The Linn felt pad is very good and only costs about $25 from the Linn shop on ebay. Tables that come with a pad usually sound better with one; ones like VPI or Basis or Raven that do not come with one usually do not.
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I owned a mmF 5 and I didn't use the felt pad. I used a clamp and the glass platter. The fet pat produced static and sometimes it was nasty static. So for that reason alone I didn't use it. Just the platter and the a record clamp was perfect. Besides glass may be faster in the transfer of sound than when using the felt mat. Can't say for sure but check it out.
I had the Herbie's on my MMF-7 and it was much better than the felt pad. If you spend more on a mat you might think about an upgrade on a table.
Another idea might be the Music Hall mat and I just bought a Merrill-Scillia mat on Audiogon which I like so far, for not much more than the Herbie's. The seller is still selling them. I did not try it on the MMF-7 so can't help there.
And finally, I have heard some people like not to use a mat on that platter but use a clamp to stop slippage. Never tried that either though.
Welcome back to vinyl.
I think that is a good starter table. You may want to wrap a little teflon tape around the arm, once you get a feel for the table, to dampen it as needed.
Hello Pushpull, Sorry I did not see the second part of your question.
I did not like the Erotic H and luckily broke it one day. For a lot cheaper you can do much better. YMMV.
Check out Raul's long,long,long MM thread and ask for advise there. He is usually very helpful.
Just don't mention distortions. LOL. (Just kidding Raul)