Technics EPA-500 users

I just received a second EPA-500/501H tonearm.I noticed this one has a hard rubber gasket on the base,that was not on the first one I purchased.I am wondering if the gasket affects the sound,I have been useing my first arm without the gasket with good results.I thought that rubber between the arm base and armboard would not be a good thing.Any opinions?Anyone try it with and without the rubber gasket?
I wish I could help more but I'm just getting into this arm system myself. So far I have one base and the a501G and A501L arms with another base and the a501H on the way. I will say that the base I do have did come with the rubber gasket and from what I've seen in the user's manual on Vinylengine that's the way it was meant to be installed. I haven't had a chance to install this on my tables yet but am sold on the build quality and interchangability of the system.
My only quible with the system is that there appears to be no way to adjust azimuth. Did the designers just make the arm straight to keep the cartridge 90 degrees to the surface and figure that was adequate? Maybe it is but I'm glad I have other arms in my system that do allow for the adjustment of azimuth.
I always found, with this arm, it depended on the armboard material. If the armboard was metal, I used the gasket. If the armboard was wood or acrylic, I didn't use the gasket. Just a personal preference, but it sounded better this way.
Thanks guy's,yes no "easy" way to adjust azimuth with this arm is the only thing I don't like about it,but the upside there is one less thing to tinker with.The headshell can be adjusted,although fine tuning it is a major pain.I removed the headshell on my one 501H armwand to rewire it.Just loosened the two allen screws and heated it with a hairdryer to loosen the glue.It was a major pain(for me anyway)to get the headshell realigned correctly after I removed it.
The 500 isn't alone in this reguard. Some very pricey and highly reguarded arms don't allow for azimuth adjustment(Grandeeza, SME 512s). I think the flexibility of the system will make up for this potential shortcoming. With a base installed on each table, cartridges can be rotated even between tables relatively quickly and easily since the arms all have the same effective length and overhang. Even the EPA 250 should be an option(if one ever comes up for sale). I don't think any modern tonearm has quite this level of flexibility.