RINGMAT STATMAT

 

 

 

Neville Roberts

Hi-Fi World

October 2008

RINGMAT CDi BLUE STATMAT
" ... it's one of those unfathomable gadgets that clearly make an audible difference. The soundstage becomes more open, while image placement gets a little more precise. Instrument timbre becomes subtly more authentic, especially the piano. The other area where the CDi Statmat scores is in its ability to unclutter the soundstage. On pieces of music where there's a lot going on such as with a full orchestra, instruments can merge together, particularly in the louder passages - but the Statmat reduces this tendency, seeming to tighten their positioning up. At just under £35, the CDi Blue Statmat is a great value for money tweak ..."

 

 

 

 

 

Letter from a customer, Mr. Richard Wynne-Jones, concerning his experiences using our Statmat CDi Blue – December, 2003. See News page 06/01/2004

"Dear Angela

The CDi Blue arrived very quickly. It's taken me until now to audition it.

Well, you and John do deliver on your promises. Not always guaranteed in the world of hi-fi!!

I have listened to the same CD's as the last test and a few more favourites and would agree that the 'Blue' is most interesting. At first hearing I was aghast to realise that I had reached the point where the bare bones of a recording (and, dare I admit, my system!) where being displayed before me. I have an old CD (1992) from EMI France with the Violinist Christian Ferras (Debussy Violin Sonata) and the tape hiss from the analogue recording session (late 1950's I think) is now so 'present' that its un-playable. The point about revealing the recording limitations was most applicable when comparing, say, Deutsche Gramophon (DG) with Decca and EMI. To listen to DG analogue and digital from any era has been described in America's Audiophile Magazine as having the sound put through a mincer! There are exceptions (Karajan's Sibelius 4 and 7, which are astounding) but the Blue has certainly brought this home to me. A contrary experience has been the Decca recordings of Britten by the composer. In the 'Young Person's Guide etc.' circa 1963 the recording using the Blue has incredible presence. You can actually hear the Welshman Osian Ellis (Principal Harp LSO) turn his pages and others making polite extraneous noises. What was once a slightly 'mushy' opening fanfare is now clear and secure and the double bass solo is so lifelike as to be breathtaking. You can even make out the action of the slides on the bass trombones!

The ‘from beginning to end test' was 'Glorious John' Barbarolli's performance of Mahler's 9th with the Berlin Philharmonic (EMI). I realise it's old (1964) and recorded in analogue (R Kinloch Anderson at the Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin) and I have the old CD (not the Great Recordings 'makeovers') but the Blue can still deliver? Incidentally, Sir John arrived in Berlin to discover the Berliners had never played Mahler before (1964!!). So he made them play it backwards (in terms of movements!). They recorded the last movement first. So from its hesitant start with stuttering strings, muted horns and harp I sat thoroughly engaged. One strength of this recording is the bustling Rondo Burlesque (3rd Movement) with gambolling double basses and incisive, rasping French horns doing a rondo! Well this turned out better than before and I am now convinced that the CDi and in turn the Blue makes one 'more aware' and in turn 'more involved'. This was particularly the case when the piccolo takes over the descending theme from the basses and for once you get the impression Gustav Mahler did have a keen sense of humour!! This leads straight into the long adagio taken faster by Barbarolli than any other recording. It opens with a fff glissando string theme and how the Berliners throw themselves at this (their first taste of an exotic dish!). Well the CDi Blue just opens it up. The double basses are still firmer and the brass separation even at fff is splendid. Before the horns (back left stage) could merge centre stage with the other brass (middle right stage) squeezing out the winds. Well the warring factions were kept apart! At the end I felt that the playback had been a new and engaging experience (which means I've got 400 CDs to re-listen to!!).

Incidentally the above tests were run with the CDi MkII beneath the back right hand foot of the pre-amp stage immediately below the power input module as I judged this the most sensitive component in the string. The position of the CDi MkII was as it would be if playing a CD relative to the direction of the CD tray. I will try the same set up but on the CD transport just for fun!

Best wishes and, again, thanks for a great product!!

Richard"

 

 

 

 

 

What Hi*Fi? Sound and Vision
January 2004

Statmat CDi Blue
Ultimate Guide to Home Cinema 2004
In the Ultimate Guide, the Verdict reads:

 

"Place the Statmat on a movie disc in your DVD player and marvel at the sharper images and tighter sound."

