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Turntable mats, what is hot and what is not?

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19 minutes ago, rantan said:

 

So, just as an update. I am, unfortunately not getting the magic and I am not sure and change of matt will reveal it.

 

This is really tangential but what level of TT do I need to buy that would make me wish to listen as much as I do to my Rega Saturn. There is simply no comparison at the moment and I would dearly love it to be making me joyous. My amp has a great phono stage. I have a brand new Denon 301 LOMC and it has been tweaked and serviced by a vinyl master

Hi Lindsay

 

What do you think's lacking in the sound of the turntable compared to the Rega Saturn?

 

What was the cost of just the turntable?

 

Cheers

 

Pete 

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13 hours ago, Peter_F said:

Hi Lindsay

 

What do you think's lacking in the sound of the turntable compared to the Rega Saturn?

 

What was the cost of just the turntable?

 

Cheers

 

Pete 

@Peter_F

 

Hi Pete. I should have taken your advice and probably will still do so, but curiosity got the better of me.

I made a modest investment with a mint condition 'table and had a nice cart fitted and had it serviced and tweaked by a true professional.

 

Your opinion and advice is always highly valued and I have not forgotten anything you mentioned. However, before I made substantial investments in building a vinyl collection I thought it prudent to test the waters with a 'table of equivalent cost to my Saturn so it is like comparing apples with apples.

 

All up, with service/mod costs and a new Denon 301 cart fitted, my costs are $670.

 

In comparison to the Saturn, the sound is pale, much less defined, thin,recessed, one dimensional and lacking dynamics and PRaT.

I have done direct comparisons with the CD and vinyl copies of the same album . This was done by way of having the TT spinning,playing two or three tracks, then lifting the cuing lever and switching to the same tracks on my CD, obviously ,through the same amp and speakers.

 

As much as I wanted the vinyl to be better ( and I truly did ) it simply isn't, and even more sadly it isn't even close, but ,as ever, I am definitely open to suggestions of any kind. At this stage, I am pondering a move upwards and using the Denon 301 on that, but this is tempered by my modest (60 )record collection and the fact that my CD based system makes me happy and tap my feet so much.

It really should be a fair comparison as I am not comparing a very expensive CD against a modestly priced TT.

 

With all that said, I really do like my TT. It has soul and character and is in mint condition and come what may, I won't be parting with it.

 

Cheers

Edited by rantan

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I don't like to be the bearer of 'bad news'....but here's what John Darko says....

 

"The mainstream press raves endlessly about the warmth and richness of vinyl. Their implication is that vinyl sounds better than any digital format at every level, even the entry level. The mainstream buyer reads this and says, “Hey, I need to get me some of this!”. He scopes out a new turntable at the entry level and pushes his budget to the absolute maximum and buys an RP1. Audio nirvana is just around the corner? Except it isn’t. With record after record, the RP1 sounds rolled off in the top end, lacks separation and overall resolution, even when compared to a 320kbps Spotify stream. Don’t just take my word for it, have a listen for yourself. The RP1 needle-drops were augmented by the same two slabs of wax digitised by the KORG ADC using a Rega P3/24. Neither does entry-level turntablism hold a candle to higher-end vinyl rigs. This matters not a jot to those in it for the ritual, the collecting and the tangibility. But judged purely from a sonic perspective, buying a budget vinyl setup like a Rega RP1 (or Pro-Ject Debut Carbon) is loaded with the very real risk of disappointment. An inconvenient truth because of the furious debate it will no doubt generate. Yet, this is hifi, not climate change."

 

I am in the minority and attracted quite some flack for saying this, but CD is king under 5k.......

 

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1 hour ago, pulinap said:

I don't like to be the bearer of 'bad news'....but here's what John Darko says....

 

"The mainstream press raves endlessly about the warmth and richness of vinyl. Their implication is that vinyl sounds better than any digital format at every level, even the entry level. The mainstream buyer reads this and says, “Hey, I need to get me some of this!”. He scopes out a new turntable at the entry level and pushes his budget to the absolute maximum and buys an RP1. Audio nirvana is just around the corner? Except it isn’t. With record after record, the RP1 sounds rolled off in the top end, lacks separation and overall resolution, even when compared to a 320kbps Spotify stream. Don’t just take my word for it, have a listen for yourself. The RP1 needle-drops were augmented by the same two slabs of wax digitised by the KORG ADC using a Rega P3/24. Neither does entry-level turntablism hold a candle to higher-end vinyl rigs. This matters not a jot to those in it for the ritual, the collecting and the tangibility. But judged purely from a sonic perspective, buying a budget vinyl setup like a Rega RP1 (or Pro-Ject Debut Carbon) is loaded with the very real risk of disappointment. An inconvenient truth because of the furious debate it will no doubt generate. Yet, this is hifi, not climate change."

