. . . the old sceptic that I am . . . ?
So I went back to my glass platter/metal sub-'P' and felt mat. All has been sweetness and light for the past few months. I started to think, always dangerous, I keep the wheels oiled . . . cod liver oil tablet every morning . . . I get edgy, especially when the forum triggers a thought?
It did, I started wondering about the viability of acrylic platter mats intended for various sorts of metal and glass platters . . . ???? I had dismissed them and the manufactures claims a long while ago. Looking on fleaBay, I found a used one up for bidding. It eventually sold for £16 +£3.50pp, far too much, and I think it might have gone higher?
It was from Inspire HiFi, their 'Acrimat', a little more searching, I came on Isokenetik's 'ISOmat' at £19.99, new and the same as the Inspires offering I suspect . . . do they come from the same source I ask?
After dragging the heals, I put in the order, I can almost get my money back, I think sceptically. Doorbell rings this morning, a very wet postie asks for a signature.
Well, its 4 hours later, my scepticism has been blown out of the water . . . !!! Its not very often I am prepared to admit to a change or upgrade being uncompromisingly 'better' . . . yep,’ no ifs, buts or maybes’. Hazel and me sat and listened . . . and listened. There was no doubt, no compromise or trade off, Jennifer Warnes had stepped forward a meter, the detail that we knew was there in the background became much more audible, in fact, detail in general was improved.
Moving on to Carol Kidd . . . one of Hazels favourites, the extra presence, vocal signature and clarity was jaw dropping, not to mention the guitar and piano backing! I dont use these description lightly . . . her voice was so detailed, the micking is very close, you can hear every letter and word forming including the head and chest cavity harmonics. I've heard this described, but never heard it so distinctly obvious.
Lonnie Donegan, Art Garfunkel and Leonard Cohen 'Old Ideas' another close micked recording, all came more alive. Records I have so enjoyed in the past . . . the subtleties, the life and no trade-offs, they are simply better, perhaps not world shatteringly so, but at this level, these improvements are well worth the £20 I paid . . . !!!
I’ve retained the relaxed presentation I enjoy and have gained detail, life and more insight into the performance.
No 'buts' . . . well perhaps one, I started with the home made puck . . . it was OK, but when I swapped for the Michell clamp it simply worked better . . . So if I have a '?' it is over the use of spindle pucks? It may be system based, I cant tell, but there is the compromise if I have one. The other minor problem, a clamp or spindle puck must be used, the acrylic mat is so smooth, it offers little grip to the vinyl.
The best twenty quid worth I have spent in a long time . . . CJS