The amazing new Marigo Evolution Signature Mat

I want to share my amazingly positive experience with the new Marigo Evolution Signature CD Mat. I have used Marigo's CD mats over the years from their very first offering, I believe about fifteen or so years ago. The Evolution Signature mat is the fourth iteration of the Marigo mat. Each successive "generation" had wrought positive improvements from my Mark Levinson Reference 31.5 transport. (While the top loading Levinson comes with its own CD clamp, I have ordered parts from Levinson and have made my own CD clamp, substituting their carbon fiber disk for your Marigo mat.) The latest Evolution Signature mat's improvement is so substantial that it is a larger "jump" in performance than from the standard Levinson clamp to the last generation "3D Signature V2" mat!
I hear a startling increase in the focus of imaging placement within the sound stage. The focus of everything in that sound stage is both tighter and possesses a three dimensional body that most digital simply lacks. Tone saturation is richer. The bass not only goes deeper, but is more tuneful as well. The highs are better defined and extended. The mid range is the icing on the cake. Voices are much better defined and clarified, combined with the improvement in density of tone and harmonic texture now sound shockingly real and alive. The sense of space and performance venue is greatly improved as well.

Overall the music has so much more of a relaxed quality to it similar to that of master tape analogue that allows me to simply listen to the music and not work as hard having my brain trying to connect the "digital dots". The increased resolution, focus, dynamics, detail, sense of space, articulation, and what I would call a "continuousness" of saturated tone, all combine to literally transform my digital playback to a level that I have never experienced before! I know that this must seem like hyperbole. The overall improvement is SHOCKING!

In the context of my high end system the $200 that I had paid for Evolution Signature mat that replaced the Reference V2 mat, was the cheapest money that I have ever spent for the most improvement in my system!

If anyone has a Reference V2 mat, they may be loathe to replace it, as it is most excellent. I can tell you from first hand experience, that the new Evolution signature mat is on a whole different and much higher level of sonic improvement.

For anyone has never tried a Marigo CD mat or any mat for that matter, this is the one to have. This is not just a simple "tweak", this is an essential and basically "give away" priced in terms of the substantial sonic upgrade that truly must be experienced to be believed. In the context of my high end audio system, this is making an improvement that I did not think possible and at a price that was ridiculously low. Based on my listening experience, this may be the biggest bargain in audio today!
Congrats Cooper! You managed to use most, if not all, of the popular audiophile descriptive phrases and terminology in a singe post! Respectfully, your post comes across as a shill for this product. You have three posts on Audiogon and two are about this mat. So...just sayin.
I consider Rob a friend and very knowledgeable. He owns a top flight system, two actually. If Rob recommends checking out the mat, for 200 bucks, it's a no-brainer. Just sayin'
Believe me, if I put may name behind something, it is not a shill. My name and reputation are much more important than any manufacturer's product. This is, in fact, simply one of the most shocking revelations that I have had in over thirty five years experiencing an audiophile! I mis posted the first one and that is why two posts. See if you can borrow or try one of these mats for yourself. I think that you will be amazed.
>Congrats Cooper! You managed to use most, if not all, of the popular audiophile descriptive phrases and terminology in a singe post! Respectfully, your post comes across as a shill for this product. You have three posts on Audiogon and two are about this mat. So...just sayin.<

His post reads exactly like a Doug Schroeder Dagogo review. He might have a future in webzine reviewing after all....

Thanks Shakey. I do not want nor need a future career in webzine reviewing. All I wanted to do was share my unbridled enthusiasm for a game changing and low cost accessory, that in the context of my main audio system elevated it to a whole new level of enjoyment. I have been an audiophile for over 35 years. In that time, I have not experienced a product that has delivered so much of a startling and major sonic improvement for so little expenditure. I simply want to share that enthusiasm with other people in the hobby. Assuming that you have a resolving system, this is a no brainier "must try" accessory. As far as I am concerned, the sonic improvements are so great, that for me, this new Marigo Evolution mat now an essential component! I am simply awestruck by this one!!!

