Thanks for the compliment. Though I've been playing for a while, I'm probably more passionate than experienced.
Half of this is experience, and half of this is my knowledge of mechanical engineering. For quick response, it's best that there's nothing absorbing the vibrations. So that means reducing mass and transmissability. A heavy fabric lig strapped on tight is going to make that fabric a part of your reed as much as the cane itself. This darkens the tone and can slow the response when doing rapid articulations.
So moving the lig away from the vamp helps - so long as you're still fitting the reed properly to the mpc table. If it's too low, your reed will want to lift from the table, which will stuff things up.
I majorly botched a solo during rehearsal a few months ago because I had inadvertantly placed my Rovner lig slightly onto the vamp. I was requiring a very dark sound, but this tone was so dark, I though I left my swab in my sax.
I'm not familiar with the padded tension ring. Sounds like something out of the gas station bathroom vending machine. What is it supposed to do? I've heard of people putting rubber rings near the vamp for a darkening effect.
So for brighter response, I like the screw on top ligs with rails or indentations on the band that minimize contact with the reed. I also tighten it no more than necessary to keep the reed in place so the reed can do it's thing with as little restraint as possible. Ideally, it would be only your embouchre holding the reed in place, but that is impractical.
Experiment! You've got nothing to lose but your mind!