 

"You will notice a boost in detail levels and bass weight. It also works with DVD discs, where images are sharper and the sound is tighter and contains more information. We even tried it on a computer CD-ROM drive - and that sounded better, too. In short, this (is) one very effective piece of floppy blue plastic."

 

 

 

 

 

Cue & Review Audio Magazine

 


Below are links to audio captures of a review of the Statmat CDi Blue from Cue & Review Audio Magazine. We have provided three levels of quality, and thereby file sizes. Use whichever quality \ file size best fits the speed of your internet connection. Each file is MP3 format. It should be noted that compression is particularly high at the lowest quality and this is of course not representative of the improvement in audio quality that can be gained from the Statmat CDi Blue. Please click on a link below to hear the review.

 

128Kbps MP3 Stream (6.6MB)

DOWNLOAD

 

192Kbps MP3 Stream (9.9MB)

DOWNLOAD

 

320Kbps MP3 Stream (16.6MB)

DOWNLOAD

N.B.
If you have a low bandwidth web connection (i.e. modem connection) it may be advisable to download one the files to your hard drive by right clicking over the link and selecting Save Target As... This will enable you to download the file, once on your hard drive it can be played back through your media player by double clicking on the file.

 

 

 

 

 

Deon Schoeman
Audio Video South Africa
April 2002

IMPRESSIONS/CD ACCESSORIES
Hocus-pocus hi-fi - CD Statmat CDi Blue


The latest, improved version of the puzzling CD Statmat tweak I last saw two years ago and raved about, is known as the Statmat CDi Blue, and like the first model, it’s been designed to address the build-up of static inside a CD player that can muddy the sound and blur detail. However, instead of a single-layered piece of film, the CDi Blue consists of two mirror-image film discs, fixed at 90 degrees on either side of a blue polyester substrate.

The mysterious cut-outs and conductive ink patterns are still in place, but the CDi Blue is thicker and therefore easier to handle. It’s still placed on top of the CD, with the correct side facing upwards, before the CD player’s transport drawer is closed.

My enthusiasm for the Statmat is a matter of record. But the CDi Blue takes the sonic benefits a further step forward, providing levels of improvement which are very difficult to equate with the seemingly low-tech device itself.

The sonic traits between the two are similar - more weight and authority, enhanced resolution, greater realism - but the impact of the CDi Blue is simply more concentrated, more marked than its single-layer stablemate. Tonally, the bass certainly gained further in depth and impetus, while pace and control consistently scored higher marks, too.

The CDi Blue was also more effective at unravelling complex passages, introducing a crystal quality to pieces that were less than distinct before. Most importantly, though, the cohesion and musical integrity of the performances benefited throughout.

This time round, one of the biggest surprises was the impact on visual quality. DVD images appeared smoother and better resolved, with a broader range of tonal hues and sharply focused detail. Shadow detail also benefited, while tonal richness was achieved without any over-saturation.

Thanks to an ever-weakening Rand, the CD Statmat CDi Blue doesn’t come cheap. But when measured against the improvements achieved, the value factor becomes the final, clinching reason for purchase. That it works equally well in DVD and CD players means that, now, you’ll have to buy two!

VERDICT Strange-but-true device tweaks CD playback to quite brilliant levels. This latest version even better than the original.

 

 

 

 

 

Roy Gregory

hi-fi+ Issue 15

Jan/Feb 2002

Extracts from First UK review of CDi Blue Statmat
AUDIO SMORGASBORD
Kind Of Blue The Statmat Reincarnate

 

The Statmat has long been a favourite accessory amongst the Plus reviewing staff. I use one; DA uses one; JMH uses one; DD uses one. Even Simon the photographer uses one. The effects are far from subtle and entirely positive, even if the explanation for them is far from clear. ...

The standard Statmat adds so much weight, space, focus and low level detail to the music that it sounds hopelessly anaemic and plasticy without it. Using ‘Tenderness On The Block’ as an example (Shawn Colvin Fat City Columbia CK 47122) the finger snaps and tambourine that open the track have far more body and detail, while the guitars and voice are far more solid, weighty and rounded. The sense of space between the instruments and overall focus are massively improved. It’s exactly the sort of richness and resolution that so many listeners love about a decent record player.

Moving up to the Blue Statmat the improvement over the standard version is more subtle but in many respects more fundamental. ... because less of the improvement is tonal and has more to do with spatial coherence and resolution. The instruments and soundstage now move completely free of the speakers, each image being significantly better proportioned and far more precisely located in the depth plane. That might not sound like much but listen to a few discs, revert to the standard version and see if you want to live with the lack of solidity and musical coherence that results. ... the CDi Blue delivers full value and is just as highly recommended as the original.