For what it is worth, my wife joined me in a listening session in our sound room the other evening. She had no knowledge of the CD mat change that I had made. When I had started to talk as music was playing, and she "shushed" me immediately. She then proceeded to listen for a much longer time than she usually does. Basically,she did not want to leave the room! When we had finally called it a night, she then commented "Your audio system has never sounded better - ever". Coming from my non audiophile wife, that is about as strong of an endorsement as I will get.
A step above the invent of sliced bread?
To chime in with my experience. I just listened to the new mat myself as I'm interested in it for my master jazz CD burning. To start with, I just listened to it as playback and it clearly sounds more musical, more relaxed, than without. Very easy to hear. Not sure why or what the theory is but the sound is clearly better in my opinion. JH
Rob, would placing the mat under other gear make a difference, e.g., pre, TT etc?
This mat is designed to go over the CD when it loads into a player. As I understand it it does two things:

1.) Allows the laser a more accurate read of the pits in the CD.
2.) Reduced vibration at a microscopic level.

This new mat has to be properly oriented relative to the label printing on a CD as it is even dampening out micro vibrations that are caused by the printing on the CD label.
This mat is not thicker than a couple of sheets of paper, is the size and shape of a CD, DVD, or Blue-Ray. It is green on the top side and a flaked gold and green on the bottom side. Look it up on Music Direct's website and you will see a photo of it.

Here is the link:

I have done some burning on my computer using this mat both on original CD that I burned into my computer's music library, as well as using the mat on a recordable CD that was burned from the computer. The overall results are stunning with the copy sounding clearly better than the original, especially with that relaxed ease and sense of spaciousness around the performers. Again, for just $200 bucks this is a no brainer!
Can anyone with an OPPO CD/DVD tell me whether there’s enough clearance in the drawer mechanism and the drawer opening to safely add one of these discs? Thanks
I have an older oppo and I use the older Marigo mat in it. Fits fine, although you do need to make sure the disc is properly centered in the tray to begin with. Are you actully going to buy one of these things based on this thread? As I said, I have an older one and I don't think it does much, if anything.
i have the older marigo mat and the milenium mat, which i orefer, but all mats i have tried with my current cd player sound worse than no mat.

even when used in the ps audio power wave dac, there is no sonic improvement using a mat, and i imagine this is true for servers as well, as the disc is not rotating while you listen.

so, one cannot generalize that a mat will always improve the sound.
This is a joke, right ? Please tell me this is a bad joke.
hi badwisdom:

if you are replying to my post that some players don't benefit from the use of a cd mat, could you state your reasons why you consider a cd mat a definitive sound enhancer ?

if your response is to another post, please disregard my comments.
Im actually talking about the concept itself which i find ridiculous.

Just like those Acoustic systems Resonator pieces you hang on a wall which magically transform a room's accoustic's.

Audiophile's are really devoid of any common sense sometimes and give the rest of us a really bad name. It's sad.
Badwisdom - In the case of the CD mat, aside from all the magical benefits, real or imagined, one very tangible thing a mat does is stabilize the disc, which is something that most transport makers agree on. The Esoteric transports employ a full-disc clamping mechanism, other players employ "spider clamps" that clamp the periphery of the disc. The sound of a CD player is the result of both the mechanical disc-spinning and the electronics inside. This stabilization factor may or may not be an improvement, depending on what you're starting with, but it is something beyond voodoo, IMO. That said, I don't think I can hear an improvement using one of the older Marigo discs, but that's me.
Thank you Cooper for great review - I could feel genuine enthusiasm. I know Ron Hendrick from early 1990's and he always made great products.

I got this mat from Marigo Lab for my Transport (Esoteric VOSR) yesterday and in a few seconds I could hear rather dramatic changes you describe.
Since everybody makes different emphasis - for me most dramaric change was in detail and image focus.

For its price, its clearly one of the best if not the best products on market, today!!!

Isn't there some chance of damage if you put a foreign object on top of a disc?
There doesn't seem to be much space for anything in my EMM transport.
I've always wondered about this with these mats.
As you must know "your mileage may vary..." Some of the posters claim not to hear anything, and based on their experience, they may be right! The simple fact is they have not heard the new Evolution Signature mat, which is a SIGNIFICANT improvement over Ron's previous designs. The other fact is that not everyone' systems are that high in their resolution.
I have two audio systems. One in a dedicated purpose built and professionally acoustically treated listening room with a dedicated separate electric feed that houses an ultra high end system that has been carefully matched and assembled over the years. It's total price is in the stratosphere - well into the six digits. I will admit that in the context of this laboratory grade playback system the improvements are exactly as I had described them above.