 

I am in the minority and attracted quite some flack for saying this, but CD is king under 5k.......

 

 

Thanks for that.

 

The real problem is that the first half of my audio life until the 1980's was vinyl exclusively and during that time I had many great decks which bought me endless joy and  even some of my more modest vinyl rigs in those days were just amazingly good. I literally lived and breathed vinyl.

 

I don't know what has happened since then and I still have that love for vinyl which was such a huge part of my life, but based on my recent experiences, I am left wondering where the magic went. Maybe it was the time, the atmosphere and the chemical stimulation, but that cannot explain the bigger picture.

 

Bottom line is that I want this to work but I cannot spend $5K to better what I have now, but my mind,eyes and ears are always open.

Edited by rantan

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I disagree with the previous poster.

CD king up to 5k? Pfffft.

 

I reckon you could halve that budget and find a vinyl rig that would best  one of those shiny disc spinners.

 

Anyways....thought this thread was about turntable mats?

:)

 

 

 

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@rantan

 

Hi Lindsay

 

Haha, the trick is buying something that looks and sounds great! 

 

The turntable itself will never perform at level that you would require to compliment your system.  As we’ve previously discussed your requirements are at high level based on your experience and current system.

 

I don’t think anybody could describe the sound of the DL301 as thin and recessed.  I think this reveals not only the performance of the turntable itself, but also the suitability of the DL301 for the deck. 

 

Instead of a new mat, which would be almost pointless on this deck IMO, I’d consider mounting a Audio Technica AT95E cart. 

 

I’ve owned about 5 or 6 AT95E’s and rate them as the best cart you can buy for the money ($60 including shipping).  They are crazy good value and the better the deck the more you realise just how good they are. 

 

I just recently sold an early 80’s Rega3 with R200 tonearm and AT95E cart which sounded amazing.  The buyer also wanted to dip his toes into vinyl and wasn’t intending to buy it as he didn’t believe that a $400 turntable could sound better than his digital rig.  He coughed up the money before the end of the first track and didn’t need to hear any more! 

 

I think a Thorens TD160 would have been a really good audio experience for you, and cheaper too.

 

It’s a pity that you’re exiled over there in SA as I have a lot of turntables and we could have tried some of them in your system to experience the magic of killer vinyl.

Cheers

 

Pete

 

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2 minutes ago, soundfan said:

I disagree with the previous poster.

CD king up to 5k? Pfffft.

 

I reckon you could halve that budget and find a vinyl rig that would best  one of those shiny disc spinners.

 

Anyways....thought this thread was about turntable mats?

:)

 

 

 

 

Hi Chris. I really want to stress that it is not my intention to start any flame wards here. Hand over heart.

 

As the OP I am seeking a seeking to broaden the topic of how I may go about getting better results from my existing TT or asking if I need something better and I think those who know me will understand that my purpose here comes with no agenda whatsoever and I am just seeking some help

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Just now, rantan said:

 

Hi Chris. I really want to stress that it is not my intention to start any flame wards here. Hand over heart.

 

As the OP I am seeking a seeking to broaden the topic of how I may go about getting better results from my existing TT or asking if I need something better and I think those who know me will understand that my purpose here comes with no agenda whatsoever and I am just seeking some help

 

G'day mate,

 

I know that. I didn't really want to  to reply, but felt I had to.  :)

 

I rarely, if ever, enter those format war debates these days. Use and enjoy both formats.

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6 minutes ago, rantan said:

 

Hi Chris. I really want to stress that it is not my intention to start any flame wards here. Hand over heart.

 

As the OP I am seeking a seeking to broaden the topic of how I may go about getting better results from my existing TT or asking if I need something better and I think those who know me will understand that my purpose here comes with no agenda whatsoever and I am just seeking some help

 

Edit: @soundfan

 

Chris, if you have any suggestions I could explore for $1.5-2K sans cart, I would genuinely like to know and would consider purchasing such an item and also let me stress once more that this is not and never has been, any kind of attempt to re kindle pointless format wars. I want to keep on with vinyl and I am just seeking some advice as to how and where I proceed

 

Thanks:thumb:

Edited by rantan

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Just now, rantan said:

 

Edit: @soundfan

 

Chris, if you have any suggestions I could explore for $1.5-2K sans cart, I would genuinely like to know and would consider purchasing such an item

 

Thanks:thumb:

 

I've been out of the "looking" game for a few years now, but with 2k I would be finding a Lenco or Garrard 301/401, put it in a decent plinth, and find a suitable tonearm. Maybe a PTP plate if you go Lenco. 

