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Ringmat Turntable Mat

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 RINGMAT is a new method of record support and the first that has been properly designed for the generation of an accurate, low distortion signal. It's unique design enables 12" records to be supported so that the main vibrational modes of record movement - caused by the input of stylus energy - give the minimum possible error signal. This allows for improved tracking and, as a result, a reduction in stylus and record wear. With RINGMAT, there is a reduction of background noise with a cleaner, crisper and yet more delicate sound, together with a wider and deeper soundstage; there is an enhanced sense of power, with greater weight and authority in the bass.

An evaluation of the new Gold Spot Ringmat by Christopher Breunig

So similar is the new Gold Spot Ringmat in appearance to the Anniversary Ringmat 330 (apart from the spot itself) I suspected that I would not find substantial audible differences between them - but this proved to be not the case! As noted in the accompanying literature, with a different adhesive used to bond the cork rings, the Gold Spot is thinner by 0.1mm, so for precise A-B comparisons some height compensation is necessary. Using the complete Ringmat Support System (on a Linn LP12 driven by Origin Live’s most highly specified motor kit) I added a green spacer for these listening tests.

But even without it, sound differences were immediately noted. A 1961 Mercury recording of Copland ballets with the LSO conducted by Dorati had just been reissued as a Speakers Corner 180g pressing, and I had already noted, via headphones, a degree of traffic noise outside Watford Town Hall picked up by the three-channel microphones. This was now much more distinct over Quad Electrostatic speakers; the orchestral sound itself becoming more focused and dynamic.

Putting in the spacer added weight to the sound. This gave a very convincing immediacy to a 1966 Decca pianoforte LP of Schubert played by Vladimir Ashkenazy [SXL6260], notorious for the tracking difficulties presented in the finale of the Sonata D664 - though not to my current OL Conqueror tonearm and Zyx moving-coil cartridge. Adding or subtracting the spacer changed the tonal nature of the sound, making it thinner when (effectively) the arm-rake was not the same as set up with the earlier Anniversary mat. With the Gold Spot and the extra spacer I found the stereo image more centred and solid.

Turning to two historic discs, of Mozart symphonies with Peter Maag and the Suisse Romande [Ace of Clubs ACL157] and Duke Ellington 1940s transfers to LP [RCA LSA 3069], and playing these as double-mono, amply confirmed that the sounds of the original tapes/78rpm shellacs were more accurately reproduced than I had heard from them before - by a wide margin in the case of the jazz LP.

My conclusions are that the Gold Spot is better able to convey timing - the articulate stream of notes in the Schubert Allegro, the attack and imaging of solo instruments such as harp, or xylophone, in the Copland. The music reproduction is cleaner and thereby allows increases in comfortable listening levels. It might seem extravagant to consider exchanging an Anniversary Ringmat 300 for a Gold Spot, but a moving-coil upgrade to achieve a comparable quality uplift would involve a far greater outlay!

Richard Black TECHRADAR Review (330MK11 XLR Mat)

"It's certainly true that the results this mat gives sound distinct from some other platters. Most noticeable, we felt, was the generally light and airy quality of the sound, with superb detail in the highest frequencies and a lovely open quality to ambience and subtle imaging cues."

Ringmat Type

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