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Spotmat Testing


Bruce Sprindsteen


The Internet is a magical thing when like minds pursue of a common goal all else is text, images, and ads. Today I received mailings from an audiophile. He wanted me to try a shelf liner with cork dots version of the Spotmat. Having read great things about this mat I wanted to see how the rubber sink mat on full cork (FCSM mat) would compare. Having exhausted all possible combination, constructing the Spotmat was next on the project list. My buddy with great ears spared me the trouble and effort. He had tested the FCSM mat and was convinced I would like the sonics of the Spotmat.

Holding the package and grinning I knew the first order of business was to measure its thickness. The mat was ~3.5mm and so no adjustments were necessary. I wiped the platter with isopropyl and cued "Down By the Riverside". I had heard this track thoroughly but this time the sound was airy and full. The signature was lighter. Hum, I thought while the track recorded. I like this. The sponge shelf liner was less reactive to the platter. However, I liked the weighty sound and tampered top-end of the FCSM mat. This Spotmat had lifted the music and given more top-end resolution. This was a point were the AT440mla's brightness might offended me. If platter materials push this cartridge any more I may be looking for a replacement.

Spotmat Testing

Testing continued with Jimmy Smith, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, and Janis Joplin. I wanted to see how sloppy the cartridge would get. The mat was performing well so I moved on to some albums frequently played. I found myself mat swapping because the Spotmat sounded best when things got busy but with singular presentations like Willie Nelson's "Stardust"; I liked the added weight of the FCSM mat. I am convinced the Spotmat is a keeper. The cartridge may be the next order of upgrades.

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