The other system is in my basement workshop. That system is basically Audio Research electronics throughput with Magnepan loudspeakers, Shunyata Triton and King Cobra CX power feeding the system on dedicated lines, with Transparent Audio cabling. This is the much more down to earth system that is closer to what most guys will be using. There are improvements to this system, but nowhere near on the level as those on my reference system in my sound room. Even in the context of this more modest system, there are the gains in both the detail and image focus that you mention and is well worth the $200.00, but again in the context of my reference system the gains are MUCH more apparent, as I think the "sonic microscope" is set to a higher power of resolution in that room.

For fun try burning a couple of your best disks into your computer using the mat and them burning copies from the computer again using the mat. I think that you will be astounded with what you hear. Yes, the copy sounds better than the original, especially with image, sense of venue and space, as well as an analogue sense of ease. As you know, the new disk is not much thicker than two sheets of paper, so it will easily load into any player or computer without any problems. It would be instructive for others if your reported your finding of this on this thread! Have fun!!!
So in order to hear SIGNIFICANT improvement all I need is a $100K system then this $200 tweak will really be the ticket? Amazing.
Yes it is amazing. The higher the level of one's audio system the higher level the improvement. I know that sounds incredulous, but based on my experience I have found it to be that way.
Coopersark - Could you share specifically what your systems are? Price, or price range, doesn't help me much re context. Thanks...
It looks the same as a rubber/synthetic disc shaped matt I use to open jars. It costs about a buck. I bet it would have the same effect.
Jfz, While I would like to do that, please respect my privacy. Price or price range is just a context...What I am trying to say is that the higher the level the system, the more balanced the system, and the more resolving the system, the more marked the improvement that this mat makes.
It is obvious that you have not seen it. It is even more obvious that you have not heard it.

I did differenrt experiment with computer audio. I started to rip CD's with this mat and compare sound from ripped CD with and without this mat. Clearly CD ripped with mat sounded better albeit in somewhat smaller proprtion then using VOSR Transport=>DAC etc.

"Some people claim not to hear difference" - In my experience vast majority of people (audiophiles or not) have pretty well developed hearing - much better then vision for example (For vision we can discriminate about 10-11 bits (at best) of gray scale and for hearing easily 22 bits, may be more).

Still these poeple do not lie when they state that they canot hear the difference between A and B whatever A or B is. From my experience it means that their systems have high enough coloration in which shadow differences between A and B pale. Somebody posted hear that what $100k system you need $200 Mat to ... whatever. Author never tried in real life and/or does not understand that (assuming that $100k were spent on true high resolution hign fidelity system)that in this situation its much easier to hear minuscle changes, not to mention Ron Hedrick mat significant effects

All The Best
Simon --
I absolutely agree with you. I know that this may sound arrogant, but most guys in our hobby have never heard a truly resolving balanced audio reproduction system. Where are they going to do so? Not at an audio show, as the electric delivery is garbage and show condition room acoustics are terrible at best. Not at a dealer's showroom, ditto for electric and acoustics (unless the room has dedicated and distributed power and nothing else is in the room other than the system itself and a seat with no other electronics or speakers in the room - a combination that I have never experienced at a dealer anywhere). Not at most guy's homes either.

It is unfortunate that most audiophiles do not have a dedicated properly treated listening room with proper electrical distribution. Just the amount of real estate that is necessary to do this and the annual property taxes on that real estate make doing so prohibitive for most, let alone the additional construction cost of designing and building a proper listening room.

It is also unfortunate that most guys are chasing the "preamp of the month" as a salvation to audio nirvana, rather than treating their system (after all the magazines are about selling new product - the audio manufacturers are their major source of revenue through their advertising), its placement, loudspeaker size relative to the room, having the right type of amplifier to drive those loudspeakers with impedance matched components, vibration control (Marigo mat is part of that vibration control) and electric distribution to holistically achieve the desired sonic result. AND... you have to know the sonic result that you desire before you even start to assemble that system! What type of music do you enjoy? What volume levels? As reviewer Jonathan Valin one a "Fidelity to the master tape" listener, and "Absolute sound" listener, or a "Beauty of sound" listener. I know that I have achieved the "Fidelity to master tape" sound as the goal that I had set for my main system. I simply want to hear what was recorded, how it was recorded, and where it was recorded. I want to hear that recording "warts 'n all".

