Does a turntable mat make any difference?

One came free with my RUSH 2112 vinyl disc.

Google seems to think so.



If I had 523 different versions of "Kind of Blue" I would have 523 different/specific mats that I would mate each version with.



It does. But the one you got probably doesn't do its job.

A lot of mats are intended for DJ 'scratching'. For home hifi, the pad has two jobs: damp the platter from ringing and damp the vinyl from any resonance.

If the platter pad is doing its job, if you play a record but with the volume all the way down the turntable will be nearly silent. If the platter pad is not doing its job the stylus tracking the groove will be more audible.

The platter pad has to have the same durometer (hardness) as the vinyl for this to happen properly. The presentation will be colored in some way if its not. Currently the only pad I know of that works right is made of acrylic. But acrylic can have vastly different properties depending on how its made, so its not right to say the pad will be OK if acrylic. But the best one I've heard that's commercially available is made by Oracle.

I've always found a good set of ear plugs improves the sound of Rush albums, but maybe that's just me.  🤣

no mat for me.....tried many, adjusted vta et mat for me







bigtwin I defy you to hate the RUSH after listening to'Music does not get better than this' recording.


Stringreen thanks for posting!



I just recently bought a turntable mat from VPI for my Scoutmaster. I think that the results were not night and day, but I did notice a bit more control and command, not only from the sound, but also from the calming effect it had on my unipivit tone arm "wobble" which I can't stand.

Many threads on this subject with some of the same contributors saying some of the same things. More to come I’m sure.

I replaced the mat that came with my Rega 6 with a Herbie way excellent, it made a positive difference.

If turntable mats were a good idea they would come with higher end turntables, which they don’t. Plus, as said, adding a mat elevates the LP and there you need to make adjustments to the arm and stylus. What happens if you A-B three or four mats. Means adjusting three or four times.


@jjbeason14   Music is a personal choice and we should all listen to what moves us.  To my ears, Getty Lee sounds like nails on a blackboard.  And while Neil Peart may have been a good drummer, I've always found his lyrics to be sophomoric.  Again, it's all personal preference.  For me, if it's Lee, it's Lee Morgan, and if it's Neil, it's Neil Young.  Rock on my friend.

It's not a huge change in sound but I replaced my original felt pad on my VPI with a rubber one. It did help reduce the static electricity I got with the felt pad.


Sota's mat is also the same durometer and mechanical impedance as vinyl and 1/4" thick. I do not think they sell them separately. The silent needle test also works best when the record is firmly clamped to the mat by either vacuum, reflex clamping or CS Port's trick with the heavy weight and concave platter. I remember as a child listening to the needle talk of my Zenith Portable. Remember the Cobra tonearm? It even had eyes painted on it. 

@bigtwin 1+

Signals and Moving Pictures are classic records. Gavin Harrison, Dave Weckyl, Billy Cobham, Tony Williams, Jimmy Chamberlin and Bonzo are/were great drummers. Lee Morgan is my favorite trumpet player. Tragedy that he left us so young.

It takes approximately 4 mm of adjustment on the bearing side of the tonearm to make 1 degree of difference on SRA. ( angle of the stylus)We can play from 100g to 200g records which have different thicknesses without any adjustments.
My point is that it does change the sound not because of the difference in height but because of the of the change in VTF or cartridge weight. Most people think it is because of the change in SRA. If you want to play with mats go ahead just measure the VTF after the change so you are comparing apples to apples. I feel the included record mat is like the power cable that comes with your phono stage. it’s there to test that it works. In the end it is up to your ears, the only ones that truly matter. 

The Enlightenment might be out of fashion but empiricism still works. See for yourself—or rather, hear.

Hi end turntables probably don't have mats because, depending on all the various cartridge and record thicknesses, there would be a myriad of mats that would be 'best'.

For me, at least, it's all about thickness/VTA.

The Funk Firm Achromat is one of the greatest mats available. I have used it on high end Rega P10 and Linn LP12. It DOES a make a significant difference . Bass is tighter and the high notes clearer. The Linn dealer was skeptical and when he heard it he fully agreed that it made a great difference compared to the Linn felt matt. Same for the Rega. On top of it, it reduces static build up. Great product at an affordable price! 

The purpose of the platter/mat is to provide a stable surface to mate with the vinyl.  The energy induced into the vinyl by the vibrating stylus should be effectively transmitted into the platter/mat.  Therefore, soft or pliable mats are a poor choice.

I have found mats of aluminum and copper in combination with center and periphery record clamps to effectively absorb induced energy.

Absolutely makes a difference to me on my TW Acustic TT, but who knows what it will do for you in your system. My favorite is a SPEC AP-UD1 Turntable Mat. No static, not overdamped, not too thick, and not too heavy.

