Ringmat started out as the descriptive name of a product consisting of thin concentric cork rings stuck to both sides of a piece of stiff paper, like this model, the Ringmat 330 MkII XLR.

Since then the range has grown and there is now a whole Ringmat Support System available, in one go or piecemeal, plus various models of which this is broadly typical: others offer slightly different overall thicknesses and/or enhanced performance due to detail design differences.

The aim, we are told, is to support the record minimally, but in such a way as to break up and diffuse resonant modes – which sounds reasonable. Details about this, plus a huge amount of fascinating useful information for the vinyl tweaker, make the Ringmat website well worth a visit.

It's certainly true that the results this mat gives sound distinct from some other platters. Most noticeable, we felt, was the generally light and airy quality of the sound, with superb detail in the highest frequencies and a lovely open quality to ambience and subtle imaging cues.

This seems to be very consistent across applications, whatever turntable and platter material is used, though of course some of the turntable's own character still remains.

Slightly less consistent is the effect at lower frequencies. We did detect some slight coloration in the midrange, its precise quality and degree varying from one platter to another, while bass is clear, well defined and rhythmic but not always as deep as some supports may manage.

Other Ringmat products claim to address this last point.

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