In the groove, the stylus accelerates at more than 20,000g – and this pile-drives vibrations into the disc. At a boundary change (from vinyl to felt/rubber/metal) these vibrations reflect, back and the stylus simply adds these new error signals to your music.
While you might think the record mat has only a “supporting” role, it is actually the ONLY tool we have to help us prevent these reflections, because it is the only other thing touching the disc near the stylus. Only the mat can absorb this unwanted reflected energy and keep it from the stylus. The mat’s role has just been elevated from “just a mat” to being critical.
It can only have the desired effect if correctly designed…if it mimics the disc’s characteristics. Static-free, Achromat has millions of tiny internal bubbles, whose walls flex, dissipating energy. Clever stuff. Compare it to Felt, Rubber, Metal, Glass, Carbon…. All are guilty of colouration – You can’t dodge physics!