I'm wondering if the difference in our experiences with the Herbie's “Way Excellent Mat II” has more to do with the Groovetracer reference sub-platter you have installed in your Rega than with any system-dependent variances. Groovetracer makes a convincing argument that their sub-platter assembly effectively decouples the platter from the spindle assembly and therefore from the plinth. So, that in your P5 with the reference sub-platter installed, the dampening qualities of Herbie’s Mat provide too much “decoupling”, creating the effects you describe. The fact is that many of the same qualities I have heard discussed regarding the benefits of Groovetracer’s sub-platter, I can say about the Way Excellent Mat (in particular the quieting/lowering of the noise floor). If you can remember (unfortunately our ears are notoriously poor at remembering the various qualities of a sound-which is way double blind listening with precise volume equalization is vitally important in any subjective listening analysis) what your P5 sounded like before the sub-platter upgrade? Perhaps we are talking the same language. I have the Groovetracer sub-platter on my list of potential upgrades, so this would be an interesting addition to this conversation.
Good thinking, nabil!
You may very well be right about this.
Before I installed the Groovetracer Subplatter I found the Rega a bit to nervous and out of focus. It had the speed, dynamics and "live" feeling that I didn't get from my CDs, but at the same time it was more noisy and lacking in precision.
After installing I found the sound to be more CD-like (in a positive way), the noisefloor dropped conciderably and the sound very much in focus.
All of the three upgrades made my P5 sound "better". Tighter, more focused and with the sound of control.
I will not say that it took away "The Sound of Rega", just that it improved the not so good aspects of the sound.
To me the Herbie's Mat is making the sound too tamed, in the mids and highs. The bass is actually a step up in detail and definition.
And yes, maybe this effect could be very welcome if I didn't install the subplatter (and TT-PSU)?
I'm also asking myself if it only needs some getting used to before I enjoy the changes brought from the Herbie's?
Thanks for the good input, nabil!