Flat, thick, rubber -- where are all the proper turntable mats?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Eno_Fan, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Eno_Fan

    Eno_Fan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Izieu, France
    Hello all, I'd like the benefit of your collective experience in finding a turntable mat. Challengingly, it seems, I'm asking for something very out of the ordinary in this digital day-and-age in wanting that mat to be flat, rubber, and of moderate thickness. Wherever I look I see mats by the likes of Electrohome and Fluance, all claiming to be 'audiophile', but none truly flat and all having positive- and negative-relief areas (as if only some parts of the vinyl need to be supported during playback) in some silly nod to retro looks. Similarly, it's hard to find a rubber mat that's greater than 1.5-3 mm-thick. When I bought my STD back in 1980 such mats were ubiquitous -- now they're all made of felt, cork, pig-skin (!), wool (?!?), or brass (wtf?). Can anyone point me at a source for a heavy, flat, label-recessed half-cm or-more turntable mat made of rubber?

    N.B. As someone will doubtless 'reply' by asking why I want what I want, and if it needs to be stated, I would like the mat to damp vibration in my aluminium platter -- which wool/felt/whatever, etc. do not do.
  2. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Panama City, FL
    I haven't seen any in a long time, at least without looking online. I have seen them at flea markets on old worn out turntables, perhaps look there? Or maybe a record store. I am happy with my cork mat and I hear the deer skin mats are excellent as well.
  3. ayrehead

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

    Mid South
    The Herbies Way Excellent mat is the best I've tried on my Prime Signature. I use the 2mm thickness but it is available in many sizes.
    oregonalex and black sheriff like this.
  4. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well actually there are other materials like those open cell foam materials used in Herbie's mats, that might do as good or a better job of damping resonances than rubber. You also might not want purely flat -- you might want at least a recessed record-label area.
  5. Carrman

    Carrman Forum Resident

    You could probably make your own if you can find the right material. As far as dampening goes, it will be tricky to find something with measured properties to mitigate the particular frequencies you are wanting to isolate against.

    As mentioned above, there are many materials that will do a good job if you can't find the exact thing you are looking for.
  6. Carrman

    Carrman Forum Resident

  7. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Fonthill, Ontario
    Your problem lies elsewhere and not the mat:cheers:
    F1nut likes this.
  8. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos

    San Diego
    The thinner Technics RSS0008 mat is available online. The thicker and heavier RGS0010a is harder to find though.
  9. 33na3rd

    33na3rd Forum Resident

    SW Washington, USA
    Robot Check

    These have a proper label relief, and less voids than some of the others out there. They're only 2.3mm thick, but many folks stack them to get the depth that they want.

    I recall that our own @Doctor Fine stacks these with good results on his PLX-1000.
  10. regore beltomes

    regore beltomes Well-Known Member

    I'm a Menards addict. While wandering through carpeting I noticed they sell rubber mat on large roll. It's about 25 inches wide and sold by the foot. The thickness is slightly less than 3/16 of an inch. I purchased a foot of the stuff and was able to make two nice 12 inch platter mats for about $2.50 total. Tonearm is now parallel to the playing surface. The stuff is a bit challenging to cut. I used a metal shear scissors and 60 grit on a sanding block to smooth and bevel the edge. If that's too thick they also sell some thinner stuff.
  11. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos

    San Diego
    I was thinking about grabbing two of these as well. The Herbies mats get pricey for 5mm and up.
    33na3rd likes this.
  12. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    If you buy a Sorbothane mat and place it directly on the platter, it will absorb vibration better than a harder rubber. I'd then place a felt mat on top of that. It'll stick to the tacky Sorbothane and not lift, plus you can change records without stopping the deck. I get that you want to damp the aluminum platter resonance, but once that is accomplished, I find that felt is a much better sounding interface for the record. It will isolate it further.
    black sheriff likes this.
  13. 911s55

    911s55 Forum Resident

  14. mkane

    mkane Musics a Passion

    Check KAB
  15. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Hampton, VA
  16. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Oyaide makes a thick rubber mat.
  17. Bhob

    Bhob Forum Resident

    Atlanta Ga
    I sure am glad I don't have a vibration problem.
  18. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    You might also look into a material called EAR ISO-Damp. I bought it in the States but it should be available internationally. It is industrial grade damping material and is sold in a variety of forms, including sheets. (and I think of varying thickness- I can check what I bought). I like it for several reasons- I installed it on a restored Technics SP-10 that I bought new in 1973 and was looking for something that did not over damp the platter- it has a fairly stiff surface that is textured enough to properly grip the record surface. It is also self-adhesive on the backside so you don't have any issue of slippage on the mat to platter interface. And it sounds good! I considered a variety of options- from the soft to harder materials (some of the 'mats' used on the mk ii are old Micro Seiki copper mats which have a lot of mass); this was the right balance for me and wasn't terribly expensive either. (I think a sheet sufficient to make two mats was around US $60). Not easy to cut perfectly by hand- it should probably be die-cut. But, I had a woodworker with good tools cut it to shape based on the factory mat (which I still have). Worth checking out if you are concerned about damping but don't want some of the negatives associated with too soft a material.
    Bill Hart
  19. c-eling

    c-eling Love has no date of expiration...

    Picked up a dirt cheap Marantz table last spring and swapped out it's mat for use on my Technics.
    Thinking the metal acts a ground (static). The real test will be this winter.
    So far it's been good.
    MikeInFla likes this.
  20. Eno_Fan

    Eno_Fan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Izieu, France
    As I said, "...a source for a heavy, flat, label-recessed half-cm or-more turntable mat made of rubber?". I have no interest in 'foam' -- heavy rubber was tried against felt and floppy (butyl) silicone at the time and both made large changes to the tonal-balance in the bass; thick, 0.7-cm rubber did not and was chosen. If we have to start making our own TT mats then this gets beyond a joke -- a proliferation of TT manufacturers yet no-one can make a flat mat?! The Oyaide mat suggested in another reply is not flat either.
  21. regore beltomes

    regore beltomes Well-Known Member

    When not in use I place a 12" diameter thick piece of plexiglass on the platter as a press to keep the mat flat. All of my foam and felt mats are perfectly flat when the weight is removed to play a record. I had a thin anti static mat that had a nasty kink and refused to lay flat. Once the mats relax the weight is no longer needed.
  22. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA

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