A couple of years ago, I was just browsing some audio sites, when I came across a photograph of a turntable. It was a turntable that I’d never seen before, and I was just taken aback at how beautiful the turntable was. I found out that it was a Garrard 301 turntable in a custom wooden base. The woodwork on the base was just absolutely stunning. Without question, the best finished, and best looking wood base I’ve ever seen, even to this day. I found out that the turntable base was manufactured by a company called Artisan Fidelity. The other thing which was very impressive, was the finish of the controls on that Gerrard 301 turntable, they were just gorgeous. It turns out that Artisan Fidelity also re-refurbishes, rebuilds and refinishes Garrard turntables. Not only Garrard turntables, but also other turntables like the Technics direct drives, Lenco, and Thorens.

I was so impressed with what I saw, in the photograph, as well as in the company’s website, that I decided to give the company a phone call. I spoke with the head honcho at Artisan Fidelity, Christopher Thornton. Chris was incredibly knowledgeable, very kindhearted, and extremely generous with his time and his information. I believe I spoke with him for well over 30 minutes, if I remember correctly. One of the reasons that I spoke with Chris for such a long time, was that, at that time, I had just purchased a used Technics SP-10mkii vintage turntable. Chris was so generous with his knowledge, as well as his advice on getting the most out of my new vintage turntable. One of the things that I noticed on his website is that his company manufactures a copper turntable mat. This mat can be used on many turntables, however it was specifically made for my current turntable, the Technics SP-10mkii. Artisan Fidelity also manufacturers an aluminum record weight. This is called the Universal Precision Record Clamp, which is not really a clamp, it is a record weight.

Many months past, but I never forgot about that copper turntable mat and aluminum weight. Eventually, I spoke with Chris about reviewing the copper turntable mat, as well as the aluminum record weight. And with his generosity, I got that opportunity.


One of the first things that I noticed about the copper mat, is how extremely well machined it was, it was very well made and finished. The same can be said about the record weight. And, the copper mat was very flat and even, with no warpage whatsoever. This is an important point, because I have seen another metal mat from another company which is no longer in business, and it had a very bad warp.

The mat was not only very well-made, but it was also very substantial, being relatively thick and heavy, it weighs 3.6 kg or 8 pounds 2 ounces. It was very well designed as well, there is a lip at the edge of the mat which covers the joint between the indent edge of the platter, and the edge of where the original rubber mat, or a normal mat would normally fit, into this indent on the platter. This is just great thinking and great design. With this design, you simply don’t see the joint/gap, at all.


There are many metal mats on the market. In the past, I have often wondered whether these mats, might have a hard and metallic sound. I can’t speak for other metal mats, only about the Artisan Fidelity Pure Copper mat. This copper mat does not sound metallic, whatsoever. It’s tonality is very neutral, with no part of the frequency range emphasized or recessed. On my system, in my room, through my preferences, the sound of this mat is very neutral, it sounds clear and transparent. If you are used to rubber mats or hard plastic mats, you might find the sound to be just a touch towards the accurate and transparent side of the spectrum. If you prefer a lush warm sound, this mat might not be ideal for you. However, for me and my system, this was a plus and a preference. The sound of this mat just simply sounds closer to real music, to me. If you like your sound a little more towards the warm and lush side, you could change the feet on your turntable, like I did, from Stillpoints to rubber feet or solid plastic feet. This change brought the tonality closer to the warm and musical side of things. For my ears, and in my system, the Pure Copper mat sounded more real with the Stillpoints feet under my turntable.

In the sub-bass and mid-bass region, this mat was excellent overall. It had exceptional low-bass and just the perfect amount of mid-bass so that the music did not sound thin or weak. It had good body.

The Pure Copper mat has a clarity and a transparency that makes music sound closer to real live music. This is especially true in the mid-range, where this mat has a wonderful combination of resolution, as well as musicality. Multiple voices and harmonies are separated and distinct, yet are also fully integrated into the music.

In the high frequencies, this mat has an excellent combination of producing an open, airy, and an ethereal high frequency range, with some energy and heft, as well. The high frequencies had some real energy and mass, something that is lacking in some audio products these days.

The attacks and the transients are quick, tight, fast, but are not thin and lean, they have mass and great body. The musical decays last longer than with other plastic hard mats that I’ve used in the past.

One of the great strengths of this mat is that it has great resolution and clarity. Significantly better resolution than the other hard plastic mats that I have used, including the excellent sounding Goldmund Relief Mat, which is now out of production. Voices sound clear and organic, drums sound like sticks hitting on skin.

