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Best Turntable Mat? +Other Questions

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Right now with my turntable I have this crummy felt mat that I am really bothered by. I feel like it is responsible for much of my cleaning difficulties (the dust gets statically charged, it appears, making it more difficult for a brush to get rid of it) and it also is very annoying to often times have to peel the record off of the mat when I take it out of the turntable.

So I am looking for a mat that will be better than this. Preferably, I'd like to stay away from the felt mats at all costs. I am sure there are rubber or other types of materials out there that give better performance. I'd like to spend no less than 40 dollars.

I am also wondering if a record clamp is a good idea considering my system. It is below in my signiture. Will it offer better isolation? Will it offer better tracking since it will keep the record more in place?

Are there any other essential vinyl accessories that I do not have? (Besides, of course, cleaning utilities)

post #2 of 21
With Rega turntables, the felt mat is supposed to be a key component of the sound. If you can't deal with the static, maybe try this special felt mat from LP Gear. It's supposed to dispense with the annoyances of a felt mat:


Of course, you said you wanted to spend "not less than" $40. In that case, buy two! Or maybe you meant less than $40.

Another thing Rega owners are strict about, in general, is that clamps on Rega tables are detrimental to the sound. Also, I've never heard anyone say that clamps offer better isolation or tracking. To improve tracking, make sure your cart is aligned right. As for isolation, a wall shelf is supposed to be ideal. If you have a bit more cash, you could also try a Neuance platform, many Rega owners recommend these. Besides, a clamp is just one more step you have to perform each time you want to listen to a record.

Other essential vinyl accessories: Shure force gauge, bubble level, protractor, dry stylus brush. That ought to cover it.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response!
Yes, I did mean no MORE than 40 dollars

In regards to that turntable wall mount - I have wooden floors but do not seem to find my stylus skipping very drastically - I do hear vibrations when my subwoofer is turned on (but that is hardly ever on - or does that mean that I do need better isolation?)

The mounts are expensive ... 150 bucks for the entry level unit from Todd, and he has the lowest prices I can find... hmmm..

Well thanks for the help!
I will ponder this -- any comments on the usefulness of the wall mount would be really greatly appreciated!!
post #4 of 21
Originally Posted by Aman
do not seem to find my stylus skipping very drastically
I found wall mounting really helped make the table more secure and stable. I just used a couple of shelf brackets and a wood board. Screws into studs, and shelf. I used a load bearing wall - I'm not sure how critical this is but it probably helps.

I use a rubber mat, and record clamp (weight in my case) but it is not a rega... I think a clamp is a good idea, but apparently rega disagrees.
post #5 of 21
post #6 of 21
Originally Posted by dvw
I made one of these. I'm not a very good DIYer, so I didn't cut it exactly right, and I have a somewhat imperfect circle. But I don't imagine that affects the sound. I'm not using, so if it Aman or anyone wants it, I'll send it gratis.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
YGPM bln

I have decided that I will first work on actual turntable accessories before going all-out and mount the table on the wall. I have room arangements that need to be made anyway... and I have a lot of work to do over the summer
Thanks again for everyone's help!

post #8 of 21
post #9 of 21
I bought a Nonfelt mat for my MMF-5.
I don't use it though.
It leaves marks on the records. I washed the mat according to the directions (even did it twice) and it leaves stuff on the record that seems to come off easily enough. Between that and the fact that it is so much thicker than the felt mat that came on my turntable, I just deal with the felt mat now.
I'm not sure how to adjust the height of the arm to compensate for the extra thick mat.
post #10 of 21
Here's review of three different mats.


Be aware of thick mat, because most table have no VTA adjustment.

The other must have accessory is record sleeve. With your collection, it's gonna cost you. And if you are still looking for a cartridge, Amazon has the M97XE onsale for $60 shipped and if you apply for its credit card, you'll get another $30 off. That's $30 for a Shure ($140 at the Shure site). This cartridge can track and is very close to V15 in SQ.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
What's this I see on eBay? A Rega-specific record clamp? It looks like it's a new item!


Does anybody have more information on this product? It's rather tempting

The Michell record clamp will not only flatten out record warps, but will also couple the LP tightly to the platter so that vinyl resonances can be drained away from the stylus. The sound improvement is significant. This is the same clamp used on Michell's famous GyroDec turntable. Made in England.
post #12 of 21
I actually use a 3-mat sandwhich on my table: Nonefelt (a.k.a. Super Grippy Drawer Liner from Wal*Mart)-Cork (Gasket material from hardware store)-Nonefelt. It works pretty good. The cork absorbs vibrations while the nonefelt assures that the record won't slip on the platter.
post #13 of 21
Could you describe your cleaning and storage regimen? The static problems you are having more likely begin there, although I agree with you that felt mats are dust traps and would be quick to replace your own mat if doing so would not foul the tracking angle. (Its adjustment is limited from what little I know of the GR-1, a little like a Rega in that regard.) I have always washed my platter and platter mat once every week or so since dust's settling cannot be helped much even by making sure that the deck's lid is closed as often as possible.

If you could at least reduce the severity of the problem, I do not think you should shed any tears that your records might return to their sleeves, even after dry brushing, along with some dust. I went over a year exasperated with my inability to play a record and have it perfectly clean once I put it away. Since then I have come to terms with the fact that storing a disc this way is not negligent and is in fact perfectly allowable as long as I take a few passes at it with a carbon fiber brush before the next play. This always restores a record nicely to that ideal appearance of having absolutely no clutter on its surface.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
I actually do a wet-clean with some bugtussel fluid once a month on the records I play - I use a thick brush to spread it, wait 15 seconds, and then use a very light brush to clean the record of any excess fluid.

Before playing, I do a sweep of the light brush first for five or six rotations, and then do another sweep of the thick brush for five or six rotations.

My records appear to be very clean - but I'm sure that it's not. Would saving for a record cleaning machine (such as the nitty gritty 1.0) be a smarter buy?

Thanks in advance!
post #15 of 21
It seems you are probably leaving a fair amount of residue behind after you brush that distilled water could remove. Why not try leaving one of the two brushes clean and putting it to the task of saturating the record surface as a rinse once or twice? When I forgoe the wash cycle using the DD cleaner, records always stick to the platter. I wonder whether the Buggtussel formula might have a similiar tendency, in your case lifting whatever dust has caught in the fibers of the platter mat. If you doubt your having gotten the fluid off, put the record to a bright light at an angle and exhale on the lead-out groove. You will see the difference the water has made after you apply and remove it. You want to work until those oily streaks disappear, and this may mean a change in how you choose to dry the record.

You really should not need to wet clean every month. A better dry brush might be in order if, after taking the time to wash the cleaner off, you still have a major issue with dust.

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