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rantan

Turntable mats, what is hot and what is not?

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Why shoot the messenger, I was merely pointing out to what John Darko has written as he is much more eloquent than me....[emoji3]
 
"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
 


I think the numbers don't match up though I do believe that it costs a fair bit more to bet vinyl sounding better than a digital set up. 2-3x as much I'd say.

Vinyl to me is more emotionally involving. Having said that I'm amazed by my digital set-up on those occasions that I use it and it's ease of use is why I use it when I do. I can control JRIVER via my Smart phone ;)

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2 hours ago, rantan said:

 

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

 

That last worries me.  Even a cheap AT cart should not sound hissy and sibilant.   Something must have been wrong.  

 

I actually have a Hitachi PS-48 by the way.  I don't remember it having any particular shortcomings soundwise.  It is in the shed not being used, but mostly because the speed tended to wander a bit overnight.  Every time I used it I had to readjust the speed, and sometimes, even after some hours of playing, I had to tweak it again.  I have a Technics SL-150 that is super stable, so that's the DD I keep setup in the listening area, where I keep an idler drive and belt drive table as well.  It is the idler that gets the most use.  

 

Anyway, as to the 301, just because a cart is suitable for a turntable does not mean you personally will like it on any given TT.  This is why I suggested a bit of experimentation.

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5 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

That last worries me.  Even a cheap AT cart should not sound hissy and sibilant.   Something must have been wrong.  

 

I actually have a Hitachi PS-48 by the way.  I don't remember it having any particular shortcomings soundwise.  It is in the shed not being used, but mostly because the speed tended to wander a bit overnight.  Every time I used it I had to readjust the speed, and sometimes, even after some hours of playing, I had to tweak it again.  I have a Technics SL-150 that is super stable, so that's the DD I keep setup in the listening area, where I keep an idler drive and belt drive table as well.  It is the idler that gets the most use.  

 

Anyway, as to the 301, just because a cart is suitable for a turntable does not mean you personally will like it on any given TT.  This is why I suggested a bit of experimentation.

 

Thanks mate.

 

I take your point about the AT cart but that was when I initially heard the TT after buying it.

 

I would say that after the tweaks that have been made to the TT those characteristics would probably not be evident now. I guess I could try it out but realistically, it isn't going to sound better than the Denon.

Interestingly, the speed accuracy on my Hitachi is and was 100% spot on even when I first got it.

 

The TT itself arrived in near mint condition for its age and everything,including the cart was original and working. I think the addition of the Cardas RCA sockets  and the fitting of the ground wire were nice improvements also. I actually love the Hitachi, and it only sounds less good in direct comparison to my Saturn in the exact same system and my sole aim is to bring its performance close, or equal to, the Saturn.

 

One would have thought this would not be difficult or unreasonable, but I can only go on what I hear with everything else identical and this is why I am seeking some insights from people here and I am very grateful for the contributions so far. I am sure there is a way forward here, I just need to work out what it is.

 

cheers

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@pulinap .......a budget digital fanboy then.:D I agree that at entry level, digital delivers 'bang for buck' and I still seriously enjoy SACD's and the occasional CD but returning to vinyl for me has been a revelation. A truly joyous one. I reckon John Darko's mistake was not going vintage analogue, it's how vinyl's meant to sound:P. It's all subjective of course..........BTW, nice TT.:thumb:

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Could be an interesting journey getting the Hitachi to sound as you want. When I got my Ariston it made me deeply unhappy with my JVC QL7.... It wasn't until I upgraded the tonearm, IC's, vibration damped the platter, got maglev feet and a better platter mat that it could compete.

The Ariston on the other hand only took the right cart and a cork mat to sound it's best. Turntables are strangely fussy beasts ;)

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19 hours ago, MattyW said:

.... It wasn't until I upgraded the tonearm, IC's, vibration damped the platter, got maglev feet and a better platter mat that it could compete.


 

 

Interesting. I have had done

1. Re-organise ground wiring to separate signal, screen and electrical safety earths.

2. Apply constrained layer damping to underside of platter to damp excess ringing.

3.Install RCA output sockets.

4. Screen internal signal wires between tonearm and termination

5.Clean and lubricate main bearing

6. Set correct speeds at midpoint of fine adjustment settings

7.Treat speed controls and headshell connectors with anti oxidant cleaner

8.Adjust cartridge overhang, offset and azimuth.

