turntable mats: should I use one?

I have a sota sapphire. I have never used a mat. Should I? If so, any recommendations?
I thought the sapphire comes with the ACRYLIC SUPER MAT
Is yours a vacuum system or just the clamp. Check with Sota
If you have an earlier unit (Series 3 or older) they came with a polymer (PVC?) anti-static mat that worked very well but tended to collect dust and wasn't very attractive.

After I had my Sapphire refurbished by Sota with the new Series 5 platter, the acrylic super mat was bonded to it. It is much more attractive, doesn't attract dust and has at least the same amount of resistance to resonance.

No additional mat should be required either way. If you choose to use one anyway, you will have to raise your arm to account for the change in thickness.

Hope this helps & happy listening!
Personally, I like the Boston Mat.....although I've never heard one specifically on a Sota
Yes. Sota confirmed that there is a built in acrylic mat. Still, it feels like something should be soft underneath. Though, for the time being, I will trust Sota.
The idea of a hard acrylic surface is that if the mat or platter is of the same material as a record then in effect you wind up with a thick record which dampens out all vibration. My Basis turntable has an acrylic platter and I use no mat as recommended by basis. Just a clamp to press the record to the platter
I reviewed the Boston Mat2 in my system post.
It is usually recommended that a clamp is used with acrylic platters. I have a clearaudio clever clamp that I don't need anymore after going to a rega rp6. Email me if interested.
The Sota is certainly a better sounding table than my Thorens but they both incorporate spring suspension. I use a Herbies Way Excellent II mat for my TD 160 aluminum platter and I'm happy with the sonic improvement that its made.
Herbies makes a variety of mats dependent on the design of both the table and platter. I can't say that this would be the best mat for a Sota however there is a 90 day return policy and it's considerably cheaper than the Boston or any of the other carbon fiber mats.
I wish I had the Sota with a 9 inch Thomas Schick tonearm.
No way. Don´t waste your time & money on mats whatever they are. They change the sound, sometimes may improve it in some extent but not improve it as whole.
Buy a Reso-Mat instead. Vinyl sits on acetate spikes allowing resonances vanish into air and not bouching back from platter´s surface to cartridge smearing the original sound from your stylus. It just works. ;)
Harold...I just ordered the Resomat to add to my collection. I'd never heard of it before but cheers for the heads up m8 :)
I'll be comparing it to my existing (undamped) mat.
If I like it, it could become permanent. :)

The idea of parking the LP on a bed of nails is a wee bit unnerving but the only thing that concerns me is the proximity of my platter's label cutout. How close are those cones to the label area?
The inner cones are 0.5 cm from the label area. Actually all the cones are under the run-in & run-out areas.
The reduced size (for Technics SL-1200 etc.) has the outer cones under the outer groove area:
Been using Herbie's for years. Now I use the Moomat.
Sorry to report that the outcome of the Resomat comparison was disappointing. 

Theoretically my thick, heavy composite, non-resonant platter was a match made in heaven and the ideal platform for the Resomat to show off its wares so there was a great deal of excitement and expectation on approach.
Although the signal was clean enough I could summarise the general character of the Resomat as lightweight and insubstantial. Sibilants were slightly exaggerated although not excessively so. (You could get used to it).
I couldn’t resist looking underneath to see how many contact points were supporting the LP and found that only the innermost 3 on the LP in question were actually working.
This may lend credence to Ynwoan’s alternate design which uses only those 3 points but lightly clamps the LP from above - meaning that the playing area is unsupported. That would probably help to control sibilance and add more meat to the bones?

The Resomat was claimed to create a wider soundstage but perversely it was actually the GS Ringmat that generated the sense of a wider soundstage allied to a great deal more presence and bandwidth on all instruments – even those “outside the stage”. Sibilance with the Ringmat was much better managed and balanced. Its resolving power and sense of realism on percussives etc is first class. Basically, you could be unaware of many of the sounds that the Resomat was trying to create simply because the frequency balance was off-par.
Consequently it was an easy win for the GS Ringmat. Bear in mind that the GS Ringmat, at £85, is 3X as expensive as the Resomat but nowhere near the $500 needed to secure a Zanden mat, so if the Ringmat is defined as a good buy then the Resomat is a positive bargain(!)

