VPI says that the acrylic composition in the platter acts as a mass-loaded "sink" that absorbs vibration from the LP caused by the stylus. However, many owners of the various HW-19 models (me included) have tried platter mats to see whether they improve the sound. Over the past 15 years, I've tried a half dozen or so different platter mats on my HW-19 Mk4 (with TNT platter, bearing, etc.), and eventually adopted VPI's cork platter mat. It seems to give the table a slightly more "live" quality, which works well in my system, and for the $10 cost (from VPI) it's certainly an inexpensive solution.
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