Time to Uncork that '55 Metzner?


My Metzner Starlight (60A) vintage turntable has a glued on cork platter mat. It’s lovely and in pristine shape, however, in refurbishing this table for modern times, I’m considering stripping it off and gluing on a rubber mat.

Does this make sonic sense?

One thing to consider is that this 6 lb. platter rings like a bell. I’ve already affixed an automotive V-belt around the platter’s circumference (picture in My System) which has stunted the ringing by about half. Does the cork serve a purpose in isolating platter ringing from the record and therefore the stylus?

Thanks for your thoughts.
mario_b
you might leave the cork and paint he underside of the platter with rubber cement. Do it outside.
oh, and/or contact cement sheet lead onto the bottom, or that sheet rubber you were gonna put upside.

Hi Mario b,

I would not make the alteration to your vintage turntable.

I would recommend that you buy a "Herbie's Way Excellent" mat, or something like Living Voices or Boston Audio carbon fiber mats.

I have used the Herbie's and Living Voices. Both are outstanding imporvements. At the price, Herbie's is very hard to beat, but the Living Voices is better.

The additional thickness may require moving the rear of your tonearm upward (a VTA (vertical tracking angle) adjustment). The Herbie's mat is fairly thin, and won't change the angle much.

Good luck in your search!

Mark
Please don't touch lead!

Hi PiedPiper,

The bottom of the platter is already painted white to highlight the strobe-o-scope markings. Since this is a 50s artifact, Unsound, it's probably lead paint. I'll try to resist chewing on it.

Getting back to the cork ... since it's not in use today as a platter mat, does it serve any purpose outside of looking nice?

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your suggestions about the platter mats. I'll certainly look into them as I'm short a couple on all my rebuild projects.

Out of curiosity, when you wrote that you would not recommend the alteration to the Metzner, was this because of asthetics or sonics?

While I certainly would like to keep as much of the vintage charm on this Metzner as possible, I'm not really looking at this tt as a collector's item. My quest is to take the best of these 35 - 50 year old tables (high torque motors - driving heavy platters with idler or "puck" drives) and improve upon them with modern tonearms and what we've learned about coupling/dampning.

So this brings back the question of whether the cork stands in the way of a sonic improvement or not.

- Mario

Hi Mario,

“Out of curiosity, when you wrote that you would not recommend the alteration to the Metzner, was this because of asthetics or sonics?”

I made the recommendation primarily for ascetics. I don’t know what I would expect in the way of sonics. I do believe that even though the platter may ring, playback forces are unlikely to induce audible ringing (even through the amplification).

“While I certainly would like to keep as much of the vintage charm on this Metzner as possible, I'm not really looking at this tt as a collector's item. My quest is to take the best of these 35 - 50 year old tables (high torque motors - driving heavy platters with idler or "puck" drives) and improve upon them with modern tonearms and what we've learned about coupling/dampning.”

“So this brings back the question of whether the cork stands in the way of a sonic improvement or not.”

- Mario

I don’t know if the cork stands in the way of a sonic improvement, but believe that it probably does not hinder too much. I know that one philosophy is to have the most rigid platter available (whether aluminum, acrylic, etc.) with no/minimal compliance to forces. Any mat can reduce compliance. Does it have a significant audible effect? I don’t know that it is easily heard. My Linn also has a platter that is capable of ringing pretty well. The Herbie’s mat was a big improvement over the Linn felt mat. The Living Voices mat has made another significant improvement. The Living Voices mat (carbon fiber) is very rigid, non compliant. I think this helps slightly with the dynamics and detail of the playback.

I would suggest trying the carbon fiber mat directly over the cork. Radial compliance is controlled by the precision fit of the record hole to the axle shaft and clamp pressure/contact to the mat/platter. Axial compliance is related to the material of the mat. The cork is moderately soft, but I think with the rigid carbon fiber mat, and the large surface area for forces to be transferred that you probably will not be able to hear the presence or absences of the cork.

Good luck,

Mark