Acrylic platter

I have a Project expression II turntable which comes with an aluminum platter . I was wondering on buying an Acrylic platter made specifically for my turntable . My question is will it make a difference for the better changing my aluminum platter for an acrylic one ? I'm using an Ortofon Salsa moving coil cartridge with it , project speed box , cables are JPS superconductor Q and phono stage is the dedicated moving coil gold phono board of the Audible Illusions 3A preamp .
So what's you question you seem destined to buy it! Sounds like the right thing to do. Good Luck with it.
Oh, I don't know. Seems to me that the acrylic platters from VPI don't measure up to the aluminum ones on the Classic.

But it's your decision, you just seemed to ask for opinions.
My question is will it make a difference for the better changing my aluminum platter for an acrylic one ? The main reason why I'm asking is because I'm not set to buy it as it's cost is 150 dollars and I have come to learn many times , that which seems to many to be a positve change , in my system might not amount to anything positve . Since I can't borrow it to be able to hear the differences before buying it I have no other alternative but to ask other audiophiles on their experiences on the subject . I know that it should make a difference as many small changes on a turntable , taking into consideration that everything is happening on a micro level make very audible changes in the presentation of the music but these changes are not always for the better or to the persons taste .
Exactly , thats what I would like to have , first hands experience.
Cast aluminum, zinc, steel, stainless steel, acrylic,other plastics or layers of of all types. Then we get into the mats, felt, cork, cork, micro dots and whatever. My advice. Spend your money on a better cartridge or phono preamp.
Cast aluminum, zinc, steel, stainless steel, acrylic,other plastics or layers of of all types. Then we get into the mats, felt, cork, cork, micro dots and whatever. My advice. Spend your money on a better cartridge or phono preamp.
My previous TT Audiomeca J1 had acrylic layers with lead in between, my present Kuzma Stabi Reference has also acrylic layers with aluminum plate in between. You can buy an acrylic mat for much less money, try and if satisfy you can eventual glue the mat on your aluminum platter.
Agree totally with the acrylic mat suggestion from Nandric.I am using a Goldmund Relief mat on my Oracle.It is not acrylic ,but a proprietary substance which I suspect may have similar sonic qualities.If you go this route I think you will need to couple the mat/platter at least with double sided tape.The mat will also likely require reset of Arm height.My mat is approximately 1/4 inch thick.I thought The bass was tightened up with the mat.I'm using an Ortofon LOMC and all tube electronics so there was likely room for some improvement in the lower register.Best of luck.
My thinking is that platter material is much like cables. You really should listen to it to decide if its right for you. ( I guess everything is). I went from an acrylic to an aluminum and in MY system, it was undoubtedly better. The acrylic sounded somewhat closed in and tubby sounding in comparison. If your electronics and/or speakers are a bit bright sounding, the move to acrylic will be welcomed, however, if your system tends to be on the "Boston" side, you might think it too much.
Thanks a lot guys . My preamp is excellent in it's sound quality and even though I could get better sound with another cartridge my present cartridge is an over achiever for the price so the law of diminishing returns comes into play . To get me better sound I would have to invest an amount that at this time is prohibited (unless I'm willing to sleep with my dog)
I've read quite a bit on the subject and it seems that a consensus is starting to form on the positive sonic qualities of metal together with cork or acrylic . Getting a acrylic mat seems to be my best option right now. Again, thank you guys for your help . Take care
This is just a matter of opinion. My opinion is that acrylic is not intrinsically any better than alu. The early Teres turntables used all acrylic platters, and the recommendation was for no platter mat. Then they went to acrylic with pockets of lead shot imbedded in the acrylic. Then they went to wood platters on their top of the line turntables. I am sure, if queried, Teres would say that each "upgrade" was for the better. When I see an OEM turntable with an acrylic platter, my first thought is that the platter material was chosen for looks, ease of machining, and low cost, not necessarily for max performance. My question would be why would you feel confident that acrylic is better than alu? I would suggest using a mat on the alu platter, rather than exchanging the whole platter. Boston Audio Mat1 or 2 is very good. But that's just my opinion.
I have not said that I feel confident that acrylic is the way to go . If that would have been true I would not be asking here and just would have gone and bought the acrylic platter .

I have heard turntables that came with metal platter and I did not like the results when it was changed for acrylic . The same is true vice versa , so it seems to be a matter of the overall system synergy . In any event the only way to find out if I would like the results is to test it in my system .
Sorry, but the very fact that you are entertaining this expensive change in platters made me think you were entering into it with the bias that acrylic would be superior to alu. Anyway, you asked for opinions, and you got opinions. I would sooner experiment with platter mats, if for no other reason than the cost factor.

