Way Excellent II Turntable Mat


Reviews

Back to Way Excellent II


Name: Bob P, San Francisco, CA
Review: I have a fully upgraded Linn LP12. Keel, Radikal, Exos 2, Kandid, etc. I bought a Way Excellent Original mat about 6 years ago and had mixed results. I eventually went back to the Linn Felt mat after a year. A few months ago, I wanted to try the WE Mat again but can't find it so I decided to try the Way Excellent II mat.

I tried 5 different records last night to evaluate it. This is a definite upgrade from the Linn felt mat. The magical Linn midrange is still there with male and female vocals, plus a little more presence. Midrange A+. The biggest surprise was more separation of instruments that I attribute to less smearing. They came out of the background and were more discernible. I had to A-B the mats several times to believe what I was now hearing. Detail A+. Of course that extra detail helped the highs become more clear. Clear without glare or being etched. Smooth and clear highs.

The bottom end bass was a toss up. On some records, the WE II was definitely more controlled but on others, I couldn't tell the difference. That might be attributed to the recording itself. Bass B.

Overall, the WE II mat is better than the original. It is also a definite upgrade from the Linn Felt Mat. My entire system is very revealing but tubed for warmth. There was no doubt after the first needle drop that this was an improvement. $60 is the cheapest upgrade/tweak I've ever done to my system that had this much positive effect.

LINN should evaluate this mat at their home office on their top of the line LP12. If they don't hear the improvement, they are in denial.

Happy listening!

Update:

Three changes to my review:

1. I bought the WE Original in 2004, so that was 14 years ago.

2. I have now listened to 20 different records for evaluation. My evaluation of the mids and highs stays the same.

2. After listening to over 20 records, the bottom end is definitely better on the WE II vs. Linn Felt. So, the third paragraph should be as below:

The bottom end bass control was a pleasant surprise. The WE II mat has better control of the bass and differentiates the bass notes better than the Linn Felt mat. I can hear different bass notes and that made me sit up in surprise. Bass A.


Name: Steven Williams, Sandy, OR
Review: I put Tenderfoots under the power amp and DAC/Preamp, Soft Fat Dots under the turntable point/feet, and I changed to the Way Excellent II mat from the stock felt mat. The intent of putting absorption under the power amp and DAC/Pre is the size of the cases with sound pressure will vibrate the rack without absorption.

The mat grips better than the felt mat and should keep LP's from vibrating while spinning.

Using vibration software for the iPhone I tapped on the rack shelf while measuring on the rack shelf then on the turn table mat mid play point. There was a significant reduction in vibration peaks -- about 1/10th. No doubt that it helped. Also measured with the same song and got a definite reduction (was playing a CD). Yes, a little subjective for the scientists out there.

My Rega RP8 has a isolated frame for the dust cover. It had to be brought up to level to clear the arm with the Dots under the table's feet. I used felt pads. Also, measured a reduction on this frame but only about one-half less vibration -- so felt pads aren't as good as the dots.

Where it counts -- listening. It does seem that it is clearer across the spectrum. That is harder to discern as it sounded very good to start with.


Name: Henry Babenko, Aston, PA
Review: Wow, excellent mat. it really makes a difference in sound. so glad I got this.


Name: Ken Jarrell, Lubbock, TX
Review: I purchased an AT LP120-USB but wasn't happy with the felt mat. At first, I was wishing I had held onto my TTs of the past or at least their rubber mats, after realizing how difficult it was to find them. But after testing out the Way Excellent II-4mm mat, it is so much better than the rubber mats of old. The fit and added weight and balance to the platter is perfect and eliminates the bit of platter noise.


Name: Jack P, So. California
Review: I was undecided between the Way Excellent II and the Music Hall cork mat to replace the Non-Felt on my MMF-5. If I couldn't hear any difference I knew I could easily return the mat to Herbie so I tried his first. Difference!? Whether classical, jazz, folk or even pop the music is completely transparent and natural sounding against a quiet background. Sonics aside, it's Way Cool Looking too! Buy it without hesitation!


Name: Ernie Adams, Georgia
Review: Got the mat today. First impressions: more detail, a clarity to voices that is quite good. Bass seems better, with my actually now being able to hear the bass guitars string vibration. Before it was just a nice tight deep note. Now the note is still deep and tight, but I hear the actual vibration of the string. I know I have a good table, so this has just allowed it to reach its full potential. (Way Excellent II-2mm Turntable Mat replacing a Music Hall cork mat.)


