Recommendation for a mat to use with the PWT

I have several different cd mats. My favorite is mat that I purchased from Herbies Audio Lab. However none of the mats that i currently have seem to work with the PWT. Whenever I play a cd with a mat, the PWT makes a lot of noise - a buzzing sound. The cd also gets very warm to touch once I open the tray. I am surprized the Herbie’s mat does not work because it is just a thin layer of silicone-based viscoelastic that has adhesive that you stick onto the cd. Anotherwards, the mat is not loose on the cd.

I do feel I need to use something that work with the PWT. Otherwise I feel I may end up damaging the machine. Would appreciate any recommendations from folks who have successfully used a mat. Thanks

denwenz said

I do feel I need to use something that work with the PWT.

Why do you feel a mat is necessary with the PWT?

CD treatments, mats and the like are used in hope they will make a transport read the datastream off of a CD more accurately.

However, the PWT works by rereading a CD until the read is accurate and places this datastream into a buffer which is then reclocked and sent to the DAC. How do you think a mat will improve this already accurate read of the datastream?

I understand that in theory the PWT should not benefit from the use of a mat. However I find that when I have used a mat with the PWT, i hear greater depth to the soundstage, greater overall texture to the music, and less glare. The reduction in glare is particularly appreciated. So I am wondering if the design of the PWT prevents the use of mats or might I have an issue that needs repair since I am unable to use a mat without there being excessive noise coming from the transport.

It is an Asus PC DVD drive. Anything that works with a PC drive should be fine.

My guess is that the CD is no longer reasonable balanced with the mat in place (such as Herbie’s stick-on mat) and the noise and heat is from the motor and head mechanism going nuts, or that the drive does not have a clamping mechanism as contemplated by non-stick mat designers.

I strongly doubt anything is wrong with the drive.

I am amazed the sound is improved with the drive acting as you describe.

Playing the devil’s advocate: the issue probably isn’t jitter as much as smoothing out the angular velocity and hence (perhaps) the spikes in the current draw from the motor. This will change both the RF and the noise on the power lines, etc.

Thanks Elk for your response-what you say makes sense to me-can you think of any tricks I could use to balance the the cd with the herbie’s stiick on mat in place?

A wonderful and viable hypothesis for weighted mats, but what about the thin nearly weightless mats - and the polishes/coatings and pens which subjectively provide the same results?

Of course, they may all work differently. But I find the hypothesis that CD treatments and mats help the laser read the datastream more accurately - thus calling upon lesser sounding error correction less - more appealing.

Hybrid SACDs are heavier. Does the Redbook layer of a hybrid SACD sound better than the same Redbook recording on a standalone CD? If smoothing out the spin of a disk presents as better sound, a hybrid SACD Redbook layer should sound better.

In the case at hand: Given the noise and heat denwenz’s PWT drive is exhibiting, I doubt the disc’s rotation is being smoothed in any fashion. :)

Denwenz: A thought: the extra weight of a hybrid SACD should reveal if there is something odd going on with the drive in your PWT. They are both thicker and heavier. If it works fine, I would further suspect a balance/slipping issue with your mats.

Thanks Elk-your posts have been helpful to me

My PWT seems to be very sensitive to discs that are imperfectly balanced or have center holes that are slightly off-center or too large. Discs like this will play but cause the transport to make a lot of noise. I suspect that the mat you are using shifts a bit during playing resulting in a slightly out-of-balance disc.

Recall that the drive in your PWT is not a standard audio CD player transport and may subject your discs to much higher RPMs than CD mats are designed for. The heat and bad sounds are your PWT’s not so subtle hints that you’re making it very cranky!

this is my experience with the use of mat on PWT.

i used to use Marigo 3d on all the other cd player i have (both integrated and cd transport), Nakamichi 1000, teac VRDS, DVD nechanism, etc. etc. every time i used it i found it very usefull and could ear the difference and improvements.

with PWT, simply there is no changment at all on my system…so decided not to use with it