Hi...I have tried with and without and prefer without. I used the Boston MA -1.
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I think a lot will depend upon the tonal balance of your system. I prefer using the Classic platter naked (esp. for the dynamics, low end and resolution) but if one had a system that might be a little lean or tipped up, a mat might be the answer. BTW, VPI did provide two mats with the plater, one being a thin paper and the other being rubberized. One doesn't really need to worry about SRA/VTA with the paper mat but will need to adjust those parameters with the rubber. You might look up my comments on the platter at PFO/Products of the Year for last year.
Myles, If the best of 2 options depends on the rest of the system, then that suggests both options have strengths and weaknesses. Ergo both have weaknesses. This conclusion seems to me to suggest "complementary colorations" is how you assemble a system. The logical conclusion from your comments is that both options are suboptimal and an alternative should be sought.
What is trash to some audiophiles is nirvana to others ?
I better say it before Syntax does.
This is High End today.
Thanks for the smile Stringreen.
That's not what I'm saying. HW includes the mat to better integrate the platter design into all systems. Most audiophiles (myself included) use the Classic platter sans mat.
But I have to say that I have yet to hear an uncolored cartridge. Lyra, Koetsu, van den Hul, ZYX, Clearaudio, Shelter, etc. -they all have a "house" sound. (no different than electronics eg never going to mistake cj for ARC or Krell for Rowland!).
Just installed a Classic platter and bearing on my Scout. The platter came with a mat from VPI that features their logo and strobe markings on the perimeter. It appears to be made of a type of fiber and is about 1/8" thick. I have compared the sound with the mat and naked and prefer the sound with the mat--more textured to my ears and tonally correct. I thought I'd revive this thread to see what other mat options might have been tried of late. Thanks for the input!
With my Aries 3 that has the Classic platter I am using a Herbie's mat and prefer it when using the Delrin/SS clamp included with the table. Without the mat the voices seemed to me to be dispersed and not focused. I recently purchased a ring clamp and SS wt and will try with and without the mat to decide how they work together.
Although I trashed my paper mat for my VPI Classic platter, I found a leather skin mat that seems to make music more like music, and less like hifi https://www.amazon.com/Premium-Leather-Deer-Hide-Turntable/dp/B00JDWHDSS/ref=zg_bs_11973971 I figured for 40 dollars I’d experiment. (suede side down for me)
I'm using an Acoustech electronic stylus force gauge--have for years. I'm wondering if anyone is using the same and found this: When I put the gauge down on the aluminum platter, it won't zero out. It flits about with positive and negative numbers. I move it to a different location and it zeros out fine. I never had this problem with my original Scout acrylic platter. I can't get an accurate VTF reading without the gauge sitting at zero before I drop the needle. Thoughts?
On my Classic 3 SE Sig... one thing I appreciate about this table is it's ability to sonically sort out all kinds of accessories I want to try.
Any item I try results in a different sound. This is, after all, a plus. To be able to "tune" your tt to your liking is a good thing as long as you have an understanding of the differences.
I always go naked. (I don't own a periphery ring). I find big differences in the Stillpoints LP 1 vs the VPI center weight. I usually prefer the Stillpoints. I'm in the process of having a VPI center weight machined to accept different materials. Just from my own test, I've used carbon fiber, vinyl, and ebony gaboon. All have a different sonic signature.
Regarding static, my expensive but well worth while investment in an Audio Desk cleaner solves the static problem.