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Thread: Turntable Mats

  1. #1
    Alex_UK's Avatar
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    Default Turntable Mats

    (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 and found this one at half that on ebay Here - 20.

    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?
    Alex

    Main System: Digital: HP Laptop/M2Tech Hiface/Logitech Media Server/FLAC; Marantz SA7001 KI Signature SACD Player and other digital stuff into Gatorised Beresford Caiman DAC Vinyl: Garrard 401/SME 3009 SII Improved/Sumiko HS/Nagaoka MP-30
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  2. #2
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    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

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSJR View Post
    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
    Alex

    Main System: Digital: HP Laptop/M2Tech Hiface/Logitech Media Server/FLAC; Marantz SA7001 KI Signature SACD Player and other digital stuff into Gatorised Beresford Caiman DAC Vinyl: Garrard 401/SME 3009 SII Improved/Sumiko HS/Nagaoka MP-30
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  6. #6
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    Here's my mat tests
    http://theartofsound.net/forum/showp...7&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.
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  7. #7
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    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......
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  8. #8
    Alex_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSJR View Post
    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.
    Alex

    Main System: Digital: HP Laptop/M2Tech Hiface/Logitech Media Server/FLAC; Marantz SA7001 KI Signature SACD Player and other digital stuff into Gatorised Beresford Caiman DAC Vinyl: Garrard 401/SME 3009 SII Improved/Sumiko HS/Nagaoka MP-30
    Amplifier: Rega Brio R. Speakers: Spendor SP1. Cables: Various, mainly Mark Grant.
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  9. #9
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    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 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

  10. #10
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    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!

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