Ring Clamps. What do you think?

First let me say that I have not had the opportunity to hear a ring clamp. At a $1000 list price it is not a top priority. It would seem to me that the whole concept would be detrimental to good sound. Like an acoustic guitar, a record needs to breathe. Weight and air play a vital role. I do use a record clamp, wouldn't be caught dead without it, but a heavy metal ring laying on top of my album holding it down doesn't appeal to me. I could be wrong.
The point you're missing is that a record SHOULDN"T breathe at all. It is not a musical instrument. It wiggles the stylus which make electric signals that are amplified, and brought to your room via the speakers. The stylus should only react to the bumps on the record...anything else is distortion. Ring clamps flatten the record to eliminate the "wow" from warps...riding up the warp raises the pitch, down the warp, lowers it. In my experience, ring clamps work.
My VPI ring clamp and center weight take < 10 seconds. The center weight doesn't screw down. There's no worry over proper adjustment. IMHE, bass is tighter and clearer because records are flatter allowing for better tracking. Warped garage sale and Quality Record Pressing LPs ;-) are not a concern for me. The ring clamp solves the problem.

IMHO if you are hearing dullness etc. when using a ring clamp, then you might want to play around with mats as mentioned above or reevaluate your setup parameters such as VTA etc. Cheers,
When the stylus traces the groove, it induces energy into the LP. Where is that energy going to go? If the LP is clamped tightly to the platter, the mass of the platter will absorb the energy. Without the platter to dissipate the energy, it is transferred back into the stylus. This is what gives the aura of life to the music. Which is a distorted sound reproduction.

I use a 3.1 lp center weight and a 3.2 lp periphery ring. You have to listen for a while to get used to hearing only the music versus the distorted music.

With critical listening you discover just how much more music you are hearing with the clamping.
I recently heard a dealer demonstration using a Clearaudio turntable that utilizes both a center weight and peripheral clamp and an acrylic platter. What is very dramatically evident is how well this table performs at suppressing ticks and pops. I notice the same kind of minimization of noise with my own table, which uses vacuum clamping and an acrylic platter.

I believe it was Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound who mentioned how such tight clamping suppresses energy imparted in the disc, such as the sharp impulse of ticks and pops; he mentioned using a pen to tap of the record surface near the stylus and how loud the impulse is with most tables, but barely noticeable with the Basis table with a vacuum clamp.

While noise suppression is a big plus of tight coupling of the record to the platter, I can see how some will NOT like the results. My Basis table, and the Clearaudio table I recently heard can be characterized as "dark" or "dead" sounding compared to other tables. If that characteristic does not fit a particular system or taste, then whether it is more "accurate" or not is just an academic concern. I once heard the same Transfiguration cartridge in a Basis/Phantom setup and in a Linn/Naim ARO setup sie-by-side. The sound was dramatically different (Linn/ARO much more lively sounding). I could see how someone might prefer the greater liveliness of that setup in this particular system (I liked the liveliness, but, I was concerned with that liveliness becoming jangly "noise" after a longer audition). I like clamping, in my system, but, I can see why others prefer no clamping.
Redglobe wrote, "When the stylus traces the groove, it induces energy into the LP. Where is that energy going to go? If the LP is clamped tightly to the platter, the mass of the platter will absorb the energy." This is true, if the coefficient of energy transfer from LP to platter is unity or close to unity. For platter surfaces that are very dissimilar from vinyl in energy transmission, there will be some fraction of that energy reflected back up into the vinyl, from the platter/vinyl interface. Seems to me that the better the coupling (tighter the clamping) between LP and platter surface, the more efficiently energy will be reflected back into the LP, when there is a mismatch. One could envision that when the platter surface and the LP are mismatched for energy transmission, it's better not to clamp the LP, in fact. Further, while I do endorse the theory around clamping, I also believe this is a crazy hobby with surprising "truths". Therefore, because I or someone else may prefer not to clamp LPs, it is not necessarily true that my system or his system is "broken".

The opposite side of this dilemma is exemplified by the Resomat, where the LP is as decoupled as possible from the platter surface. Therefore the energy interface is between the LP and room air, on both sides of the LP. I've not tried it, but some whom I do respect do swear by it.