 

 

 

 

 

Deon Schoeman
Audio Video South Africa
September 2000

impressions
CD STATMAT MkII CDi
Magical?

 

Ringmat Developments will be known to many turntable users, including myself, who have found the company’s unusual sonic enhancement kit for turntables both effective and quite miraculous in terms of opening up the soundstage, reducing the noise floor and lifting out detail.

Now there’s a product for CD players and transports, too. The CD Statmat is probably the most unlikely upgrade you’ll ever consider for your CD player – until you try it, and hear just what this little device can do.

Packaged in a cardboard sleeve similar in size to a CD jewel box, the CD Statmat is nothing more than a CD sized, thin piece of vinyl film with some black patterns and cut outs. It’s placed on the top of the disc itself, with the patterns located in a specific configuration, where it remains once the drawer is closed and playback commences.

Ringmat Developments says that the CD Statmat controls electrostatic interference by dispersing low voltage hot spots which usually build up during playback, thus providing a clearer sonic picture. Yes, I was also rather sceptical, but like a good reviewer went about conducting a series of comparisons.

Does it work? Yes, undoubtedly. On one of my favourite demo discs, Roger Waters’ Amused to Death, the already abundant details became clearer and better defined, while staging appeared to be more generous and better dimensioned than before. Tonally, the lower frequencies appeared to benefit most, with added oomph and thrust to the equation.

Most importantly, however, the music was more communicative and more involving, which in the case of this disc’s quite complex recording allowed a substantially enhanced listening experience.

The only negative comment is a practical one; handling the flimsy Statmat requires care, and it needs to flattened between the pages of a thick book on a regular basis to ensure that it doesn’t become stuck in the innards of the CD player.

For the rest, the results are pure magic. Whether you believe in the theory behind it or not, approach this unusual tweak with an open mind, and enjoy the difference it makes!

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Ayers

Hi-Fi+

April/May 2000

The Charge Of The Static Brigade
 

"Barking mad? Well that certainly how I felt when I embarked on this little comparative test, but perhaps I should start from the beginning.

It all began when I was visiting the Vienna High-end '99 show. During the course of a system demonstration by Phonosophie, I was surprised to find that the sound of the system was much enhanced after the disc was placed under a running water tap and then dried. ... At this stage I should point out that I had no idea until after I had heard the improvements what it was that had actually been done to the system, or rather the disc. ... Later experimentation at home showed this effect to be demonstrable to others. ... it's clear that the whole issue of CD static deserves looking at. A quick conflab with 'R Ed' and we had a plan of action; get together a number of anti-static products and see what their effect would be, singly and cumulatively. ...

What quickly became apparent was that all of the products produced the same effects as described in last issue's review, albeit to varying degrees - presumably reflecting their effectiveness. There was a clear pecking order, and some of the products produced a cumulative effect when used together. Water had the least and shortest overall effect. Next came the Zerostat, followed by ECO 3. The clear winner was the Statmat. ... in the sound for pound equation I don't think I've come across anything better."

Also see this TNT article.

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Ayers

Hi-Fi+

Feb/March 2000

Audio Smorgasbord
 

"Feeling extremely cruel, I first tried 'Selling Jesus' by Skunk Anansie from their first album. This is an extremely loud, almost thrash metal track with lots of heavy guitars. I've been quite disappointed with the rhythmic reproduction of this track recently. The emphasis is supposed to be heavily on the first beat of the bar, but it just wasn't happening. Using the Statmat really set things to rights, and the effect wasn't subtle.

Moving on to ... the Peter Hammill album This.. Once again, using the mat improved the sound in a number of ways, especially in terms of the attack of the piano notes. ... With the mat in play the weighting of the notes was far clearer and each hammer hit with a clean true tone. Both impact and decay were much more natural, and Hammill's tonal inflections were also greatly improved. ... Without the mat, the struck notes sounded like they were distorting through my system, but with the mat not only was this effect almost totally removed, but also you could discern the remaining piano strings 'singing along' with the played note - fascinating.

Despite all the above, the biggest difference I heard was when listening to the Richard Thompson album Mock Tudor reviewed last month. ... With the mat added to the system the soundstage instantly grew in depth and width, and the bass became deeper and clearer. The shape and the tone of the various guitars became much easier to determine, and the sibilance on Thompson's voice was much more natural, and the overall rhythm became much more coherent. On this track the differences with and without the mat were so easy to hear that I couldn't believe it."

