I have a DCD-3300 (1987) with the same exact problems as reported in this thread. I've got the top cover off, so I'm going to investigate the clamp ring. I think it sounds great, btw. EDIT: I figured out how to get the stabilizer arm off, and then saw the fiber ring. It was quite thin, and covered by what looked like compacted soot. I can only guess that it came off CD labels. Thirty years of accumulation! I scraped most of it off with a fingernail, cleaned up the rest with a semi-stiff brush, and got what had scattered around with brush and vacuum. While the arm was off, I cleaned and lubed the laser rails and the loading mechanism. It loads and unloads better, there are NO skips, and it still sounds great.