TW Acustic Turntable Mat

From Highwater Sounds Facebook page, Jeff Catalano posted a pic of the new TW Acustic turntable mat - sourced from Japan. It looks pretty substantial. I can always email Jeff on info, but hate to bother him about a turntable mat. Anyone else have any info or cost on this new mat?
Yamada-san is from Zanden Audio

But am sure it is much cheaper in Japan
I don't see anything about a new TT mat on their FB page.
Hmmm.. if it is Zanden mat, I tried them last year with TW Raven AC-1 and I did not like the result very much. I tried both thickness, 7mm and 3 or 5mm if I remember correctly.Looks and feel similar to rubber mat that came with VPI Classic 3 but a lot thicker.
Check back on the Facebook page again. It's there with two pics. It retails for $500. It is made by the Zanden designer, but custom and different with TW's input. Preliminary reports from Jeff are very positive. I took the plunge and ordered one. Should arrive in next two weeks. Once I receive it, I'll report back my opinions.
I own a Raven AC and currently I am using Boston Audio Mat 2.

In my opinion the problem with Raven and mat is that: for me Raven sounds best without any mat. Just record directly on the copper insert. The mat is needed only for protection reasons.

If someone will be using LP directly on lacquered copper insert it yields to destroying lacquer coating and will allow a copper to oxidize.

From this point of view the quality of lacquer coating is inferior as cannot be used without any protection if we do not want damaging cover. In my opinion Thomas should rethink the lacquer he uses or look around for other coating – maybe galvanized one.

If we think about using a mat the best from practical point of view is a mat that will not slip over platter when we clean a record with brush. My Boston Audio mat is very hard and slippery. Any hard particle between the mat and platter yields to scratching lacquer cover when mat slips over a platter.

I hope that new mat from TW is made of such rubbery, soft and heavy and a little sticky material that will eliminate the problem without necessity of gluing the mat to the platter. Otherwise it does not have sense IMHO.
I once asked my helper to assist me removing the TW platter so I can oil the bearing. Don't know if my helper was a merman in his former life, but after two days I found the platter oxidized with his finger marking.
HI,I have TW AC With all BN updates,just got copper platter.Never liked mats after listening without mat tried new TW (Zanden) mat gave be more definition and detail and eliminated a touch of brightness wonderful upgrade!!
No mat works best for me. I tried a few including graphite, bostom acoustic and TTW triple laminated with copper and carbon fiber, millennium.
OK, so the key is to find a mat that will give protection to the lacquer and do not screw up the performance.
Seems that new TW mat will do that. I will try tchem.

I also have few upgrades from BN to my AC (cones and battery PSU). Could you kindly let me know what gaind gived adding a copper plater?

Does TW mat slips over a plater when you brush a record without a record clamp?
Copper platter better bass,depth and imaging more solid.Mat goes on top of platter it was designed by Zanden who has a BN turntable i don't use a clamp i like it better without one thats me.
I have TW mat since two days.
In my opinion it brings TW turntables at new level of performance.

Thanks to thick layer of properly executed damping the mat eliminated a disadvantages of mass loader table and blends the best properities of mass loader and suspended table.

The mat not only sounds great but also adds a protection to the platter. The slip a mat over plate or a record over mat is simply impossible.

Highly recommended.
I agree 100% before this i never liked mats.This brings my TW AC with all BN upgrades to a new level.
---> Ebm,
If you have all BN upgrades, can you let me know if you compared a three motor pad - simplified round shape version vs. the version sourced from BN?
Its the same motor without the stand.
I know. I wonder if the stand and a longer belt may have any contribution to the final performance.
Im using Symposium Supercouplers with grade 2 1/2 Superballs under the 3 motors on a Symposium custom Ultra Shelve which will even things out Big Time!!
Appearance wise, the Zanden bears an uncanny resemblance to the Achromat although the construction is slightly different. The Achromat is only about 50 quid as opposed to $500

(BTW this isn't a plug for the Achromat because I loathe it. I've got a brand new one gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. If there was any sonic commonality that wouldn't augur well for the Zanden...)
I wonder how it compares to the Millennium mats and if any Raven owners have tried it?
Luna, I have one on order and should arrive in the next 7-10 days. I currently use the Millennium mat that came with my Raven AC. As soon as I get the new mat and make a slight adjustment in my VTA to accommodate the mat, I will do some listening and let you know the sonic differences. I will report back here....
New mat quieter,warmer better detail etc.Tried Millennium never used it.
Mixing and matching colorations is what the matt enthusiasts ere doing.

