Using the VPI threaded clamp and azimuth change

I am using the VPI threaded delrin clamp that came with my classic 1. It is stated that the threaded clamp is to be used in conjunction with the rubber spindle washer. When it is used this way, it seems like it would negatively affect the azimuth setting. When you screw down the clamp and tighten it against the rubber washer, it does force the outer edge of the LP downward to touch the platter. This causes the LP to have a slight downward dish appearance. When I have set my azimuth on a level surface, does this not cause the azimuth to be out of alignment? Do I need to set my azimuth canted a bit to the outside of the platter to compensate for this effect? How are you VPI users adjusting for this?
Place the record on the platter, screw down the clamp and set the azimuth by ear.

I would not worry about the perceived "dishing" as it is so minute that I doubt that the azimuth between clamp on and clamp off is negligible.
When used correctly, the playing surface of the record is flat to the platter and not dished.
It doesn't change the azimuth at all. I actually set my azimuth with the threaded clamp, washer and an angle protractor.

It seems impossible to keep the record flat with the washer underneath. The washer holds the LP 1/8" above the platter so, the only way that the LP can make contact with the platter on the outer edges is to dish the LP slightly downward. In my situation the playing surface is always dished downward even if you only lightly tighten the clamp. The playing surface always has a slight rise towards the spindle. I have tried using the clamp without the washer underneath. Due to the built in recess in the classic aluminum platter, this causes the record to dish upward. It only makes sense to me that I need to keep the record surface as flat as possible. I suppose I need to re-adjust my azimuth to account for the dish effect of the VPI clamp system.
Try a thinner rubber washer. They can be found at Home Depot.
Andy, The material of the washer is not critical. You can obtain the correct height by purchasing brass shim stock at a hobby store.

The packs come with a variety of thickness and can be cut with stainless steel scissors. For the hole in the center, sandwich the shim stock between 2 pieces of wood (this minimizes the likelihood of a ragged hole)and drill the spindle hole.

The tighter you clamp the record to the platter, the better (energy from the stylus is transferred from the vinyl to the platter rather than reverberating back to the stylus).
When used correctly, the playing surface of the record is flat to the platter and not dished.

Ditto. I've never had an issue with using the clamp with the rubber washer. The washer will compress plus the label area of the platter is recessed so I'm not sure why your records would be dished. The clamping works perfectly with flat records, and helps with warped records significantly. Add the VPI periphery ring and only badly warped records across the surface will be noticeable.
Clamping can be a little tricky, where there will be slight variances in clamp down pressure with any given record. It takes a bit more time to critically, and correctly clamp, but is probably worth it, just for the fact of better coupling the record to Platter Surface.

You maybe might want to try something like the Herbies Grungebuster VPI Spindle Washer.

Right off the bat, the Rubber Washer is a bit harder in Shore Hardness, and more resistant to compression IMO than the Herbies Spindle Washer. The Grungebuster material seems a little more "spongy", and giving. Rubber can also have a tendency to get harder over time.

With the Herbies Washer, you might be able to achieve a better, and flatter coupling of the record. Mark
Using an angle protractor only assumes that the diamond is "perfectly" aligned on the cantilever.

Setting the head shell parallel to the record surface is a starting point, not necessarily the end result. Trust your ears.
If you are clamping your disks you can easily "test" that you've got the tension correct by simply tapping your fingernail against the record edge. You will immediately hear if the record is making good solid contact with the platter or if it is too loosely clamped or too tightly clamped and dishing up a bit.

