Basis and table mats?

I have been considering trying a turntable mat on my Basis 1400. Have you other Basis owners tried this? Is it worth the effort or do I go "comando"?
Hi Banksfriend, I happen to own the Basis 2000 Signature series with the Vector arm. I belive AJ Conti of Basis said he does not recomend a turntable mat. The LP is suppose to lay flat on the surface of the platter and then clamped down with the Basis record clamp. Although I did try the mat, the clamp sounded much better just as AJ said. Enjoy your turntable and don't use the mat and clamp together. Gslone.
A friend has a 1400 and some time ago we tried all manner of mats with it, including the Boston Audio Mat I I use on my VPI TNT, a Ringmat and a couple of homemade Spotmats. Clamps and weights included the Michell, a drilled hockey puck (not bad) and others I've forgotten. Result: bare platter, no clamp, was the consensus winner.

BTW, what REALLY made a positive difference was ditching the stock belt and going with one made of dental floss. I wouldn't have believed it.
If you like the dental floss belt, try mylar tape, like VHS tape spliced to the correct loop length.

The Teres owners group have been down this road with the various belt types, and have tried the rubber, dental floss(silk cord), etc, and at present the 1/2" mylar tape is the best thing found.

You may have to try a different pulley, if your pulley has the V-groove in it for the round section belts. Tape requires a flat surfaced pulley, with flanges on top and bottom.
I agree with other about the mat. I use my 2500 with no mat, but I do have the Basis clamp which works very well.

I thought about trying the dental floss or silk string, but the pulley seems to have a convexed shape so I'm afraid the string would ride either at the top or bottom of the groove and perhaps not give the proper rotational velocity. The mylar is an interesting choice. Does it come in 3/16 or 1/4 inch widths?
Our normal source for mylar ribbon only sells it in 1/2" and wider. You might try 1/4" recording tape, the thicker the substrate the better. Use it emulsion side out so it doesn't deposit particles on your platter or pulley.

I imagine the reason dental floss works well for Dopogue is that it isn't stretchy. A non-stretchy belt provides tighter coupling of motor to platter. This helps resist stylus drag. Of course a tighter motor/platter coupling provides a path for motor vibration and cogging. Whether that's an issue depends on the motor.

The mylar tape favored by Teres/Redpoint/Galibier owners is also non-stretchy. The wider contact area compared to dental floss results in less belt slip. I've tried both and the tape is definitely better. I also recently tried the slightly stretchy belt from a friend's Amazon. Definitely a step backwards, we lost some leading edge transients.
Doug, You may want to try some silk ribbon as an alternate drive belt. I have been experimenting with several samples of silk ribbon on my Galibier for the past few weeks, and I generally prefer it to the 1/2" mylar tape that you mention. Walker supplies 4mm silk ribbon with his Proscenium Gold table, which is where I got the idea. It's available at craft and embroidery stores. Of course, the ribbon needs to be cut and the ends joined with contact cement.

It's amazing how much the sound changes with different belt materials. The width of the silk ribbon has a major impact also, my favorite so far being the 4mm that I started out with.


Have you tried AJ's new belt?
Thanks for the tip. Is it like gift wrapping silk ribbon? Or is it different?

Doug, It's not a wrapping ribbon, it's used for embroidery. I bought mine at Michael's, an arts and crafts store which I think is a chain. It comes in little packages of about ten feet or so. But you may have to look closely (or ask for help) since the silk ribbons were in a different part of the store from all of the regular ribbons.


What new belt? What's the difference between the old anbd new?


Thanks All. OK no mat. Tell me more about the new belt Shventus.
Thanks for the tips all. I'm curious about the new belt also.

AJ sent me one. It's called their Superbelt. I'm still in the process of getting my TT together, so haven't had a chance to A/B them yet.

so how does it different from the black rubber(?) one?
I noticed on the Basis site that one of the pictures shows a yellow belt - see link. Is that it? I think my Debut might look a bit like a bumble bee with that belt!

It came a couple weeks ago in a plastic bag inside a small mail pouch. I just opened it enough to peek at it, but not fondle it. As I recall, it looked like a thicker white to opaque plastic/mylar(?)type material, I'm guessing, maybe 1/32"-1/64" thick. As I looked at it, it appeared semi-rigid, meaning, that it was not flimsy or real plyable, but again, I didn't actually handle it. I went to see if it might be listed at Basis' web site, but it's not coming up. I'd call AJ for the details. It had a retail price listed as $125.

This is all the info I have on it. Check with AJ for more specific info.



A.J. Conti, the designer of all Basis products, scrutinizes even the smallest component parts of each Basis product, considering each part’s contribution to the final sound of the overall product. Many audio enthusiasts and other designers might consider some of these studies and experiments too much effort spent on seemingly trivial details. However, the Basis philosophy is that each detail of every component makes a difference; only with full investigation can it be determined just how large that difference is. The turntable drive belt is one such detail. The accuracy and true roundness of the Basis platters and pulleys, along with the smoothness of the Basis Signature bearings, resulted in a situation where the belt itself became the limiting factor in speed stability. As a result, in mid-2004 Basis Audio and our belt supplier spent dozens of hours in an effort to pursue the state of the art in turntable drive belts. Thousands of dollars were spent on new production fixturing and Basis designed and built a special belt inspection fixture which measures the thickness of the drive belt at all points to within one-ten-thousandth of an inch precision.

As a result, the new Basis belts are the finest belts Basis has ever offered. The variation in thickness along the length is the tightest specification in the industry; we know, we have measured them all! To take the “ultimate turntable belt” one step further we are announcing our Basis Superbelt, an extreme tolerance, ultra-high- performance belt. This belt is very difficult to make due to the extremely close tolerances in thickness and the high damping factor material. At Basis we sort through 20 to 25 belts of our supplier's already sorted "best effort" to yield 5 belts that will meet our incredibly stringent standards for our Superbelts. Belts not meeting these standards are then destroyed.

The improvements of the Superbelt result in greater isolation from motor noise, greater speed stability, and lower speed drift. Sonically this means greater background "blackness", a greater sense of your speakers "disappearing", more coherent soundfield echoes and cues, lower grain, along with the expected greater sense of solidity of sustained notes of piano and other instruments. In a high-resolution system the differences heard when changing to a Superbelt are easily identifiable.
Thanks for posting the info, Shventus. So there was no changing of the motor pulley?

WOW! $125! Do these tape belts really vary that much in thickness? I think I'll try some DIY solutions first to see if the tape makes a difference in what I experience.
The main thing with tape belts and other non-stretch belts is that tensioning is more difficult, and is more critical.

Even slightly too loose, and the belt will fall right off the platter. Too tight, and the motor housing will start to tilt, and your pulley will not be vertical anymore.

It is a bit more fussy, but you do get better sound, if you are willing to take a little more time and effort in tensioning.

Simply a matter of less stretch and less slip.