VPI record clamp

I'm a new owner of a slighty used VPI Scoutmaster. After reviewing the manual I'm unsure if I am using the stock record clamp correctly. When I screw it onto the spindle the bottom portion of the clamp seems to angle depending on where the clamp is on the spindle. As I tighten it down, the record warps a bit, then starts to flatten out. When I get the record perfectly flat on the outside edge, the center is not flat. Am I doing something wrong, or is this how the clamp is supposed to work?

Flip the rubber washer over and see if it makes a difference.
Have you placed the black rubber washer over the spindle,onto the platter? It should be beneath the records.
Its' purpose is to prevent the central bowing of the records you describe.
Try it out.
Are you placing the small rubber washer over the spindle? It goes between the platter and the record. The clamp will not work properly without it.
Is there a black rubber washer about 1-1/4" in diameter on the spindle? It goes on BEFORE the record and should stay in place. From the VPI website here is an FAQ regarding that washer:

"My VPI record clamp came with a rubber washer. What am I supposed to do with it? The rubber washer is meant to be permanently placed over the turntable's spindle below the record. This prevents "dishing" of the LP when it is clamped to the platter using the threaded VPI clamp."

Even with the washer there will be some distortion of the record as you tighten it, just don't tighten the clamp too much, you can dish the record. And by all means don't leave a record clamped for any length of time (like overnight) you can deform it permanently!
There should be a small rubber washer, about the size of a quarter, that slips over the spindle and sits on the platter. The record sits on this washer and then is held tight by the clamp. Is this there?.... I can't tell from your post. Might be the problem if it's missing. You shouldn't tighten the clamp too much... I think "snug" would be a good way to discribe it.


I guess I should have mentioned the rubber washer is there. Just not satisfied wtih the way the clamp works. If it's supposed to work that way I guess it's ok, but I'd like the record to be completely flat. Flat on the edge is fine, but then it's not flat towards the center with the clamp. Guess I'll start looking for a second hand HRX ring set.

The trick to these clamps is not to overtighten. Gently flick your fingernail on the edge of the record. If you hear a ping, then adjust it a bit more until it sounds dead. With a little experimentation you can get a successful clamp on every record.