7. Set vertical tracking angle,balance tonearm and set vertical tracking force.

8. Adjust anti skating force dynamically.

9. Perform cartridge balance and tracking tests ( all good ).

10. All functions tested

AND

 

Fit new Denon DL 301Mk2 cartridge.

 

Seems pretty comprehensive so we shall see how it goes after some more playing time

 

PLUS: I really like it, because it also looks great and has soul and style.:)

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For the Garrard 401

I currently use 2 mats one on top of the other 

Underneath I use the original mat that came with 401 

Its construction is vinyl like in appearance and has groves like a record 

On top I use a rubber mat with 3 raised circular contact points 

 

I have also treated the platter with a special lacquer 

This works well for me 

 

On my DIY inventing stage I have made a very good mat from micro aerated foam and it also works well on my turntable 

 

My next DIY project will be to use a special mixed ingredient cork @6mm thickness approx ( need to check ) 

This product has special properties and is used as gasket material in large electricity generators 

It can handle high temps and can handle high vibrations and also has sound deadening properties 

 

So it's next in line to be constructed when time permits 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Full Range

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Interesting. I have had done

1. Re-organise ground wiring to separate signal, screen and electrical safety earths.

2. Apply constrained layer damping to underside of platter to damp excess ringing.

3.Install RCA output sockets.

4. Screen internal signal wires between tonearm and termination

5.Clean and lubricate main bearing

6. Set correct speeds at midpoint of fine adjustment settings

7.Treat speed controls and headshell connectors with anti oxidant cleaner

8.Adjust cartridge overhang, offset and azimuth.

7. Set vertical tracking angle,balance tonearm and set vertical tracking force.

8. Adjust anti skating force dynamically.

9. Perform cartridge balance and tracking tests ( all good ).

10. All functions tested

AND

 

Fit new Denon DL 301Mk2 cartridge.

 

Seems pretty comprehensive so we shall see how it goes after some more playing time

 

PLUS: I really like it, because it also looks great and has soul and style.[emoji4]

 

I'm wondering if your platter is over damped? I used Dynamat Extreme on the underside of mine and while it did wonders to kill vibration. It did have the unwanted effect of sucking the mids out and killing dynamics which meant that I had no emotional attachment to the music. It did however improve fine detail retrieval.

 

It wasn't until I got my 6mm thick aluminium matt that I got it back. I now have the best of both worlds. I'd have gone with a copper mat though there's no way I was going to shell out $800+ for one. The aluminium mat was less than half that posted from Hungary.

 

Beyond that I think you've done a fair bit more with your table than I have.

 

Sent from my Redmi Pro using Tapatalk

 

 

 

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@MattyW

Very interesting.

 

Food for thought:thumb:

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@rantan how many hours on the cart, is it broken in yet?

Also, I second the suggestion that the platter is over damped. I have always shied away from doing that for fear of un-balancing the platter, which would be quite easy to do if the damping is not cut and/or applied *very* precisely.

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@Dave O)))

 

Funny you should ask. The Denon now has about 20 hours on it and I am pleased to say the 'table is now sounding far better all round. I am confident the platter is not over damped because @johnmath set it all up and if anyone knows their way around tweaking a 'table it would be him

It really is quite interesting how some hours usage on the cart has opened up and fleshed out the sound. I do recall back in the day that this improvement always happened but it's been a while since I had one in regular use. Onece it has done some more work, I will re-visit the mat idea

 

Watch this space:)

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Guest Misterioso
On 29 March 2017 at 6:03 PM, pulinap said:

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

 

 

Previous? You sold a Brinkmann Balance? As a Bardo owner, I am quite puzzled why you would want do that. Did you find a better turntable or did you give up on records? Sorry for being off topic, rantan.

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Mmmm, I mostly buy used MC's with the exception of my Hana EL and DL103's. Of all those I've had the DL103 had the biggest change with break in.

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10 hours ago, Misterioso said:

 

Previous? You sold a Brinkmann Balance? As a Bardo owner, I am quite puzzled why you would want do that. Did you find a better turntable or did you give up on records? Sorry for being off topic, rantan.

 

That's not a Brinkmann......it is a TW Acustic Raven Two with AC upgrades....

