Do I need a record mat?


This is a really stupid question. I have a Clearaudio Emotion turntable with an acrylic platform. It's unclear to me from the instruction manual whether I would need a mat to go on top of it. I am not talking about sound improvement per se (of course I am interested in that too if it helps), simply in terms of whether it would damage my record in any way without a record mat.

Thanks in advance for your help.
No, acrylic platters do not need a mat. The VPI tables don't use one , neither did the Basis Ovation I use to have. I do not believe the Raven tables two of my friends have use one either. The question of whether one would be of sonic benefit I will leave to others. But you do not need one.
the original intent of acrylic platters was to clamp the LP directly on them without a mat - essentially making the cartridge "think" it's riding on a 1" thick LP (or so I read somewhere). I found that using a Funk Achromat on my acrylic platter does provide some sonic benefits. Funk recommends not using a clamp with the achromat which makes it a little more convenient too.

Funk Achromat

Thank you both for your clarification.

Oh yeah, that's the term I was looking for "acrylic platter" not "acrylic platform". I knew it didn't sound right when I wrote it down. :)
No need for a mat, but if you want to experiment, don't forget to change the VTA of your cartridge to accomodate for the difference in height. It would surprise me though if you'd prefer the sound with a record mat.
You MUST EXPERIMENT. With one of the large tables (thick Acrylic platter), a Herbie Mat with a Carbon Fibre mat on top and then another Herbie mat (that's 3 total!!!!!) made a hell of a difference. Adjust VTA as you add. I think you can try the Herbie & send back? Good Luck.
News Alert: Acrylic platters are now obsolete. They have been replaced by alumimum, VPI says. Harry finally listened to the customers. Bare acrylic can be improved with some of the better mats. Best to try different types, all should improve the sound over bare acrylic.
Thanks everyone. I got what I was looking for and then some more.
It never hurts to experiment if you have the time.

Statements such as "No, acrylic platters do not need a mat" are absolutes and generally need to be ignored as they’re born out of inexperience.

Whether or not a mat will be beneficial is a factor of other considerations. Among them, the turntable itself, tonearm, cartridge, existing isolation/vibration control, and your personal listening preferences.

Also ignore "News Alert: Acrylic platters are now obsolete". That's just plain stupid.

Good luck.
You do not need a mat, but you need a clamp! I speak from experience - I have acrylic mat on aluminium platter.
No thread is complete without Bill attacking sweeping statements with some of his own.