One bit of caution: you probably want to be sure that any new platter is not too far different in mass and circumference from the original, for three reasons: (1) the motor was probably chosen and tuned to move the mass of the OEM platter, (2) if the tt is belt-drive or rim drive, then the motor pulley circumference was chosen to give the correct speed when coupled with the OEM platter circumference, and (3) an excessively heavy new platter might cause premature bearing wear.
It goes around and around. The original VPI platter was aluminum. Then when it was changed to acrylic, with lead insert like the aluminum one, all the critics approved. Now VPI is back to aluminum on most of their tables, without lead I think. Why? This writer can't figure it out. My guess is that it's cheaper to manufacture. Now everyone is looking for some sort of pad to put on top of their aluminum platter. Meanwhile VPI's top of the line TT remains with acrylic. Go figure.
Lewm...thank you for the sugestions . I'm more inclined now to experiment with mats instead of going straight for the platter .
If the spindle is long enough I'd be more inclined to experiment with mats like TT Weights 4mm copper, Trans-Fi ResoMat, or a combination of both. These would be portable across turntables should you decide to move to a better table. With the copper mat you will hear the combined effects of platter material and increased inertial mass. The ResoMat, which uses vinyl cones to elevate the LP, may tend to minimize the effects of varying platter materials. I use and like both.

FWIW, a few OEM designers I know prefer stainless steel to acrylic, aluminum, and brass. There's a machinist advertising on Agon who makes them and may be able to help you.
Maybe to keep the price down on their lower end tables .
Just a thought, but VPI has gotten away from using acrylic platters. VPI claims the aluminum platters "just sound better". That's good enough for me.
lead is an environmental hazard.
Dave, FWIW, the Kenwood L07D came with a stainless steel mat, 30 years ago. When I listen to mine, I feel no urge to experiment with something else, but there are those who diss the L07D because of that mat. There is no unanimity of opinion in this hobby.

Hey, are you going to the CAF? I am going to drive over there after brunch. I will look for Clarity.
Lew, are you familiar with the Kenwood TS-10 Ceramic turntable sheet for the L07D? Was this considered an upgrade over SS?

Sorry, no CAF for me this year. RMAF is next.
Dave, I am familiar with it at a distance. I don't own one. And the reason I don't own one is that there is unanimous agreement among those that do or did own one that it is inferior to the stock stainless steel platter sheet, in terms of sonics.

I spent 4 hours at the show yesterday. The best thing that happened is that I bought 20 great LPs from one of the vendors for a total of $100. The VPI direct-drive cum 3D printed tonearm was there, but I did not even bother to see them, because I know I cannot judge how they would sound in a totally strange environment. I did however see the new Saskia II, and I had a nice chat with Win Tinnon, who is a great guy and good friend. He is showing it with headphones, using a Schroeder tonearm and a vintage Panasonic strain gauge cartridge which is driven by a Dave Slagle tube-based preamplifier. As Win himself admitted, the problem is that the headphones he was given to use by another company are not that great. I could only marvel at the beauty of the Saskia and the obvious state of the art approach taken by Win. His new controller is quite impressive.

Best vinyl room, or one of the best, was the Robiyatt Audio one with Miyajima cartridges on demo. Their latest mono was in a Gray tonearm on a restored Gray turntable, very very cool. They were using restored Quad 63s, by Electrostatic Solutions. The amps and preamp were new Miyajima products. The Miya phono stage has THREE phono inputs. Seems that manufacturers are getting the message.
Two addenda:

(1) The ceramic platter to which I am referring in my first paragraph is the one Dave asked about, the optional ceramic platter for the L07D.

(2) I made a technical error in stating that the Slagle preamp drives the strain gauge cartridge. It's obviously the other way around; the cartridge drives the preamp.
I just compared the SEAC SS 300 (solid) mat with the acrylic one but 5mm thick. My friend Lew advised the SEAC for my SP 10 mk II. Now I was always an admirer of P.Lurne who was the TT designer by Goldmund first and started his own company 'Audiomeca'later. I owned his Audiomeca J1 with acrylic/lead platter and nearly bought an mat because there was any on this TT. But I thought I should ask first instead to buy first and than ask later. So I eventualy grasped that this TT or rather the platter should be used without any mat. The theory behid was that acrylic and the stuff of which LP's are made are similar in ,uh, structure. Well when I corrected the arm hight for the 'level difference' I was stunned by the fact that this, say, 40 euro mat sounds better as the 'metal one'. Actually 'metal on metal' make no sense to me. And I nearly bought the expensive Micro copper mat but was, lucky me, scared by its weight (and price).
But as Dgarretson already mentioned one should first measure the lenght of his spindle. I have just sufficient space to put my Orsonic DS 200 disc stabilizer on my records. To me this stabilizer is indispensable.
Dear Nandric, I don't quite understand. You wrote, "I was stunned by the fact that this, say, 40 euro mat sounds better as the 'metal one'." What mat are you referring to? It seemed you were really saying that the acrylic Lurne' naked platter surface was preferable to the SAEC. So I am puzzled what 40 Euro mat you refer to.

