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Here we highlight some key points about the mats that are produced by Analog Restorations. This information can be similar to what you will see and read from other manufacturers. We can't speak for them, however, we can tell you exactly what it is we do and furthermore explain what it means. We want to take what is essentially empty words and give them meaning. In doing so we hope to educate the consumer on exactly what it is they are deciding to spend their money on. This not only ensures proper expectations but we equally think that its the most fair way to treat a customer.
With that being said we encourage you to read the non-abridged version in the "about us and our cork" section. We are warning you now that its a much longer read.
All of our mats are handmade using our very own cork. This proprietary cork has been developed to be virtually free of almost all gaps and voids. We can say with 100% certainty that this cork is imported direct from Portugal to our manufacturer in the US. We know this because we are not buying it as a middle company and are involved in every step of the process. Almost all cork comes from Portugal, so do not let simply "Portuguese Cork" lead you to believe its automatically quality. We go into detail on this in our "About our Cork" section
The production of this cork has allowed us to achieve a consistently and controlled dense construction with no disparity between the granules. Interestingly, this difference can actually be felt as our mats are actually heavier then some mats twice as thick. When being processed it is cut from a block directly into a sheet. This method insures the flattest possible mat as it eliminates any roll memory (very common in natural cork) that the cork otherwise would have retained from being in a cylinder or roll. To have it manufactured this way is much more costly and typically avoided by many other manufacturers. Prior to each mat being cut in a quality controlled, low production process, the new sheet is sanded on both sides to further ensure the exact thickness, consistency, and eliminate any lingering disparity in the structure.
The end result is a mat designed for proper dampening and audio replication, with a suede like surface.
Each mat is made to order and goes through a several stage process ensuring every mat meets our highest standards. This includes special processes to prepare the cork as well as a post process to lock in the color and clarity of each image. These steps not only allow us to deliver on what we are promising but ensure consistency in every mat we make.
Prior to being precision cut to 11.9", the surface of the cork is sanded to meet a consistent 0.15" (3.8mm) thickness. This makes certain that every mat is not only the exact same, but it also provides a totally smooth surface. This suede-like surface removes any unseen tiny gaps and spaces in the construction of the cork where dirt and dust can hide, as well as making a truly ideal surface to apply an image. If we did not have our newly developed cork, a proprietary cork for Analog Restorations, we frankly would not be able to do this. The granule construction in almost any other cork makes it virtually impossible to do so. How do we know this? Well, we tried of course. It wasn't until the development of this new cork that we were finally able to offer this unique and truly smooth surface. We believe there is no other cork platter mat quite like it. It has allowed us to not only have something really unique but it has pushed the capabilities on ensuring a crisp, clean, and highly detailed image.
The proper preparation of the mat surface, that suede-like feel, keeps your records abrasion free. Additionally it also builds the proper foundation for a really fantastic image application. But it doesn't stop there. Each image is dyed into the surface of the cork so that the surface remains perfectly smooth. Each mat then goes through a post process that really makes the colors and clarity pop, locking in these colors for the life of the mat. These special processes allow Analog Restorations to stand above the rest, not only providing the consumer with the best quality mat but also providing some of the larger names in audio as well. We go into more detail here under the Sublimation section in "About our Cork" section. We told you we were trying to keep it short here.
Aside form our large selection of our own designs, if you don't see what you like, we will make it for you. Send any artwork or ideas to email@example.com and we will mock up your very own mat for you. Did we mention that is no additional cost?
We specifically chose diameter of 11.9" and a thickness of 0.15" (3.8mm). The diameter of the mat allows the proper overhang of the record, eliminating the belief on the need for a recessed label area. It also allows the record to be picked up off the platter mat without removing, by accident, the entire platter mat with it. This was a very common annoyance when using 12" platter mats (most commonly found in other mats).
The thickness of each mat, in combination with our density, is really adequate for proper dampening, without over-dampening or under-dampening. It also is the proper thickness to accommodate a tremendously large amount of turntables, even those without a VTA adjustment. The thickness falls perfectly within the threshold of proper VTA range for the fidelity capabilities of most tables. This mat also requires no additional change in tracking setup making it truly "plug-and-play". Remove your old mat, place this mat on the platter, and continue your normal playback routine.
If you aren't happy with your mat, at any point in its ownership, drop us a line. We will replace your mat for any defect or craftsmanship issue that keeps you from enjoying the mat.