If the platter is right use no mat. If the platter is wrong change turntables unless you don't have any money. If that's the case try every common material you can instead of listening to the B.S.ers who say they have the only "right mat". There is no such thing, so ignore them. Snake oil sellers are a dime a dozen in this industry, and boy are they dogmatic. Just note the turntable maker who keeps chiming in on this forum. He's so right he changes his designs like his underwear, and swears each one is THE answer!
If TW Mat is bringing colorations there are very nice colorations - at least in my setup.
So far there are the most pleasant colorations from the lot of tested mats :-)
Kiddman thats all jive!! What makes you the mat turntable guru for everybody!!What system and turntable do you have Mr Expert!!
fancy that a discussion regarding TW would bring out VPI basher as well! Geez...
I wonder what is the different between Zanden and Zanden/TW mat. Zanden mat that I tried was very soft and rubbery and it damped down the sound too much. That was when I still had the old Raven AC platter. I rather like Millenium mat but with felt side up (I know the carbon side is supposed to be up)for both Raven AC and BN platter. Mat/center weight are rather system dependent as they will alter sound. It may work in certain system better than other or not. With old Raven AC platter, I never found any clamp that work well with it until a local dealer let me burrow Creaktiv Systems Twister Stop Diablo which is an acrylic center weight. With BN platter, I am back to no center weight.
I prefer no mat but since systems vary it is not surprising that some find a mat that does something they like.

Its not like anyone talking about stacking on another platter on top of the OEM platter to cover up the flaws of the original one.
well, essentially that is exactly what everyone is talking about, the original platters are flawed so folk put another thin platter on top (what else is a mat? The record cannot tell if it is a platter or mat)to come up with another set of compromises.

How about starting with a really good platter?
6 years of formal education, 35 years design engineering, consulting, and reasearch and several systems that would shrink your ego several sizes. Meanwhile you can worship your old rig which you had no part of designing or producing. The difference between a "doer" and a passive user of other folks work, defining yourself by that which you buy, then proclaim best.
so is this the case of a competing manufacturer/designer bashing another product?
No it is not. There are ways to do things right, sometimes weveral. But it IS a case of a materials scientist, modelling, and finite element analysis guy who has worked on these problems that involve many designs in several fields. Unfortunately in audio the work on tables and mats is mostly blind experimentation. Amazingly, many say that is the best way. Well, these are simple problems compared to an aircraft or Cruise Missile or space craft. Do you think ANY of those harder problems would be best solved by the trial and error, one man's opinion approach used in audio that so many on the forum espouse? Scores and scores and scores would have been killed, and yet we NEVER would have gotten there.

You are a legend in your own mind JERK!!!!!
Kiddman what turntable and speakers do have Mr Legand??
Your insecurity is sad, Ebm. I hope you can overcome it. But measuring your worth through your audio purchases and ability to try to say how copper platters sound relative to aluminum platters, and other such audio minutia, is not the path to better feelings of self worth.

What does it say when you are so threatened by an alternative view, and can only resort to name calling?

No, Ebm, I do not have a "legand" turntable, never heard of it. Is it French?
Material science certainly has a use in audio and I think TW spent significant amount of time in material research to come up with their platter. However, if a particular mat sounds good on TW, is it only the flaw of the turntable that demands the use of a mat. Could the mat be correcting the sonic problem of the cartridge, tonearm or equipment downstream?
We already have various opinions from many owners on TW, no mat, mat a or b, heavy center weight, no center weight, light center weight etc etc work best in their particular system.
I think that is a reflection of the rest of the system and personal preference and taste. If the mat corrects a particular flaw in the turntable, I think most people would have more unified opinion regarding using mat or not and which mat.