Postscript

In the next issue of Hi-Fi+, the following postscript was added:

"What I didn't mention in the original article is that I use a Trichord CD transport and DAC, and that the transport is based on one of the Pioneer models, complete with stable mechanism. This type of mechanism is like a CD sized turntable, on which the CD sits, silver side up, and is read from above. In this type of player the Statmat sits upside down on the platter, sandwiched between it and the CD. I had no chance to try it out on a conventional mechanism, but since then 'R Ed' has experimented further, and discovered that the effect is as great if not greater in conventional transports."

 

 

 

 

 

Bjarne Jensen
High Fidelity No.1
1999
Translation:
Bibi Thostrup

STATMAT MkII
First Review of Statmat in Denmark

 

Appearances are deceptive...
We have tested the Statmat, a surprising CD accessory, the price of which seems unreasonable in relation its looks, but appearances are deceptive...

The first thought that comes to mind, when you first come across a Statmat, is that this must be a genuine hi-fi swindle. At least, that was my thought as I unpacked and held it in my hand, having ordered one from England and duly paid by credit card. The fact is that the Statmat is a piece of circular plastic film with small holes and sprayed with special conductive ink. It weighs 0.3 gram, so you have to be careful not to crease it.

In short, I was very sceptical as I placed it on a CD and started listening. But honestly, my scepticism was soon put to shame, because it keeps all its promises, and more.

Static
How does it work? Well, according to the producers, Ringmat Developments, a lot of static builds up when you play a CD, which sounds plausible, as a CD rotates with up to 600 rotations per minute in a closed space. Because of this, static builds up, which, according to the producer, ‘may cause up to 180 degrees of phase shift at certain frequencies, which is damaging to the sound.” In our opinion, it is quite unlikely that this explanation is scientifically valid, but this is totally unimportant anyway, as long as the Statmat works. The funny thing is, you see, that you hear the positive effect right from the first note, but by then not much static could have built up on the CD.

Music
But now, some musical examples with and without the Statmat:

C.V. Jørgensen: “It is Evident”.

Without: The initial bongo drums sound a bit muffled, the vocalist’s “s” sounds are a bit “hissy”, and the bass booms.

With: The bongo drums are now quite distinct, the “s” sounds have fallen into place, and the chords of the bass are now audible. Besides, the acoustics are now suddenly reproduced much more precisely.

Knut Reiersrud: “Blues power - Part I” from High Fidelity Reference CD No. 36.

Without: The bass is a bit rumbling, the rendering of the vocalists a bit muffled; it is hard to hear how big the choir is.

With: The bass is more distinct and the vocalists have a far greater presence, with a lot more detail, not least in the choirs. The applause, which almost disappeared before, is now quite clear.

Widor: Toccata from Symphony No. 5. Ben van Oosten. MDG.

Without: You get a feeling of a large room and enormously deep organ tones, which are, however, a bit indistinct.

With: It is now very clear that this cathedral has an extremely high ceiling, as well as great length. The deepest organ pipes now carry much more weight and firmness.

Beethoven: The Ruins of Athens, European Chamber Orchestra, directed by Harnoncourt, from High Fidelity Reference CD No. 36.

Without: A warm and pleasant sound, but a bit unclear.

With: Now you hear the size of the concert hall, the contra-basses are more distinct, and the violins and wind instruments have a warmer, more natural sound.

I could carry on like this, as it is a fact that every single CD gives considerably better sound with a Statmat. In short, the reproduction is more precise, the instruments have a more natural sound, and the voices are more distinct. The contrasts in the music are clearer, and you get a feeling of increased dynamics. There is also a total harmony in the acoustic image, which you would not think could be created by digital reproduction. In short, this 0.3 gram plastic mat has an amazing effect.

On various systems
If you have to make a comparison, which readers of this magazine might understand, the difference is almost like going from a fairly unclear magnetic pick-up to a super moving coil, but here we are talking about quite a different kind of investment.

Finally, somebody might think that these improvements are only valid on my system, where the CD player is a Holfi Xandra VLE (i.e. very limited edition), but, luckily, this is not the case. I actually asked my friends to test it on five systems at various price levels. The conclusion, everywhere, was that the above mentioned improvements were also noticeable on these systems, and although the cheapest ones naturally did not suddenly sound as good as the more expensive systems, there was a pronounced improvement. In fact, everybody who has heard the Statmat intends to order it from England. However, by the time you read this, there is a chance that the Statmat can be purchased in Danish shops.

