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Turntable mats, what is hot and what is not?


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I couldn't find any recent threads on this topic and as a re-incarnated vinyl user who is just getting back into the medium, I would really appreciate some suggestions for what is good in TT mats and perhaps ,what is best avoided.

 

Many years ago when I only used vinyl, the mat thing wasn't so developed and diverse and there was much less choice in what mats were sold.

So, is just keeping the stock rubber mat a big no-no and if so what is good and what sort of benefits could I realistically hope to achieve?

 

Please be gentle,it's been a long time:)

Edited by rantan
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@Citroen This one,but it will be fitted with a Denon DL 301 cart. It is in perfect condition and everything works superbly. Speed accuracy is really good.

@rantan  My vinyl rig is well under 5K and certainly provides the magic I'm looking for.  The deck is a Pioneer PL-50L Mkii and I'm running it with a Benz Micro Glider (fed into a PS Audio GCPH).

During this time of government ordered stay home isolation for the Covid 19 virus Think I should tinker a little to pass away the time and make another platter mat    I have some large

1 minute ago, ophool said:

If you are close enough to me, perhaps you could borrow a few to try.

I'm in Sydney Inner West.

 

I appreciate your kind offer but I am in Adelaide:thumb:

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Have a look at this thread 

Probably not much help to you but mat effectiveness really is turntable dependent.

 

One mat that sounds good on say a Rega may sound crap on a VPI etc. And that's not even starting on taking into account personal preferences.

 

Some mats isolate the record from the platter, some couple. Different design philosophies work differently on different turntables.

 

@rantan what turntable are you planning on using the mat on?

 

Edited by Citroen
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@Citroen

This one,but it will be fitted with a Denon DL 301 cart. It is in perfect condition and everything works superbly. Speed accuracy is really good.

Hitachi.jpeg

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I cant speak for your table. but two mats I've had good sucess with are a heavy rubber one.

 

file.php?id=9858&mode=view

 

 

 

this is thick and heavy. though that sits unused as while will suit other tables eg the technics above, on the regas I've found the blue horizon split natural rubber impregnated cork mat to work an absolute treat !!!!

 

image.aspx?filename=BHrecordmat.jpg

 

 

http://recordclean.com.au/blue-horizon-turntable-mat.html

 

mine was actually ortofon branded when I got mine but it is exactly the same as the blue horizon one 

 

can see the cork/natural rubber mat  on my table below,

 

11577520015_205f0f866f_b.jpg

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Thanks @:) al

 

The rubber mat on mine is quite thick and in very good condition. I was/am inclined to just stay with it, but I figure getting some opinions would be worth doing anyway

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Looks sweet rantan! But not familiar with it.

 

You could either try a heavy damping mat, such as a rubber/cork layered one or something like a Resomat to isolate the record from the (what looks like a heavy) platter. 

 

Most would opt for the heavy dampening (I'm guessing it has  a heavyish rubber type mat already) but I've had great results from mats with little contact with the record e,g resomat, cork spot mats. Sometimes its good to have the Resomat on top of the heavy rubber mat.

 

In other words, any combo may or may not work with your combo, your ears, so suck it and see! I know not much help but hey that's hifi  for you.

 

Just remember to adjust for VTA.

Edited by Citroen
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1 minute ago, Citroen said:

Looks sweet rantan! But not familiar with it.

 

You could either try a heavy damping mat, such as a rubber/cork layered one or something like a Resomat to isolate the record from the (what looks like a heavy) platter. 

 

Most would opt for the heavy dampening (I'm guessing it has  a heavyish rubber type mat already) but I've had great results from mats with little contact with the record e,g resomat, cork spot mats. Sometimes its good to have the Resomat on top of the heavy rubber mat.

 

Just remember to adjust for VTA.

 

Thanks mate, it really is sweet and it is currently undergoing a service and cart fit from @johnmath.  It does indeed have a fairly decent weight rubber mat. I am having the RCA's replaced also and having a proper ground terminal fitted.

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Personally I would stick with the original rubber mat.  

 

The rubber mat damps the aluminium platter of the Hitachi PS-48 and gives the music a little help in zip and dynamics.

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From what I can gather @Johnmath is a vinyl fiend so no doubt he could recommend if a a mat upgrade would be worthwhile for you. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Metamatic said:

Personally I would stick with the original rubber mat.  

 

The rubber mat damps the aluminium platter of the Hitachi PS-48 and gives the music a little help in zip and dynamics.

 

Don't dismiss adding a mat on top of the rubber mat.

