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Platter mats?


pauln
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I have tied a few different mats on my turntable platter. The B&O came without one and is ostensibly designed to work without a mat, but so it goes...

Cotton fabric mat cut from a cloth placemat - so thin it did not seem to have any effect.

Cork mat cut from a sheet of cork from a craft store - no difference I could tell.

Leather mat cut from a piece of disgarded furniture - no difference I could tell.

Rubber mat from a Technics turntable - about 3mm thich with concentric elevated rings; sounds terrible, makes voice and guitar sound aggressive.

Ultra Grip Liner - this works! This is a brand of shelf liner made of some spongy lattice of matrixed blobs of substance I don't know what - high density foam or something. This stuff works best to my ears. It comes in a roll 12 inches x 4 ft so you can make four mats with a roll that costs $7. I just put my platter on top of it, ran a pen around the circumference, and cut the perimeter and the center hole. This solution I can live with indefinitly. It sounds great. Maybe because it is about one third empty space...

So what have you others found that works (commercial and homemade)?

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Ultra Grip Liner - this works! This is a brand of shelf liner made of some spongy lattice of matrixed blobs of substance I don't know what - high density foam or something. This stuff works best to my ears. It comes in a roll 12 inches x 4 ft so you can make four mats with a roll that costs $7. I just put my platter on top of it, ran a pen around the circumference, and cut the perimeter and the center hole. This solution I can live with indefinitly. It sounds great. Maybe because it is about one third empty space...

So what have you others found that works (commercial and homemade)?

Currently using the stock mat on my Pioneer PL-600, which is nearly 1/4 inch thick rubber. Same with the SL1210.

I've tried the shelf liner before, and didn't notice much, if any, difference. Be careful not to leave the records on the platter too long with the shelf mat, as it leaves a funky residue on the record.

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Do you have adequate clearance between stylus and platter? The worst part about my matt-less platter is when using a disc preener prior to play, so any positive suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Too much force, you risk damaging the reverse side (sliding on the TT platter)

Clearance is fine, the thing is only about 2-3mm thick. This changes the vertical tracking angle, but the vtm used to cut records varies from record to record based on thickness anyway, and the standard cutter head vtm has changed over the years from 15 degrees early on to 22 degrees modern; some have gone to 23 degrees lately.

I understand about the cleaning risk of sliding the record - the Grip Liner does not let go. I am also aware that the Grip Liner has a bit of tackiness to it - it is a little sticky - but I think this is an attribute of the material more than an added substance; anyway I have not had any issue with residual substance.

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... Be careful not to leave the records on the platter too long with the shelf mat, as it leaves a funky residue on the record.

Someone used to sell a precut version of this mat. I forgot what it was called now. I made a mistake and let one of my favorite records on for too long and it was ruined. It fused into the record and I was never able to clean it. In my opinion, any amount of time a record spends on this material is harmful to the record.

Kudret

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Yipes! That is scary... I ALWAYS remove a record as soon as it stops playing, either flip it over or back to the sleeve. I think I will do an experiment with a "stunt record" and see what the effects of this stuff are with additional exposure. Thanks for the heads up...

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That shelf liner stuff comes with a warning that it can leave marks on wood surfaces if it's on too long. I don't put it on or under anything of value.

When you tried the 3mm thick mat, did you reset the VTA to compensate? 3mm sounds like it might be enough thickness to make an audible difference. On my Technics turntable, I'm using the PlatterMatter mat that came with it. It's pretty thick, but I adjusted the arm height accordingly.

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Hey guys, thanks for the recommendation on Herbie's Way Excellent mat!  I've been in the market for one myself (just bought a new Music Hall MMF-9) but didn't think Audioquest's $100 felt mat was anything more than, well, a felt mat with Audioquest's brand on it.


Did some research and this mat seems to get unanimous praise from users and critics alike.  So I bought one.  Can't wait to try it out!

Always such good information floating around these here forum walls...
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That shelf liner stuff comes with a warning that it can leave marks on wood surfaces if it's on too long. I don't put it on or under anything of value.

When you tried the 3mm thick mat, did you reset the VTA to compensate? 3mm sounds like it might be enough thickness to make an audible difference. On my Technics turntable, I'm using the PlatterMatter mat that came with it. It's pretty thick, but I adjusted the arm height accordingly.

I tried the 3mm mat again. I thought about it and decided that the two records I used to test it were live albums and maybe that was why the vocals and electric guitars sounded a bit aggressive. I played some other stuff and it sounded just perfect so I'll stick to the rubber mat for a while.

With the variation in VTA used by the cutter heads, the various thicknesses of individual records, and the variation in VTA industry standards recommending what the cartridge VTA should be (15-23 degrees)... I just don't take VTA that seriously. Which is a good thing because my turntable and cartridges are integrated and the VTA is designed in.

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I just measured the PlatterMatter and found it to be 4.35mm thick. When I was setting up the suspension last year, I wasn't sure how to measure the VTA, so I followed the advice of the shop that installed the cartridge for me and set the tone arm to be level. The plinth and platter were already level, of course.

As it happens, the SL-1400MK2 service manual says to set the tonearm to be level with the record surface. You can download many manuals at http://www.vinylengine.com/library.shtml and the homepage is http://www.vinylengine.com/news.shtml

It sounds fine to me. If some "golden ear" type stops by, I may try setting the tone arm a little higher or lower. I don't think there are many arms that allow the VTA to be adjusted at the cartridge end, except perhaps a Dynavector.

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The mat that I use goes by the horrible name of Harmonicer and is a Clearaudio product.

I chose this mat for the simple reason that is in actually an inverted record - made of the same stuff but thicker on the outside and thinner in the middle. The idea is that this provides a perfect fit for the record to sit on and be evenly supported throughout.

In the picture you can see my TT with the mat (and not a record) in place. For me it is vitally important that the record is evenly supported as I use the outer ring and an inner weight. This means that there is an extra 2 kilos or so (3 lbs) riding on top of the record and holding it flat.

What the mat does not do is any kind of resonance suppression. I work on the theory that I do not need this with my table. Other table might have different requirements.

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Nice turntable, Max! Is that a Clearaudio? I thought they were somewhat different from that.

Clearaudio have many models. This is a Master Solution TT which is about 2/3rds of the way up the Solution series and one set below the Master Reference series.

If I choose to I can upgrade it to the one in the pciture below. This picture is actually of a slightly older model but suffices to show the additional motors (a double edged sword in my book) and the non-plinth extension to keep them in place. Not shown is the motor controller that keeps all 3 motors spinning at exactly the same speed.

Who knows - maybe one day if money becomes a non-issue....

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Close - what you can see if the Acoustic Signature Tango phono stage. My speed controller is clearaudio too - what can I say? The clearaudio salesman was very good - the damn mat is clearaudio too - so is the phono cable - they really saw me coming.

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You know as many times as I've looked at the AS products I should have known that! I'm suprised with that table setup that you don't own a BAT VK-P10SE but the Tango has gotten a ton of killer press and cost a heck of a lot less than the P10[;)] The AS Final tool is on my current shortlist along with the Project RM-10 with Groundit base and Sumiko's Celebration cartridge[:P] My attitude is if your going to dream theres no use doing it at the five & dime[:|]

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