Funk Firm Achromat: A Fantastic Budget Tweak
Your stylus accelerates at up to 20,000g; your groove walls are not so much caressed as pummeled like a jackhammer. Energy reflected from the bottom of the record (a mere 2mm thick) is sensed by the stylus and heard as coloration. Funk Firm Achromat is the ideal material to absorb energy from the record. Only 3-5mm thick, Achromat contains millions of tiny bubbles within complex pathways where the energy gets lost as heat, performing like a much thicker mat. Simple A-B comparisons demonstrate improved, subtle nuances and more
"Voices seem more natural and large ensembles of instruments are very
well-defined and differentiated. Bass is roughly similar in weight and
extension, but has less overhang and tonality is given a lift in
precision across the frequency range."
– Richard Black, Tech Radar, July 2009
"Substituting the Achromat for the original rubber mat brings about immediate improvements. That probably understates the differences...Ambience retrieval, soundstage depth and width, the distinct pitch of individual bass notes, immediately grab this listener's attention as vastly improved. Vocals sound more like real human voices than processed vocals. It becomes easier to follow individual instrument lines, which seem better separated from rest of the mix."
– Mark Wheeler, TNT Audio
Achromat 5mm is the standard recommended thickness, consistently tested and proven to be superior.
Achromat 3mm is recommended for tables with Rega or other arms with no VTA capability.