VPI Classic platter - is center milled?

Is the vpi classic platter milled with a depression in the center? vpi recommends not using a mat, but my platter has a slight rise in the center.

With the provided ring clamp and gasket, vinyl stays 2 mm above platter with a lot of wobble. If I use the rubber mat, it seats the vinyl firmly.

Thanks for input.
Place a straight edge across your platter and see for yourself. I know that the Classic platter has a recess for the label.
It's the gasket that is causing your problem. The gasket is
for use with the center clamp only. It's only useful if you
don't have the outer ring clamp. If you screw down the center
clamp enough, with the gasket underneath, it will flatten out
the record. If you screw it down too much it will dish up at
the edge. If you have an outer ring clamp, and a center
weight you should not use the center gasket.
Agree with Brf. Apb689, you write that your "platter has a slight rise in the center." If that is really the case, your aluminum platter is defective. Check as Brf suggests.
By gasket, I mean rubber washer for use with the screw down clamp. I am assuming this is what Abp689 is talking about? I can't imagine the platter would get through quality control if it was that bad on it's own.
Okay. That is odd. Instead of an inner label recession, the platter has ~ 0.5 mm uniform center label rise.

It then appears VPI missed a QC check in the milling department. Coming up on 30 days of purchase. Hope this is not going to become an issue.

FWIW: love the TT! And thanks for the feedback. I'll update progress.
Call Jack, Mike or Matt at VPI. They are super responsive and they WILL make it right for you. Tell them that Bruce, their "Lontzmann," told you to call. Fyi -- a Lontzmann is a distant relative in a manner of speaking.
Abp689, that is definitely not right. Don't worry, VPI will make it right.
Hey guys, spoke with Jack at VPI - fun dude.

I am a bit embarrassed here as Jack said the platters [now] have a rise in the center and the TT comes with a rubber mat that absolutely must be used.

I clarified that the VPI manual recommends no mat sounds best. He stated that the manual had not been updated and not using the mat will create an uneven playing surface.

After I hung up, it occurred to me that I never asked why the change? I have zero complaints with the sound, but the clamp does not flatten several warped disc. Not sure if I want to commit to the periphery ring, but looks like it may be in the future budget?

Thanks for the update on the new platter and mat. VPI does a poor job communicating changes to their tables. Their website is useless and is riddled with outdated pictures.
Case of a true Analog company operating in a Digital world eh;)
Ditto on the thanks for that update Apb689. What you report indicates a 180 degree change in VPI practice re the use of mats. I have an early Classic which has a flat platter and smooth sides. At that time, the mantra was using the table sans mat sounded best. Oh well.

Wonder why we didn't hear from Stringreen by now?? :)
Wow. That seems like a poor decision on VPI's part. IME rubber mats suck. It makes no sense to raise the middle section so you have to use their rubber mat. Now if you want to use an aftermarket mat, it has to go on top of the rubber one. Or if you like the sound better directly on the aluminum platter, that is not even an option now.
Does that mean that the clamp has changed as well?

For years VPI touted the benefits of the 1/4-20 thread on the spindle to mate with the clamping hold down system that they developed.
Correct. With no mat, there is a 2 mm gap between the platter and vinyl so no vinyl touches the platter (excluding label).

I think it sounds very good (not sure what it would sound like directly on the platter); however, I do not find the ring clamp does much to even out slight to sever warps.
That's strange. When I had my Classic 1 with the previous aluminum platter, the VPI outer ring worked pretty well on warps. I'm not sure why the new platter with the rubber donut would be different. How tall is the donut? Maybe it needs a little more height so the label recesses more? How heavy is the ring clamp? Are you using the center clamp or weight as well? The VPI ring clamp I had was a good 4 pounds and flattened most records pretty well.
Sorry, I meant center clamp. I am thinking about grabbing the outer ring clamp, I agree, I think that will resolve the warped disc.
Agree with Sarcher30. This new direction in platter design seems curious indeed. Well, I'm standing pat with my basic Classic platter. I think using the center spindle clamp and outer ring clamp do a fine job and I'm just enjoying the music.

