After reading countless positive reviews of the Butter Rugs online and after my beloved 90s RUN-DMC slipmats finally wore through, I decided to take the plunge into the 21st century and invest the cash.
The first thing I noticed about the Rugs when I opened the packet was how thin these things are. I thought I'd received an empty record sleeve in error! They're around the thickness of grease-proof paper and seem to be made from tightly-woven threads. Certainly not what I was expecting but maybe I'm just old-fashioned.
When I came to put them onto my 1210s I was perturbed to discover that the hole on the centre of the mats wasn't large enough to accommodate the centre pin. With a conventional slipmat this wouldn't have been much of an issue but since the Butter Rugs don't stretch in any way it was a seriously tight squeeze to get them onto the platters and I felt that I had to slightly damage the fabric to get them to fit. It strikes me as the kind of fabric that would fray very easily so this was far from ideal.
As all scratch DJs know, developing a feel for your equipment and how much force is required to manipulate the vinyl in certain ways is essential and to begin with I found the Butter Rugs to be too far out of my comfort zone to be useable. They are so thin and have so little give that it feels like there's nothing between the platter and record at all and anyone who's ever managed to make that mistake will know that it doesn't feel good. Saying that, because there's so little give in these mats, you're going to really struggle to make a well set-up cartridge skip. I use Shure M44-7s on Technics 1210s and they stuck like glue with no wobble from the mats at all. Another thing that I found very difficult to get used to is just how slippery these things really are. Other than the rumble of the platter because of the thinness of the mats, it felt like my records were floating on air. A quick backwards flick with conventional slipmats turned into a full-on jungle-style rewind with the Butter Rugs! When I play out DJing, it's all scratching and beat-juggling and I found the Butter Rugs to be just far too slippery to be accurate. When at home, beat-matching my old DnB singles, the Butter Rugs made much more sense. Smooth as silk and no rumble from the platter under a light touch.
Overall, I don't like the Butter Rugs. They're not what I'm used to and I have no desire to change. For scratching, I found them far too slippery but for mixing they're a lot better. I'd still recommend a conventional slipmat on top though. Also, I can't see these things lasting 15 years like my last mats did. They're already fraying around the edges and for the money, that's disappointing.