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Misc. Photo

 

Ringmat 330 MKIII

1) 

above photo #1: Ringmat 330 mkII on a Thorens TD125LB.

2) Rngmt330MKIII.jpg (42387 bytes) click on thumbnail to view full size image.

above photo #2: Bottom side of Ringmat.  Notice that the outer two rings are spaced to straddle the ring on the opposite side.  When the record is placed on top, the weight load will stretch the paper between the upper and lower rings creating a suspension.

 

4)

above photo #4: Side view of the Ringmat shows paper substrate sandwiched between upper and lower cork rings.

Thanks to Serge Roch for these pictures of his Thorens and Ringmat.  Very useful.

The Ringmat Patent

Ringmat Developments has a patent on their design with the European Patent Office.  If you want to get a sense their design philosophy, this patent will describe in detail the rationale behind this platter mat.  Link here: http://l2.espacenet.com/espacenet/viewer?PN=GB2256303&CY=gb&LG=en&DB=EPD

I have copied this patent and display it here for reader convenience.  The patent concept drawings say much about how this mat works.

 patent drawings, figures 1,2 and 3

 patent drawings, figures 4 and 5.

RECORD PLAYER MATS

Patent Number: GB2256303

Publication date: 1992-12-02

Inventor(s): ROGERS JOHN DAVID MICHAEL; MORECROFT DENIS NEIL

Applicant(s): ROGERS JOHN DAVID MICHAEL (GB); MORECROFT DENIS NEIL (GB)

Requested Patent: GB2256303

Application Number: GB19920009953 19920508

Priority Number(s): GB19910010058 19910509

IPC Classification: G11B3/61

EC Classification: G11B19/20A1

Equivalents:

 

Abstract

 

A record player mat 1 for supporting a record 4 on the platter 2 of a record player is adapted to support the record 4 such that a substantial proportion of the playing area of the underside of the record 4 is not in contact with the mat 1 so that noise energy in the record 4 is dissipated in the air space 6 between the record 4 and the platter 2. The mat, which may be made from paper, cardboard, felt, leather, cork, rubberised cork or plastics, may be disc shaped, and have one or more ring shaped support members on each side thereof.

Data supplied from the esp@cenet database - l2

 

Description

RECORD PLAYER MATS

This invention relates to record player mats and to record players incorporating such mats. It relates more especially to record player mats for supporting, e.g. a vinyl record on the platter or turntable of a record player.

There are currently two schools of thought on the subject of the ideal record support for accurate replay of the vinyl record used in an audio system. Both endeavour to overcome the vibration problems caused by unwanted energy from both the tracing stylus and the sound pressure waves in the room. This unwanted energy causes the stylus to move in a way which is unrelated to the original signal and the accuracy of reproduction is reduced. On method is to try to simulate the conditions in which the record was originally cut by clamping the record to a solid, heavy surface which will hold it still, prevent any movement and therefore allow perfect reproduction of the information in the record grooves. Another method is to allow movement to occur but to try and arrange that it is as inaudible as possible.

The first method is not ideal because it is extremely difficult to stop vibration energy in any material. In practice the energy will always be changed in form or reflected back into the system from which it originated. The second method is more practical but it has not yet been properly designed in a total system approach.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved form of record player mat which can be used in conventional record players or as part of a total system approach and which enables the affects of unwanted vibration energy to be reduced.

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a record player mat for supporting a record when positioned thereon, said mat being adapted to support said record such that a substantial proportion of the playing area of the side of the record which is in contact with said mat is not in contact with said mat.

In one preferred arrangement for carrying out the said one aspect of the invention, it is arranged that the mat is of disc shaped form adapted to support said record in a central portion thereof, whereby the outer portion of said record which includes a substantial proportion of said playing area is not in contact with said mat.

In another preferred arrangement for carrying out the said one aspect of the invention, it is arranged that the mat comprises a disc shaped substrate having a ring shaped support member thereon for supporting the record.

It may be arranged that said disc shaped substrate has a ring shaped support member on each side thereof, and more preferably said disc shaped substrate has a pair of spaced apart ring shaped support members on an underside thereof, the ring shaped support member on the top side thereof overlying the space between said pair of spaced apart ring shaped members.

It may conveniently be arranged that said disc shaped substrate has two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members on the underside thereof and two ring shaped support members on the top side thereof, one of said two ring shaped support members overlying the space between one of said two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members and the other of said two ring shaped support members overlying the space between the other of the said two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members.

It may be arranged that the disc shaped mat is fabricated from felt, leather, cork, rubberised cork, cloth, plastics or any other suitable material, and may be of air or fluid filled form.