@redglobe stated " The energy induced into the vinyl by the vibrating stylus should be effectively transmitted into the platter/mat. " 

Each Room is unique in how energy manifests and is transmitted within the room.

Introduce a Styli/Cantilever/Armature, that will be very effective at being influenced by such energies. With such energies present being unwanted as influence, the idea of attempting to substantially reduce the ambient energies transferral to influence the Vibration being sent from the Styli becomes very attractive, especially if the Grooves Modulation information is the only info desired to be transferred through the Cantilever to the Armature to become a electrical signal.

Add to the Ambient Energies, the energies manifesting withing the TT as a result of the operation and the Mechanical Interfaces present producing energies, that will transfer from the bearing housing, into the platter.

The idea of having a additional layer of a 'particular material' under the LP to assist with reducing the transferral of energy from Platter to Vinyl LP, becomes very attractive. Especially if the Grooves Modulation information is the only info desired to be transferred through the Cantilever to the Armature to become a electrical signal.

There is not a ubiquitous ambient energy to be found in the multitude of rooms with a TT set up in them.

There is not a ubiquitous mechanical energy being produced within a TT, even from Same Brand, Same Models.

There is not a ubiquitous condition created when ambient and mechanical energies are co-joined and creating a new influential force of Kinetic Energy.

There is not a ubiquitous method to manage the influences that will be transferred  from these present energies.

Each environment is unique and will need to be addressed as such, there are without doubt individuals and even myself, who have discovered a support system for a TT and for the Vinyl LP, that is perceived as being much improved over previous guises of the methods used to control the transferral of energies very capable of having a unwanted influence.

In over 40 years of growing in understanding of the Vinyl LP used as a Source Medium, and over 30 years of being investigative into the influences of Ambient and Mechanical Energy influence on a replay using a Vinyl LP, have I been involved in a discussion about managing stylus produced vibration, that is to be transferred anywhere other than through the Cantilever. 

It is without doubt for myself, that using a TT on a Particular Support Structure and very clean/purified Vinyl LP on a Particular Materials as a Platter Mat. The Styli in use as an interface, is transferring a substantial proportion of unadulterated modulation embedded data through the Cantilever and into the Armature, where the Electric Signal sent is with little recognisable contamination when becoming sound received by the ear, purity has a audible presence.

The Styli to my knowledge, is certainly not a design to be sending vibration through a Vinyl LP into a Platter Mat that is seemingly to serve as a dump for such produced vibrations. 

As always, I don't have all the wisdom on such matters, only my own endeavours and experiences had to share.     

Sota’s mat is also the same durometer and mechanical impedance as vinyl and 1/4" thick. I do not think they sell them separately.

@mijostyn SOTA used a platter pad designed by a friend of mine- he sold rights to the formula to them. They never sold them separately but Warren did- and that is what I have on my tt at home.

Yes. I’m considering 2 mats:

  • 0.65 Stein Music Pi Carbon Signature Record Mat
  • 0.4 Mat Chakra here

Well I went from Felt (came with the ATLP120), to Cork, to rubber then settled on Arcrylic for about 4 years, then got my Mofi Studiodeck that does not recommend a platter mat.  The cork mat was horrible due to sticking to the LP when changing albums.

I play a lot of records. I have several mats of different thickness that I use as a quick, if not perfect VTA adjustment. I suppose had I selected wealth instead of handsome, I might have a copper mat, or some other unobtanium that caught the light just right... I have a couple felt and a couple cork at each of the systems that have more demanding cartridges. My "intake" turntable, where I audition my new to me records, after cleaning, is a U-turn Orbit Theory with a m2 Blue and an ultra thin generic felt mat, and I couldn't tell you why there's a mat at all.

I use the funk firm mat. It sounds great to me. Some of the things I like about it is I do not have to turn off the motor to change or flip the record. Also it does not leave any lint on the record. I have friends who use the Herbie on the Rega. I believe is you use what you like. If you do use a thicker mat then you were before make sure to check the VTf so you are not overl loading the cartridge. As I said before. One of the things you are hearing is the change in the cartridge weight. This might be a good thing if you do not have adjustable VTA. It lets you fudge the VTA by going to a different thickness mat. Someone said above that extensive turn tables do not recommend using record mats which is true. But Acoustic Signature makes six figure turntables and come with mats as do many other very high end turntables.

No, it is not harmful, but it may change the sound in a way most people would never notice.


Great minds think alike. I do think we got his best years, trumpet players never age well especially when you piss off your wife. She shot him in a NYC jazz club. Age 33. There is a great documentary on him, "I Called Him Morgan." 


