The majority of Audio-Technica turntables come with a platter mat. Its purpose is to soak up any unwanted vibrations that may affect the sound quality, potentially resulting in distortion. DJs have an additional requirement as they want to let the platter move underneath them when the record is being held in place for the start of a mix, or spun backwards to find the correct starting point. DJs typically use felt mats as other materials won’t allow the platter to move freely beneath them.
For general use there are mats available made from a variety of materials, including felt, cork, rubber, leather and acrylic, and they will affect the sound in different ways. Which mat you choose depends on personal preference as vinyl enthusiasts have different opinions as to what sounds best on their system. You may need to try a few before you find your preferred sound.
The felt mat that comes with Audio-Technica turntables is 2.5mm. The rubber mat that comes with the AT-LPW range is 3mm, the AT-LP3 and AT-LP2X’s is 4.5mm and the AT-LP5X’s is 5mm. They are manufactured to these specific thicknesses so the tonearm is parallel to the vinyl when a record is being played, although there will be variance depending on the weight and thickness of the vinyl being used, which is normal.
If you are wishing to change your platter mat then it is advisable to source one that is the same thickness, unless your tonearm has VTA (vertical tracking adjustment) like the AT-LP140XP. If your turntable does have VTA then you can choose whatever thickness of mat you wish within the tolerance of the VTA. Make sure that you adjust the height of the tonearm so it remains parallel to the vinyl during playback if switching between different thicknesses of platter mat. This will ensure that the stylus sits in the groove at the correct angle.
If you have any further questions about platter mats then please contact us.