CD Mat

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CD Mat

Anyone fancy one of these?

 

I came across this on another site (mainly devoted to classical music). One of the posters said: "But I probably fell back in love with CD after trialling the latest version of the Marigo CD Mat over Christmas: which had such a startlingly addictive upgrading effect on my vintage Marantz transport I wanted to listen to nothing else for weeks..."

 

It's only £179

Don`t waste your money.There

Don`t waste your money.There are several "used"mats for sale.That would indicate that the owners thought this product a fail.I checked YouTube and found an upload by some Italian fellow(less than a minute long)and he doesn`t even do an A-B comparison!! 

I read the thingie. I still

I read the thingie. I still don't understand what it does.....

A different opinion

I happened to be googling and somehow stumbled upon Gramophone Forum again. Curious I checked some posts and came upon this thread. Honestly I don't get people who call certain things waste of money, snake oil, etc.. without their own personal experience, but simply based on their own skewed assumptions.

I have a direct experience in the very CD mat Jane is talking about. And my personal experience with Marigo's owner Ron Hedrich was only positive. My perception then was that he was a nice, conscientious gentleman. I called him and ordered the mat under the agreement of 30 day return/refund. When I got it and tried it, 2 things were clear: it definitely made the difference - each thread of music was more separated. Yet I preferred the old way in my setting most of the time. And the mat was very thin it felt like an adventure to remove it from the top of my CD. I was constantly worried that I might scratch the CD inadvertently. And when I contacted Ron, he agreed to the refund without any hesitation. And when he got the mat back, he did promptly. Marigo Lab is a reputable company in its niche and for me their price is quite high. But it is quite understandable. Since they cannot expect to sell their product in big quantity their each profit margin has to be big. To be in the high end market rather than in the mass market is their decision. That doesn't mean their products are waste of money or snake oil. In fact I am using one of the old reference power cables, bought used under $100, on one of my CD players and being appreciative of its well-balanced presentation. You know there are expensive watches and automobiles to name just a couple and they are serving their particular niche and customers.

I am not here to change or persuade any one with the different preconception of his/her own. I know it is useless and waste of time to argue about this kind of thing based on my previous experience. But Jane started the thread and asked, so here is my answer.

DDG

I appreciate your reply,

I appreciate your reply, Botari. The person I quoted at the outset (the one from a different forum) is no fool and I often follow her advice on different recordings etc. I admit that I was amazed that she had spent so much money on a mat, but she absolutely swears by it.......

Subjective value

Jane, 

I think value is subjective.  I am sure to the other lady it was only £179, well worth spending. Also I am almost certain that you have something in your possession she might consider unnecessarily overpriced.

DDG

botari wrote: I am almost

botari wrote:

I am almost certain that you have something in your possession she might consider unnecessarily overpriced.

No doubt you are right! 

What about NAS drive users?

For those of use who have already uploaded our CD collection on to a NAS drive in FLAC format (indistinguishable from the 16/44.1 CD source) and checked against one of the various online databases that we had achieved a bit-perfect copy each time we uploaded a CD, I am wondering what could possibly be gained by the use of a CD mat.

 

An interesting experiment would be to perform an upload to a NAS drive with the CD mat in place in the CD-ROM drive and see if that method also resulted in a bit-perfect copy. If it did, then by definition the mat made no difference and is snake oil. If it did not, then the mat would be causing a (deleterious, as data on the CD was being lost) potentially audible effect.

Roderick

Roderick2 wrote: An

Roderick2 wrote:

An interesting experiment would be to perform an upload to a NAS drive with the CD mat in place in the CD-ROM drive and see if that method also resulted in a bit-perfect copy. If it did, then by definition the mat made no difference and is snake oil. If it did not, then the mat would be causing a (deleterious, as data on the CD was being lost) potentially audible effect.

I am sure you are right........The problem, especially for people with limited technical/scientific knowledge, is that this way of thinking is just not "mainstream" in the hifi world. It is hard for many to believe in such a broad spread of dishonesty and/or technical ignorance. I mean, if a CD player costs £3000, it must sound better than one that costs £300. Right?

And all this is "backed up" by an impressive sounding kind of semi-pseudo-science which talks about jitter and clocks and so on. For a layperson, its all a bit bewelidering and on the surface you can easily wonder if there isn't something to all this expensive gadgetry after all. This, for instance, is from "stereophile":

Not that long ago, digital audio was considered perfect if all the bits could be stored and retrieved without data errors. If the data coming off the disc were the same as what went on the disc, how could there be a sound-quality difference with the same digital/analog converter? This "bits is bits" mentality scoffs at sonic differences between CD transports, digital interfaces, and CD tweaks. Because none of these products or devices affects the pattern of ones and zeros recovered from the disc, any differences must be purely in the listener's imagination. After all, they argued, a copy of a computer program runs just as well as the original.

As our knowledge of digital audio has become more sophisticated, however, we've learned that the timing of those ones and zeros is of utmost importance. It isn't enough to get the bits right; those bits have to be converted back into music with the same timing reference as when the music was first digitized. It turns out that timing errors in the picosecond (ps) range—the time it takes light to travel inches—can audibly degrade digitally reproduced music. These timing errors—called jitter—are only now beginning to be understood.......

Let's not re-open this can of worms

Indeed. I would argue that the differences between different CD players and other hifi components are negligible and almost certainly insignificant in the digital domain. In other words a stream of bits = a stream of bits. The whole of digital technology, from the internet to computers to hifi to self-driving cars, etc, has been designed to be rugged and robust and to ensure that data can be transferred safely and without corruption. It's what happens during and after the conversion of digital audio data to distortion-prone analogue that can/does make an audible difference.

 

Attaching a mat to a CD in a CD player can have no effect simply because the process of reading data from a CD occurs entirely in the robust digital domain. 

Roderick

There's more

Jane,

 

As a follow-up, yes of course a $30,000 CD player will sound better to you than a much cheaper player if you expect it to. It's the effect of confirmation bias.

 

And surely the supposedly audible effect of trivial levels of jitter on the digital audio signal has been debunked years ago, despite what Sterophile and its peers with expensive equipment to promote may say. In my experience, reliable (as in double-blind, repeated several times) audio reviews in those publications are like hens' teeth. I'm still laughing about the allegedly audible differences between computer hard drives.

Roderick

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