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Alex_UK
12-09-2009, 22:31
(I've tried a search, could find no similar threads, but apologies if this has been discussed before.)

Chaps (Chapesses - not found one yet, though?)

I've mislaid the original mat for my Garrard 401, though I must have replaced it at some time in the past with a foam one. The one on my Pro-Ject is a thin felt one. I'd like to try a different mat on both - so far I've looked at details of an Origin Live one (here - 39 (http://www.hi-fi-accessories-1.com/platter-mat-upgrade-composite.htm) and found this one at half that on ebay Here - 20 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ISOkinetik-ISOMAT-1-ACRYLIC-TURNTABLE-MAT-THORENS-REGA_W0QQitemZ170341456911QQcmdZViewItemQQptZTurnt able_Parts_Accessories?hash=item27a9245c0f&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14).

So, any observations on these 2, any other suggestions and perhaps more importantly, what are your experiences with mats - do they really make much of a difference? Remember, I'm naturally a sceptic, but been converted on Mains and Digital cables...;)

Any other tweaks that are as or more important first?

Stratmangler
12-09-2009, 23:05
I believe the consensus amongst Garrard owners is that the original rubber mats are best.

My TT is an aged Thorens TD125 Mk II, and I prefer to run it with a cork mat - sound with it is better than when using the original mat.

Chris:)

hifi_dave
13-09-2009, 08:24
Unless you have a turntable which doesn't require a mat, like Nottingham Analogue or Michell, you use a mat like tone controls. They all sound different and it's a matter of your taste. The 401 platter rings like a bell, so you need something that will damp it down. I have tried several and preferred the original rubber which is heavy and hard with good damping. Something similar will be ideal.

DSJR
13-09-2009, 10:27
I have always rated the NAS Spacemat as a general cheap all-rounder and Tom always recommended placing it ON TOP OF the Garrard mat and adjusting VTA accordingly.

Alex, get some rubber rings (specially made for the job) and place them round the periphery of the platter in between the strobe markings and try to get an original mat for completeness anyway. The Garrard mat isn't good for clumsy idiots like me who want to play 10" and 7" discs though - I scratched my nails several times trying to lift them off the platter.

Isn't the Loricraft mat a cork one?

I also suspect that one of Dave Cawley's mats would be an excellent choice too, as the Techie platter rings without proper damping.

Alex_UK
13-09-2009, 12:33
I have always rated the NAS Spacemat as a general cheap all-rounder and Tom always recommended placing it ON TOP OF the Garrard mat and adjusting VTA accordingly.

Alex, get some rubber rings (specially made for the job) and place them round the periphery of the platter in between the strobe markings and try to get an original mat for completeness anyway. The Garrard mat isn't good for clumsy idiots like me who want to play 10" and 7" discs though - I scratched my nails several times trying to lift them off the platter.

Isn't the Loricraft mat a cork one?

I also suspect that one of Dave Cawley's mats would be an excellent choice too, as the Techie platter rings without proper damping.

Thanks Dave - I'll check out those options - already found and bought the damping rings, so I got something right for a change! Also had a bit of a play with the SME arm, and found a pdf manual online, so will be able to adjust VTA accordingly. Cheers again, much appreciated. (The Loricraft Mats is cork looking, not sure if it is though. Loricraft Mat - 60 + p&p (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Loricraft-Garrard-501-401-301-Turntable-Mat_W0QQitemZ180382129039QQcmdZViewItemQQptZTurnta ble_Parts_Accessories?hash=item29ff9cdb8f&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14)

Magna Audio
13-09-2009, 14:56
Here's my mat tests
http://theartofsound.net/forum/showpost.php?p=46767&postcount=23

Like everything else TT related and it is the whole that give the result not just one component that's seemingly or priced best/highest.

It could be that other carts / arms / headshells would be best with something else.

I did try my SL-1210 with air arm and an Ortofon MC25 cart and the Pioneer mat and I liked it.
I think I like a change in sound every now and then too.
Back on the PL-71 now though.

DSJR
13-09-2009, 17:25
Alex - don't forget the Allen key(s) is/are imperial and not metric as I remember. Sets are available from ebay as well as instructions. Collect Radio aren't always cheap but they seem to have an unending stock of stripped out tonearms, so they may have a set of cheap instructions as well......

Alex_UK
13-09-2009, 17:55
Alex - don't forget the Allen key(s) is/are imperial and not metric as I remember.

Indeed they are Dave, luckily I happen to have a set of screwdriver bits which includes metric hex bits so I think I should be ok.

