The TW-Acoustic platter mat

I was sure my friend Jeffrey Catalano of High Water Sound would have no products under $2000 for me to report on but I also knew he would play a couple of killer records that would make my day. So I stopped into the Ortofon/High Water Sound room to refuel my Chi. Jeffrey was talking to a customer while I wandered over to ogle the TW-Acoustic Black Knight turntable ($40,000) which sported two TW 10.5 tonearms ($5500 each), as well as an Ortofon A95 cartridge ($6500) and an Ortofon Cadenza Mono ($1219). But I fell in love with this new, cool, 5mm-thick, two-layer, bi-rubber compound mat! I am a major believer in the sonic importance of finding the exact type of turntable platter–record interface. Those who scoff or give short shift to this matter do so at their own loss. I might go so far as to insinuate that a record mat could affect the final playback character as much as the platter or the tonearm!

This TW-Acoustic mat was developed by Yamada-san of Zanden Audio in Japan and uses a harder rubber to interface with the copper platter and a softer, more sticky rubber to attach the record. This strategy makes a lot of sense to me. Only one problem: It costs $400.

volvic's picture

Tried a Funk Firm mat on my VPI HW-19 MKIII with SME and heard no difference. Tried an Oracle Delphi mat on my LP12 years ago and that didn't work, tried a friend's Ringmat on my LP12 and that made a difference. Always try before you buy and matching the right mat can be exhausting getting the right tonearm height but worth it.

otaku's picture

I made up a thin cork mat for a few dollars that makes an audible improvement, but even that thin mat raised the record surface enough to interfere with the tonearm's tracking force adjuster mechanism. I cannot imagine how a 5mm mat would work.