More great minds! My amps are singing beautifully. The DEQX Pre 8 should be arriving shortly. I'm going to cross to a Bricasti Design M25. Roger West recommends 5000 Hz. What do you think?

More great minds! My amps are singing beautifully. The DEQX Pre 8 should be arriving shortly. I'm going to cross to a Bricasti Design M25. Roger West recommends 5000 Hz. What do you think?

@mijostyn Try it and see what you think.


It gets rid of the RC network between the transformers and will definitely extend the high end. The question is will my old ears be able to hear it. It will also take a big load off the MA 2s as the processor is pushing the amps to make high end up to the limit which I think is 6dB. Sorry folks for commandeering the thread.

The best mat will be heavy and have the hardness of vinyl. More important is that the record be firmly held to the mat. Reflex clamping as used by SME, Kuzma, Avid, Oracle and CS Port, or vacuum clamping as used by Sota, Basis and Techdas, are the best solution. Record weights are a half way solution. 

It will also take a big load off the MA 2s as the processor is pushing the amps to make high end up to the limit which I think is 6dB.

@mijostyn There's no energy up there- its not a significant load for the MA-2s.

@mijostyn I might be confused. It happens easily. If you are planning to run the MA-2s 5K and above, it should do that fine. But I think it will do better 5K and below. At 5KHz and above there really isn't much musical energy, partially because our ears are pretty sensitive at 5-7Khz, and its mostly harmonics above that.


They are going to handle 5K and below. 5K and up is going to a Bricasti Design M25 which has a very low output impedance and doubles at least up to 2 ohms which is 600 watts. It has a HUGE power supply. I know the is less energy from 5K up, but you can not predict what the processor is going to do unless you have an amplitude graph of your Speaker/Room. Remember, I burned up (literally) a high frequency balance control with a processor that had no limits. Smoke and that acrid burning electronics smell. Whatever that takes to accomplish is what that JC 1 threw at that control. 1000 watts? The MA 2s are happy as a lark, this is where they do best with this speaker. What else can put 220 class A watts into 20 ohms. The JC 1s are down to about 75 watts at that impedance. And the MA 2s are rolled off at 100 Hz 48 8th order. They will be running 100 to 5000 Hz. I have the hottest midrange amps in town, with triggers no less.  The M25s have a crystalline high end like my old Krell KMA 100s. I can not believe this won't be an improvement. The only problem will be if I do not have enough room in the conduit for two more signal wires, it is 25 feet long:-(

What else can put 220 class A watts into 20 ohms

@mijostyn Sound Labs actually get to 30 Ohms in the bass. That's why solid state amps have a hard time driving them.


I was figuring 20 ohms at 100 Hz where I start rolling off.



I would just toss it, it is probably garbage anyway. The plastic protractor that came with my MoFi Beatles set was crap.

I have 5 different mats and they all sound different.  Even the two mats that are made of felt sound different from each other.  The mats are also all different thicknesses, so there is that.  Even though I have the capability to adjust VTA on my head-shell, it is cumbersome, so I set it to sound best at a certain height above my platter and then substitute different mats for different records to achieve that approximate height by looking at where the record sits relative to the spindle.  I await the lecture on the small difference in cantilever angle that changes in height of the record at the platter will make.  I know what I hear, and it makes a difference to me, although some cartridges seem much more sensitive to VTA than others.



Yes, they do and you can forget about any specific recommendation from this thread unless they have your turntable, maybe arm combination.  There are simply too many variables.

Anybody try the somewhat newish turn table mat from Synergistic Research? They’ve also developed a record weight that seems somewhat confusing. They must be the best because they cost way more than any other record mat/weight on the market.

IIRC, I measured 50 ohms impedance on my SLs at 100 Hz. But don’t hold me to that until I get home from from Vieques (a small island near Puerto Rico) and consult my data. (It might have been 50 ohms at 50 Hz.)

Mijo, you write, “I cannot believe this (inserting the Bricasti at 5kHz) won’t be an improvement.” Thus I guarantee you will perceive it as an improvement. I personally don’t agree with forcing a speaker to create a flat in-room response regardless of driver limitations, especially in service to a processor, but you already know that. I think when your brilliance control got hot, the speaker was telling you to lay off. Anyway, I’d love to hear the results. Also, when S’phile analyzed a full range SL speaker (forgot what amp and which model SL), it measured very flat out to 20kHz, without high frequency augmentation. Maybe that was at a SPL well below what you like.

So my question, If one buys an aftermarket mat and you have the same amount of "sound" coming from the playing surface with volume down, then you really are not gaining anything? I can hear the record playing slightly having my ear near the headshell. A better mat will lower that volume? 

I`ve thought about trying a different matt on my P10, but I`ll just stick with the stock felt one. 

Rega uses the same one on the new Naiad, so there must be a reason.