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You must have certainly noticed the huge variety of slipmats and turntable mats in the market. Until the time you start narrowing down your choices, you won’t understand how difficult this task can get. What material to look for? Is there a need? And many other similar questions tend to confuse us.
You must consider several factors before you choose a turntable mat. This review of the best turntable mat and slipmats has been written to make the decision easier. So make sure that you also go through the buying guide and have all the information that you need!
Record Player Mats/Slipmats Comparison Table
Best turntable mat and Slipmats Buying Guide
There are some factors and specific features that one should keep in mind before you buy a turntable mat. This includes:
The material with which the mat has been made is important as it can provide varied results. The different materials can be leather, glass, rubber, cork, acrylic, fern, and many others. The material being used also impacts the overall smoothness, size, and weight of the mat. As a result, this will also affect the record playing audio quality as well.
Mats that are available online can vary greatly in price. The glass, rubber, and cork mats do come in the affordable range. The acrylic and leather will go to a higher range. The final cost depends on the material quality used.
The most expensive turntable mats are the handmade ones. These are usually purchased by customers through their links. While buying a turntable mat for yourself, find something that’s pocket friendly yet has some good features.
Right after material, perhaps one of the most vital characteristics of slipmats( read more: whats the slipmats) is its thickness. And honestly, this is a feature that you will see extremely varying. The mat that you select will be depending on the record player you own and the way it’s constructed and the type of sound one prefers.
There is an adjustable arm is some of the players that make slipmat thickness just a matter of functionality and feel. However in case, the arm of the rig isn’t adjustable, one will need to get a little pickier with the mat thickness.
The mat density should be able to place the arm and stylus of the turntable making sure that it’s hitting the vinyl at right angles.
The arm has to be falling on the mat level. To make this happen, one needs to select the mat of the following thicknesses:
- Thin- 1.5 mm.
- Medium-2 mm.
- Thick- From 3 to 4 mm.
4. Sound Quality:
One can change and improve the sound quality with the use of record player mats. This happens as the mat can absorb any of the additional background noises. The mechanical sounds are also dampened and this maintains sound quality form the starting till the end.
Any good quality record player has good acoustics when compared to an MP3 or CD player. Therefore for excellent results, you should go for the best mat. The turntable also enhances specific resonance in the record and can enhance the bass tones. A leather mat will be a good example.
Also seen as the fluttering noise, one can prevent the record slippage with the use of a mat that provides a good grip. One of the highest adhesive materials that come to mats is silicone and rubber. Felt on the other side will be falling in the opposite extreme and is more likely to such slips.
The turntable that we find in the market is made of high quality for protecting the record from any kind of damages. The acrylic mats are also shipped with other protective layers that can be removed and are used for keeping the mat scratch-free. Smooth and soft mats can keep the vinyl grooves safe from the damage caused due to spinning.
The record player mats are usually made to be compatible with most of the famous brands in the market. This also includes Linn, Rega, Avid, VPI, Jensen, Audio-Technica, and many others. Although some of the mats seem to be offering better results with specific brands.
For example, the rubber and cork mats will go well with turntables with the metal platter. So go ahead with the one that provides the highest compatibility for the record player that you own.
The turntable mats durability also varies. The main reason behind this is the kind of material that has been used for its manufacturing. Cork usually seems to fall off sooner when used several times. Even the rubber doesn’t provide the best durability either.
Most of the mats do come with a warranty when you buy it that assures a complete refund in case the product doesn’t last for the time assured.
When the record spins, there is a generation of electric charges that we call static. The static presence also attracts huge amounts of dust and this can be a bit annoying when it comes to cleaning. Some of the vinyl records also have a bit of static as soon as you take it out from its sleeve.
The static also impacts the sound quality and one can hear a pop noise when the music plays. It can also cause spillage and impact playback. So get a mat that has no static.
The mat textures can vary from soft to very smooth. The softer and smoother a mat is the better the vinyl record will be rotating and at the right intervals. The mats softness also keeps the disk protected from any kind of scratches. So go for smooth mats for enhancing record durability.
