TT mat suggestions...

I am looking for a new turntable mat. I have been considering one of the new funk firm mats but I see a sonic bliss mat on ebay for cheap. Does anyone have any experience with the funk firm mats or the sonic bliss? Any other suggestions in the $100 range (not going to spring for a mystic mat at this time). I have an AR ES1 TT with an Audioquest PT5 arm. The TT sets in an enclosed cabinet (no choice) if this info helps.
I like the anti-mat (very cheap with a kind of tube sound), and the Boston mat (little more expensive with a more solid state sound)
I second the Boston Mat. I have one on my Oracle and I really like it. I also have a Funk Firm mat, (and platter for that matter :-)) and these are nice also.
Try Mapleshades Record Couping System. It made a significant improvement to my analog system. Highly recommended.
I am in the throws of trying a few different mats on my 'table as I type. I have the Boston mat, the Herbie's, and the Archromat. I rank them 1THe Achro; 2 Boston; 3 Herbie's.

THe Achro definitely has more bass and a more organic sound. It is very quiet and and resolving. I agree with the above that the Boston is more of a Solid State sound.... Kind of hyped and analytical (It might have the most resolution of the bunch though). The Herbie's in nice but can't really match the other two in any way..... It's the cheapest by far though. And, I'll say it again, it's very nice.

One other thing about the Achromat..... It seems to separate the instruments, and keep things in order the best; especially during complex musical passages.

Take all this with some grain of salt since it's my 'table and in my system.

Thanks for all the responses! Those with Achromat experience, do you have the 3mm or the 5mm? The Music Direct guy I spoke with says the 5mm is signifacantly better. Stringreen, I am not familiar with the antimat, who sells it? I have tube gear and definitely like warm and organic. Cmo, it sounds like you and I are on the same page. I was already leaning toward the Achromat. I have no doubt the Boston or the Funk Firm would be an improvement over my none felt w/skin (a royal PITA).
I, like Cmo own the Achromat(3mm), Boston mat, and Herbies, however I also own the Harmonix TU-800EXi mat. The Harmonix mat is by far the best of the 4 but it will cost you $300. It seems insane to pay that much for a record mat but given they offer a 30 day money back guarantee, you have the choice to keep it or return it. I couldn't let mine go so now I have it at the top of the heap. It offers an element of presence that the others can't my system of course but if you search the archives you'll find more info from fellow users.
I have the 5mm version of the Achromat.... And, yes I am adjusting VTA when changing the mats around. The Herbie's was a HUGE improvement over the stock rubber mat that came with my Garrard..... The Achro and Boston are more subtle improvements on the Herbie's.
what about the Ringmat? why is this suddenly "out of fasion"?
I'd like to hear from someone who has compared Ringmat to these listed above.
I went from a Ringmat to a Boston Audio and tried two thicknesses of the Herbies mat along the way, with side trips to various DIY mats and that (IMHO) gawdawful shelf-liner stuff. The Boston Audio currently reigns supreme on my replinthed Lenco, which replaced a TNT Mk II. Dave
get some ERS paper and cut it to fit your TT and see how it sounds.

Happy Listening.
The RingMat is a great sounding mat on many tables and in many systems. like anything else, it is system dependent. They have a neutral and somewhat lively sound with excellent bass depth and definition. They work especially well on acrylic platters where a softer mat really sucks the life from the sound. They also work well on tables with glass platters where the set-up has a warm or neutral balance. They will not do a thing to dampen a platter.

In this case, the fellow wants a warmer, more lush sound and the aluminum platter on an AR needs some dense rubber to best deliver that. Having his table inside of a cabinet doesn't help with resonance control either.

Mats and cartridges as well as tubes and SS all seem to come and go as far as audiophile fashion has it ;-). What self respecting analog maniac would be caught without the most unusual and latest of platter coverings?! I think it's silly actually and although I have tried a lot of mats on my Rega tables, I still go back to the old felt mat that came along in the box. Boring perhaps, but very nice sounding. I also have a RingMat which I don't use since I have had the Regas and have found the felt to work best in my almost always neutrally balanced systems. However, I have made yet another change in terms of system balance and it is a bit on the warm side these days. Hmmm... I think I stuck that RingMat jacket in the Lp library right at the begining of the A's... ;-D.
Frank M,

Can you tell me where you bought your Harmonix? The only place I found them was THe Cable Co. and they wanted like $400...... Which is WAY out of my budget- So is $300, but I could see stretching if it was that great of an improvement.


Again, thank you all for your responses. I have ordered an Achromat-5mm. We will see what happens.
Uptownaudio: thanks for your information and observation... I have the Ringmat on my Rega P-9 and so far it works the best out of stock felt, and Audioquest Sorbothane. I had the Audioquest on my Rega 3 since about 1992.
I tried number of mats and home made materials and nothing really works better than other. All those descriptions of blacker blacks and cleaner transients make me smile. Power of self-delusion is unlimited in humans.
Nothing sounds better than 10 dollar felt mat.
Save your money and energy for better components and cartridges.
I use the Nonefelt with Speedmat combination and find this to be a slight improvement over the felt mat that came with my Music Hall MM7
Funk Firm Achromat is as useless as all the rest of them. I send it back for store credit.
It makes everything sound bassy with reduced top end. (Rega P3)