Originally Posted by edstrelow
I haven't tried this particular mat but I agree with the general argument here. CD performance can be significantly improved by such tweaks. . I am always astonished at the hostility of persons who have never even tried these and who will say this is all crazy stuff even when there is a good explanation as you have presented. The only question iis do these really work to the point that you hear a difference. And that's up to each person to try. Many tweaks are cheap to do and are no big deal to try for oneself. There is no difference between saying a certain tweak works or a particular headphone is better it's all based on what you hear.
I would say that player quality does matter. I recently got the Woo Cd Transport and am very pleased with how it improves performance over all my previous players being used as transports, including and older but more expensive CEC belt drive player.
I shifted over to a glass optical connector, the Wireworld Supernova 6. For many years I have believed that electrical interconnects was the way to go, until I actually compared what I had with a top optical cord like the Wireworld. At about $100.00 it;s cheap compared to some TOL electrical interconnects.
As I said, I am no expert on digital signal connections.
Just the simple experience with the mat mentioned. I have presented it to a sound engineer with incomparably more years under his belt than mine.
He uses one of top pro Plextor CD drives for the final mastering. Prior to this mat, it was always "this CD has so and so many wrire/read errors" as per some software that counts such errors. Read at fast speed, certainly not at 1x. And recording was also done at > 1x - with the errror software NOT saying the increase of errors is in any way appreciably linked to write speed.
You can not use CD mat at high speeds - try as you might, clamp systems are not meant to clamp additional 0.3 mm thickness and CD mat gets clamped slightly off dead center - and goes berserk at high speeds. It takes considerable effort before you can send the recorder command NEVER to exceed more than say 10x speed - not even for the moment. If it does start spinning faster, the least it will happen is that both the mat and CD will get thrown off the spindle and if you are lucky, will not demage themselves or demage the drive. In worst case - goodbye all three.
After once heard the difference between CD burnt from the master on HD the usual way and slow enough/preferably at 1x using CD mat, you can be sure no further CDs were ever burnt without CD mat. And "error count" went way down as a concern - because it is probably more the reading of optical errors induced by CD mechanical resonances than "real" writing errors. That from a pro who is always super sceptical of any "voodoo".
If you do not trust your own ears or whatever scientific method you are using ; just enlist musicians and make blind A/B test with and without a mat.
If the difference is not audible - my sincerest condolances to your wallet. It means at least one/some parts in the chain are not transparent enough.
With decent equipment, musicians will pick up the CD played with mat over normal played CD without mat well enough to satisfy any statistical requirement. A couple of years ago, I gave to musicians two copies of CD with their own playing; one made with and one without the mat, marked with A and B at random. Only I knew which one was which . They always correctly identified which one sounded better, even when played back without the mat.
To my knowledge, only turntable style CD transports as older Pioneer and Sony units AND rather recent Yamaha models do not benefit from or can not be used with CD mats. For anything else - using mat is the biggest possible bang for the buck.
And will prompt you to get digital connection(s) best you can get.
For everybody using servers of one sort of another; are you quite sure disc can be correctly read at super high speeds? The data can be correctly read off HD - but it is the quality of data acquisition that can be questionable.