I only wish that I could have assembled a system like I enjoy for $100K. That doesn't even cover the real estate, design, and construction cost of my listening room. So when a product comes along that is priced no more than a meal with my wife at a fine restaurant, a product that elevates the enjoyment and immersion of my passion, music, to an unheard of level of refinement, I had to share my discovery with others. If they can't hear the difference, or worse, are too skeptical to try it, and judge the result for themselves, that is their loss. It is also a shame. It is unfortunate that there are so many music lovers and audio hobbyists that will never be able to hear what is capable in the art of sound reproduction.

with all due respect, that is pure and utter bull****.

A ripper, extracting a digital stream from a transport, sees 0 and 1s with error detection algorithms.

You could sit an elephant on your transport and if it could support it there would be NO CHANGE in your rip.

Come on guys, wheres you common sense ?,???
Didn't the bits is bits theory die a gruesome death about 20 years ago?
The more you post about this little $1 or $2 rubber disc the more you come across as a shill. I don't know if you are or not but it certainly has crossed my mind a few times.
Also, bragging about the cost of your room/setup comes across as though you are an arrogant a-hole....I'm not saying you are but the thought crossed my mind a few times as I read your last post....
Thank you for taking the time to tell me how you feel. I'm sorry that you feel that way. I am not trying to brag, rather avoid bragging by not going into the equipment and other details of my system. Yes, it is ultra high end. I am just stating that for the context of what I am hearing. I am no kid and have been involved in our hobby for almost forty years. Over those years, I have done countless hours of listening and have refined my hearing and taste to a very high level. I have also been fortunate financially to possess the audio system that I have and to have experienced what I have had in the past. The God's honest truth is that this is a low cost item that has proven itself in the context of my highly evolved and refined system to be absolutely mind blowing in its benefits. I am not in the audio industry, and have NOTHING to gain by "shilling". What I have to say was done as a favor to other audiophiles, based on my long experience. I am THAT awestruck by this little device. Simple as that!
no one has contradicted the notion that some cd players are mat insensitive, or when a mat is used it degrades the sound.

although not related to this thread, there may be tube preamps which are insenitive to tube changes.
All i know is if I could afford to spend $100K on recorded music I'd rather hire the band. Really, if a person is that wealthy you could build a state of the art music venue just for you and your friends. Now that is significant improvement.
@Geoffkait Were talking about ripping, not D/A process.

When you copy/rip a CD with EAC or XLD, the MAT will make no difference.

I thought I was respecting your privacy. I simply asked if you would share what your system is.

Just to be clear: I asked only because, for me, it is crucial to know the context when trying to estimate how much "weight" to place on a poster's comments about what he hears. That's all.
Jfz , your totally right. In fact I could go a step further and say everyone on this site should have a system link complete with pictures. It really has nothing to do with privacy and gives the person credibility and helps others understand what a poster is trying to convey. Is one picture worth a thousand word's? About. My music room door is always open to anyone that wants to come over and have a listen.
Badwisdom, I am also referring to ripping. I know, it disobeys the laws of science.
I have said all that I am going to say on the subject. You have myself using a Mark Levinson Reference transport, Spectron using a new Esoteric Transport, and Jonathanhorwitz who is using the mat in his disc mastering all hearing similar improvements. These are in the context of three different systems.
I have mentioned my secondary system where I am hearing improvements as well. The Marigo Mat is a low cost item that I am sure is returnable. We are not talking about a high risk proposition here, try one for yourself and decide. I have a couple of these and am awestruck with the results, as far as what you do or don't do about trying one of these Marigo mats is really none of my concern.
Thank you Coopersark.

Given the limited information you care to share during your 12 day campaign here, none of what you claim to hear is believable.