Cotlake
13-09-2009, 19:09
Hi Alex,

Lift the mat off a 301/401 and flick the platter with your finger nail and you'll find it rings like a bell. This is one of the reasons why the original mat is prefered. The addition of the rubber bands on the circumference helps but they are no substitute for a well fitting rubber mat which is molded to fit the depression on the platter inner thus maximising on damping. Original Garrard mats are very rarely found as a single item although there used to be a Philistine seller on ebay who broke into parts all the Garrards he aquired to boost his profit :steam: I suggest whatever mat you get, start with the best fitting heavy rubber mat you can find. You could even cut a disc of rubber to fit into the recess. Thereafter, you can then fine tune and experiment with different mats on top if you wish. Personally having tried a few options I prefer the sound of the basic mat alone. Another option is to damp the underside of the platter with something like Blutack or mastic but be careful not to apply it so it interferes with the inner rim where the idler wheel drives and of course this approach could upset the platter's balance. Garrard balanced the platter by drilling out part of the outer rim. I'm not sure if this was by static or dynamic balancing, but spoiling the balance will have a similar effect to having an unbalanced wheel on a car. Whether this is audible I don't know. I'm not convinced by several of the products offered by Loricraft to make an old Garrard servicable and heavyish Cork mats are available on ebay that almost replicate what the sell at a fraction of the price but beware, you'll probably receive a Cork dinner place mat with a hole punched in the centre :) I hope that helps.

Regards,

Greg

Ammonite Audio
13-09-2009, 20:01
Having played around with mats on my two turntables, I find that what works best is such a personal matter that, ultimately, it's down to experimentation. The suggestions and guidance here are good for starters, though. It can be an expensive quest!

Beobloke
15-09-2009, 08:52
I have spent longer than is strictly good for me mucking around with mats on my 301 and after much swapping, listening and getting frustrated with the whole thing, I came to the conclusion that the original rubber mat was best, closely followed by the Funk Firm Achromat, which adds more air and spatiality across the midrange, but at the expense of some low end grunt.

Alex_UK
15-09-2009, 19:27
Thanks guys, I guess anything I try will easily go back on ebay without too much loss if I don't like it, and it could be a bit of fun trying - going to try the Origin Live one first I think.

aBe
17-09-2009, 06:09
Or..you might want to try Ikea's plastic drawer liner.
The ones with raised dots or something on its surface.
It's pretty cheap and works well with my Goldring GR2, much-much better than the supplied thin felt.

freefallrob
17-09-2009, 09:11
I've no experience with the Garrards, but have played with all sorts of mats on all sorts of turntables (SL1210mk2 modded/standard, Pro-Jects, Regas, Heybrook TT2, Mission etc.) bought and DIY and I always seen to come back to a good quality wool felt mat for the record interface, and if needed for a ringing platter some sort of rubber type material for this underneath.

The other mats do seem to have an 'effect' which can seem better in the short term, but I have personally found them wanting in the long term for one reason or another.

Alex_UK
17-11-2009, 20:09
Just to update this thread - on the Garrard, I've ended up with a Lenco 75 rubber mat, which seems a bit heavier than I remember the Garrard original being, along with 2 damping bands. Definitely better than the foam one or felt one I tried.

For the Project, I had this one delivered today (3mm) http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110455594870&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT in place of the felt jobbie - and aside from really looking the part and being cheap, it has definitely tightened up the sound.

DSJR
17-11-2009, 20:35
That GL75 mat was the only one which sounded right on a GL75 too - and this in the days before people listened to such things.

I'm also told the GL78 multi-ribbed mat is even better sonically, but although I've owned both turntables, I've never compared them directly...

Alex_UK
17-11-2009, 20:42
And the best of it was I got it off ebay in as-new condition for 99p - how much would I have paid for an original Garrard one, I wonder? (Especially as I know mine is in the garage somewhere, along with the SME headshell and Shure M75... :scratch: )

hifi_dave
17-11-2009, 20:43
That GL75 mat was the only one which sounded right on a GL75 too - and this in the days before people listened to such things.

I'm also told the GL78 multi-ribbed mat is even better sonically, but although I've owned both turntables, I've never compared them directly...

The GL75 and most other turntables of that time (G99, 301,401, TD124 etc) were designed by engineers who knew what they were doing. Who knows, they might even have given them a cursory listen during development ?..:scratch:

DSJR
17-11-2009, 20:48
Well, many of these classics were used for professional transcription purposes and listening would have been essential in this instance :)

Ammonite Audio
18-11-2009, 11:35
I see that the Cartridge Man has a mat out, which looks rather sensibly designed. See http://www.analogueseduction.net/product/Cartridge_Man_Music_Mat_Turntable_Mat_CM-MAT

I might even try one myself.

Rare Bird
18-11-2009, 13:24
The best mat i ever used was the Funk mat, i was sent the pre production funk mat & was impressed.

http://www.thefunkfirm.co.uk/achro.htm