Does a turntable mat make any difference?


One came free with my RUSH 2112 vinyl disc.

Google seems to think so.

TIA

128x128jjbeason14

Mijo, you write, “I cannot believe this (inserting the Bricasti at 5kHz) won’t be an improvement.” Thus I guarantee you will perceive it as an improvement. I personally don’t agree with forcing a speaker to create a flat in-room response regardless of driver limitations, especially in service to a processor, but you already know that. I think when your brilliance control got hot, the speaker was telling you to lay off. Anyway, I’d love to hear the results. Also, when S’phile analyzed a full range SL speaker (forgot what amp and which model SL), it measured very flat out to 20kHz, without high frequency augmentation. Maybe that was at a SPL well below what you like.

So my question, If one buys an aftermarket mat and you have the same amount of "sound" coming from the playing surface with volume down, then you really are not gaining anything? I can hear the record playing slightly having my ear near the headshell. A better mat will lower that volume? 

I`ve thought about trying a different matt on my P10, but I`ll just stick with the stock felt one. 

Rega uses the same one on the new Naiad, so there must be a reason.  

@jjbeason14 

Yes if you know what to listen for.  Judging by many responses about mats I see few if any really know what to listen for and how to test them.  

The business end mechanics of a turntable is a stylus that generates vibration energy to everything it is adjacent to including the cartridge body, tonearm record and surface that supports the record.  

If you put your ears near the stylus as it plays a record (speakers turned down) you can hear and almost feel the energy it is generating.  The thing is buzzing away.  

Now the issue is that this vibration energy combined with any system resonances (vibration peaks, louder levels at frequencies) can interfere with the quality of the signal.  This can result in blurry bass that lacks sharp definition or attack of notes as well as colorations that can affect the clarity of the midrange frequencies.  

A mat can have damping properties that can reduce these resonances so that the bass is sharper and has more impact as well reducing colorations for a clearer more transparent sound.  These qualities are important to me so I tested many mats before landing on mine.  

The differences between mats are easy to hear if you push the volume up so that it amplifies them and then listen for the quality of bass notes (clear or muddy, punchy or soft) and then the midrange (are vocals clear or are they foggy)? 

 If getting the best bass and clearest midrange is important to you, a good mat is worth considering.