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Platter Mat Testing: Return Of The Dynamic Duo

When this hobby started I spent some considerable time listening and recording samples of record mats. I was seeking the best sound from different materials I had one hand from DJ Slipmats to rubber sink mats. I found the following three mats sounded great to my ears and have used them since.

Record Mat Samples

I am revisiting the "Dynamic Duo" album and recording samples again. This time I am using a Tonar Banana cartridge with a Cambridge 640p phono preamp. The signal is captured directly with an E-MU 0404 sound card. The track is rendered in Sound Forge from DVD audio quality to CD quality 2.0db.

Phono Preamp

The settings for the turntable are the same. Tracking is set at 2.0 grams with 0 anti-skate and the VTA ring is at its lowest. When using the SLSM mat (Shelf Liner Sink Mat) the VTA ring was increased 1mm.

So far this vinyl recording method has yielded my best transcriptions. I listen and watch the meters for clippings and set the volume to ~1 db below zero. This method normalizes the volume for LP recordings. As with this recording I am now filtering the track for LP Hiss; the tracks are as captured from the record.

Technics Settings

When listening to the newly recorded samples I found my preferences to remain true. I liked the SLSM mat the best with the Cork Spotmat and Shelf Liner Cork Spotmat contenting for second. The liveliest record mat of the bunch, the Cork Spotmat, has a rugged low end that is favorable to the extended high end offered by the Shelf Liner Cork Spotmat. I liked the SLSM mat above all for its noticeable silence and well executed high and low range.

Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery's "Down By The Riverside" record mat comparison tracks recorded from vinyl. The sample is 1:25 minutes for qualitative analysis with a bright horn section and a a romping bass line.

Filename: ShelfLinerSinkMat (Down By The Riverside).zip
WAV File Compression
Size: 11.11 MB

Filename: ShelfLinerCorkSpotmat (Down By The Riverside).zip
WAV File Compression
Size: 11.11 MB

Filename: CorkSpotmat (Down By The Riverside).zip
WAV File Compression
Size: 11.12 MB

I've also captured samples from the "Night Train". This track has a soft intro with a lead up (increased volume) as originally recorded. The sample is 0:14 seconds with high hats, horns, and drums recorded from vinyl.

Filename: RecordMatSamples (Night Train).zip
WAV File Compression
Size: 6.42 MB



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