I used a fozgo on mine with the clamp on and have had no issues.
RE"Using an angle protractor only assumes that the diamond is "perfectly" aligned on the cantilever."
I set mine the way that Harry instructs, the only thing that I add is a quantitative factor, that is a measurement, which is both repeatable and reproducible. In this case using your ears results in to many variables, e.g. how tired you are, state of mind and all kinds of stuff like that. Even if you adjust it for your ears, the result will be good for only those records that were used to set it. Apparently the method that Harry chose to set the alignment works, because the table sounds great with a variety of records not just a chosen few.
Good point, Macster. My system positively sounds different nearly every time I listen to it, without touching a thing. I've long come to realize the person's state of mind, influenced by a variety of physiological and psychological factors, has a great deal to do with the way the sound is perceived, experienced, and processed. I think this is way too often ignored in discussions on here.
I am quite sure I am using my washer and clamp in the correct manner. It still does, and will continue to dish the record every time you tighten it down. It is physically impossible for it to be level when it has this washer acting as a spacer between the record and the platter. I will agree that the clamp, when used in combination with the vpi washer is very effective at removing small warps in records. I have ordered a grungebuster washer from herbies audio that is half as thick as the stock vpi washer. It also has the same outside diameter as well as spindle hole diameter as the VPI stock washer. I will use the herbies washer for the majority of my LPs. When I do have an occasion where I want to play a slightly warped LP, I will then use the VPI washer. Having two different size washers is going to be very useful. I will report back later when I get a chance to try the thinner herbies washer. I am hoping it will keep the record completely flat to the platter when the record isn't warped to begin with. I should have it by middle of next week. Stay tuned.

The VPI method of setting azimuth will allow you to realize about 85% of the cartridge's potential. Most people are satisfied with 85%. For those who want the last 15% of performance, you need to fine tune the azimuth setting by ear as most diamonds are not perfectly affixed to the cantilever.

Just like the VPI jig, it will get you close, but there are better cartridge alignment protractors that will give you better alignment.
I have a VPI center spindle weight that is not threaded, and I don't use a washer.
I have a VPI and I don't use the washer or the clamp!
I DON'T have a VPI but I DO use a washer and a threaded clamp! <;-)
I don't have a VPI but I do use a washer and threaded clamp - on the SME 30. When the LP is clamped in place it is perfectly flat. The washer is metal.
Incidentally, we are seeing more and more record weights on the market that do not give priority to bonding the record to the platter. Usually these are relatively light (300-400gr - much lighter than the SME clamp) and do not screw down.
Rather than channelling disc resonances away through the spindle and main bearing and/or by optimising contact between the record and the platter surface (in the case of SME, covered with 'Isodamp'), they seek to absorb them directly (i.e. into the clamp itself).
Two outstanding record weights of this type are the Kuzma Ebony Record Weight and the HiFi Tuning VRO ('vinyl resonance optimiser -there is a review for those who read German at: '
The Kuzma Ebony is a particularly interesting case since it has been introduced by a company that supplies screw-down reflex clamps as standard on its high-end turntables.
My question is: has anybody had any experience of these clamps - probably 'vinyl resonance tuners' is a more appropriate term - on their turntables as replacements for screw-down reflex clamps? Clearly as a way of dealing with warped or dished records they will not be of much use, but it may be that they do a better job of damping the disc.
I got several new products from herbies audio lab a few days ago. One of them was the new thinner spindle washer. It has the same outside demension and spindle size hole as the stock VPI washer but is about half as thick. It is made from grungebuster material. Grungebuster is more compliant than the VPI rubber washer. This washer works much better for me as I primarily play 180gr and 200gr. new records. They have no warps so, I don't need as much force downward. With the thinner washer, the record is completely flat against the platter when the clamp is tightened. There isn't any dishing effect. It only slightly bends downward when tightening the clamp. Then, when the clamp is tightened the grungebuster washer flattens out and the record becomes one with the platter. It maintains the vacuum seal that the VPI stock washer had. Herbies does make a replacement VPI washer that is listed on the site. This one is too thick. You need to go to grungebuster washers under the metric sizes. The washer size is 32mm outside diameter. It has a 7mm spindle hole and is 1.6mm thick. It only cost $2.29 and was a great improvement for me. It is just the thing for records that have no warps. It keeps them flat against the platter and doesn't dish them. I still use the thicker VPI washer for slightly warped records that need it. Hope this helps someone.