 

A Lenco 75 could be had a lot cheaper that the Garrards, (funny that because I actually prefer a Lenco over a Garrard). Find someone to build you a plinth (or look overseas on fleabay) and then find the tonearm. Of course I am biased, I think Lenco's are the bargain buys in vinyl spinners, plinthed properly they are brilliant.

 

There is a Technics SP10 MKII and tonearm on the classifieds at the minute.  1.8 k for those 2 items.. And save for a good plinth perhaps? An end game turntable for some, they are excellent.

 

 

 

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So far I have tried over 10 types of different mats and materials, and the best I have settled on is the 4mm solid copper mat:

media-share-0-02-07-d2259217a44ec4005a17282849e6e329f3fb4f9f7567d4f18b4f03ff4b249526-fa89e73b-5a85-485e-9064-277e3006181d.thumb.jpg.3aa0fb0fb61d683699f3df1c8bfee5e2.jpg

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19 minutes ago, soundfan said:

There is a Technics SP10 MKII and tonearm on the classifieds at the minute.  1.8 k for those 2 items.. And save for a good plinth perhaps? An end game turntable for some, they are excellent.

It looks like its got a good plinth. The base and platter are in need of some kind of repair.

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51 minutes ago, rantan said:

any suggestions I could explore for $1.5-2K sans cart, I would genuinely like to know

 

Here is an example of a turntable in your price range that easily surpassed my (high end) CD spinners in sound quality.

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Just one thing I should add. I have a connection  to someone who is associated with the Thorens distributor and I was curious if something like this would be a decent step up, using my existing DL 301.

 

I can get very good pricing on new Thorens TTs, but if it is no great advance I won't bother

 

http://www.qualifi.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=vmj_genx_SR.tpl&product_id=58289&category_id=1084&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=998

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@rantan if it comes in red it must be good!

I know you say you have a good phono stage but in my experience LOMC cartridges do require better equip, also the interconnects.  What are you using as the entire vinyl 'chain'?   I certainly would expect the Thorens to outperform the HT.  

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22 minutes ago, frankn said:

@rantan if it comes in red it must be good!

I know you say you have a good phono stage but in my experience LOMC cartridges do require better equip, also the interconnects.  What are you using as the entire vinyl 'chain'?   I certainly would expect the Thorens to outperform the HT.  

 

Thanks mate:) Not sure if I would go the red though. More likely the black. I also agree that the Thorens should easily be better than the HT but how much better is the question. If it will put a smile on my face and make my feet move,it will be money well spent. I want both of my formats to make me want to listen more and only one is doing that at the moment

 

At the moment the chain is Luxman L 550 A II amp with excellent built in phono stage,suitable for any cart. Aurealis Dragon RCA leads and Litz speaker cables . These are absolutely superb cables and better than many others with 4 figure price tags.

The HT has been serviced and had platter damping done by @johnmath and he also fitted new cardas RCA sockets and a new external ground wire on the back of the TT. ( it did not have one before ) The brand new DL 301 was precisely mounted and set up by John also so it has been tweaked and serviced to the max

Edited by rantan

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How about asking your contact if you can be allowed an in-home demo of the tt or the next model down?  That way you could find out for certain.

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3 hours ago, pulinap said:

 

I am in the minority and attracted quite some flack for saying this, but CD is king under 5k.......

 

Totally isn't.......My system is around $5000 and on it, vinyl shits all over CD.....I listen loud and CD's are just fatiguing and harsh at volume ($1300 disc player) while vinyl is pure and listenable and just sounds much better ($150 2nd hand vintage TT, replinthed fitted with $210 2nd hand vintage cart). Better highs, better mids and purer, more satisfying bass. Of course, it depends on the components, but on my system, CD is 'prince', vinyl is King!:P I will still play CD's occasionally if I don't have the vinyl of something I want to hear but it doesn't satisfy me to the same level that vinyl does.:thumb: I agree, CD's will sound better on crap systems but hey, who wants a crap system?

