Need for record mat for Prime

Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby Packgrog » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:27 pm

From what I've read, it seems that the Classic/Prime/Signature/Whatever platter is well-damped enough that it works best bare. I don't know if this is the case for the smaller Scout or Player platters. I use a 5mm Achromat on my Scout Jr. since I needed a slight label relief cutout to make the best use of a reflex clamp, and because I got a good deal on it. It does help damp the platter a bit. Whether this is BETTER than a bare platter would be, I have no idea.

I have tried other mats, though. I still have a 3mm clear acrylic mat that was OK (still need to get rid of it), the stock VPI mat after that (I just use it as a platter dust cover, really), then worst of all was a DIY leather mat. Perhaps the Leather-It mat is a harder leather, but I did not like the sound with my own leather mat AT ALL. Dulled, flabby sound, no life at all.
VPI Scout Jr., Audiomods Classic, Audio Technica AT33PTG/II, Phoenix Engineering Falcon w/ DIY Arduino Uno Tachometer, Musical Surroundings Nova Phonomena, RME Babyface Pro
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby thegage » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:53 pm

Packgrog wrote:Perhaps the Leather-It mat is a harder leather, but I did not like the sound with my own leather mat AT ALL. Dulled, flabby sound, no life at all.

This is not the case with the Leather-It. I don't know why. It seems to balance everything out without dulling or bloating the sound.

John K.
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby Fast-n-Bulbous » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:57 am

Hi all,

Newb here resurrecting this thread. I'm a proud new owner of a pre-owned VPI SSM Reference and am looking to get a mat for it. Herbie's Way Excellent II looks like it's quite popular here and was thinking of biting the bullet on that one.

However, I was wondering if anyone using one of these along with a periphery ring clamp could weigh in on what diameter I should purchase? It looks as though it's offered in 280, 285, 290 and 292mm. Will the maximum size interfere with the way the clamp rests over the LP and platter?

Also, I've noticed that this table discharges a crazy amount of static electricity whenever I flip/remove an LP from the platter. Will Herbie's mat eliminate or mitigate static discharge?

Thanks!
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby jonathanb » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:47 am

You want a 295mm diameter, 2mm thick Herbies mat if using the VPI periphery ring. The mat does seem to mitigate static issues when changing album sides.
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby Fast-n-Bulbous » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:59 am

jonathanb wrote:You want a 295mm diameter, 2mm thick Herbies mat if using the VPI periphery ring. The mat does seem to mitigate static issues when changing album sides.


Thanks Jonathan! I'm ordering one now.
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby VinBob » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:14 pm

Hey All,

I have the Project Leather-IT mat for my Prime and was wondering if it was good to use for the less thicker LPs (e.g. 120g/140g) so as to raise the tonearm so that it is aligned with the height of a 180g LP, which is where I have my tonearm set.

I am thinking this would be a nice easy way to not have to adjust VTA to switch between the newer 180g LP's versus the more traditional 140g LP's. I would primarily play the newer stuff but for the times when I play the older thinner LP's, I would be happy with using the mat for those. Or am I making a big assumption and making this a lot easier than it is?! :lol:

EDIT: To add, I guess I'll still have to fiddle with VTF when adding the mat - would it increase or decrease VTF for adding the mat?

Cheers,
Vin.
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby Golear » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:49 pm

It'll be a lot easier to raise/lower the VTA than to put on/take off a mat and then change the VTF! Mats will certainly change the VTA, but they will affect the sound, too. It might work in some situations, and not in others.

If you want to just have one VTA setting, then set for a thick LP (180 g) and then don't worry about it when you play a thinner LP. In many cases, a cartridge will still sound good if it's slightly nose down. (And generally, it's better to be nose down than nose up.)

There are no standards on LP thickness, groove depth and the angle of the cutter head. So there's no alternative to setting the VTA for each LP by ear. Adjust the VTA until the cartridge is level, then fine adjust by ear. By adjusting to level, you'll be taking the VTF into account.

How much difference you'd hear will depend on some things. For example, an elliptical stylus will be forgiving. A shorter arm will have a smaller "sweet zone" than a long arm.
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby 33+1third » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:02 pm

Fast-n-Bulbous wrote:
jonathanb wrote:You want a 295mm diameter, 2mm thick Herbies mat if using the VPI periphery ring. The mat does seem to mitigate static issues when changing album sides.


Thanks Jonathan! I'm ordering one now.


Love our 2mm Herbies and we've tried many :mrgreen:
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby Mr_Putty » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:30 am

I have never tried a mat I have been satisfied with on any table. I use a compromise that is a bit fussy. With practice it’s not that bad. I use an o-ring in the outer groove of my Prime platter that is slightly taller than the height of the groove. It’s also slightly smaller than a mat that’s the diameter of the platter. So I have to stretch it a bit to fit. It occasionally pops off. I have never glued it in place, but something water based and removable would probably help. To me it’s as neutral as anything I’ve tried. It does require care when removing a record so the ring remains in place. And it would not work with an outer record flattening ring as far as I know. It didn’t cost much and I have been using it for many months. It has no negative affects on any tweaks I have made. I also use an o-ring under the stock Prime record clamp. It fits snugly against the outer delrin lip and does not fall out. It contacts the record, not the black Delrin plastic. If you don’t like your mat or want a cheap alternative, give this a try. I know it’s unconventional. Try it, and post what you observe.
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Re: Need for record mat for Prime

Postby Peer Gynt » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:13 am

I recently went through mat decisions with the arrival of the VPI/ Levinson No 515.

The platter is the 20 pound VPI Classic platter. The stock clamp is really a Levinson record weight, although the spindle is stock VPI and hence, threaded.

The Levinson comes with a Levinson badged mat similar to the protective mat that VPI ships with their house badged tables. And it also comes with a flimsy felt mat, similar to, but not as stiff, as a stock LP12 mat.

I worked with the bare platter, bare platter and clamp (think Classic), bare platter and weight, flimsy mat and Levinson badged mat, with and without clamp or weight.

I ended up choosing the felt mat with neither clamp nor weight as best for me.

Maybe this is because I’m used to the Linn sound, which is based on a felt mat with no acoutrements.

The felt mat approach w/o clamps or weights does not introduce forces to deform the record, and on unwarped records, this seems to be a good strategy. Most of my records aren’t objectionably warped.

In LP12 world, the stock Linn felt mat is the gold standard after years and years of mat experiments. And the true believers even say they can hear the difference between one side up and the other side up. One side sounds slightly more “hi fi” than the other. The less hi fi sounding side is considered right.

FWIW, on the Classic, I prefer the bare platter with rubber washer and clamp.

YMMV
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