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Common Questions About Turntable Slipmats

If you're a casual vinyl listener, then you may have never heard of or used a turntable slip mat. Unlike regular rubber mats, slipmats are purposefully designed to allow the record to slip back and forth when pressure is applied. These are specifically designed for DJs, and many different options can be found on eBay.

What are some common features of turntable slipmats?

Though slipmat designs and features differ depending on the manufacturer and producer, there are some common features that all slipmats share. These common features include:

  • Felt material: By far the best material for allowing records to slip yet stick when necessary is felt. Felt provides a soft surface that won't scratch the record when it's moving, but it also provides enough friction to keep the record spinning at the speed it's supposed to. When a DJ scratches or applies pressure to the record, the felt gives the record the same response each time.
  • Protection: A factor often overlooked by slip mat users is the protection of the records when on the turntable. Though scratching can be a destructive process, not using a properly fitted slip mat can destroy the records even faster. Therefore, all high-quality slipmats will properly fit records of most sizes.
  • Patterning: Most slipmats come with some sort of distinct patterning or branding. Though this does not directly help with scratching or playing records, it adds some flair to the DJ's setup, particularly when switching out a just-played record for a new one.
How do you pick the right slipmat?

If you're looking for slipmats, then there are a few factors to consider. First, you should consider the turntables you're currently using. Each turntable has slightly different parameters and features, so they may have slipmats optimized specifically for that model. After you've considered that, then you'll want to consider weight and feel of the slip mat. Heavier slipmats require more force to move, and different material mixtures can change the amount of force needed as well. Picking the right weight and feel comes down to personal preference, so it's recommended that you test out a few mats before purchasing to ensure that your mat you’re your preferences.

What can slipmats be used for?

Slipmats are primarily used for DJing with vinyl. This is because they allow for record scratching, stopping, and rewinding without destroying the record or removing the needle from the record. You can also use slipmats for regular vinyl listening, though this is not as common of a use.

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