But then you also made reference to the SP10 Mk2. I do stand by my long ago statement to you, that the SAEC metal mat is superior to the rubber mat that is OEM on the Technics. That's all I said back then. I personally do not care for the "sound" of acrylic despite the structural similarity of acrylic to vinyl, but that is a separate issue. In fact, the use of an acrylic platter is a reason not to buy a turntable, for me. I do like the graphite mats from Boston Audio in preference to the SAEC, these days.
Dear Lew, I am sorry for the confusion. I thought that the context was 'obvious' but I also know that many thoughts are seldom explicite and contain implicite parts. The acrylic mat (5mm) I was talking about I own for some time but never used because I got, also thanks to you, the SEAC metal mat which is much better than the original Technics
rubber mat. So I was very happy with the SEAC mat and had no reason whatever to search for some other. But because my comrade Don was searching for 'some' acrlylic mat I remebered my own and wanted to check this one first before giving to him whatever advice or present(grin). The 40 euro was my guess about the price.
So to check this acrylic mat I removed the SEAC mat from my Sp10 and was surprised with the sound of the acrylic in comparison with the SEAC metal mat. But thinking about possible explanation I remebered the Lurne's philosophy about the platters and of course the circumstance that I owned one of his TT's the Audiomeca J1 which had no mat at all. His explantion was that acrylic and vinyl have similar 'structure'. This make more sense to me then 'metal on metal' approach. But this is of course my own subjective opinion without any 'objective claim'.
I own the Kuzma Stabi Reference at present which also use acrylic but like Lurne's Audiomeca as a sandwich with aluminum plate in between instead of lead like Lurne, probaly because lead is not allowed at present. So I am not sure if your objection would apply to such use of acrylic also? I have some idea how metal platters are 'balanced' but have no idea how the acrylic platters are made. I also have no preference one way or the other for the simple reason that I am an simple amateur. Anyway I would also like to try those Boston Audio mats that you also mentioned in your advice to me. But back then I was able to get the SEAC mat for an very attractive price.
My two cents worth on this subject.
I run a heavily modified SP10 MK3 and have replaced the platter completely with an acrylic one with lead sheet insert and duralium magnet motor housing, to bring the weight back up to 10 kg. I personally found this to be an improvement over the stock platter.
I think that criticism of acrylic as a platter and plinth material is valid in most cases but it needs to be taken in context. For example, I do not like the "sound" of acrylic on its own as a platter or plinth. What is important is the implementation and in particular what the acrylic is bonded to and how this bond is achieved. Done right, IMO, it is possible to get the best of both materials without the negatives of either.
I think acrylic in combination with other materials might work fine. It is only those solid blocks of pure acrylic platters to which I object. I hold the Kuzma Reference in high esteem. I did not know that it uses a composite acrylic platter. In photos, the surface seems to be something solid and black in color, i.e., not acrylic.

Richard, Did you take the circular magnet structure off of your stock Mk3 platter and remount it on your home-made one? You are indeed fearless and adventuresome, if so.

No I am not that brave/reckless. I have the original platter complete. I took measurements from this and machined up a new magnetic housing.

Re acrylic, I think that the trick is to get to the higher transmission speed material thru a minimum amount of acrylic. You could say that I am using a duralium platter with a bonded acrylic mat. The acrylic part of the platter is only 6mm thick.


I may have misunderstood your question....
Yes, I changed the motor magnet and speed sensor cup over from the original platter into a newly machined dural housing.
Dear Lew, Exactly what I thought about Richard: 'fearless and adventuresome'. Who else would dare to mess with, uh, 'the best' DD TT ever? In my previous post I mentioned to have 'some idea' how metal platters are 'balanced'. Well by my first Thorens I noticed those 'holes at random' on the underside of the platter. Those were the balancing 'holes'. By my next TT, the Linn LP-12 there were no such 'holes' so the only way to balance this platter is on the (CNC?) lathe. I also owned 3 different Linn platters and all of them have had different weight which means that they were 'processed' on the lathe till they were balanced. To my mind and in retrospection the only part of this TT which is made well and probably the explanation of its succes. As you I also have 'my own machinist' who owns an CNC lathe. Observing this kind of work is like looking at some artist. Those 'machines' move on way or the other but always around. To be able to make whatever on those machines is like an wonder. This imply mastership in order to produce an masterpiece. And those well balanced platters are each an masterpiece. BTW both platters on my previous Audomeca J1 and Kuzma are 8 kgr. each and both with inverted bearing. So I suspect that if the use of lead was allowed Kuzma would copy also this material from Lurne(grin). If I was not 100% sure that he is from Slovenia I would think that he is Chinese...Besides I never told to anyone in Serbia that I bought whatever from Slovenia...
Dear Nandric, I have no feel for the politics of Eastern Europe, now that the war is over (thankfully), and all the countries involved have new names and different borders. I don't really know who hates whom these days.