Edited by stevoz

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2 minutes ago, stevoz said:

.:thumb: I agree, CD's will sound better on crap systems but hey, who wants a crap system?

 

The thing is I don't have a "crap system " and I really don't want this thread to become another format war. Any suggestions would be most welcome:)

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Pardon if it was discussed earlier and I missed it, but why a DL301?      It is reportedly a fine cartridge, but how do you know you will like it, on this turntable?    I think the cartridge choice makes, perhaps, the biggest difference of all "tweaks" possible.

 

I would suggest trying some cheap cartridges to get an idea of how much the sound can change.   Someone suggested an AT95. I haven't tried it, but an AT3600 with an aftermarket stylus upgrade sounds good to my ears, despite the cheapness  (and I have an AT400mla to compare it with)

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19 minutes ago, rantan said:

 

The thing is I don't have a "crap system " and I really don't want this thread to become another format war. Any suggestions would be most welcome:)

So you would hope CD fanboys don't come on here trying to discourage you, eh? When they do, thread derailment is inevitable, especially on an analogue forum.......so digital fanboys stay away, you have nothing to offer! Good luck with your system rantan.....:thumb:  PS; I previously suggested an old LP topped with a suede mat....works for me. You could also try a Grace cart, say an F8C......they have a lovely refined sound signature.

Edited by stevoz

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2 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

Pardon if it was discussed earlier and I missed it, but why a DL301?      It is reportedly a fine cartridge, but how do you know you will like it, on this turntable?    I think the cartridge choice makes, perhaps, the biggest difference of all "tweaks" possible.)

 

Three reasons.

I had owned and used Denon MC carts in the past and liked them a lot

This was recommended by @johnmath as being very suitable to the TT

It was far better than the original but almost new cond AT cart that came with the TT,which was hissy and sibilant

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@rantan  My vinyl rig is well under 5K and certainly provides the magic I'm looking for.  The deck is a Pioneer PL-50L Mkii and I'm running it with a Benz Micro Glider (fed into a PS Audio GCPH).

 

To your original question, I'm running it with the standard black rubber mat that came with the deck.

 

Like you, I'm not trying to start a format war here - I happily run both vinyl and digital.  My digital rig is a Metrum Hex with an Audiophileo 1 with Pure Power.  Not high end, but no slouch either and certainly more expensive that my vinyl rig.  Both sound great, but on my system I find vinyl sounds more realistic and immersive.  I would be surprised if you can't find a TT/arm/cart setup that will bring you the joy you are looking for.  Good luck with your search mate.

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1 hour ago, stevoz said:

Totally isn't.......My system is around $5000 and on it, vinyl shits all over CD.....I listen loud and CD's are just fatiguing and harsh at volume ($1300 disc player) while vinyl is pure and listenable and just sounds much better ($150 2nd hand vintage TT, replinthed fitted with $210 2nd hand vintage cart). Better highs, better mids and purer, more satisfying bass. Of course, it depends on the components, but on my system, CD is 'prince', vinyl is King!:P I will still play CD's occasionally if I don't have the vinyl of something I want to hear but it doesn't satisfy me to the same level that vinyl does.:thumb: I agree, CD's will sound better on crap systems but hey, who wants a crap system?

 

 

Why shoot the messenger, I was merely pointing out to what John Darko has written as he is much more eloquent than me....:D

 

"Assuming the existence of suitably transparent amplifier and loudspeakers, both Rega RP1 and Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, each set up with supplied cartridge and partnered with an iFi iPhono or Schiit Mani, lack the clarity and dynamic snap of a MacBook firing directly into a Schiit Bifrost. Are we to infer that music played back from a record is rolled off in the treble; lacks dynamics; isn’t capable of proper transient attack? Perhaps ‘warm’ and ‘rich’ are little more than generous euphemisms for ‘fuzzy’ and ‘indistinct’? Beneath the $1’000 marker, a vinyl system’s qualitative shortfall is fully exposed. Many of my vinyl-loving audiophile pals would peg this threshold much higher. Some say $2’000. Others say $3’000. At the entry-level at least, digital sounds subjectively better. The emperor is at least partially naked. " http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/vu/1.html

 

FYI...this is my previous vinyl rig...post-117376-0-86497300-1347086853.thumb.jpg.8734775c41a0dac890cb0319d75f831b.jpg

 

 

...and a I am big digital fanboi eh......?

 

NF.jpg.be90cecdb6625b32f18acf93df2a3ca9.jpg

 

Edited by pulinap

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