Cork Mat v Rubber

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Diorama, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Diorama

    Diorama Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I got a cork mat and it's decent, nothing amazing . I think it actual dampens the highs a bit.

    Just wonder would a rubber one be better. I am getting static on the records with the cork
  2. Maltman

    Maltman Well-Known Member

    Vancouver Canada
    There must be a reason why most hi end turntable manufacturers supply their units with felt mats which “audiophiles” seem determined to replace. Does it really make any difference? Or is it just more audiophile bs?
  3. Diorama

    Diorama Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I actually think it makes a difference with regard to static, I could be wrong tho.
    BKphoto likes this.
  4. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Damps high frequencies compared to what? The original mat? What turntable are you using? There’s nothing listed in your profile.

    Maybe. It depends on the turntable to some extent, but your listening room environment has a greater influence on static electricity. Stop dragging your feet when you walk across your carpet? ;)

    Better yet, get a Zerostat and an Audioquest carbon fibre anti-static brush. Use anti-static inner sleeves too.
    cdash99 and Maltman like this.
  5. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
  6. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
  7. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    I have felt over cork. :shrug:
    TarnishedEars likes this.
  8. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Abingdon UK
    This is one of those debates that could run and run.

    SME bond a damping material to the top of their turntables, then machine the surface with a series of grooves and use a screwed on clamp. You cannot take it off.

    Garrard in the 401 used a ribbed rubber mat loaded with carbon so that static was dissipated.

    The out of manufacture Rockport Sirius turntables used a vacuum pump to suck the record into intimate contact. Rockport Technologies System III Sirius turntable and tonearm

    So manufacturers past and present think quite hard about how to hold a record onto a turntable. I have absolutely nothing against trying other things (personally I use cork composite from Loricraft (now owned by SME) Loricraft Garrard 501 / 401 / 301 Turntable Mat | eBay .).
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  9. Liquid Len

    Liquid Len Forum Resident

    Yorkshire, UK
    ... and run, and run ... Indeed, someone posts the same question almost every week! What happened to using the forum search facility?
    AcidPunk15, Agitater and bever70 like this.
  10. Day_Tripper2019

    Day_Tripper2019 Forum Resident

    I own a white P3 and changed from felt to cork after seeing what a felt mat leaves behind. Shocking.
  11. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Germantown, Tn
    Do cables make a difference?
  12. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Iowa, USA
    I have tried cork and I preferred the rubber mat that came with my table over the cork. I think cork is for wine stoppers.

    Using Tenuto gunmetal platter now, is my current fav
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  13. Angry_Panda

    Angry_Panda Active Member

    I replaced the 35+ year old rubber mat on my Technics (which had gone pretty rigid) with a homemade cork job a month or two ago, and haven't noticed a huge difference either way. Maybe the TT noise has gone down a bit, but I don't know that my system and room are good enough to say definitively - that might be all in my head.
    Hendertuckie likes this.
  14. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
  15. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Like expensive speaker cables, fancy 120 volt outlets and $100 fuses I think it is barely perceivable hearing the differences in TT mats. In fact, it may be in ones head that it must be better so someone hears improvement.
  16. Vinyl Addict

    Vinyl Addict Forum Resident

    I used to run a Music Hall decoupling cork mat on my Music Hall MMF-5, sounded good, maybe a tad muted on the highs.
    I now run zero mat and drop the record directly on to the glass platter (not plexiglass).
    Frost and Fishoutofwater like this.
  17. royzak2000

    royzak2000 Forum Resident

    My turntable does not use a mat these days, but when I had a Thorens TD160 years ago I would try the original rubber mat, with all the grooves in, the right way up, found it better upside down.
    Then I went to felt then cork, they all sounded different. Felt was my final choice.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  18. Jeremy Bunting

    Jeremy Bunting Forum Resident

    Straight onto the metal platter of my Prime Scout, for no other reason than I like the aesthetics better.
  19. pdenny

    pdenny 17-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Lots of threads on this topic. I put a cork mat on my acrylic platter as I didn’t like the idea or sound of the flip side rubbing against it when I was brushing the play side. Felt had to be peeled off every time and it created a ton of static; rubber seemed to deaden the sound.

    Search Results for Query: Cork | Steve Hoffman Music Forums
  20. I've found mats can dramatically alter the sound one way or another. I ran my Clearaudio Concept with no mat, and that sounded best to my ears on that 'table. My Technics SL-1200G comes with a 3mm rubber mat. It sounds different when upside-down, but I generally run it right-side-up. I use this mat with my Benz Micro Wood SL, and with that combination I also like to use a center weight of 250 grams, which damps resonances a bit and adds a little more heft to the bass.

    However, I also use a KAB/Ortofon Concorde Pro-S 40 and with that cartridge I use the older Technics 6mm mat (from the Mk 2), which is not only thicker but considerably heavier. It allows me to better adjust VTA for the Concorde, and also gives the sound more "heft." Interestingly, with that combination the center weight makes it sound dead and flat, so I use don't use it with that setup. Similarly, if I use the thicker mat with the Benz Micro cartridge the bass sounds way too bloated.

    In other words, mats are something that require a bit of experimentation, as with most things turntable-related!
  21. Per my post above, I certainly hear a big difference, but it may be the difference in weight more than material, as I am using rubber in both instances.
  22. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
    Did you ever try a blind test though?
  23. I'd need two turntables for that (among other things)! :laugh:
    I a/b'd to a digital version of the same song for a baseline with the two different mats, and adjusted 3mm for the VTA difference. Not hard on an SL-1200. It's a very obvious difference, on the SL-1200G anyway.
  24. Luxmancl38

    Luxmancl38 Well-Known Member

    Manchester NH
    I had a Linn for years and hated the felt mat. But that's what was required on the TT. My new Luxman PD-171-A has a very nice quality rubber mat. No more peeling the felt mat off my records.
  25. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
    Well, all you would really need is one person to do the switching randomly for you.
    bever70 likes this.

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