Just picked up some Jerry Lee Lewis LPs. Wow ... that Southern Boy knew how to rock. Love the New Orleans accent too.
Hey ... I'm still waiting for Stringreen. Where are you buddy? Your the guy with all the VPI news that's fit to report.
The Scott 1.1 has a steppped surface and is designed to be used with a mat, are you sure that Jack didn't get the two tables mixed up???
Something is wrong. Just got confirmation from VPI that the Classic platter has NOT changed. The Classic platter continues to have a label recess and the platter is 100% flat.
BRF: who did you talk with at VPI?
BRF: who did you talk with at VPI?

Hello, has VPI redesigned their Classic platter? I read on a forum that the new Classic platter has a slightly raised centre and is meant to be used with a mat. Any details would be appreciated.

It is the opposite, the center is depressed. You can place the record directly on the platter or use a mat.

Best regards,
Jack R
Brf: I just spoke with Jack at VPI. He stated that the center portion of the classic platter is raised (he went back and checked).

Maybe there is some confusion because some of vpi platters are recessed?
Interesting, 2 different answers from the same person. In his response to
me he indicated that the Classic platter has not changed, which would
indicate a recessed label. Could it be that he is answering your question
with the assumption that centre washer is being utilized in addition to a
screw down clamp? Having a raised centre does not make any sense.

Here is Jack's email confirmation.

On Jan 20, 2014, at 10:35 AM, VPI Sales

That is correct.


To: VPI Sales
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 10:18 AM
Subject: Re: Classic Platter

Thanks Jack, so there has been no change to the Classic platter as mine
has the label recess and is completely flat.

From: VPI Sales
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2014 07:00:19 -0800 (PST)
ReplyTo: VPI Sales
Subject: Re: Classic Platter

It is the opposite, the center is depressed. You can place the record directly
on the platter or use a mat.

Best regards,
Jack Rubinson

To: "[email protected]"
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 9:53 AM
Subject: Classic Platter

Hello, has VPI redesigned their Classic platter? I read on a forum that the
new Classic platter has a slightly raised centre and is meant to be used
with a mat.

Any details would be appreciated.

The OP has a platter with a raised center.
Jack Rubison at VPI says it doesn't, then he tells someone else it does, then he tells Brf it doesn't.

Are things OK with VPI these days?
Stringreen ... please straighten us out here.
I mentioned his communication to you BRF. At first he said it was recessed, I said mine was raised 2 mm in center. He then said, correct. It is raised.?.

Second stringreen to decide the win here. It's getting exciting.
Just put any straight edge on the platter and you should know immediately
Very confusing. You sure you don't have the platter upside down? :^)
Reprince, Not really if it's upside down or not. I will call the factory and get back to you.
I was half-joking, but given the confusion I figured I'd ask. I know Jack, and I'm sure that he would know his product, so the conflicting answers indicate some confusion in the communications. Simple way for you to check would be to lift up the platter and check the other side, I guess.
Abp689, are sure you are not talking about the centre being raised when "using" the supplied rubber washer which is meant to be used with a reflex clamp???
Yeah, I understood, I was not serious there either prince, the platter is properly installed :-)

BRF: I am not talking about the washer. From the center spindle is about 5 cm radius (label) which is raised about 1 mm above the rest of the outer platter. With the washer, the center (label) is raised about 3mm above the outer outer platter. I felt pretty confident after talking with Jack at VPI that this is correct, but now, I've got no idea.

