HISTORY of HEXMAT
My name is Zsolt Fajt, I'm an entrepreneur from Budapest, Hungary with a technical background. Growing up, I have been inﬂuenced by my dad's deep knowledge and love of hi-ﬁ audio systems. I have learned to appreciate and respect my devices and understood the importance of developing my sound systems with courage in order to get the most out of them. This motivation led me to train myself as a sound engineer and build a recording-mixing studio in Budapest, with which I have had the opportunity to participate in numerous Hungarian and international productions. About 25 years ago, I purchased my ﬁrst turntable, a Thorens TD320 MK2, and that is how the "chase of sound” started. Newer turntables, cables, washers, weights, clamps, insulators, pickups, and so on, but in no way did we overcome the weaknesses we think of the original defects of vinyl. Among other things, the pronounced "hiss" phenomenon- the hissing of the recorded "Sh", "S", "Tz", "Ch" sounds-unstable basses, unstable visualisation of space, low volume tolerance, etc. I was pretty sure it was all a function of the environment and I felt that something basic was missing.
As a sound engineer, I know very well that recording, mixing and mastering recordings has been done according to a very precise set of rules since "ancient times", which guarantees that the release takes full advantage of that standard. In other words, I ﬁrmly believe that there is the same stable sound on the analog disc as I get in the digitalised format, but I am just unable to get that out of it. One thing to be aware of is that while listening to music, driving our system at a comfortable volume (which means that music can be heard through articulation at every point of a room), we bring enormous energy to the air. We make many cubic meters of air vibrate. This vibration passes through gaps, doors, windows, walls, so it's easy to imagine the amount of forces that are at work. Our air-related devices also receive this energy. This means that, after the ampliﬁcation process, the wave from the disc starts to travel off the loudspeaker at a speed of sound and, echoing from the features, returns to the device with some delay, which occurs as a vibration at the point of contact of the needle. Because it returns to the same wave it read milliseconds before, it will manifest as phase distortion, which increases exponentially with increasing volume and results in inaccurate groove tracking. Another important power system occurs at the point of contact of the needle. These are the gravity (needle pressure), the centripetal and centrifugal forces (these two are controlled by anti-skating) and the friction (due to the rotation of the disk and the position of the needle) to stop the disk. These are tremendous, well-deﬁned forces that occur at the interface between the needle and the disk at a few square microns. If these forces are properly balanced, groove tracking will be accurate. The physical rule of thumb is that as the weight increases, the vibrations on the device are better absorbed. Harmful vibrations can be independent of us (e.g. various drives, busy roadways in
front of the house, air corridor, etc. ...) and the vibrations we create when we listen to music. We expect heavy platforms, tens of pounds of plates on which we are almost trying to "melt" the record, to dampen the vibrations of the record to near "nothing". As I have traversed many branches of this road, I have felt more and more precisely that it is not the direction that we endlessly increase mass and surface, but the exact opposite. I tried to get the size of the contact surfaces close to zero. The total contact surface of a record is several decimetres square. Using the HEXMAT isolator, this surface is close to zero, just 1-2 square millimetres, and the disk is almost ﬂoating. This is, to say the least, an “endless” difference. With its internal structure and coating, the HEXMAT isolator isolates these damaging vibrations from the recorder, generating full power transfer between the platform and the disk, and utilises the vibration damping properties of the spherical form. The HEXMAT isolator is a clamping mechanism that separates the record from the vibrating mass it contacts and allows the vinyl to have its own fairly good damping properties. The sound extracted from the disc is thus accurate, the transients are strong, and the notes are clear, without any harmonic distortion. Also, details of the recorded sound that were previously covered due to distortion will become clear. Instrumental measurements prove that at -0.3 dB output control increases the volume by +0.2 dB on average. Although these measurements also showed that the dynamics of the sample had increased, this change in volume was inversely true of the "silences" of the recordings, as shown by the difference between the two end positions of the VU meter. Less noise due to more accurate groove tracking. The idea of the HEXMAT isolator was born in my head more than 15 years ago, but somehow it has always been overshadowed. Then changing circumstances provided an opportunity where I made the ﬁrst prototype and became
convinced it was working, which I had only suspected until that point. The past 3 years have been spent in further development. More than 100 prototypes were made with a variety of material compositions. Not to be exhaustive: a variety of polymers, stabilised wood species, tropical trees, industrial metals, ceramics, gold, silver, crystals, gemstones, various coatings, etc. During this time, we have experienced what works, what does not, what, how to produce it. The range of variations is almost inexhaustible. Because the combination of materials used has a dramatic impact on sound, we are planning to release several product variants. Our current product is a ﬁrst series entry-level device. HEXMAT isolator is manufactured in Budapest, Hungary. We manufacture and inspect each piece individually, so we can take responsibility for the quality of our product. The product is protected by an international patent.
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