 

Some of the best results I've had is placing the Resomat on top of either the original 401 mat or even better using an Auditorium mat, under a Resomat

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Thanks to @Metamatic and @Citroen:)

 

I must admit my instincts, which are pretty good, were telling me to stay with the original matt. John is indeed a TT guru and he is just giving it the once-over so with the new cart it should sound great. it came with an original Hitachi ( AT ) cart but that was a bit sibilant. Other than that it sounded pretty damn good.

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Don't dismiss adding a mat on top of the rubber mat.
 
Some of the best results I've had is placing the Resomat on top of either the original 401 mat or even better using an Auditorium mat, under a Resomat


Second this suggestion and also agree with@metamatic. Stick with the original see how it sounds and if you want to try lowering the noise floor try an isolating mat on top. Those cheap ones made from non slip mats work well as an experiment at least. I'll find a pic or a link and post it later.
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43 minutes ago, soundfan said:

I use a Resomat, and haven't changed it in over 4 years now.:) 

 

stackedplatter_zps67c746e1.jpg

can you use a clamp with it? how dows it perform sith slightly warped record?

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Just now, mloutfie said:

can you use a clamp with it? how dows it perform sith slightly warped record?

 

I have a clamp, but think mine (300 odd grams) is probably too heavy for it. Haven't tried one.

 

As with warped record, I'm not sure what you mean?

 

 The record will show the same degree of warp-ness no matter what it's sitting on.

 

Or is there something I'm missing here? :)

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1 minute ago, soundfan said:

 

I have a clamp, but think mine (300 odd grams) is probably too heavy for it. Haven't tried one.

 

As with warped record, I'm not sure what you mean?

 

 The record will show the same degree of warp-ness no matter what it's sitting on.

 

Or is there something I'm missing here? :)

I'm looking for a new mat and that resomat looks good. I do have a few slightly warped record so I need a clamp to flattened them before playing I wonder will I still be able to use a clamp with all those spikes

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1 minute ago, mloutfie said:

I'm looking for a new mat and that resomat looks good. I do have a few slightly warped record so I need a clamp to flattened them before playing I wonder will I still be able to use a clamp with all those spikes

 

IIRC the owner of Resomats was quite helpful back when I purchased mine. Shoot him an email perhaps?

The mat itself is quite flimsy, I got quite a shock when I first picked it up,

 

Chris

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30lkw12.jpg

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Anti-Non-Slip-Grip-Mat-30x100cm-Kitchen-Drawer-Cupboard-Underlay-Liner-Durable-/181536650782?var=&hash=item2a446d761e:m:m2cGYUCrLvvgv_qlQ89LjLg

 

This is the one I was referring to earlier, made from a lattice of lightweight foam. It does a great job at isolating in my experience and is thin enough the add to an existing mat, underneath or on top. I bought one from ebay some years ago, but easy to diy using a commonly available non-slip mat material. Only caveat is that will leave residue on LPs that are left on it for some hours, which would be an unusual occurrence for the average garden variety OCD audiophile ;) I reckon Chris' Resomat would work as well, if not better than this, but IMO you would probably still require damping of your alu platter with either one. Suck it and see :)

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2 hours ago, mloutfie said:

can you use a clamp with it? how dows it perform sith slightly warped record?

 

I believe its not designed to be used with a clamp. 

With slightly warped records all points might not contact the record but that should be OK

"  The idea with this mat is to have absolutely no influence on the record. It sits on cones with minimal contact with no clamping. Vibrations from the stylus are free to dissipate in the open air with no reflections. There is nothing to dampen the record either. "  

 

http://www.trans-fi.com/resomat.htm

 

 

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Guest Hensa
I use a Resomat, and haven't changed it in over 4 years now.[emoji4] 
 
stackedplatter_zps67c746e1.jpg

I must dig mine out of the cupboard and give it another go. I couldn't really get my head around the notion of the record sitting on a series of plastic spikes on a flimsy base. I'm sure the science is sound so will give it a proper go.


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10 hours ago, Citroen said:

 

I believe its not designed to be used with a clamp. 

