One of the problems most vintage turntables face, and the Lenco is no exception, are platters which ring badly. The rubber platter mat found on most turntables controls this ringing to some extent, but there are better solutions now available. A common solution used on the heavy platter Lencos are silicone O-rings placed around the platter lip. Unfortunately, this is not an option on a Lenco using the standard top plate, or for those who do not like the appearance of the silicone rings. In these situations using a mat to damp the platter is the easiest, and often, the best solution.
While the traditional rubber mat may work to damp platter ringing, it is considered by some to over-damp the system. This can rob the music of energy and dynamics. Thankfully there are platter mats available in a variety of different materials such as glass, acrylic, carbon fibre, and even leather, to name just a few. Most of these work well at reducing ringing , some better than others, and all impart there own sonic signature on the music.
Acrylic mats are among the most cost effective. There are many different makes available, and all those which we have tested work well, and provide a very neutral presentation. More exotic materials such as glass, carbon fibre, copper, and bronze also work well, but are more expensive. In some cases, substantially more expensive.
Another option is laminated, or multi-material mats. These have multiple layers of the same, or different materials. These layers, and the interfaces between, are more effective at reducing vibrations than a single layer of material. The interfaces between layers reflect and refract vibrations, acting as a filter, attenuating, redirecting, and/or converting this energy. The more interfaces, the greater the effect. How effective these mats are will depend on the materials used, the construction and, in the end, the listeners own preferences. As mentioned earlier, each mat will have its own sonic signature, and each user their own preference for a specific sound. Experimentation is the key to finding your ideal mat.
We mentioned earlier in this post that acrylic mats are an economical option. as such, they offer a good starting point for experimenting with different materials and mat designs. Here, at lencomotion audio, we think we have found a great mat that combines both acrylic and high density EVA foam in a laminate mat. The 1877 PHONO EH-Strobo turntable mat provides excellent platter damping, and a neutral presentation.
The mat can be used either acrylic, or foam side up, and has 50 and 60Hz strobe marking on the acrylic side. The strobe markings are large, and easy to read, allowing you to accurately set the speed of your turntable. This is now our favoured mat for all our Lenco turntables.