Conclusion
This is pure voodoo. There is, actually, no reason for it working, and we do not give any guarantees, either. And, as always with these types of gizmo, you have to be wary of frauds. But once you have played your CD’s using a Statmat, there is a great risk that you will continue to do so. The English price for a Statmat of £20 may seem almost ridiculous in comparison with its appearance, but it is still one of the best investments in equipment or accessories that we have seen for a long time.

Click here for further news comment on this review...

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher Breunig
Hi-Fi News & Record Review
January 1998

"Don't ask me how John Rogers of Ringmat Developments arrives at the strange patterns and cut-outs on his Statmat - maybe he was a Pharaoh in an earlier incarnation.... The subjective effect is to improve the focus of instruments and voice positions within the soundstage; perceptions of timbre and phrasing nuance are also enhanced. The sound is at once 'smoother' yet more informative, defining the ambient setting of recordings more sharply and making speech or song more articulate and precise. Once the ear latches onto these changes, you'll automatically reach for the Statmat before listening to any CD."

 

 

 

 

 

Ketan Bharadia & Jon Marks
Hi-Fi World
January 1998

"..The Statmat actually works rather well. Using it is very simple - just place it oh top of the disc the correct way up (This Way Up is helpfully written on the plastic to help you) and play the CD as normal. The effect that Statmat has on the sound varies in degree from disc to disc but the biggest change is in the treble, which becomes clearer and more detailed while the rest of the sound gets more dynamic. The bass end firms up a tad too and the sense of rhythm improves. "

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Ong
HEJ 24
February/March 1998

"Wow! Music which was already good in my system now sounded great with Statmat. With Statmat and in the correct phase, there is more air in midrange as if a veil was lifted - the slight stickiness (caused by a shift in phase according to Ringmat Developments) that was there previously is now gone. Treble definition and separation have improved and music sounded crispier. In the correct absolute phase, vocals appear in front of the instruments - an excellent track to check this out is Rickie Lee Jones singing Easy Money, bass was tighter and sibilance diminished. Bass used to be sluggish - too full and notes dragged - and lacked good definition. It is now cleaner and bouncy. The improved sense of rhythm and timing came naturally with the air cleared. Cleaner presentation gave better ambience and reflection... .To audiophiles, I recommend that you try the Statmat out. I am glad I did.."

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Hughes
Hi-Fl Choice
December 1997

"..What I heard was impressive, though Statmat is a tricky product to compare on an A/B basis, as it seems to have a temporary conditioning effect on both disc and player The kind of improvement made by Statmat is hard to describe in a few words. The sound isn't just smoother, sweeter or sharper. Rather, the music itself seems to change, becoming rhythmically more cohesive, and altogether more purposeful and coherent. Statmat increases the sense of depth and space around voices and instruments, expanding dynamic range to give more light and shade, so tonal colours are subtler and more varied."

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher Breunig
Hi-Fi News & Record Review
November 1997

".. Listening extensively myself, and trying the Statmat effect on others I now instinctively use the device all the time... Indeed, the Statmat, makes the spoken word more articulate and clearer in inflections (and therefore instrumental sounds too), and gives phrasing and timing in music a more natural, non-fatiguing character...."

 

 

 

 

 

Fidel T Beauson
SUN Malaysia
Wednesday July 22 1996

"The introduction of Statmat on to any CD galvanises a once-sloppy musical ensemble into producing a stronger, more lively and organised performance all round. Vocalists appear to have improved breathing technique because they actually sing when pre-Statmat they might have been mealy mouthed. They take control of their voices, projecting lyrics with greater force. In hi-fl terms, vocals gain in strength and focus, remaining stable in their chosen spot on the soundstage and appearing bigger without being larger than life. In fact, these observations are true for any leading instrument; whether human voice, guitar or piano. Strumming and plucking technique are more resolute and pianos sound like their strings are attached to sturdier frames of wood. In clearer tones, notes do not swim into each other. The immediately noticeable difference is of a louder sound, and this paradoxically, is partly because the level of electronic background noise which all hi-fi imparts to music, is lowered. With the lower noise floor, dynamic range - the difference in level between the softest and loudest sounds - is greater, and incidental sounds such as fingers sliding across a fretboard become clearer, thus adding to the authenticity of the reproduced musical experience."
 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW

 

 

 

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