Guess I will have to put on a new copy of Miles and Monk at Newport (mono!), open a cold beer, and think about this one some more.
The classic platter has a depression in its center....it looks like it would accommodate the label of a record. I tried with and without the rubber mat...the rubber mat wins for me. Without it the sound is too - errrr metallic
So String ..., if someone's platter is elevated as described above, does that sound like a manufacturing defect? Any thoughts or views about the sonic impact of the black shrink wrap VPI is using on the Classic 3 stainless steel wand?
To add to Bifwynne's clarifying questions: how old is your rig? I just purchased the classic 1 month ago. Could there have been a manufacturing change?
Hi all, I just bought a scout 1.1, it indeed has a raised center portion which is roughly label size. It is intended to be used with the included rubber mat according to my conversations with VPI. I have a relatively inexpensive cork mat with a label recess installed upside down on the platter and it sounds great. I just hated that rubber mat getting static filled and then sticking to the record when removed. From my understanding the classic platter, a future upgrade? is intended to be used mat less and has a milled out portion for the label. I intend to do some critical listening comparisons between the stock and cork mat but have been having too much fun listening to records so far to bother. I will update when I do.
I received my new Classic 2 on Dec 6, 2013 and the platter has the recessed center to accommodate the label, not raised whatsoever. This is the latest version with motor/pulley mounted rear left and silver push on/off button front left on top of plinth.
I just purchased the classic 1 month ago. Could there have been a manufacturing change?

That's the million dollar question!
Bif....lets see now.... if indeed there is a change to having the spindle area raised, that would mean that with the outer ring and center weight applied, there would be greater tension on the record...more downward force. ..may be a good idea. I suppose if its a gradual slope, and the record plays well, its fine. If its more than a gradual slope, and that azimuth is affected, I would question it. I find that proper azimuth makes a marked difference for the better. Isn't splitting the proverbial hair fun? I would guess that the sound isn't much different..like the black wrap, or the change from a 9 inch to 10.5 inch arm.
The rubber mat that gets static attractive to the record when you lift the record off of the platter has been replaced by a non-attractive rubber mat.
I have the new Classic Ceramic coated platter. It does indeed have a shallow label sized indentation on it. The platter is totally flat, except for this depression.

I have found that the rubber mat does nothing for the sound. I use the one piece clamp, but found that it does not work properly with the mat. Without the mat the record edge tends to rise a bit when the clam is applied. Makes sense since the clamp is pushing the center of the record down into the shallow depression.

Best for me is to use the rubber washer and put the clamp on lightly (not too tight).
Mine is also the ceramic coated one....in case you're wondering, the ceramic coated and without the coating sounds the same, however, the ceramic coating eliminates the fingerprints and looks better. I don't use a washer, just the anti-static mat which sounds the same as the static one,..and use the periphery ring, and the center weight.
I do believe that the classic platters definitely benefit from the periphery ring. I don't have one, but it is obvious to me that the record would lay flatter on the platter with that ring on it.
Stringreen ... is there more to VPI's changes to the Classic (i.e., moving the motor left and rear, and prettying-up the button) than aesthetics? Another change is the Classic 3 black shrink tube on the wand. Wonder if that does anything, other than look good.
VPI is always experimenting...and I applaud that. Black shrink wrap eliminates some undesirable resonance that may be present in a particular cartridge and is transferred down the tube...minimal sound difference if any...
Hey Abp689, since you are the only one with a raised centre Classic platter, did you ever get re-confirmation from VPI?

I would be anxious to find out if I had the latest/newest design or a manufacturing defect.
Brf: I have no idea what's going on. I spoke to Jack at VPI twice and he consulted with someone else there and stated the raised platter is correct. I also called a distributor who said they'd have another classic and the platter is raised.

I might try calling one more distributor and get a final confirmation. At this point, it seems like the platter is a matter of the draw?! If they confirm it is raised, I'm going to leave it. I'll update with any additional info...
So, this new table that does not come with a recess at the center of the platter, does it still then come with a threaded spindle, and a screw down clamp that is cupped on the underside?

If so, this then truly sounds like a hodge podge of an incorrect parts mix strewn together which are then not compatible with one another?
Emailed forwarded to me from Matt W.

There was actually a supplier mistake for a short period of time, there is suppose to be a recess for the album label but for a short period of time there were some platter made with the raised center and a different mat was used on those.