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Do You Like Your Platter Dressed or Naked?

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  • #16
    I'm surprised at the number of VPI owners that don't use mats, especially the owners of VPI tables that the platters are made from aluminum. I understand not wanting to use a felt mat, but I wouldn't drop one of my LPs on a bare aluminum platter. I always used one of the SP-10 MKII mats on the Avenger.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.


    • #17
      Depends on the table. My old Well Tempered as a Delrin platter and sounds about best with no mat. With access to an industrial supply house for materials I've used a large circular gasket cutter to make a variety of mats over the years for my direct drive tables and have found that a 2mm rubber and cork mat works about as well as anything, including a few commercial mats I've borrowed or bought over the years.

      One thing I've been wanting to try is one extremely dead material used to damp bowstrings to damp a tonearm right behind the head shell. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate any in a form factor that is usable.


      • #18
        I used the original Garrard 301 mat for some time until Jean Hiraga visited. He suggested that I should try the suede leather platter mat and I did. I found it gives more clarity and a warmer tone. I have since upgraded the 301 with a modern bearing, then went for the Classic Hifi chassis and oversized aluminium platter. That platter rings almost as much as the original (which I damped with rubber rings), but after adding the Micro Seiki gun metal mat, the platter is totally damped. However, I still prefer using the suede mat on top of the brass mat.


        • #19
          I have tried a couple mats on Walker Proscenium, but find no mat best...I do use the Dalby weight, rather than the Walker. I find it to offer better imaging, soundstage and fuller presentation, without bloating.
          Avalon Time, Walker Proscenium, Koetsu Coralstone, Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, Goldfinger Statement, Dalby record weight, Kondo KSL-SFz step-up, Jadis JP80-MC...heavily modified, Convergent Audio JL-2 Black Path, Sony NS999 ES Modwright modded, full loom High Fidelity Ultimate cables, Rel S-5 sub, Stillpoints ultra and 5's, Shun Mook, Dalby footers, Critical Mass bases, Acoustic System Resonators, Magnum Dynalab Etude, Telefunkens throughout, assorted fuses, Furutech outlets, PurePower conditioner.


          • #20
            Very happy w/my mat on my Luxman PD-171A.


            • #21
              I've tried, leather mats, thin rubber mats , deerskin mats, Herbies foam cell mat but in the end I prefer the patter naked. Never messed up a LP in all the years I've played my LP's.
              Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,


              • #22
                Warren Gehl of ARC made a nice platter pad about 30 years ago. Its still the best I've heard. He sold a number of them in this area but I don't think he made more than 25-30. It had an aluminum disc inside and an amalgam of materials that gave it mass and the hardness of vinyl. On the bottom was a Sorbathane layer to help damp the platter itself.

                His contention was that the mat should have the same durometer as the LP itself, so as to absorb vibration from the LP in a neutral manner and convert it to heat. It seems to work really well; when you touch down the stylus into the LP groove, its much harder to hear it tracking than with many of the stock platter pads I've seen on 'tables like the Technics.

                Acrylic can be made in a variety of hardnesses so I suspect that is why its often used as a platter without a platter pad. Years later when we made the model 208 (which used parts from the old Empire 208, but with a new plinth) Warren's pad was nla, but Oracle turned up with a rather nice acrylic pad and we've used that for at least 15 years and it works quite well.


                • mep
                  mep commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Do all LPs have the same durometer? I don’t know how that’s possible.

                • atmasphere
                  atmasphere commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would expect that they are all pretty close, since they have to be able to take and hold an impression, and also survive being played by a tonearm.

              • #23
                I've been using Herbie's mat on my VPI Prime signature. I can't stand the thought of playing my records directly on the metal platter any more than playing a dirty record. The Merrill-Williams REAL turntable has a rubber/cork compound that I'm thinking of trying on the VPI.


                • #24
                  My Brinkmann Balance was designed to be naked and naked she will remain.

                  I replaced the original mat of my Thorens TD 124/II by a Levin Design mat which is made of a sandwich structure comprising a leather surface, a damping rubber in the middle and a static free rigid carbon. The improvement was substantial.


                  • #25
                    Been playing all of my 'tables 'bareback' with the exception of the Roksan, Linn and Rega which use felt mats along with a few vacuum 'tables like the Versa (teflon mat) and Sota (microfiber). My current Simon Yorke deck has a graphite mat which is separate but an integral part of the platter, if that makes sense.
                    Simon Yorke + Zyx + B.M.C .> Soulution > Boulder > Magico

                    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke


                    • #26
                      I did use an early Funk Firm table for a few months some years ago that used their Achroplat platter that was effectively a thicker version of their Achromat. That needed no additional mat and was a totally enjoyable table.
                      Steve Lefkowicz
                      Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                      Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low Output, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
                      Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
                      Electronics: DIY passive line-stage with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
                      Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
                      Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
                      Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet
                      Digital cables: Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
                      Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
                      Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM



                      • #27
                        Originally posted by Skylab View Post
                        Since I have a predilection for big 70’s Japanese direct drive TTs, platter mats are 100% required.
                        I have to salute those old BIC style automatic record changers, they were on to something.

                        I've found one of the best platters can indeed be another vinyl record, 33-1/3 or 78 experiment a bit and tell me if you agree.

                        Watch your heights, altering from 3mm to 5mm mats can be frustrating, gotta be at the right height and not introduce other variables.

                        It is hard to beat the original rubber mat that came with my Japanese DD and German belt-drive turntables. I've played musical chairs with them, switching them out, in general they like to play on the table they came with.

                        Most experiments result in different but not better sound in the long run.


                        • #28
                          I use the mat designed for my table by TTW. It weighs about 3&1/2 lbs and has a bottom layer of cork, which looks to be about 1 mm thick, atop that is a layer of stainless steel, approximately 3mm thick and lastly atop that a layer of carbon fibre. Since it adds mass for a total platter weight now of 45&1/2 lbs I keep it on, though I must admit my turntable sounds great without it, with that copper platter. If anything, there may be slightly more dynamics with it on, but I'm not sure.


                          • #29
                            I use a homemade (by me) platter mat made from grippy shelf/drawer liner. Way better than stock mats on any table I've tried.

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                            • kach22i
                              kach22i commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I'm going to have to try that one day, I love experimenting with affordable materials.

                            • Audioraven
                              Audioraven commented
                              Editing a comment
                              If you do, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with your results.

                          • #30
                            I use micro seiki cu 180 copper platter on my SP10 mk3 and Exclusive P3. I use millennium mat on my TW Acustik.

                            I do not use record clamps or weights as I prefer the sound without.


                            • Slowgeezr
                              Slowgeezr commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I don't use my record weights nor my periphery ring unless they are needed due to a warped record. I've not noticed any better sound with either in use with a non-warped record.

                            • Metamatic
                              Metamatic commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I am lucky as I own an Orb record flattener - I don't have any issues with warped LP's anymore. best $$ I have ever spent on audio, especially now with all the 180 gm dished vinyl I receive.