Audio is not a billion dollars (at least on boutique, small operation scale which is most high end manufacturers) so no surprise that R&D is not going to be as extensive as aircraft, cruise missle or space industries and since it is audio, the final judgement is always going to be in listening regardless of how much science went into it, in my opinion.
I think TW platter is not flawed - especially soundwise.
For many of the users TW sounds best without any mat.
I am using mat for protection only and trying to find the mat that do not making TW platter sounds worse. So far TW mat is very good doing this.

What material in your opinion guys should be used in platter? I heard aluminium platter in Acustic Solid TT and it ringed as a bell. Switching to TW was a clear improvement.
Suteetat - I agree with you completely. Always objective with a reasonable view considering all variables. Well said my friend.

Milimetr- I agree too. I've yet to hear an aluminum platter I have liked - my personal preference based on my ears only.
TW is one of the best selling turntables in the world because it sounds so good and can be upgraded in the field.Mr Yamada of Zanden has a TW table and loves it.
There is no comparison between missile design and a turntable. A missile's ultimate aim is to travel along certain vectors hit the target then explode. It's fairly easy to know whether you've failed or not. :)
Neither is a missile sensitive to the minutest mechanical vibration.
Turntables, indeed any pieces of hifi equipment, are subject to human perception and we could write a book on that subject and still not hit the target. ;)

The variance of a turntable's physical situation coupled with the relative effects of feedback and the variability of ancillaries in combination, not to mention the adjustability of each, means that the mechanical behaviour of the system is far from clear cut. It can vary and may require tuning/optimisation, even though one is buying a series of finished products.
This is the nature of turntables and it has always been this way. Go on any Forum and you will see countless threads aimed at extracting the best from any turntable.
True some manufacturers try to remove uncertainty by incorporating the tonearm and even the cartridge but optimisation of that turntable's situation still applies. I've had variable results with "complete" suspended tables (e.g. Linn) depending on floor construction, what platform was used, how the cables were dressed and what mat was used.
(..and we're not even touching on arm damping or all the regular adjustment parameters.)
Because it is a sensitive mechanical system there is no limit to influences that can affect it so any extra effort is always worthwhile.

I don't own a Raven AC but my understanding is that it was designed to be used with a mat, and an appropriate mat is supplied.
Many turntable designs other than TW-Acustic also incorporate the mat.
Are detractors attacking TW-Acustic or the engineering qualifications of customers who use mats in general?
TW is to be used with or without a mat depends on the owners system and preferences.
Hi Ebm....
No offense, the AC mat recommendation was merely the view of my local TW supplier. ;)

The "official" position seems to be Raven AC with mat, and R1 withOUT mat, although, in the beginning, I seem to remember the R1 was supplied with a Millenium Mat until it was rationalised away.

Perversely, I use my R1 with a mat (but not the Millenium because I bought my TT after TW stopped supplying mats) while plenty of folk seem to prefer their AC without one! ;)
Ah well...if it makes us happy.... :)

Functionally, the Zanden has more in common with the Millenium mat (dual layer, hard side-soft side) than it does with the Achromat (hard outer shell, cellular interior)
Kind regards,
Moonglum, thanks for the description. I saw the picture of TW/Zanden mat and it has a different colour but otherwise I can't tell if there is any other difference. However, the Zanden mat that I tried had only the soft rubbery material single layer so it sounds like it is different from TW/Zanden with dual layer soft/hard side.