Needless to say there are plenty of Users who are more than happy with the Resomat (although it’s unlikely that many of them have tried the mat or the hybrid combination that I’m using) and I wish them all the best because the Resomat is still a good mat, simply not the mat for me.
Despite the failed comparison I will be retaining it. 
On a positive note I found the Resomat a better listen than the Achromat.
….and you’ll never catch Lyme disease from it….. ;)
Dear Moonglum, Unfortunate many or maybe most LPs are not perfectly flat.
Using Reso-Mat for a convex LP there are only the 3 inner points contacting record. The grooved area, actually the whole record is spinning in air.
The other side is concave and thus there are 6 outer points in contact. This case is sorted out with light clamping and thus all points are in contact.
Sonically both cases may very well benefit from light clamping. On the other hand too heavy clamping ruins everything in achieved sound improvement. I use clamp only for flattening concave LPs.
In my system Reso-Mat, and particularly tall Reso-Mat improves sound quality and quantity in all frequencies, and with all records. After 2 years I have not experienced sibilance nor other issues caused by Reso-Mat. I have one "top" MM that suffers from annoying sibilance, even with new stylus (a false sample or a false "god").
In my system lifting record off the platter seriously improves the sound. Music just flows nicely. For me there´s no turning back to conventionl mats.
I must point out that I still use the original dense and soft mat (GROOVE ISOLATOR) under Reso-Mat because it eliminates ringing of the metal platter.
I posted this a while back and it may be useful:
Has anyone tried a cork mat? Theoretically, cork should be excellent as a material as it is a natural vibration control material. I imagine natural musician's cork 1/8" thickness would be the cat's pajamas.
Hi Harold,
There are qualities about the Resomat that I like. Sibilance is not what I'd describe as excessive, just a whisker more than I'm accustomed to. On the face of it both mats are unconventional being mostly suspended in air. It's obviously a synergy issue because many who use similar T/Ts - with the heavy mat as an underlay for platter damping - are reporting good success.

Kind regards,
Hi Geoff,
Good point. Full sized cork mats are widely renowned as having desirable sonic properties and some manufacturers just install cork mats on the platter as default even to the extent of bonding them on permanently.

Of course, that just takes away all the fun.... :^)
Dear Moonglum, Quite rightly so :-)

I´m planning to buy a 1 kg mat under Reso-Mat, not to improve sonics but add mass on the maglev bearing.
And oh yes, for fun too... : )
I've used a Reso-Mat on a highly modified VPI TNT and a Kenwood L07D. Both applications benefitted from a light clamping force or a record weight. I'm currently using a 1 lb. 6 oz. Still Points LPI record weight on top of Reso-Mat with a 4 lb. TT Weights copper mat underneath Reso-Mat. The LPI is about the right mass to couple an LP to the vinyl points with authority and get the best from Reso-Mat. I agree with Moonglum that without the added mass, Reso-Mat can sound a tad light and shimmery. But with moderate mass loading the presentation snaps into focus and gives a nice tight LF without bloat or false warmth.
Moonglum & Dave, Very well I will try the 233 g brass clamp again but if I remember correctly it doesn´t improve things because it may be too light with Reso-Mat.
The one we supply for the Air Force One and Two turntables is quite outstanding, if I do say so myself... Please contact us for information and pricing.. - Bob Graham, Graham Engineering
Dear Dave & Harold,
Many thanks for the feedback. Looks like I may have been premature and unfair in my summation and perhaps should have tuned the Resomat a little? ;)

It may be that subconsciously I was thinking of the effects of offset centre hole drilling (which can be 2mm or more) meaning that the spikes would enter the actual playing area of the disc :O
This thought "creeps me out" slightly in the context of adding weights or clamps, even though I was fairly comfortable with the basic weight of the LP on the spikes.

I know from experience that vinyl is a lot tougher than it looks. Have you seen any evidence of indents after applying pressure? (Dave?)
Thanks Bob...sounds interesting. :)