The available colors are endless. Although some of the popular and common ones remain brown, black, red, and green. Some mats can be custom-made with the preference of the owner with the logo of their favorite artist, brands, slogans, or animals. Some colors enhance the appearance and look expensive and classy.
Installation of the turntable, mat isn’t a technical process. So make sure that you are buying a mat that fits best with your record player. The removal of the mat from its platter is easy and it will be convenient in case one wants to replace or just clean the mat.
When the turntable isn’t being used the mat is going to be visible. It will be great if you can get something with an attractive and artistic appeal, although this is not a compulsory feature. The best part is that the ones we mentioned on the list can certainly contribute to the décor of your home. Print and design is also something that can matter to some people and can be a priority.
14. Mat Flexibility:
The turntable mats flexibility does help the audiophile in sound manipulation. It can stop, mix and even pull a track up over the album. This creates some interesting sound through scratching and using sound effects.
The cork, acrylic, and rubber material mats will be able to provide you optimum flexibility that you had been looking for. So keep in mind this factor while you are observing the mat material.
Best Turntable Mat and Slipmats Reviews
If you are looking to buy a vinyl record mat to increase sound quality, reduce auxiliary noise. Here are our top picked some of the best turntable mat and slipmats for you.
Premium Swiss Leather Turntable Mat: Best overall
This table mat from Hudson has been well crafted and made of leather that can only be found in the U.S. You are certainly going to love the varied sound characteristics that are offered through this mat. The best part of the product is the ability to reduce, if not removing completely the high static load that is observed coming from the noises that surround.
This happens because of resonance dampening that originates from the metal record player platters and this will be perfect for using there. Another reason for loving this one is that it will be ideally functional with all available record players.
You won’t have to stress about it, just make sure that the record player isn’t less than 12 inches. It is also available in 5 color options to choose from.
- It doesn’t attract dirt.
- Enhances the clarity and quality of audio.
- Reduces static load coming from nearby noise.
- Spindle hole positioning isn’t perfect.
Turntable Toys TC-8 Cork Audiophile Turntable Mat: Best design
The Turntable Toys mat is designed thoughtfully with quality grain cork that efficiently dampens the vibrations and noise. Furthermore, this also improves traction that helps in ensuring that you have the most improved audio quality.
The mat also eliminates platter rumbling, additional ringing, and hums. You can be sure of having the cleanest and finest sounds. Not only this it also reduces and eliminates a lot of static problems that can be causing the noise.
The turntable mat can be called a game-changer when we talk about the removal of static electricity. If you want, you can even order a custom made one that fits the platter perfectly.
- Reduces natural vibrations and sounds.
- Removes static problems.
- Improves sound and traction quality.
- Might not fit well, so recommended getting custom made.
Martelli Roundabout Set – 16″ Turntable, Cutting Mat & Ironing Pad: Best features
There are several features in the Martelli Roundabout mat, but one of the features just stands out. This ironing and turntable mat has also had ball bearings for a smoother function that’s very unique.
Then there is also a fact that originally it was manufactured for quilters, one can make use of it for different purposes. For example, a lot of people use it for crafting and scrapbooking. This has been made in a manner that the tabletop-ironing surface color is available in a variety.
As the name suggests one can, of course, use it as an ironing pad as well.
Keep in mind that it has well-organized ball bearings and all of them are made with quality stainless steel. This is a 3 piece set and is surely one of the distinctive mats that you will ever get in the market and has capabilities that provide versatility.
- This has stainless steel ball-bearing for a smooth turn.
- Easy to cut and even create the most special and complex shapes.
- Has a 16-inch diameter.
- Very expensive.
Acrylic Turntable Mat – OrangeLit – LP Slipmat: Best Material
Designed for providing the best when we talk about audio quality, this acrylic turntable mat is clear and has a reflecting green edge for enhancing dynamics. It guarantees solid bass response, well-developed mid-range, and overall audio that’s not splashy.
You will notice a significant improvement in audio quality as it well absorbs vibrations and enables the stylus for making better contact with the record grooves. Therefore it provides enhanced playback experience.
