Over the past 4 years I have played around with a variety of record mats on both my Lenco turntables. My preference is for a hard mat of either glass or acrylic because I find the sound, using a hard interface between record and platter, more detailed and involving. The problem, however, with hard mats is the lack of platter damping. I use large O-rings around my platters for this, but have never been happy with the look of this fix.
A few weeks ago I began playing around with the idea of a composite mat. My first attempts were using an acrylic mat with a cork layer laminated to it. This provided good platter damping but the sound was not as good as the original setup with O-rings and standard acrylic platter.
The next version used an acrylic platter with a leather mat laminated to one side. This proved to be good at damping the platter and still provided a detailed a
nd natural sound. The mat can be used with either the acrylic, or leather side in contact with the record. The sound differs slightly with each material, and I find myself flipping the mat regularly depending on mood/music I am listening to.
I will be sourcing some acrylic blanks next week so should be able to produce a small run of these mats in the very near future. I need to look at sourcing the leather in a neutral colour, more aesthetically pleasing than the baby blue piece I used for my test mat. The mat is 5mm thick so fits the Lenco spindle and still allows the use of a record clamp.
I would be interesting in knowing how much, if any, interest there is in this mat. I should have an update of final materials within a couple of weeks, as well as, an idea of pricing.