The description from the TW site states this

Yamada-san of Zanden Audio, Japan, has developed a 5 mm thick compound mat for us, and it has totally won us over. The mat consists of two different layers of rubber. The harder of the two compounds sits directly on the turntable’s platter. The softer upper surface generates adhesion and thereby creates a perfect connection between record and turntable. The incomparable dynamics that distinguish our turntable from the rest remain fully unnrestricted, but the musical reproduction appears clamer and more composed because there is now no perceptible pickup noise at all. In addition, the mat lends the music an aura of silkiness and exclusive musicality.

So from the above descrition it is a one sided mat, but dual density with the soft layer intended to face up.
Right now I am using my TW with out a mat. I only have experience with the Millenium mat. But I will eventually get the new TW/Zanden mat one of these days.

I own the Raven AC-3 with BN platter. I currently use without any mat as it sounds better.

I have tried Boston audio mat - deadens the sound, so I guess OK if your system is bright.
Millennium mat that came with table - OK but seems slightly diffuse/blur detail in certain frequencies.
Living Voice mat - best of the 3 and pretty close to no mat.

Furutech record weight used depending on recording being played.

Interesting that rubber compound is used for the new Zanden/TW mat. Back to the 70's and DD tables and rubber mats.
I have yet to find a mat that betters the rubber mat that cane with my Pioneer Exclusive P3 as it adds life and drive into the music.
Perhaps I should try my two spare Technics rubber mats - thin and thick on the TW platter?
I have tried an original rubber mat from old Pioneer turntable, but results were unimpressive.

Quite interesting results and easy to check I got when I placed a second winyl record under the played one.
This brings me to idea of trying Clearaudio Harmonicer mat, which is not very expensive and made of winyl.
You're most welcome Suteetat :)

Downunder...if I had a BN platter I probably wouldn't soil it with a mat either :) ;)

Milimetr...Experimenters place a lot of reliance on the mechanical impedance of vinyl/acryl mats being ideal but that doesn't mean the average listener will even like them. :)
FWIW, my personal preference, the Ringmat, effectively addresses your concerns about platter & LP veneer damage) :
The hybrid Ringmat not only offers good adhesion, grip & platter(rather than vinyl) damping i.e. if required on a metal surface, via the heavy, thin, latex Base Mat but virtually eliminates the risk of vinyl damage due to sharp dust or particulates (e.g. statically charged loose core from the spindle hole drilling) which is another benefit of the Ringmat’s decoupled nature.

Ringmats, whether 330XLR or "Gold Spot", seem to be uniformly successful with any platter – glass, metal, or plastic (although non-ringing split platters like the LP12 are quite happy without any underlay but it might help adhesion) and it renders clamps & weights redundant.

Please note, the Ringmat was intended to be used with the Latex underlay, with or without the remainder of the VTA adjustment system. Most Ringmat owners seem to be using the Ringmat on its own (I know I did once…) and are not getting the full benefit. The Latex Base Mat is comparatively cheap but offers more than an incremental performance increase.
Changes like this are so fundamental to the behaviour of your turntable that 20 quid for a Latex Base Mat could turn out to be money well spent while $500 could be the biggest risk ever undertaken, unless the Distributor is offering a free-trial?
My TW Acustic mat arrived yesterday. Here is the info so far:

1. Mat is around 5mm thick and one must adjust VTA accordingly

2. Improvements: lower noise floor, less static, more air, more detail

3. Things that may have not improved or worsened: dynamics, PRAT

Not sure on complete decision as I have only quickly 'ball parked' the VTA adjustment. I will fine tune VTA as I had on the Millennium Mat and report back in about a week. So far, I like the improvements and I am betting that the dynamics and PRAT improve as I dial in VTA and VTF.
Mat Update:

After more than a week with the mat, I must say it definitely is a success and worth the investment. Depth and width of soundstage have improved. More rock solid imaging well beyond the speaker boundaries is occuring. Musicality has improved. Bass is definitely more robust.

If you have a TW table, the TW mat is definitely worth investigating.
I agree 100% great upgrade in sound!!
Dip the mat into Holy Water...that is a cheap but tremendous much more controlled in the high frequency area with an endless soundstage ... Great Upgrade in Sound !!