This mat also does an excellent job at producing a wonderful soundstage that has good width, depth, and height. My Martin Logan Summit X loudspeakers just disappear, to a larger extend than before.

The musical pitch, pace and tempo of this mat, is another strong point. The Technics SP-10mkii direct-drive turntable is exceptional in its pace and pitch stability. Adding the Pure Copper mat on this table, improves it even more.

One of the unique things about this Pure Copper mat, which is very rewarding, is the way it reproduces the soundstage, especially the way that it projects, or extends this soundstage into the room, in front of the loudspeaker. For me personally, this helps create a better illusion that one is listening to real live music, as opposed to a reproduction.


I have owned the Goldmund Relief Mat for several decades, now. To the best of my knowledge, this hard plastic mat is no longer in production. It was regarded, and is still regarded by many people, to be one of the better hard plastic mats that has ever been made.

The sound of the Goldmund Mat is a little bit more dense/solid, with a little bit more body, a little bit more meat on the bone, one might say. We are not talking huge differences here, just small amounts. However, the soundstage on the Goldmund mat is not as wide, deep or as open. The detail and resolution is still there with the Goldmund mat, however the sound is just not as clear, open, or transparent as the Pure Copper mat. These small differences are very much system dependent, as well as preferences by the listener. Through my system and my ears, I prefer the greater clarity, and greater soundstage capabilities of the Pure Copper Mat. To me, I find that the music sounds closer to real-live music playing in front of me.


This record clamp is technically not a clamp, per se, but in fact, a record weight. Just like the Copper Mat, it is very well machined, very well made and finished. It is somewhat substantial, weighing 14 ounces, and is made from 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum.

Installing the record weight made a noticeable difference, and an improvement in the sound, overall.
There was a little bit more articulation to the music, especially in the bass range. The music was a little bit more focused, and a little bit more stable and steady. In my system, and through my ears, using the record weight produced a better overall sound to the music being played. It also provided a much more stable contact between the record and the mat, as well.


Both of these products from Artisan Fidelity, the Pure Copper Mat, as well as the Record Clamp, are first class products, in my opinion. They are very well thought out, designed, machined and finished. Sonically, both of these products improved the sound of my system, over what I was using previously. Of the two, the Copper Mat makes the biggest difference, in my experience. I would recommend that they be used together, as they produce a noticeable benefit when used as a team. The Copper Mat, in particular, has a rare combination of more clarity, transparency on the one hand, combined with the musicality and easy listening, on the other hand. This combination is very rare in audio, and when these two qualities are combined, it creates a great listening experience.

The price of the Copper Mat is $995, according to their website, which is not cheap, by any means. However, when you compare the price of this mat with some of the other metal mats out there, you will realize that the price is not out of line. If you look on eBay for some of the vintage Micro Seiki copper mats, the heavier ones are fetching prices in the $600-$900 range, with the condition and finish of these vintage mats being questionable. For example Micro Seiki CU180 and CU500 series vintage platter mats, were not actually made from pure Copper, they were originally made from Gunmetal alloy, a type of Bronze (Copper + Zinc + Tin) which as a raw material costs much less to fabricate directly in comparison to the pure Copper (99.98%) used in the Artisan Fidelity Precision Universal Record Mat.

For $995, you are getting a brand new, not used, copper mat, which is designed, manufactured, and finished to a very high level. Both the Copper Mat and Record Clamp are excellent, top quality products, which looks great, and sounds fabulous. Very highly recommended.

George Papadimitriou


- Precision Universal Copper platter mat - $995.00
- Universal Aircraft Aluminum Record Clamp - $249.00


Artisan Fidelity Precision Universal Copper platter mat.  

Record mat machined from a sold billet of high purity Copper with exacting aerospace flatness tolerances of .0004".  


Material - Pure High Purity Copper
Thickness - 6.35 mm
Weight - 3.6kgs. ~ 8lbs. 2oz.
Outside Diameter - 295 mm
Machined Surface Flatness Tolerance - .0004"
Center Label Recess - Yes 
Spindle Hole - Universal
Made in USA 

Artisan Fidelity Universal Aircraft Aluminum Record Clamp.  

Precision CNC milled from a solid billet of 6061 Aluminum.  Audibly improved clarity and focus across the board.


Material - 6061 - T6  Aircraft Aluminum
Weight - 14oz. 
Outside Diameter - 72mm
Spindle Hole Size - Universal 
Record Label Recess - Yes
Made in the USA


A R T I S A N  F I D E L I T Y