It may be arranged that the disc shaped substrate is fabricated from paper, cardboard, felt, leather, cork, rubberised cork, plastics or other suitable material, and said ring shaped support member or members may be fabricated of rubberised cork, plastics or other suitable material.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is provided a record player comprising a platter or turntable adapted to receive a record to be played and a mat in accordance with said one aspect of the present invention provided on said platter or turntable for supporting said record.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of supporting a record to be played in which a mat or other support is provided on which the record is positioned such that a substantial proportion of the playing area of the side of the record which is in contact with said mat or other support is not in contact therewith.

Some exemplary embodiments of the invention will now be described reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figs. 1 and 2 are plan and side views respectively of a record player mat in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic side view illustrating the record player mat of Figs. 1 and 2 supporting a record on a record player platter;

Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic side view illustrating a record player mat in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention supporting a record on a record player platter; and

Fig. 5 is a plan view of the arrangement of Fig. 4 with the record removed.

The embodiments of the invention to be described are based on the realisation that a record to be played, e.g. a vinyl disc, must be supported in a manner which allows movement but the majority of the movement must be outside the audio band. The movement that occurs should be as free as possible from structural resonances within the record material or anything attached to it including its support mat. The record support mat must generate the minimum noise whilst absorbing the movement and dissipating the unwanted energy. Existing mats offer various degrees of energy absorption but they also generate substantial amounts of noise close to the tracing stylus.It has now been appreciated that since normal vinyl records are stiff enough to be self-supporting, it is possible to provide a record support mat which supports the record but which allows all or at least a very substantial part of the playing area i.e. the grooved part, of the record to be clear of the mat i.e.

adjacent an air space so that any noise energy in the record is dissipated in the air which is in contact with the record.

In the embodiment of the invention depicted in

Figs. 1 to 3 of the drawings, a record player mat 1 is of disc shaped form having an area which substantially corresponds to the label area of a normal 12 inch record e.g. typically of 10 cm. diameter, and having a thickness of typically 3 mm.

As depicted in Fig. 3, the record player mat 1 is positioned on the turntable or platter 2 of a record player with the centre spindle 3 thereof extending centrally through it, and a vinyl record 4 is positioned on and supported by the mat 1. The size of the mat 1 is arranged to substantially correspond to that of the record label 5.so that a very substantial part of the playing area e.g. the grooved area of the underside of the record 4, i.e. the side in contact with the mat 1, is not in contact with the mat 1 so that an air space 6 is provided between the record 4 and the top surface of the platter 2.

The thickness of the mat 1 is conveniently arranged such that the record 4 is at the same height relative to the platter 2 had a conventional mat been used and the material of the mat 1 is chosen so as to be lossy in transmitting vibrational energy and quiet when in contact with a vibrating surface. As has already been mentioned, the provision of the air space 6 in the vicinity of the playing area of the record 4 allows any noise energy in the record 4 to be dissipated in the air adjacent the record 4. Typically the material of the mat may be felt in any suitable grade, soft leather, soft cork, rubberised cork, suitable cloth materials, plastics or other suitable material.

In Figs. 4 and 5 of the drawings there is depicted an alternative construction of record player mat 1.

The mat 1 of Figs. 4 and 5 comprises a disc shaped substrate 7 having on the underside thereof a pair of concentrically spaced apart lower supporting rings 8 and on the upper side thereof a single supporting ring 9, the upper supporting ring 9 being located so that it overlies the space 10 between the lower supporting rings 8.

As depicted in Fig. 4, the mat 1 is positioned on the platter 2 of a record player with the lower supporting rings 8 in contact with the top surface thereof and the record 4 is positioned on the mat 1 so that it is supported on the upper supporting ring 9.

In this way an air space 6 is provided both between the record 4 and the substrate 7 of the mat 1 and between the substrate 7 and the top surface of the platter 2.

In practice the upper ring 9 would be arranged so that it contacted part of the playing surface of the underside of the record 4, but it is dimensioned such that a very substantial part of the playing area of the record 4 is not in contact with the mat 1. Thus noise energy in the record 4 can be dissipated in the air space 6 as in the embodiment of Figs. 1 to 3. In addition, it is found that the disposition of the upper ring 9 and the lower rings 8 on the substrate 7 of the mat 1 causes unwanted energy in the record 4 to produce a rippling effect in the substrate 7 of the mat 1 which dissipates the unwanted energy without moving the record significantly from the point of view of the tracing stylus (not shown) of the record player.

The record player mat 1 of Figs. 4 and 5 operates by absorbing energy from the record 4 whilst minimising record movement. Normally the record 4, which vibrates as a result of input of energy from the tracing stylus (not shown), will move in its resonant modes and the movement causes extra stylus deflection which is error information. The mat 1 provides an impedance match transferring the unwanted vibration energy into its own structure and dissipates the energy into the air space 6 underneath the record 4. The dimensions and the material of the mat 1 may be chosen to suit any particular application. Materials such as paper, cardboard, felt, leather, cork, rubberised cork, plastics or other suitable material may be used for the substrate 7 and rubberised cork, plastics or other suitable material may be used for the supporting rings 8 and 9.