In the center, there is a 0.5 mm record label recess that makes sure that your record is lying flat over the mat. This will also be a good choice for the standard turntable platter of 12 inches.
- Solid bass offering improved audio quality.
- Improved playback experience.
- The record label recess makes sure the record stays flat.
- As per the turntable present, each mat gives different sound levels.
Electrohome Turntable Platter Mat: Best Durability
Opt for the Electrochrome Turntable Platter mat if you are looking forward to upgrading the record player experience. The best part of this product is that it’s flat and has a diameter of 12 inches.
This has a no-scratch surface and is made with high-quality silicone rubber that’s durable as well. Through this, you are going to listen as well as hear all of the audio files as they are.
You will not be hearing any surrounding sounds that usually are observed coming along while playing the original video.
For maintaining and retaining original record integrity, the mat will ensure that LP’s laying flat. This is possible because of the recessed center. Until the record player has a standard size, this mat will be fitting perfectly in the manner that one wants it to be.
- It is light in weight.
- Fits nicely on most turntables.
- Rubber material tightens sound.
- Some users might find it very thin.
Taz Studio: Premium Turntable Slipmat: Best Handmade Mat
The Taz studio slipmat has been designed in Portugal. It provides you the highest quality cork. The product has been made for providing the user with cutting edge services and the reason is 4 mm thickness it has.
The slipmat ensures that you have the best audio quality. Apart from that, it is made in a manner that movement and vibrations get neutralized while other sound aspects remain constant.
While other record player mats are factory-made, this is a handmade product. Its dimensions are 13*12*0.4 inches. The weight is just 4 oz and is pretty light in weight, but still big enough for perfect usage.
- Doesn’t interfere with studio and audio sounds.
- Protects against vibrations.
- Reduces unwanted ambiance.
- A handmade product.
- Some users might find it small.
Hudson Hi-Fi Turntable Platter Mat: Best Versatility
Hudson Hi-Fi Turntable platter mat will be liked by people because of the kind of versatility it provides. The audiophile record player has been made with the capacity of fitting all turntables that come with the elements of LP vinyl over it.
This version can be treated as the right replacement over the traditional OEM, felt, and rubber turntable mats. For achieving the required playback, this mat is made from highly sophisticated technology.
This includes RIAA specifications, non-slip grooves, and label recess. All of which is considered as an ideal specification that ensures that the mat is offering a perfect record position on it. The mat will be compatible with most of the popular turntable brands. This includes Pro-Ject, Rega, Fluance, and Music Hall.
- Very soft and highly absorbent.
- Has excellent flexibility.
- Provides the right position for most platters.
- Initially, there is a strange smell, although it goes away in a few days.
Fluance Turntable Platter Mat: Best Noise Reduction
Unlike the others mentioned in the list, this mat by Fluance has a unique ability that provides sieve sound. As a result, you get the clearest sounds just the way the music composer intended it to be.
This turntable mat is made in a way that it can isolate any distorted and unwanted micro-vibrations. Therefore you only have a clear sound that includes original tones and voices. It has a recessed center that easily rests the LP’s flat on the record player.
This also means that there will be no disturbance caused in the playback feature and you won’t be disturbed until you turn the music off.
The mat has rubber and there are components of silicone included that create a scratch-free durable surface. This is also ideal for recordings.
- Very durable rubber silicone material.
- Doesn’t temper original sounds.
- Isolates all distorting and unwanted vibrations.
- Can produce ringing on some LP’s.
Hudson Hi-Fi Turntable Cartridge Alignment Protractor Mat: Best Ease Of Use
Another great mat from Hudson and this one offers high simplicity of usage. There is one-sided alignment and offers a diagram that’s meant for aligning the cartridge for guiding the user. This has been made with PVC composite and is 12 inches in diameter with a thickness of 2 mm.
It also allows you to draw one’s tracking point making sure that you have customized alignments. This also provides you the opportunity to get work done as per your needs.
