Which turntable mat do you use?

ben38

Active Member
After reading many good reviews i recently bought a Funk Firm Achromat for my Planar 3 TT to replace the standard felt mat. I didn't experience the night and day improvements that some people mention but there does seem to be a slight difference in sound which i would perhaps describe as being slightly more detailed but not as warm sounding as the felt mat. My view on whether the Achromat is an improvement or not seems to change between albums and after a month of use i'm still not sure either way. There is also a downside of using the Achromat though and that is because its a hard material there is a slight risk of scuffing your vinyl if you change or flip it while the platter is still turning. I understand this is not just something I do due to laziness but it is also recommended in the Rega manual and apparently it's not ideal to stop the motor each time the record is changed.

Anyway, all in all i'm thinking that as the benefits of using the Achromat seem (so far) to be relatively minor and to reduce the risk of damaging my vinyl i might go back to the original felt mat; however, i wondered if anyone had similar experiences with the Achromat or if they have used alternative mats that have provided more significant improvements. Or are they all much of muchness and the original felt mat does the job as good as any??

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated, thanks!
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member

golden phoenix

Distinguished Member

BT Bob

Well-known Member
I've recently upgraded the standard felt mat that came with my Rega RP1 with this:

I like the pairing - works well and definitely reduces static.
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
Nice..what about import charges for this bad boy?
No import charges for me, but not everyone has escaped them.


They kill animals for this? o_O

I love my music and my Linn Sondek, but just no!
It gets good reviews but yeah as a veggie I don't think I can go down that route either.
Yeah I can see it's not for everyone.

Just stay away from felt though. I think they a terrible things. Least the two I've tried. Dust and static gatherers.
 

ben38

Active Member
No import charges for me, but not everyone has escaped them.





Yeah I can see it's not for everyone.

Just stay away from felt though. I think they a terrible things. Least the two I've tried. Dust and static gatherers.
I've not had too much trouble with the standard felt mat on my Rega but I bought the Achromat just to see if there was scope for improvement as suggested in the reviews. I think i'll persevere before making my mind up but i'll have to get used to turning the TT off when i change records to avoid any potential scuffing. Maybe after that i'll try a cork mat.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I've not had too much trouble with the standard felt mat on my Rega but I bought the Achromat just to see if there was scope for improvement as suggested in the reviews. I think i'll persevere before making my mind up but i'll have to get used to turning the TT off when i change records to avoid any potential scuffing. Maybe after that i'll try a cork mat.
I just use the felt mat that came with the Sondek, never thought about changing it. The dust lid seems to do its job, maybe that's why.

As for removing the record whilst the platter is still spinning - never done that either, always stop completely once the record's finished. Mind you, I bought my deck secondhand (£300 with an Ittok arm and Adikt cartridge already fitted!) so there was no instruction manual. I presume all this stop-start gubbins means more wear and tear on the motor and/or rubber belt?

I know DJ's flip records all the time whilst the platter's still spinning, but the Technics is direct drive and they don't seem to care about literally dropping the needle on the record, don't even bother using the cue arm.

I had a P3 for a while and liked it, but I jumped at the Sondek when the opportunity came up. I think turntables can be a tweaker's paradise if you let them, always looking for that next jaw-dropping improvement. Personally, I think the reality is probably what you experienced: a change, a difference, but not necessarily for the better.

The consensus seems to be that changing arms or cartridges makes the biggest sonic differences, but that can be expensive! So I can see why you're experimenting with relatively affordable mats. :)
 

Apollo83

Active Member
I've tried felt which kept 'sticking' as I removed the record, cork which was fine and then clear acrylic for aesthetic reasons. I detected no real difference to sound with any option.

 

DT79

Active Member
After reading many good reviews i recently bought a Funk Firm Achromat for my Planar 3 TT to replace the standard felt mat. I didn't experience the night and day improvements that some people mention but there does seem to be a slight difference in sound which i would perhaps describe as being slightly more detailed but not as warm sounding as the felt mat. My view on whether the Achromat is an improvement or not seems to change between albums and after a month of use i'm still not sure either way. There is also a downside of using the Achromat though and that is because its a hard material there is a slight risk of scuffing your vinyl if you change or flip it while the platter is still turning. I understand this is not just something I do due to laziness but it is also recommended in the Rega manual and apparently it's not ideal to stop the motor each time the record is changed.

