This disturbing color! This irritating yellow! Unacceptable! Stop. No more negative comments on this very special tool.
The Hexmat Yellow Bird belongs to the rare category “clever accessories at an affordable price”. The flat bright yellow Hexagon was developed by the Hungarian hi-fi engineer Zsolt Fajt. His idea: Especially with records, with their microscopically fine “data storage”, efficient vibration prevention or dissipation is absolutely essential for good sound. No arguing with that.
Fajt’s solution: His turntable support is designed to reduce the contact area between the record and the turntable to near zero. The Yellow Bird carries a large number of very small, comparatively widely spaced nubs on both sides. According to Fajt, the effective contact area between the platter and the record is now only one to two square millimeters, without affecting power transmission or drive torque. “The record almost floats,” Fajt says.
What initially sounds like marketing gobbledygook works amazingly well in real life. For approximately 140 euros, you can get very few turntable supports that influence the sound as audibly as the Hexmat Yellow Bird. The musical events immediately seem noticeably slimmer and more elegant, more transparent, more lucid when the yellow hexagon does its job. Regarding sound details, Hexmat does not take anything away, as one might assume. It cleans the sound up in an astonishing manner. The bass, for example, doesn’t become thinner, although one could easily get onto this slippery slope in the first few minutes of listening. Hexmat’s Yellow Bird takes out those subtle thickenings, those hints of loudness effects that, at least for me, have so far been quite obviously added by the turntable/record system.
About the test setup: Normally I operate my turntable from the german turntable manufacturer Clearaudio with no slipmat at all, fix the record with the simple but effective Clever Clamp and let the magnetic bearing and the sheer weight of the platter take over vibration control. Many slipmats I tested over the years had next to no effect on the sound, no matter if they were made of felt, leather, elaborated material mixes or even vinyl.
The Hungarian canary is different. It embodies a significant improvement. Not only does the bass come out of the speakers as crystal clear yet punchy as if the record washing machine had put in an extra shift – space and clarity also increase. Voices protrude more clearly and compellingly in front of the accompanying instruments – whether it’s a jazz piano and an upright bass, a big rock band or a whole orchestra, whether a roughvoiced bard like Sting laments about the “soul cages” or Hildegard Behrens evokes the “nuits d’été”. The unspectacularly served detail can keep up with any HiRes file. Seriously.
Conclusion: For me, the Hexmat Yellow Bird stays on the turntable. Period. And I don’t see the color anymore when a Longplayer covers it. Which will be the case more often now.
Turntable Platter Mat | Hexmat Yellow Bird | Price: around 140 € (order by e-mail directly from the manufacturer) | firstname.lastname@example.org