The points over the mat have been UV treated as well for ensuring longevity. This mat comes with complete instructions for guiding through with the use. It is also compatible with all record players that are popular like Music Hall, Linn, Audio Technica, Rega, VPI, and Avid amongst many others.
- PVC material offers you a custom drawing of tracking points.
- Versatile and durable.
- Is compatible with most turntables.
- Requires high accuracy levels while one draws tracking points.
Corkery Recessed Turntable Platter Mat: Best Grip mat
The Corkery recessed mat has been made from granules of composite cork and has a rubber mix. The material is such that it is more durable when compared to the mat made of plain cork. This will be a good option for replacement over a felt mat as well.
When it comes to cost, this cannot be called expensive was it surpasses felt mats in several qualities. The mat is soft and ensures your vinyl record safety. This also won’t attract dust and therefore you won’t have a problem in cleaning it either. One just needs a small brush for removing any particles.
The mat enhances the record grip and drives across the needle. Therefore you have a cleaner background, improved dynamic range, sharper images, and great bass. Additionally, it also lessens the static load. Even after the mat is a little smaller than the standard LP, this is still a universal option for all turntables.
- The record stays flat over the mat because of record label recess.
- The mat damps resonance coming from metal platters.
- Reduces mechanical noises to great extent.
- It can leave small bits of cork over the records.
FAQ on Best Turntable Mat and Slipmats
1. Which is the best turntable mat?
Acrylic is said to be one of the best choices for the mats as this is a material that’s virtually similar to the vinyl record itself. When one places the record directly on the acrylic surfaces ( without having a slip mat) the record can be seen coupled effectively with that playing surface.
2. Do I need to have a slip mat on the turntable?
Slipmat is also used by professional DJ’s for slip-starting the records and is certainly needed. As far as the turntable mat is concerned they are protecting the vinyl record from hard surfaces. But make sure that they are kept clean as that can be damaging to the record as well.
3. Does a turntable mat make any difference?
Turntable mats are an attractive accessory for any audio system that you might have at home. There are some styles and colors that provide the turntable to set up a personalized look. But there are also other reasons to have them. The rubber mat can help in isolating the vinyl records and your audio playback is impacted lower through any vibrations.
4. Is there a need for a mat with acrylic platters?
If you have an acrylic platter, then there is no requirement of turntable mat. The acrylic resonance is closer to the vinyl itself and hence there isn’t a need for a mat.
5. Should I be using a turntable mat?
Understand that design is just one of the features that a mat provides. The mat can be very helpful in keeping your vinyl records safe from the unwanted damage that occurs with constant spinning.
Also, it reduces additional technical sounds that interfere with the quality of audio. It is highly recommended that you get a turntable mat as this will be beneficial for sure.
6. How to clean a turntable mat?
Make sure that you are keeping the turntable cover closed when you aren’t using it. One can also wash easily a rubber mat in your sink with simple detergent and allow it to air dry before you put it back. In case you have a felt mat, it is recommended that you clean it using a brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner.
7. Should I buy Cork turntable mats?
The cork is a material that’s highly recommended when you have lightweight and steel platters at home. It will not be costing you a lot of money, but these are very thick for some record player and can create static. You can also try leather mats as these are soft and have a thickness of about 3 mm.
8. What is the function of turntable mats?
In simple terms, apart from giving artistic looks, the turntable mats offer three main functions:
- Sound enhancement.
- Reduction of friction.
- Vinyl record protection.
9. What is the need for a high-quality mat?
You must search for the best quality mat as it eliminates any type of comments and offers crisp audio. These are also an excellent upgrade while you are facing the issue of static and dust and searching for something that can improve the sound experience.
The demand for record players has increased and they haven’t yet gone out of style. The entire procedure of choosing a vinyl record, placing it over the platter, and then stylus over it can be addictive. The final selection of the best turntable mat and slipmats depends on the individual taste as well.
The turntable mat comes handy for improving the audio of favorite albums that you can enjoy after you had a long day. If already own a record player and don’t have a turntable mat that you are surely missing out on the sound quality that others benefit from that already own one. So make sure that you order one today!