I love inventions that make so much obvious sense that you think, “damn, how come no one thought of this before?”
These Dr. Suzuki “Donuts” slipmats for 7″ elegantly solve the most basic challenge of DJing with 45s: how to cue/scratch with the same ease of mixing with 12″ records. Anyone who’s tried this with a standard 7″ adapter knows that it’s tricky, especially since there’s often just enough “give” between the record and adapter that the stylus might jump if you push too hard (and given that you’re about half the way closer to the center, it’s also easy to over-torque on your cues).
The other problem too is that if you’re working with American and British-pressed singles, you have the problem of trying to switch between adapters made for so-called “dinked” records (aka “big hole”) and spindle-hole 7″s; almost everything in the U.S. is big hole but British singles seem all to be made for standard spindles. That makes otherwise good 45 slipmats like Matsmats and the Twister impossible to use.1
The solution that the Donuts mats come up with is so simple, it’s genius: it’s a mat that sits on top of any normal 12″ (preferably one you don’t care that much about) and then you place your 45 on top of that, with whatever adapter you use (or don’t, if it has a spindle hole), you can then use the 12″ to cue back and forth and the 45 moves in exact precision.2 It’s like cueing with a 45rpm disco 12″, more or less. Absolutely brilliant.
The only problem with these is finding ’em. I ordered mine from Stokyo but they’re now out of stock (and then upped the price from $25 to $35 for the pair). Turntable Lab hasn’t had them in stock for what seems like months and I haven’t found any other U.S. retailers who have them in stock. You could order from Japan but the shipping would add another $10, at least.
- The upside to the Twister slipmats is that they are absolutely perfect to use when cleaning 7″s with a VPI. ↩
- This is another problem with the Twister; 45s don’t really “stick” that well to the pad they sit on. If you sharply cue back and forth, the 45 sometimes “slips” and doesn’t move in proportion to where the platter itself moves. ↩