Name: Gabe Walters, Washington, DC
Review: My mat arrived today and I have to tell you that I can't believe what a difference it's already made. Immediately I noticed that the noise floor of my Debut III has dropped to an inaudible level, where previously there was motor rumble. As you know, this is due to the mat decoupling the record from the platter. And because of your recessed label design, and materials used, the records play flat and with great definition. Transients have the right amount of attack, but don't splatter. The bass guitar and kick drum are present but focused, never flabby. Midrange instruments like piano, guitar and voice have all the warmth and presence one expects from vinyl. The snare snaps the way it should. The overall presentation is sublimely musical and it just coheres. I admit I was skeptical of spending this money on a mat, but am so glad I did. I can't imagine a better sounding upgrade for the money, and your product deserves all the accolades and hyperbole one can muster in its praise.


Name: David Massaro
Review: Dear Steve Herbelin,
I spoke with you on the phone last week regarding my Rega P5 with a Benz Micro SL Wood cartridge. You recommended your ‘Way Excellent II-2mm’ mat. I received it a few days ago and played it yesterday. I am very pleased and impressed with this mat. The background noise has been greatly reduced. Your mat is significantly better than the stock Rega felt mat, a carbon fiber mat I purchased, and a cork mat that I tried.
Thank you again!
David Massaro


Name: Pierre Terrier
Review: First off, great packaging and very nice personal touch by the owner in how he handles his business.

Now the mat: Keep in mind I listen mainly to late sixties and seventies rock of all kinds. That kind of music needs to sound vibrant to deliver a clean bright energy output to sound best to me. I have a basic pro-ject debut turntable with steel platter and after three days of testing the Herbie's mat verses a felt mat and a rubber mat I have come to the following conclusion:

The only way for me to get the 100% pure "rock" sound I need out of the Herbie's mat is to simply lay the record on the mat as gently as possible without applying any force to it whatsoever against the mat (like pushing down on the label to improve contact with the mat has a real negative effect with me as it muffles the sound big time, giving way too much of a dampening effect). From what I can see and feel it's because the mat has a suction cup effect on the record where when the record is forcefully pushed against the mat it literally gets absorbed into the mat. I mean it cuts down the clarity of the sound by a big margin. I personally would NEVER use a clamp or weight on a Herbie's mat as it produces a double dampening effect giving you a very dull sound overall missing out on all kinds of subtleties in the music.

In conclusion, by simply gently laying down the album on the mat and nothing else as I described, I experience a terrific overall sound, keeping all the clarity I want and adding the perfect amount of dampening to cut out unwanted resonance. This Herbie's mat is a real winner. It's way better than felt as it cleans easily when dirty, records never stick to the Herbie's like they do to felt and for pro-ject owners it's a no brainer as it is cut to the 280 mm required platter size and with the 2mm thickness no need to worry about not having a VTA on your turntable because it's not much thicker than the felt that comes stock on the pro-ject debut to make any difference. Thank you to Herbie, it took me a while and I was a bit frustrated at first but I finally figured out what works for me and I'm a content music lover. Happy listening!


Name: Michael Schroeder, Lehigh Acres, Florida
Review: I recently received your wonderful Way Excellent II 2mm turntable mat for my Rega/Moth Planar 2. I am Dee-lighted with the results! High frequencies are clearer and crisp, instruments and voices are better placed with a broader sense of space, and the lows have more clarity and authority. Wonderful improvement over the stock felt mat!


Name: Mike R., Washington, DC
Review: My only regret about the turntable mat I purchased from you recently is that I didn't purchase it sooner. I had been using a "none felt" mat on my Linn LP-12 and credit it with a subtle but still discernible improvement over the original felt mat. I was quite astounded when I replaced it with your mat. The improvement--deeper and tighter bass, cleaner and clearer mids--was more than subtle. Indeed, the improvement was what I might have expected by upgrading to a better cartridge.

Other products of yours that have improved my system include the square fat dots I also purchased from you recently and your tube dampers, which I bought some years ago and continue to use on my Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 pre-amp.


Name: Ed Kobesky, Positive Feedback Online
Review: Way excellent, indeed. Online review


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