What makes a good Slipmat?
Cork Slipmats are one of the easiest upgrades you can make to your DJ set up. It has several advantages to the traditional felt that are most commonly used (and not to be mistaken for the rubber mats that come with most turntables out of the box). These benefits include reduced noise caused by static, reduced resonance from the metal platter, better isolation and a tighter more focussed playback.
SO what are Slipmats exactly?
They are simply a piece of material (felt, cork, or sometimes other things such as pieces of grease proof paper, which is put underneath the record to allow you to move the record back and forth, whilst the platter continues to move freely, at a consistent speed beneath the record. They allow you to stop, move and queue up a record, and then allow the record to play at a normal speed as soon as you release, so there is no interruption to your recordings or DJ sets.
Cork Vs Felt Vs Rubber
Turntables often come with felt slipmats as standard which are great in many ways as they are effective at reducing friction between your records and the platter of the turntable, they create a soft surface for the record to sit on, reducing potential vinyl damage and preventing scratches etc. However the negative side to felt mats are, that due to static they are magnetic to dust and they cause the records to cling to the mat.
If you are still using a felt Slipmats upgrading to cork is a simple way to improve your set up.
Pros: soft-surface; low friction (good for DJs).
Cons: attracts dust and static; low dampening ability; will not control stylus vibration.
At Reggae Roast we are big fans of cork Slipmats as they significantly improve sound quality by reducing resonance and improving contact. Cork Slipmats are less prone to static interference, reducing dust build up and to top it off are a natural sustainable material that's eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing to hold and look at.
The main advantage of Rubber mats is that that they isolate the records very well from vibrational interference, but the jury is still out on the pros and cons of this material. Rubber does offer excellent grip and durability, with some claiming a warmer sound. However, some audiophiles claim that rubber over-isolates the record resulting in increased audible static.
Pros: Reduction in vibration interference; superb grip and durability; deep warmer sound
Cons: Could over-isolate the record; may increase audible static.
In conclusion if you’re looking for a relatively cheap improvement to your home or DJ set up our we’d recommend upgrading to cork!
Check out our Selection of Cork Slipmats here!