Yeah, sometimes it seems to stick or catch. I assume this is because it is a very precise fit. Maybe VPI could eliminate this with a slight beveling of the inner surface, if it were important enough to have to deal with. I just have to be a little careful and patient, a zen I must assume to handle vinyl anyhow. By the way, I don't encounter this issue when there is a record on the turntable, only when the ring clamp goes directly onto the platter.
thank you sir, i appreciate it. i'm getting alot better feel of it now after messing with it for a while.
Do you guys feel it's a good upgrade for $500.
The ring clamp came with my turntable so I didn't have to make the decision. I'll repeat some thoughts I wrote on an earlier thread:
Soundwise, it seems to tighten up the soundstage, fix the images a little more firmly. Certainly made a difference, better in my opinion. Functionally, it's an elegant alternative to the complexity of having a vacuum pump, perhaps a better solution if your record is warped. It also adds to the platter's rotating mass -- a good thing.
So far as whether it is worth the price, you have to decide if the difference in sound is what you like. If you do like it, you decide how much you want to pay for it. Heaven knows, we have lots of expensive equipment and tweaks in our hobby. Lots of us pay more than $500 for less improvement in sound just upgrading cables.
I believe the outer clamp is a good thing and the new version with the felt on the inside is easier to take off and on.
It does sound a little more focused and is more natural in the treble. With the outer ring under the LP the sound is a liottle livelier/brighter. That can be a good or no so good thing depending on your system tone.
It will ensure your cartridge last longer as it is always tracking with a nice straight piece of vinyl, rather than going up and down warps however small.
The last and most important question to ask youself is - are you prepared to go to the hasstle of taking off and putting the outer ring for every LP you play.
I agree with Jameswei and 500 bucks is well spent.
A question: does the outer ring clamp all it's cracked up to be. All records are warped a little on the outer edge, but does flattening them out such a big deal. I have 19MK 4 and it would cost me $1200 to upgrade. Would that be money well spent?
I think the ring clamp makes a favorable difference. Whether it's worth it is up to you and your wallet.
Flattening a warped record does tend to reduce wow and other kinds of distortion. However, another key benefit of the ring clamp is to press the record more securely to the platter, which I believe draws away certain kinds of undesireable vibration.
I am not sure what would be involved in a $1200 upgrade to your 19Mk4. Perhaps it would involve replacing the platter as well as buying the $500 ring clamp. Would this also entail replacing the bearing assembly? or replacing the suspension springs? If so, these are substantial changes that I think might have sonic effects that go well beyond just getting the ring clamp. I can't say if it would be worth the money for you. At some point, you might be better off just replacing the whole table. Perhaps an audition would be helpful.
The $1200 would involve a new bearing, platter, the ring itself and I'd have to have a PLC or SDS to get the speed right. Plus I might as well get the new center weight for another $150. I think I'll stick with my TNT platter although I think the whole idea of flattening out the outer edge of a record is brillant, just out of my reach.
There is one side benefit of the outer ring. It places less stress on your cartridge, as the record is completely flat so VTA is easier to adjust and your cartridge will last longer.
I have a TNT V and purchased a Universal Stabilizer Ring, rather than upgrading to the TNT 6. See http://www.xs4all.nl/~rabruil/ttring.html . It works quite well and for US$395, is a cheaper way to achieve what you want to accomplish.
I have found the ring clamp to be very good at allowing me to play previously almost unplayable discs - those warped on track one - especially a recent Johnny Cash issue.
I have had troubles with some German pressings of L.P.'s which are smaller in outside diameter and the ring just slips right over the disc and becomes a pain to get off.
Mark Knoffler's last 2 releases seem particularly affected, which is sad, as they have good material on them.
The VPI ring clamp has two large circular cross-section rubber bands circling its outer perimeter. These rubber bands rest in grooves in the outer surface and serve as decorative trim and, to a minor degree, soft bumpers when the ring clamp is placed on a surface edgewise.
One of the rubber bands broke this weekend. I found it lying on the plinth. Fortunately, I was able to glue it back together with super glue. Upon inspection, I could see a few other places where the rubber was starting to split, and I repaired these with super glue as well.
I mention this here because I think it would be worthwhile to inspect the rubber bands to anticipate any break. Although I didn't actually see the break occur, I can imagine the broken ends whipping around the platter and possibly wiping out a cartridge cantilever. (I was lucky.) Better to do a repair or replacement before this happens.
Same thing happened to me a week ago. Went to play a record and found the band on the plinth. I contacted VPI and they're sending me a new band. Never even thought about the possibility of it damaging a cantilever, but I guess anything is possible.
I wonder how the thing could break considering the belt on the Scoutmaster has a lot more to do and seems fine.
Might have been exposed to a cleaning agent somewhere along the way. Most cleaning agents will neutralize the softening chemicals in vinyls and rubbers, causing them to become brittle and crack after several months. The drive belt would never have to be cleaned this way, but the ring clamp might have been. Dunno.
I have had my HRX for about 18 mnths now. Both rubber belt around the platter have cracked and broken. Also I have had one of the motor belts snap as well.
Have you guys noticed that if you look cafefully around there are cracks all around the rubber belts.
I think that this is just the rubber drying out and naturally craking, then breaking. Nothing to do with chemicals or anything.