Happy New Year.
Before you appeal to someone's common sense, I would suggest, you do some homework first.
CD playback is strictly an analog process, there are no "ones and zeroes" on the disc!
"CD data is stored as a series of tiny indentations known as "pits", encoded in a spiral track moulded into the top of the polycarbonate layer. The areas between pits are known as "lands". Each pit is approximately 100 nm deep by 500 nm wide, and varies from 850 nm to 3.5 µm in length. The distance between the tracks, the pitch, is 1.6 µm"
So, the CD playback is a subject to pretty much the same rules, that apply to a vinyl playback, the only difference being a laser, "reading" pits and lands, instead of a stylus, more specifically vibration control and such.
Before I go any further, I would like to say, that I never heard any of the Marigo products, so, I don't have an opinion on any of the mat's virtues.
With regards to Simon (Spectron)- the only comment, i can make is this- I heard his sytem quite a few times, and if i had to make a bet, there is a chance, that his hearing and ability to notice differences in sound reproduction, are at the very least equal, and likely much higher, than mine, yours, or anyone else here.
And if he reports an improvement, I'm willing to bet moderate amount of $$$, that it is real.
I checked that quite a few times myself, when I cross- referenced his impressions in my own system, such as power cord, etc.
So, you are saying, that if the OP liked the product "he is a shill", and if his system costs more, than yours, then "he is an arrogant A-hole"???
That's very original and insightful.
Then, by analogy, if somebody with more expensive system, than yours, called you "a stupid looser" for instance, he would have been right? Right?
I'm so sorry- the last part of my post is addressed to Budt, and not to you, oops! I'm on your side
IMO it is not implausible that this mat could significantly improve the quality of real-time playback of a cd, for instance by making it easier for the transport's servo mechanisms to track the pits, thereby reducing the amount of noise they may generate that is coupled into unrelated circuits; by reducing jitter; perhaps by reducing the number of errors that cannot be bit-perfectly corrected by the powerful error correcting codes that are utilized on cd's, etc.

However, if the disk is ripped to a computer hard drive using software that assures a bit-perfect file, the result, with or without the mat, will be ... a bit-perfect file.

-- Al
Thank you for taking my side! I just wanted to do the audio community a favor in sharing my unbridled enthusiasm for a new product, one that is WAY better than anything else that I have heard before. If someone want to be skeptical it is their right and privilege to do so. If they want to be enlightened then they can take off the plate that I have passed to them.
With appreciation,
Anything you despirately *want* to sound better *will* sound better.

If you paid money for a bag of rocks that you actually think will make your interconnects perform better, they will.

If you paid money for a chip to place atop your player, and believe that an enhancement has taken place, it has.

If you paid money for a phone call to your house that will supposedly affect your system in some positive way, it will.

So, if you paid money for a rubber mat to place on your discs, and believe it makes a SHOCKING improvement (though preventing your player's motor from spinning as intended), then it has.

Heck, I poured 10 pints of heavy Belgian brew down my pie hole the other night and was amazed at how positively it affected every aspect of my system.

Seriously, though, the mind's power to make one believe almost anything is what's truly SHOCKING. And the above are a examples are what I believe to be one of the most hilarious phychological marketing experiments ever.
You got it backwards. The examples you gave actually illustrate the negative expectation bias - if you think the device in question is so preposterous that it can't possibly work, then guess what? It won't.
You people are delusional.

You're certainly not stupid because you're able to write paragraphs with words which makes sentences, but seriously, you have got to stop believing this fairy dust.

The mind is more powerful than you can ever imagine, but if you can imagine that a MAT will make a difference on a CD player, then god help you.

Amen @Ballywho
I appreciate your post a lot. I have a SID mat in a 8k system and I easily hear a positive difference with it on many cd's. And you have provided some useful info for me and I imagine others too. I think it depends on what you are listening for and what you are able to hear. I have no in depth knowledge but I wouldn't be surprised if each persons ears for a lots of reasons hear differently. It doesn't matter though I live in my own world and deal with that one, not others. Thanks again.
First, I don't know squat about this mat.
Second, A while back I bought a Playback Designs MPS-5 player and I didn't feel that the stock feet were up to snuff. Some one here did a similar review of a product called Marigo Mystery Feet or something like that. I found out that Margio is next door to me, about 100 miles away, so I decided to call them, or him. Now those feet were stupid expensive and I had just spent a ton of dough on the MPS-5 but he gave a 30 day money back deal, so I thought what the hell. While I was talking to the guy he asked me where I lived and when he found out that I was nearby he said he would pay the shipping and told me to forget about the 30 day deal - he said that if I ever didn't like the feet, just send them back and I would get my money back!
Well, I had NO intention of keeping the feet, too much money and I did not believe they could make much of a difference, plus, I would only be out a couple of bucks for the return shipping. The next day they arrived,I put em under the player and they have never left yet! I didn't want to believe they would work but I couldn't ignore what I heard. YMMV.
Third, I think I'll order a mat tomorrow.
I find the OP believable but sounds a bit like an advertisement. Over the years I've found different isolation under different components can make a big difference. At present I've found my Ayre CD5MP prefers a carbon fiber base while my Audio Research DAC8 insists on being directly coupled to the two inch thick stand shelf.