 

Temporary hiatus from vinyl/ hifi.....but my record collection still grows.....;)

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I'd love to wrestle that Raven from your talons!

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1 hour ago, Citroen said:

I'd love to wrestle that Raven from your talons!

 

I am afraid...it has flown the coop to the warmer shores of Singapore....

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:(

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Went looking and thinking today about what is good in new alternatives.

Based on what I heard, I am now aware of what is possible. I will be keeping the Hitachi come what may, but there was a very big difference between what I have now and what I can get for well under $2K

 

Edited by rantan

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Wow that's cheap the 5mm version  for $75 has anyone use this in acrylic platter?

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Hey Lindsey 

 

What did you end up using as a record mat?

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wow some really good reading archived here and expands beyond just talking mats.

 

Belonging to the Hitachi club i'll be digging through to pick out some pearls o' wisdom.

 

i replaced the stock ringed rubber mat with cork and on top I've a fancy (in my books anyway) Origin Live mat. under all this directly on the aluminium platter I played with a very thin layer of silicon (cut it from a $3 dog's bowl matt I saw in the Reject shop), I've been happy enough to leave it in the mix.    

 

@rantan did you replace the tonearm on your unit? 

 

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@wasabijim and @metal beat

Just as an update to the thread and my TT activities so far.

 

I have retired the Hitachi, however, I still love it and don't ever plan on selling it, so it is a museum piece that gets played on occasion.

  I ended up buying a cork/rubber mat for it and it made a worthwhile improvement, but even after break in , I never really had any love for the Denon cart so I sold it and replaced it with the Shelter 201 and this has proven to be a great match up.

 

For an inexpensive cart the Shelter is one of the best kept secrets and I don't know why they are not more widely used in that price point of the market. They certainly are far better than an Ortofon Red/blue/Silver and very close in performance to the Bronze,with similar tonality.

 

As regards the the Pioneer I purchased a Dynavector DV 20X2 and after quite a few hours use it is now sounding really nice and works very well indeed with the PL 50, so for the foreseeable future I don't plan on changinganything at all.

It sounds great via the on board phono stage in my Luxman amplifier so my analogue life is settled, ,sublime and simple. ( I have also left the original mat on the PL 50 and see no need to change.

 

Cheers guys.:)

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nice

sounds a very happy place indeed 

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Posted (edited)

would you believe I come across this in Bunnings (that very afternoon i read thru this thread, just saw the pic again in phone and it reminded me to post) 

worth it just for the experiement at <$7. 

( i didn't get one so can;t comment)

 

 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/northcote-pottery-30cm-pot-accessory-cork-mat_p0138556

 

qjsIQFA58v_cjLmHtYpw7Vc06kQDCcA2HUSYU7E_KC2XilN0wA3k-jutTsvrnPtzl6Yr1viXH9XKCHZu3zHQmfNpJLsqhQLIzn7c1Xd30gHz4cFFQkhEgJIsRZMW0nwGwMsQsW0rCTpETEUjNgdoZhfa3NFBXIUCplbRxZ8oEW_AF_tbHgGZvTLynj00Et3Hf267q220d0E3cURNAe3LKLOWL_sbTAwNlSfs-EOYKQ4gxMbhkDyd8PSZ2eI-6Hx_AUYZp7NyYsdxawVvHjiGV9hAZaSTL1XlS7-BLa1_xs96ursQFz2-ozJ43QME-bId_992nRlEOeTvwcgd2U1XWMl12VP9uhckdKHv0tJMksjdOzVXN6Ulp9LuA9Dav79PxoIc1KMpDyNBvMHCEXvj6_eJF1VIWCZgzjWIDh2jiNoEZOy418pQ_Ts2YUPO5b4_qc_qHgO_t4mUTpXsR-sWN9A-kyxC2A2rGCoev78MXerrqv2hjhLAmlFPPphIq2W2PghAMEB7uyMKnl9yS0pyPCFZ11Gq6AQIuJ8T4dUCuv7WtHxatzmc6CVfwVbebO_OrnNqXq3fDEGHdYjGgJ854I9BGPvYR4lKT13waokeVnSVyS3TVr8RmgCFXATwOJ5F6Nhwn0LiUBFczvKZloA5NqMk-jEBXF40mvkyhRUppaApPw=w568-h757-no

 

Edited by wasabijim

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