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Nothing personal taken. Believe me, I had thought of that while writing the thread. I am as jaded and skeptical about just about every aspect of this hobby (tweaks and cables among the highest ranking in my rancor) when it comes to manufacturers, dealers and folks like us making wild claims. This is specifically why I had to make the post; I seriously cannot believe a friggin' mat can cause such a pleasing, ultra-precise and just more refined sound all-around. Hyperbole? Maybe. You might be onto something here; but in the past, almost every tweak or cable or whatever really only highlighted subtle differences in my system(s)...it was never night versus day — never. So, while the Auditorium mat isn't necessarily night & day, it is really quite noticeable.
As for WTA becoming (or maybe it's already here) a poster table for hyperbole, don't think I haven't thought of that, either. I'm comfortable with that, though. I mean, at least it isn't in the Linn canons of sonic truth. ;)
Long time, no hear ;)
I did, indeed. I concur that the textured/cross-patterned side might be the way to go. Now, I say this because I'm fairly convinced it really seemed to noticeably 'blacken' the noise floor. The 'table itself really lends to this quality on its own merit; it's one of its truly great strengths, but the Auditorium Mat just made backgrounds very still. Recording venues and the very space surrounding instruments were quite fleshed out; a little more so than with the stock mat or using the other side. So, comparing both sides with the same album made this quite apparent. It also brought harmonies (voices) forward, where applicable, in a very positive light. I could actually hear very distinct voices and how they differed from one another on material I am familiar with. So when voices are joined together, one can pick out who's doing what. On vocal choral, who knows? I haven't tried this yet. But on a four member band, instead of just hearing them 'smeared' together to hear voices on top of one another to create an 'oooooh', for instance, the textured side of the mat just seemed to transform this to the point where one could actually pinpoint the voices separately. I mean, it was just so cool. Hard to fathom, in fact.
you might have to replace it every couple of years as it can expand and contract over time and will change the performance envelope. ( as it does with a Linn feltmat )
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