In this day and age, turntables are making a comeback to the music scene as a hobby for many people. Whether it’s listening to vinyl records, finding old records at thrift stores, or just trying something new to give your LP collection some character, turntables have come a long way.
One accessory that you can use to make the experience even more authentic is a slipmat – a thin mat placed on your turntable platter, which has no foam padding or ridges underneath.
If you have ever listened to a vinyl record before, you know what they sound like when they are floating on top of the slipmat without actually touching the grooves of the record. Many people claim that acrylic slipmats make a huge difference, and it’s worth investing in some for your records.
In this article, we’ll cover whether or not you should buy an acrylic slipmat for your turntable.
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Are acrylic turntable mats worth it?
While using an acrylic turntable mat alone is not going to dramatically change the sound quality of your records, after investing in a high-quality turntable, preamp, and speakers, an acrylic turntable mat is a cheap and effective way to ensure you’re pulling every last ounce of quality out of your setup.
Acrylic is a stiffer material, meaning the vibrations created by the needle are transmitted more efficiently through your records. This in turn prevents static in the record grooves, which can cause pops in playback or even damage to your needle.
While using an acrylic mat may not be beneficial to all turntables, it will certainly aid any turntables that may be experiencing skipping or static issues.
Reasons to buy an acrylic turntable mat
If you are serious about turntables or have invested enough money to own an expensive turntable setup, it is definitely worth the investment to buy an acrylic turntable mat for your records.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to buy an acrylic turntable mat:
1: Improved sound quality
While there is some controversy over if acrylic turntable mats improve sound quality over their cork counterparts, if you’re still using the stock felt or a rubber platter mat on your system, an acrylic turntable mat will certainly improve the fidelity of your music.
In doing some research for our own purchases, we referenced Nazz Noamd’s video on acrylic vs. non-acrylic turntable mats. He too mentions noticeable sound improvements, stating that acrylic slipmat can produce a tighter bass response, which for the money, makes it a worthy upgrade for many systems.
2: Controls static and prevents records from sticking
While upgrading your turntable mat to cork can improve sound quality, it does tend to create much more static electricity than acrylic mats. This means that your records may often stick and/ or pull up the mat when removing them after playback.
Not only is this extremely annoying, but it can potentially damage the other side of your record.
For the same price, it’s worth it to purchase an acrylic mat that attracts less static electricity and prevents this issue.
3: Visuals & Design
While is it is a personal preference, acrylic turntable mats come and a variety of colors to match and turntable or room. To keep a stock look, use a clear or black turntable mat, but for some added flair you can purchase these in blue, green, or orange!
Best Acrylic Turntable Mats
Now that we’ve covered some of the main reasons why you might choose acrylic vs. another turntable mat, here are a few of our favorites:
Hudson Hi-Fi Acrylic Turntable Mats
Hudson Hi-Fi is the premier company when it comes to acrylic turntable mats. Their pricing is competitive with the competition and you can purchase a mat in virtually any color. For less than $25, an acrylic turntable mat is an amazing improvement for the money.
Colored acrylic turntable mat
Black or transparent acrylic turntable mat
In conclusion, the material of your turntable mat is dependent on your turntable setup. While you can get away with using the stock felt or rubber slipmat, if you’ve heavily invested in your setup, it might be a good idea to make this improvement. Not to mention being able to incorporate your favorite color within your turntable itself!
Lead Editor / Owner
After beginning his career in the video and audio recording industry, Andrew started HiFi Hippo to share his knowledge and passion for vinyl and vintage audio with other readers.