The Lenco L75 platters were also dynamically balanced, and each one will have small drilled impressions on its inner aspect, indicating where mass had to be reduced to bring that particular platter into balance.

I don't know if the Mk3 is "the best". It is surely terrific, but I would like to have a shoot-out among three or four of the top contenders, done under well-controlled conditions. (Same tonearm and cartridge, same system, same listeners, but more than one.) Someone might reference the shoot-out that was published in a Japanese magazine in the 80s, but that one was not well controlled and did not include the Mk3 at all.

I agree, there is an art in operating the CNC machines.
In our CAD/CAM shop, different operators produce different "quality" even though they are using the same program. Figure that.
I have dynamically balanced my composite platter by removing a few grams.
The MK3 is good, but the motor and that of its little brother, the MK2, can be made much better :-).
There are many contenders for the "best" and in the end it largely depends upon personal preference. One man's poison and all that.
Dear Richard, ''different operators produce different 'quality' even thought they are using the same program.'' Lew is better equiped for this domain of knowledge but a big part of the frontal lobe 'govern' our hands. Every single person who has seen Michelangelo's
David or Pieta has difficulty to believe that those are made by human hands. And he (1475-1565) had only chisels and hammers to his disposal. Back then the church was the
most important 'pricipal' while the church authorities were capable to select the 'best workers' available to build and decorate their churches. We use the word 'talent' to express or explain the differences in 'quality' which you also mentioned. However 'talent' is probably the gift of the 'mother nature' but the fact is also that without practice no mastership is possible. Because of the division of labour many of us are not even able to use an hamer in a proper way despite the constitution of our frontal lobe.
Addendum for Richard. You may be interested to know that
physicist designer David Fletcher and the master machinist
Demian Davidson produced togehter the so called 'The arm',
'The better Breuer' or simply the Sumiko 800 tonearam.
This tonearm is handcrafted from 160 different parts and was
provided with 6 different counterweights. For the carts
from 6 g till 22 g. Those weights are sold depending from
the cart which customers owned. So the most Sumiko owners
have just one weight. I made much effort to complete my
weights and even assisted 'my machinist' by the production of the
missed 4 weights. My job was to measure each one and raport
how many grams needed to be cut of. I was very careful not
to cross the 2 meter border line to the 'monster'
(aka the CNC lathe). Now I think that I am the only person
who owns an complete Sumiko 800 with all the weights.
To my mind this one as well as the FR-64s and the
Triplanar are the real works of art.
Nandric, I may be wrong, but I think Richard is saying that different operators produce different quality results, even though the machine itself is computer-controlled, and presumably even though the program being used to control the computer may be the same for each operator. I share Richard's puzzlement, in that case. There are still some hands-on aspects of the work, including fixing the blank piece of metal into the cutting machine, and perhaps therein lies the source of the variable outcome.
Nandric and Lewm.
I have seen both David and Pieta and I was in awe at such beauty, such craftsmanship. Made from stone no less!

I remember The Arm, way back then I lusted after it, which was irrational since I never actually auditioned one properly. (Is one allowed to use the term lust in these PC days (daze)). But with my tiny take home pay, ownership was never going to happen. Even then it was hideously expensive here but this price was probably justified given that it was obviously made with great care by craftsmen.

Lewm, you are correct. Same program, same machine, same material, different result. And yes it is likely work piece set up, vice tension and all the other tiny "insignificant" little things that make the difference.

Dear Lew, I understood Richard in the same way as you. My
mentioninig of the chisel and hammer by Michelangelo and
(implicite) the old lathes by creation of the Sumiko 800,
FR-64 and Triplanar was not about the 'instruments used'
but about the masters who used them. I even try to explain
what 'talent' means. Well 'talent' is an expression or an
linguistic entity but the talent is something that can be
observed in the reality. Something that shows itself.
I hope that this is understandable English. Anyway it
seems to me that all three of us have similar thoughts
about the 'mastership' which, uh, produces the 'masterpieces'.
I agree.
That's why we have Stradivarii.