With slightly warped records all points might not contact the record but that should be OK

"  The idea with this mat is to have absolutely no influence on the record. It sits on cones with minimal contact with no clamping. Vibrations from the stylus are free to dissipate in the open air with no reflections. There is nothing to dampen the record either. "  

 

http://www.trans-fi.com/resomat.htm

 

 

Thanks won't work well in my case then there is a few records I won really need a clamp to be played flat. In the same note what is the recommended mat for an acrylic platter. I used to use acrylic mat on a metal and glass platter and haven't used a mat ever since I change the turntable with a acrylic platter. or better just save some money to get a delrin platter :P

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Using an old LP topped with a suede platter mat....... very cheap, very effective, sounds fantastic!:thumb:

Edited by stevoz
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14 hours ago, Dave O))) said:

Only caveat is that will leave residue on LPs that are left on it for some hours, which would be an unusual occurrence for the average garden variety OCD audiophi

 

Call me odd but I reckon using a turntable mat that can leave a residue on your record would piss off pretty much everyone.

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16 hours ago, soundfan said:

I use a Resomat, and haven't changed it in over 4 years now.:) 

 

stackedplatter_zps67c746e1.jpg

 

I have found that mats which support the vinyl at points and not across the whole of its surface cause subtle speed variations as the due to the record bowing down between the bumps. The 'ee-awe' sound as the stylus ride ups hill and down dale is audible when playing a wow & flutter test record, and also in the sustain of piano notes, for example.

 

Having tried a lot of mats on a lot of turntables, my go-to mat for a glass, thin (~12mm) acrylic platter is a Herbie's Audio Lab Way Excellent II Turntable Mat: http://herbiesaudiolab.net/ttmat.htm  I haven't tried one on a cast typical japanese cast aluminium platter, but my inclination would be to try one on top of the original rubber mat, not instead of.

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Just now, johnmath said:

 

I have found that mats which support the vinyl at points and not across the whole of its surface cause subtle speed variations as the due to the record bowing down between the bumps. The 'ee-awe' sound as the stylus ride ups hill and down dale is audible when playing a wow & flutter test record, and also in the sustain of piano notes, for example.

 

Having tried a lot of mats on a lot of turntables, my go-to mat for a glass, thin (~12mm) acrylic platter is a Herbie's Audio Lab Way Excellent II Turntable Mat: http://herbiesaudiolab.net/ttmat.htm  I haven't tried one on a cast typical japanese cast aluminium platter, but my inclination would be to try one on top of the original rubber mat, not instead of.

Mmmmm.

Well I have an external speed controller and psu (Phoenix Engineering Roadrunner and Eagle), and have no fluctuations in speed.

I'm not by any stretch saying the mat I use is the bee's knee's, but it works well on my Lenco. :)

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17 hours ago, rantan said:

 

Thanks mate, it really is sweet and it is currently undergoing a service and cart fit from @johnmath.  It does indeed have a fairly decent weight rubber mat. I am having the RCA's replaced also and having a proper ground terminal fitted.

 The HITACHI looks real nice - l have a P17 in great condtion but the auto return is faulty- l should get it fixed.

Back on subject  -  l have tried a few different styled rubber mats and my current cork mat, but l dont hear any changes. The cork mat can slip on the platter, but 3 small bits of Blutack stops that.

 

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5 hours ago, mloutfie said:

Thanks won't work well in my case then there is a few records I won really need a clamp to be played flat. In the same note what is the recommended mat for an acrylic platter. I used to use acrylic mat on a metal and glass platter and haven't used a mat ever since I change the turntable with a acrylic platter. or better just save some money to get a delrin platter :P

 

You may have missed the point of the minimal contact.

It really doesn't make much difference if one point doesn't contact due to a slight warp. Minimal contact is ideal. OTOH, warps have their own inherent problems, but that has nothing to do with the turntable mat.

 

I have had a few acrylic platter turntables (eg VPI, Pink Triangle), and basically I found it best to have NO mat. 

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2 hours ago, Hergest said:

 

Call me odd but I reckon using a turntable mat that can leave a residue on your record would piss off pretty much everyone.

 

You just need to wash it, and then no residue problem.

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Thanks to everyone for the replies so far and please keep the ideas flowing.

 

I think at this stage, I might just settle in with the TT and the stock rubber mat and see how that goes. As time goes by I may try to borrow a few different mats to see what, if any, changes occur. Given my modest record collection so far ( 25 ) it may be best buying some more music and building up the collection. I do have a couple of records on the way from Bandcamp and am looking forward to hearing them in my system

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2 hours ago, johnmath said:

 

I have found that mats which support the vinyl at points and not across the whole of its surface cause subtle speed variations as the due to the record bowing down between the bumps. The 'ee-awe' sound as the stylus ride ups hill and down dale is audible when playing a wow & flutter test record, and also in the sustain of piano notes, for example.

