Even Harry W himself no doubt believed this was the sole benefit. But of course there are others.
I know many here work very hard to achieve proper set-up of Table-Arm-Cartridge, and we can talk about things like Overhang, Azimuth, Zenith Angle all day long.
To me, it doesn't make much logical sense after all this hard work, and now you're placing an LP that looks like a Taco, or becomes Taco'd after improper precise clamping of an LP to Platter. Not to mention th extra work a Stylus-Cantilever has to do following a warped LP, and the detriment to good sound because of it.
The beauty of a Screw Down Clamp with Tables that posess the VPIS design, is variance of Clamping Force is easily obtained. With a weight, there's no adjustablity. The screw Clamp can be just barely applied, or provide much more clamping force than any weight can apply.
If one seeks the additional Mass, then buy the heaviest weight available.
All VPI Platters have been specially designed to work hand in hand with a Clamp that adheres to VPI's Clamp Design.
The use of the Rubber Washer was cheap, but effective, and smart.
Why TT Weights chose to veer from the VPI Design, and not at least provide a comparably designed product is unknown to me? I'm sure they have the expertise to make a beautiful two-piece clamp with adherence to the VPI Design had they chosen to.
I know many will comment about the sonic improvements, or lack of, with different Clamp Designs. I'm as well concerned that the Clamp-weight does it's intended job, and prefer the limitless range of adjustability/clamping force that a screw type design has.
I feel it does little good to be looking at a gorgeous Clamp, yet the LP looks like a Frisbee while in play.
While the azimuth error variance may be small, I would assume it is still there.
I myself chose a custom machined Screw Type Clamp made by a local machinist, but it does precisely adhere to the VPI Design. Mark
A two-piece screw clamp (as Markd51 described and as Teres clamps are) makes it easy to avoid label damage. Just stop the clamping piece from spinning while you tighten. One-piece screw clamps don't allow that, so *may* risk some label damage.
If a clamp uses rubber or a similar material at the interface between clamp and LP it may have a negative impact on sonics. Rubber absorbs vibrational energies, shifts them in amplitude and frequency, then releases them after a time delay. This softens transients, dulls dynamics and smothers low level details. In a word: mud.
If you can, try removing the rubber bit and using the clamp "bareback". Your system resolution will probably increase. Everything should tighten up a little. If maximum resolution is your goal, remove rubber from around your analog rig wherever you can.
Assuming the OPs question was legitimate, I can honestly state that the screw down design DOES NOT damage the label (or anything else for that matter) in any way. Remember we are talking about screwing it down by hand...
Ive been using their Brass 1080g weight for several years on my VPI Aries (original) without any problems.
If using a heavy TT weight on a vpi platter (I have the carbon fibre heavyweight) - you need to account for the indent in the VPI platter after removing the rubber washer. I didn't read about anyone on here bringing this point up. As per Mike at VPI a "cardboard circle" cut out of a cereal box is about the right thickness. This lessens the frisbee effect but I agree with Mark - the screw down clamp is preferable. The VPI clamp clamp on my TNT does a good job.
I'm going by memory here, but I think I can remember a long time back, one, or some VPI owners disliking the Rubber Spindle Washer (as Doug recently brings up in this thread) and substituted a Carbon Fiber Washer of the same-similar dimensions as the VPI Rubber Washer.
Claimed there was some very slight improvements in Sonics.
Doubtful I would hear them, but some might? In the stock configuration, the Rubber Washer of course goes between Record, and Platter, and not between Clamp, and Platter.
I would assume supply houses, perhaps like McMaster-Carr would carry such? Mark
I compared a small rubber O-ring vs. the supplied (hard) Delrin washer between the platter and the LP (beneath the LP) when clamping on my first Teres table. To be honest, I barely heard any difference. Might have been my imagination, since I wasn't operating double blind - just double stupid! ;-)
I might hear a bigger difference today, since our system has advanced very far from those days. But I'd rather watch the Olympics. :-)
OTOH, some clamps/weights I've seen had a large embedded O-ring on the bottom of the clamp, presumably to protect the record label. That was a bad idea. The sonic mud was readily audible in a transparent system.
Well, I tried a center weight (I will leave the brand unidentified at this point) and although it dod some things right it definitely did some things wrong too.
There was a more organic sound than with the VPI clamp and a general taming of some excessive "resonances". However there was also a dulling of transients and top end detail as well as a general smearing. With the VPI clamp and rubber washer back in the picture the energy returned as well as the detail and top end extension, but at the expense of that "organic-ness".
Trade off's, but in a nutshell I will be sending the clamp back and looking for another alternative. Thanks for your help and opinions everyone.