Steve Harris

Hi-Fi News & Record Review

April 1998

Analogue-minded readers will have noticed another plug for the paper-and-cork Ringmat in JMH's March issue review of the Ghibaldani Domus turntable. I've also been a Ringmat believer for some time now, using one on a Roksan Xerxes.

Now, the Roksan platter is one of the few in which the centre area is recessed to give clearance for the label section of the record: this is always slightly thicker than the rest of the disc. So other, flat, turntable platters tend to contact only the label area, unless a lot of clamping pressure is applied. I'm sure that Linn, if asked, would come up with a convincing explanation of why its own flat platter was best, but the Roksan recess always seemed logical enough to me. Roksan's felt mat son of sags into the centre, leaving the grooved parts in contact. With the Ringmat, the record is supported only by a series of concentric cork rings, the innermost of which is at well outside the edge of the label; so the platter centre would not seem to matter. However, on a Roksan, the inner ring is not ideally supported because of the centre void.

So Ringmat Developments has launched a special edition (or rather addition) which literally fills the gap. This consists of two discs of spongy black material 125mm in diameter and with a combined thickness of 4mm. At the risk of admitting a dereliction of duty, I confess that I haven't really worked out whether the it's significant which way up the discs go (their two surfaces are different) but I'm certain that the things work. The benefits of the Ringmat really come to fruition, with a further degree of tactile realism, a greater firmness and accessibility to the sound. It all just goes to show that there really is more in the grooves to be dug out and, no matter how futile it may seem in this digital age, that we can still go on enhancing our enjoyment of those old vinyl treasures. If you're a Roksan owner, ring Ringmat. The number is +44 (0) 1729 823 873.




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