 

Having tried a lot of mats on a lot of turntables, my go-to mat for a glass, thin (~12mm) acrylic platter is a Herbie's Audio Lab Way Excellent II Turntable Mat: http://herbiesaudiolab.net/ttmat.htm  I haven't tried one on a cast typical japanese cast aluminium platter, but my inclination would be to try one on top of the original rubber mat, not instead of.

 

Surely only on lps that aren't flat? An lp is pretty rigid when supported by 9 points and I can't see any bowing on a standard 120 gm lp, let alone a 180 gm one.

 

And I'd say that I'm pretty sensitive to pitch variation (esp piano). 

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3 minutes ago, rantan said:

 

Thanks to everyone for the replies so far and please keep the ideas flowing.

 

I think at this stage, I might just settle in with the TT and the stock rubber mat and see how that goes. As time goes by I may try to borrow a few different mats to see what, if any, changes occur. Given my modest record collection so far ( 25 ) it may be best buying some more music and building up the collection. I do have a couple of records on the way from Bandcamp and am looking forward to hearing them in my system

 

Exactly, totally agree that that is the best approach right now.

 

Just enjoy playing your records for now, and buying more lps. Tweaking is secondary to enjoying your new sounds, and it will only be after listening for a while that you'll identify any areas, if any, that could improve.

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...........Although there's nothing quite as satisfying than pampering your records with a lovely suede mat and thinking "my LP's will love me", and they do, because they sound fantastic......:D Suede on an old LP as mentioned before is the best sounding platter mat I've had.:thumb: Of course, I haven't tried everything.....;):)

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19 minutes ago, stevoz said:

...........Although there's nothing quite as satisfying than pampering your records with a lovely suede mat and thinking "my LP's will love me", and they do, because they sound fantastic......:D Suede on an old LP as mentioned before is the best sounding platter mat I've had.:thumb: Of course, I haven't tried everything.....;):)

 

Just for sh*ts & g*ggles ... try the suede mat the other way up - ie. 'leather' side touching the LP.  ;)

 

I found this made an improvement ... although I have since moved onto a different mat.  (I have a mate who keeps experimenting with different mats.  :D )

 

Andy

 

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22 hours ago, rantan said:

 

@Citroen

This one,but it will be fitted with a Denon DL 301 cart. It is in perfect condition and everything works superbly. Speed accuracy is really good.

Hitachi.jpeg

Rantan, Citroen said mats are turntable dependent.  I am inclined to agree but would pay particular attention to the platter, or at least the platter material.  Is that a metal platter?  If so then (as has also been alluded to) you need an isolating platter more than a coupling platter.  Your (presumed) metal platter may be damped underneath, probably with rubber.  However that is not sufficient and you can likely prove that to yourself by removing the platter and tapping it with a spoon.  I am sure it will ring.  If so that is a big no-no and the some of resonances it produces from the cartridge, bearing etc will find their way back to the stylus and ultimately, via the speakers, to your ears.  My suggestions.  (1) Oyaide BR One that will damp the platter because of its butyl content.  (2) Funk Firm Achromat.  The Achromats are popular with Technics turntables that have an aluminium platter.

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2 hours ago, andyr said:

 

Just for sh*ts & g*ggles ... try the suede mat the other way up - ie. 'leather' side touching the LP.  ;)

 

I found this made an improvement ... although I have since moved onto a different mat.  (I have a mate who keeps experimenting with different mats.  :D )

 

Andy

 

Can't, it's suede both sides:P....two thin pieces stuck together. Nice mat, from Germany.:)

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I use the following mats in combination.

 

Herbies Way Excellent II Mat

Extreme Phono Speed carbon graphite mat (without the None-Felt Mat Mk3)

 

The effect is immediately apparent and invariably better than the original Once Analog mat. The Herbies' Way Excellent II mat on its own is also an improvement over the Once mat, and better than the Extreme Phono None-Felt Mat, though both are very good. The Herbies plus the Speed is better than the None-Felt plus the Speed in my listening. 

 

I have tried the Millenium carbon graphite mat, which looks almost identical to the Extreme Phono. The Extreme Phono is audibly superior, and radically cheaper.

 

I've tried the Origin Live Upgrade Mat - wanted to like it, but didn't.

 

As I always play my records with 1.4kg of centre weight and 1kg of ring weight, the resilience of the Herbies' mat material may be a factor in my preference for the sound, compared to the None-Felt Mat (which might be compressed somewhat by the record weights).

 

Cheers,

Warren in Bronte

Edited by Warren M.
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Check Oyaide tungsten infused butyl rubber mat with a record weight for direct drive decks. I have used a lot of mats and this is the best combination on my Technics

Sent from my D6503 using Tapatalk

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