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If we're going to be totally historically accurate, there was a time when you could get it with either mat, the felt one being listed as facilitating slip cueing.  Early on Linn found that the ribbed rubber mat was musically inferior to the felt one and stopped supplying them with LP12s.  They sold all the rubber mats to Rega who machined out the LINN PRODUCTS LTD. in the center of the mat and supplied them with Planar 2s for years.

15 hours ago, Jazz Kisaten said:

How does one determine which side of the (old) Linn mat to have face up?  Hoping there is a way other than tiresome A/B listening.  If not, what have heard to be the differences?

I'm afraid you do have to use "tiresome" A/B listening to determine the correct side.  The better side flows better and is more musical, the wrong side can sound a bit more dynamic but harsher and the bass is a bit disjointed.

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1 hour ago, ThomasOK said:

I'm afraid you do have to use "tiresome" A/B listening to determine the correct side. 

Not surprised.  Thank you, Thomas, for the listening guide.

Seems like A/B-ing comes with the territory. Just finished doing a lot of that (partly a function of Covid-19 isolation boredom) - - dialing-in VTA on a new cart, comparing the Mogami T.Kable to what it replaced (a too stiff Cardas cable  and BTW the T.Kable is much more musical and balanced) and comparing a variety of table supports (sorbothane footers, solid steel balls and cups, multi-layer sandwich approaches)-each improved some aspect of the sound but at too high a cost otherwise.)

Signing off to start flipping the mat.

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5 hours ago, ThomasOK said:

If we're going to be totally historically accurate, there was a time when you could get it with either mat, the felt one being listed as facilitating slip cueing

That rings a bell now, thanks!  I wonder if anyone has ever designed a worse table for slip cueing than an LP12!

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I'll be damned.  The sonic difference between Linn mat sides is exactly as ThomasOK described. Can construct a hypothesis why there would be a difference but can't get my head around why it would be of the magnitude I hear.  Must be magic.  Apologies for hijacking this thread.  I'll be on my way now.

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2 hours ago, Jazz Kisaten said:

I'll be damned.  The sonic difference between Linn mat sides is exactly as ThomasOK described. Can construct a hypothesis why there would be a difference but can't get my head around why it would be of the magnitude I hear.  Must be magic.  Apologies for hijacking this thread.  I'll be on my way now.

Just did this same A/B this morning and found the “right” side. 

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I believe the sonic differences between the sides of the Linn mat are down to the way the felt is woven. One side sounds initially more impressive and 'Hi Fi', but it is the reverse side that is more musical. A few years ago I put together a 'Linniston' (Ariston RD80 with a Linn sub chassis, pre Cirkus bearing, Linn inner and outer platters) for a friend in upstate NY. Initially she was skeptical about the mat sides sounding different, but picked up on it straight away, as did her partner.

With the Collaro, it isn't produced the same way and I have been unable to discern any differnce between sides. I run mine with the blank side uppermost so I don't have to see the logo and it sounds fine - better than the Linn (which has now been fitted to an Ariston RD80SL that I put together for my neice).

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Just a quick note to remind everyone that if you use/replace a thicker mat than stock Linn, to adjust/correct your VTA, SRA and VTF. ( and make sure your Azimuth is also correct...assuming of course that you can adjust that...;) ).

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On 24/09/2020 at 02:23, Jazz Kisaten said:

How does one determine which side of the (old) Linn mat to have face up?  Hoping there is a way other than tiresome A/B listening.  If not, what have heard to be the differences?

Basically that. Play a record you’re very familiar with, try both sides and choose which you prefer.
 

To me, it was pretty obvious and I only played each side once. 
 

When you’re happy stick some dots or tape on the opposite side to identify it. 

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2 hours ago, Daveyf said:

Just a quick note to remind everyone that if you use/replace a thicker mat than stock Linn, to adjust/correct your VTA, SRA and VTF. ( and make sure your Azimuth is also correct...assuming of course that you can adjust that...;) ).

Good point, and one which accounts for many tales of different sounding mats, when in fact it’s something else that has changed.

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  • 1 month later...
On 24/09/2020 at 18:16, ThomasOK said:

I'm afraid you do have to use "tiresome" A/B listening to determine the correct side.  The better side flows better and is more musical, the wrong side can sound a bit more dynamic but harsher and the bass is a bit disjointed.

Apologies for thread resurrection.

I read through this thread and it reminded me of an ongoing discussion in a HiFi magazine I used to read regularly back in the 1990s (can't remember the name) which had ongoing discussions between staffers as to whether a plain sheet of A4 paper placed into a book on a bookshelf in the room transformed the listening experience. I was not convinced in this at all. So I must admit, I was a little sceptical about which way up the felt mat is making a noticeable difference.

Anyway, I had some time on my hands this afternoon so I gave it a go. You've converted me; an A/B listen is exactly as ThomasOK describes! 

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I'm glad you found the advice useful.  The piece of paper placed in the book only improves the system if you write "GOOD SOUND" on it with a golden pen.:D

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On 24/09/2020 at 18:16, ThomasOK said:I'm afraid you do have to use "tiresome" A/B listening to determine the correct side.  The better side flows better and is more musical, the wrong side can sound a bit more dynamic but harsher and the bass is a bit disjointed.

You need far more acute hearing than mine to determine a difference.

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I used to be able to hear subtle differences between updates and tweaks but I'm not sure my 70 year old ears could hear them any more.  And I never could "hum along to the tune"!

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5 hours ago, Guzziboy said:

You need far more acute hearing than mine to determine a difference.

@Guzziboy if my reading of your name is correct, you're clearly accustomed to appreciating the sound of that v-Twin "singing". I'm pretty sure you'd appreciate the difference :-)

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On 24/09/2020 at 13:16, ThomasOK said:

If we're going to be totally historically accurate, there was a time when you could get it with either mat, the felt one being listed as facilitating slip cueing.  Early on Linn found that the ribbed rubber mat was musically inferior to the felt one and stopped supplying them with LP12s.  They sold all the rubber mats to Rega who machined out the LINN PRODUCTS LTD. in the center of the mat and supplied them with Planar 2s for years.

I'm afraid you do have to use "tiresome" A/B listening to determine the correct side.  The better side flows better and is more musical, the wrong side can sound a bit more dynamic but harsher and the bass is a bit disjointed.

Bought the recent Tony Visconti LP remastering of Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World in its new incarnation as Metrobolis and noticed that the bass was really lumpy and "disjointed."  Did a little A/B with the mat and found it sounded smoother with the mat flipped. So thank you Thomas.  

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