Anyway, all in all i'm thinking that as the benefits of using the Achromat seem (so far) to be relatively minor and to reduce the risk of damaging my vinyl i might go back to the original felt mat; however, i wondered if anyone had similar experiences with the Achromat or if they have used alternative mats that have provided more significant improvements. Or are they all much of muchness and the original felt mat does the job as good as any??

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated, thanks!
Did you adjust your vertical tracking angle after changing the mat? If not then any change you’re hearing is more likely to be as a result of the slight (or possibly not so slight) change of VTA, than it is the material the mat is made of. If not then you should reconfirm the accuracy of your VTA, then judge any change to the sound.
 

ben38

Active Member
Did you adjust your vertical tracking angle after changing the mat? If not then any change you’re hearing is more likely to be as a result of the slight (or possibly not so slight) change of VTA, than it is the material the mat is made of. If not then you should reconfirm the accuracy of your VTA, then judge any change to the sound.
As far as i am aware the only way to change the VTA on the Planar 3 is by adding a spacer but as the mat is only 3mm it shouldn't be necessary anyway. I'm tending to agree with what you and other posters have said in that there is very little if any audible difference between the various mat materials.

Apparently stop/starting the motor each time does = additional wear on the motor etc so for that reason and to reduce the risk of damage to my vinyl i may just go back to the felt mat.
 

BT Bob

Well-known Member
... I bought my deck secondhand (£300 with an Ittok arm and Adikt cartridge already fitted!)
Wait........ what???????

You just won the internet!!! :clap:

Unless you bought it from some guy out of the back of a van in a pub car-park ;)
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Wait........ what???????

You just won the internet!!! :clap:

Unless you bought it from some guy out of the back of a van in a pub car-park ;)
I know!

No, it was a friend's husband who was giving up on Vinyl to concentrate on CD only (this was a few year's ago, well before streaming).

He had an all-Linn system (amp, CD and speakers) and the Sondek was in storage, he hadn't used it in a long time as he'd stopped buying records.

Sadly, he's passed away now and though I know that there are better record decks than the Sondek out there, I've kept it as a memory to him. It also helps that I still really like its bouncy sound too! :)
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Another bargain I managed to pick up along the way is a Nakamichi DR-10 3 head tape deck for only £300 new!

Richer Sounds were having a clear out and had dropped the price from a whopping £800! Currently available on Ebay for £750. Somebody's also selling a legendary Dragon for £2k!
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
Another bargain I managed to pick up along the way is a Nakamichi DR-10 3 head tape deck for only £300 new!

Richer Sounds were having a clear out and had dropped the price from a whopping £800! Currently available on Ebay for £750. Somebody's also selling a legendary Dragon for £2k!
I'm afraid I insist you introduce me to him as his new friend.
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
Just to clarify to everyone I missed read Dereks post and PM'd my apologies. Like we were all told at exam time, read everything VERY carefully before putting your answer down!
 

Khankat

Active Member
I have an assortment of platter mats. One is an SDS(Sound Damped Steel) IsoPlatMat who have a video of their product being tested. Also a Funk Firm Achromat, plus an acrylic mat, which makes a very noticeable difference. Testing and tweaking turntables, although pleasurable, can be quite tiring. It's a never ending process.
 
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BT Bob

Well-known Member
No mat needed with a CJ Walker55 turntable - resin type of patter.
I always used a felt mat on mine (can't remember the brand as it's 30-odd years ago). I can't say it made a noticeable difference comically, but I just felt better putting albums onto a piece of felt rather than a resin platter.
From memory, Colin Walker made some crack about it in the press at the time saying people could use one if they wanted but it wouldn't make a bladder of difference.

Edit: Very underrated TT in my opinion, btw. I had a LVX and Dynavector cartridge on mine. Superb.
 

ben38

Active Member
I have an assortment of platter mats. One is an SDS(Sound Damped Steel) IsoPlatMat who have a video of their product being tested. Also a Funk Firm Achromat, plus an acrylic mat, which makes a very noticeable difference. Testing and tweaking turntables, although pleasurable, can be quite tiring. It's a never ending process.
I've found there to be a slight difference between the sound using the felt mat and the achromat but i'm not sure if it's an improvement or not and i agree that it can be a tiring (and possibly a futile) process. What TT are you using?
 

Khankat

Active Member
I have a couple of turntables. One is a Linn Axis series two, which I cobbled together from the parts necessary to bring it to its original state. The other is an AnalogueWorks TT1. Both have Jelco tonearm, the former a 9 inch and the latter a10 inch. Both decks sound very good indeed.
 

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