Review: Millennium M-CD-Mat Tweak

Category: Accessories

As a lover of classical music primarily but liturgical music, Gregorian Chant, Opera as well as popular music my tastes are eclectic. The thing I value most is clarity and the transmission of the recorded material without coloration as close as is technically possible. The worst thing a system would do for me is to make things fuzzy when they should be clear, to adulterate the sound to suit someone else's idea of what the material should sound like.

The Millennium CD mat is fantastic because it reveals more sonic material than I had heard before. I've listened to discs that are older and others that are very new. But I've listened to them all enough times to know what material is on them, and the Millennium CD mat from Aaudio Imports has blown me away. The Marigo mat made NO difference to my listening so I returned it. But Brian got me the disc in two days and I've been amazed at what I'm hearing on my well known discs.

He's a gent, the disc is fantastic and at $119 makes my entire CD collection of over 1200 discs a re-found treasure. It also does for SACD's what it does for CDs. When I've used it with DVD's, I'm sure I'll find improvement.

Associated gear
Marantz SACD-CD player, Marantz DVD9600 Universal player

Similar products
Marigo CD mat
What Marantz CD player? I have an SA-7 and have been reluctant to use a mat for fear of causing damage or putting stress on the drive. How long have you been using it? What specific benefits?

Thank You
Thanks for the nice review Mike. A friend of mine has a Marantz 9600 and has had issues with the mat causing a 'scraping' noise inside the player with some CDs. Do you?
I use one of these with very good results, takes some HF artifacts out and gives more detail and bass. I use Meridian transports but have used it is several others, in a friends Ayre player yesterday , with no trouble. It is very thin and hard to see how it could give trouble. It is also very light.
Rello and DLcockrum: I have the SA11-S1 the mat is so light I can't imagine it putting any stress on the drawer or the drive. It's amazingly thin and much thinner than the Marigo mat I tried. I have not had any instance of the scraping noise on the 9600.

Specifically, there is an increase in the information you hear on the disc. It seems to bring out material that I hadn't heard before. And this has happened with every disc I've tried. I've had the Cd mat for 3 days and have been listening pretty constantly to discs.
I too purchased one of these mats and tried it in my Uber Clocked Rega Saturn and also a Marantz SA-7 and Ayre-CD-5-XE ..... both myself and others did in fact observe what has been referred to in the above post as 'removal of some HF artifacts'...

However and more to the point, not only were some of the HF artifacts removed, but there is actually a wholesale removal of HF information resulting in what some have observed as more bass, which I believe to be in fact a result of our auditory perception curve when the entire frequency balance is tilted !!

Ultimately we observed LESS ambient information, which is quite apparent and not what I would call beneficial either... but to each their own, it certainly makes discs sound different and in the case of really poorly mastered, harsh sounding cd's it could be an asset.

Yet, I find applying a black Sharpie to the edge of such CD's & the application of Xtreme Av, Liquid Resolution on the surface is far more beneficial in ALL regards and actually have found the above to positively benefit ALL discs (although interestingly, some discs are significantly improved whilst others are more subtly improved), resulting in wholesale improvements to the entire frequency spectrum & definition with reduced granularity inherent to the relatively low res. 44.1 medium....

Unlike the Millenium Mat I have not observed any detrimental effects from the above applications, which can also easily be removed should one desire !

BTW: I also used the Boston Audio CD Mat which is a solid graphite compound, it too had essentially the same effect as the Millenium Mat, but far moreso, with a much stronger 'tilt' in perceived response as I refer above.

PS: FWIW-None of the transports suffered from any loading or operating issues whilst using the above mats
For the purpose of clarification, my Marantz SA11S1, is the Upgrade Companies Signature Edition model, upgraded by David Schulte.
I Have also tried this cd mat and agree with coolhand. there is a loss of detail and air. What it actually does "is" dampen the sound,you can hear the added weight which can fool you into hearing more bass and more midrange, which will give you better, or just easier, to pick up spacial cues and imaging. if your system is revealing and properly set up, this should be what you get. I had a fellow audionut over to listen to the differences, and he is the type that does not pick up on this sort of thing, he does not mind a rolled off upper spectrum, and his personal system is based on over emphasized mids and lows. He actually liked the disc because it made things " easier to pick up on", and he was fooled by the darker more bass heavy sound!. I guess what I am saying is, common sense tells you this thing can not add to your system, it can only take away or alter what you already have, and some people depending on how they like to listen, and/or what the system is already lacking...may actually like the alterations made by this disk,.....but " magic " it is not!!!.
I think it is very system dependent, after making MANY changes to my system since I wrote the above I am currently not using it but may again in the future.
Mike I knoe you wrote on the cd mat back in July but if your back on here,could you please respond? I currently own the Marantz 9600 and I am considering upgrading with The Upgrade Co. or purchasing the Marantz SA-11S1 and maybe upgrading this,if you feel it is worth the cost. Also are you saying that you have Marantz SA-11S1 upgraded and still here more detail using Millennium M-CD-Mat Tweak?nancy529
I just have started using the CD Millenium mat in my system. My observations are similar to those of monobloke and coolhand.

Perhaps a little more positive:

I liked the fact that on complex orchestral, the various instruments are much better delineated. Much cleaner and more organized which feels right.

On video, I find even mumbles are quite clear. And color saturation and images are much smoother.

So the cd mat is doing something right.

On the other hand, the orchestra feels like it was recorded in much smaller more confined studio.

And on jazz ensembles, it no longer feels like it was recorded in a feels like a close-miked recording.

On Norah Jones' first album (Last track on the album) you clearly lose the sense of air and decay around breathing, flutes, etc.

She feels spookily three-dimensional without the mat, like she is singing in your room. Once the cd mat goes on top, clarity of the ensemble is better, but she is no longer in the room...she is just well recorded.

Anyone else have thoughts on this? Anything that someone has figured out to keep the Pros above and get rid of the Cons? (Nothing is perfect...but pursuit of it in this hobby is the fun!!!)

It works - it doesn't work - it works sometimes. That's what I read, and what various friends who have a Mat tell me. As for me, I was given a "home-made" version of the MM by a Western friend who bought a MM and then decided to copy it. Bought carbon fiber sheet .5mm thick - shiny one side, "rough" other side. Cut them out - how, I don't know.
Anyway - I started using it on my new Oppo 83SE - and immediately noticed a "warming" quality to the sound. On my old (pre-1994) classical CDs a lot of the glare and splinter were greatly reduced. But on new SACDs, the difference is minimal.
I guess the MM is pretty simple to replicate - for a lot less than $119 - but is it the same? I just don't know. It would seem to be a legit product, although I've not yet tried the "real thing."
You will find no lose of air or detail with Ultra Bit Disc Damper, Shiney side down on the disc and music just opens up and comes to life, 3D imaging, depth and all you find so pleasing with LP's on a 10K turn table.

To note also the Marantz SA7-S1 drawer with disc in it is very tight, so make sure you line up the mat, and don't use it with SACD on this unit, the mat or any mat will get hung up in the unit, not sure why, but I am guessing the speed SACD spin and and using 1 laser, they disc may drop to a different height due to the read needed by red-book and SACD.

Not loaders never a issue in either format though. Sony SCD1 owners try one really something to hear.