APM (Advanced Platter Mat) by Funk
In the groove, the stylus accelerates at more than 20,000g – like sonar this pile-drives vibrations into the disc. At a boundary change, vinyl to felt/rubber/metal, the vibrations reflect to the stylus. It reads them and creates new error signals, which we hear as colouration. The mat is the only component in contact with the disc so it’s actually the ONLY tool we have to absorb the energy away from the stylus.
The mat’s role elevated from “just a mat” to critical, and, it can only do this if its correctly designed. I.e. if it mimics the disc’s characteristics.
Achromat was developed so it doesn’t reflect vibrations but accepts them in, where there are millions of tiny internal bubbles. As the walls flex, this dissipates energy. Clever stuff. It’s also static-free.
For two decades Achromat’s done a great job. The development of Isolation Bubble has resulted in ever more decks to improve and this has put more extreme demands on the mat.
Platters on so millions of decks are flimsy affairs and ring very badly - Hold the platter with one finger and tap! Guilty of this are: All 1970 platters, 1200’s platters and similar – PLX 100 and Reloops, and modern lower cost decks – Audio Technica AT120X, Dual 250 and so on. It’s a long list.
There you have it. Built-in obsolescence. Nrmally you face trashing these decks, which is a tragedy. All these decks, modern and 1970s are essentially well designed -= they have good bearings, stable motors and a consistent performance. The difficulty has been the need to overcome what till now has been a few but genuinely awkward obstacles. Do that and suddenly you'll have a deck with a rather good performance. The problems has remained and “Buy a new deck" has been the standard response”. Spending not enough only brings the same deck, but different. There’s a much better solution.
In 2014, Funk released Strata – a highly developed, very inert platter upgrade for the 1200. We were flattered when Technics copied by treating their 1200G / GAE SP10R models with a heavy brass plate - But it costs you £5k and upwards to join this group, showing Strata’s £850 to be a bargain.
This still left the millions of vintage and budget models already mentioned. Until now that is.
APM: Advanced Platter Mat. Glass bonded to Achromat – 7mm. Costing less than £200, the glass kills platter resonances so well on ALL the decks mentioned it matches if not exceeds the performance of the top Technics models. It then leaves tehm far behind because of Achromat makes - your records sound better on your deck than they do on theirs. APM is now supplied on all isolation Bubble kits as standard.