In some arrangements it may be advantageous to provide a record player mat 1 which comprises two or more pairs of lower supporting rings 8 and corresponding upper supporting rings 9, in order to provide additional support for the record 4 whilst still maintaining a substantial proportion of the playing area of the record free of contact with the mat 1.

Also, although the configuration of two lower supporting rings 8 and one upper supporting ring 9 is to be preferred, other ring configurations could be used.

The method of energy absorption in the mat 1 of

Figs. 4 and 5 distinguishes it from conventional record supports in that it does not introduce noise onto the underside of the record during operation. Harder conventional mats fail to absorb the energy in the record and allow reflected energy to dominate the replay surface. Felt mats generate noise in the record. The concept of minimal contact area allows the mat 1 to move to dissipate vibration energy without moving the record.

Although in the embodiments which have been described a mat separate from the platter has been proposed, it is envisaged that a platter may be provided effectively with a built-in mat, i.e. with a top surface which replicates at least to some extent the characteristics of a mat as described, thereby making the provision of a separate mat unnecessary.

Data supplied from the esp@cenet database - l2

 

CLAIMS

1. A record. player mat for supporting a record when positioned thereon, said mat being adapted to support said record such that a substantial proportion of the playing area of the side of the record which is in contact with said mat is not in contact with said mat.

2. A mat as claimed in claim 1, which is of disc shaped form adapted to support said record in a central portion thereof, whereby the outer portion of said record which includes a substantial proportion of said playing area is not in contact with said mat.

3. A mat as claimed in claim 1, comprising a disc shaped substrate having a ring shaped support member thereon for supporting said record.

4. A mat as claimed in claim 3, in which said disc shaped substrate has a ring shaped support member on each side thereof.

5. A mat a-s claimed in claim 4, in which said disc shaped substrate has a pair of spaced apart ring shaped support members on an underside thereof, the ring shaped support member on the top side thereof overlying the space between said pair of spaced apart ring shaped members.

6. A mat as claimed in claim 5, in which said disc shaped substrate has two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members on the underside thereof, and two ring shaped support members on the top side thereof, one of said two ring shaped support members overlying the space between one of said two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members and the other of said two ring shaped support members overlying the space between the other of the said two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members.

7. A mat as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, fabricated from felt, leather, cork, rubberised cork, cloth or plastics material.

8. A mat as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, of air or fluid filled form.

9. A mat as claimed in any of claims 3 to 6, in which said disc shaped substrate is fabricated from paper, cardboard, felt, leather, cork, rubberised cork or plastics material.

10. A mat as claimed in any of claims 3 to 6 or 9, in which said ring shaped support member or members are fabricated of rubberised cork or plastics material.

11. A mat substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

12. A record player comprising a platter or turntable adapted to receive a record to be played, and a mat as claimed in any preceding claim provided on said platter or turntable for supporting said record.

13. A method of supporting a record to be played, in which a mat or other support is provided on which the record is positioned such that a substantial proportion of the playing area of the side of the record which is in contact with said mat or other support is not in contact therewith.

Amendments to the claims have been filed as follows

1. A record. player mat for supporting a record on the platter of a record player, said mat comprising a disc shaped substrate having a ring shaped support member on each side thereof for contacting the record and the platter respectively, whereby in use an air space is provided between said substrate and the record and between said substrate and the platter over a substantial proportion of the substrate area.

2. A mat as claimed in claim 1, in which said disc shaped substrate has a pair of spaced apart ring shaped support members on an underside thereof, the ring shaped support member on the top side thereof overlying the space between said pair of spaced apart ring shaped members.

3. A mat as claimed in claim 2, in which the ring shaped support member on the top side of said substrate overlies only part of the space between the pair of spaced apart ring shaped support members on the underside of said substrate.

4. A mat as claimed in claim 2 or claim 3, in which said disc shaped substrate has two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members on the underside thereof, and two ring shaped support members on the top side thereof, one of said two ring shaped support members overlying the space between one of said two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members and the other of said two ring shaped support members overlying the space between the other of the said two pairs of spaced apart ring shaped support members.

5. A mat as claimed in any preceding claim, in which said disc shaped substrate is fabricated from paper, cardboard, felt, leather, cork, rubberised cork or plastics material.

6. A mat as claimed in any preceding claim, in which said ring shaped support members are fabricated of rubberised cork or plastics material.

7. A mat substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to Figs. 4 and 5 of the accompanying drawings.

8. A record player comprising a platter or turntable adapted to receive a record to be played, and a mat as claimed in any preceding claim provided on said platter or turntable for supporting said record.

Data supplied from the esp@cenet database - l2