Upgrade Platter Mat
Origin Live Upgrade Platter Mat
This is probably the best low cost / high value upgrade you can make to your turntable regardless of it's brand name. Highly effective to add transparency, dynamics and bass depth. At only 1mm thick is easy to install without causing problems. The diameter is 296mm to fit inside the lip of decks such as the LP12 although mats are not always perfectly round due to production issues with the material used.
"I've no hesitation in recommending it" Hi Fi World Magazine
Award Winning turntable mat to radically improve the sound of your records
The turntable mat however is possibly the biggest improvement I have heard from any upgrade so far." Rod Woods
Why your Turntable Mat can have such an influence on Sound
A turntable mat acts as the critical interface between your vinyl records and turntable.
Experimentation with different turntable mats are simple and quick. The sound differences are usually obvious , even if your deck does not have a platter mat.
Users find that the "upgrade" turntable mat makes a far greater difference than most mats but more importantly it is a positive difference to every aspect of the music.
Bringing Music alive: - The new platter mat will greatly enhance your level of enjoyment due to the way it brings recordings alive. Music becomes far better integrated and more natural. In particular bass is solid and keeps time with the rest of the music - too often one hears slow bass that lacks attack, and has an overhang which muddies the rest of the music.
Not only this but the turntable mat produces bass extension of maybe an extra octave. This new dimension of speed and air is not limited to the bass regions but extends right through the frequency range. The key words to summarise the differences this platter mat makes are - natural, dynamic and transparent.
Platter Mat tone
The other week, I attended 2 live music performances given by entirely different groups. It was interesting that in the first, a violinist added superbly to a non classical band - the leader remarked afterwards "she has amazing tone". Later that week an Orchestra conductor was introducing a lead cornet player doing a solo and remarked "he has superb tone". After listening to the first few notes I could understand what he meant. It was the sort of rendition that was so noticably pleasurable to the ear that you wanted to keep listening. Another player, playing the same instrument may be technicaly brilliant, hit all the right notes but just not be that pleasant to listen to.
This provoked a lot of thought on the similarities of "tone" in hi fi equipment. It has to do with that indefinable "something" that measurements don't really have much hope of capturing. Some may claim to have the answers, but the truth is usually far more complex. The point of this story is that every material in the hi fi replay chain has a tone and some are far superior to others. The material you use to support the actual playing surface in vinyl is probably one of the most important.
Turntable Mats Function
A great turntable mat has 3 functions which are very tricky to reconcile:
To decouple the record from vibration entering it via the turntable - this includes bearing noise, transmitted motor noise through the drive system, cartridge feedback "chatter" transmitted via the tonearm into the turntable, groundbourne/ airbourne audio feedback, underground pumps etc.
To absorb and transmit resonance out of the record itself. It is hard to imagine the microscopic levels that a hi fi cartridge functions at. The truth is, that a stylus vibrating in a record groove sets the vinyl resonating in a way that will feedback into the stylus if not highly controlled. This feedback may be momentary to the tiniest fraction of a second but will nonetheless create blurring of the signal and overlay other parts so that they will not be heard. In other words there can be loss of information and addition of spurious noise to the intended signal. A good turntable mat can do a great deal to eliminate these problems.
To transmit the drive to the record without elasticity or slip Unlikely as it may seem, the surface that the record sits on responds very slightly to the amount of drag on the record. At best, this will be a very slight momentary elastic movement backwards, but enough to slightly deaden the impact of a bass note drum strike for example. At worst it will cause the record to slip backwards - this is only blatently obvious when you can hear wow occuring, as in the case of a badly dished record, that only contacts the platter in the centre.
Why a New Platter Mat?
Over a year ago we introduced a semi rigid mat that we called the "performance mat". Feedback on this mat was almost universaly positive with users reporting superior performance over recognised market leaders that they already owned.
Further experimantation led to a new flexible composite material which sounded even better. Not just a bit better but a lot better. To be fair the new flexible turntable mat (which we are calling the "upgrade" mat) does most things that the "performance" platter mat does, only it does them better - especially in the bass area. However the 2 turntable mats can complement each other and the semi-rigid performance mat does add a touch of additional transparency to the flexible upgrade platter mat.