The PS.40SE arrived safely and has been warming up for the last 2 days. I don’t think it needed to because already I can hear things I have never heard before with my Thales turntable. The sound now is mesmerising. The Lyra Kleos SL works so well with the PS.40RDT SE. I was a little worried because the output of the Lyra as you know is just 0.25mV. The Gryphon phono stage I had was a little noisy with the Lyra but this is silent with fantastic gain. Very very pleased with what I am now getting. I understand why you recommend VERY low output MCs and not medium to high outputs.
I am sure that the next few days will be even more remarkable for me. Thank you to team whest.
Thales Compact II turntable/ Thales Statement tonearm/ Lyra Kleos SL/ PS.40RDT SE
Phillipe Etienne – Stockholm Sweden
James and Sarah. I am sure this will be a first type of review for you here but I thought I would say why I am looking forward to getting my PS.30RDT SE (2021). My good friends Bernt and Georg bought to me their phono stages last week – PS.30RDT SE and a Audio Research PH9. Both were setup for 2 hours before we got to listening on my ZET1 turntable/ Groovemaster 10″ and Lyra Delos which I will be changing.
The Audio Research I have heard before in my system. I use a Graham Slee Accession MC which is OK but not great – read later on.
The Ps.30RDT SE was very new to me. We played the PH9 first against the Accession MC. As it should, the PH9 was very open and had a nice soundstage. Like the Graham Slee, the PH9 sounded like ‘hifi’ althouth the Graham Slee sounded like a toy, a starter type of phono stage.
But I must admit that every time I have heard the PH9 I have thought I would like to buy one.
The PS.30RDT SE was played next against the Graham Slee. 1 minute into playing the Graham Slee we decided not to play that again. The PS.30RDT SE was so far ahead of the Graham Slee it made us laugh. Then we put the PH9 on and still the PS.30RDT SE sounded far more detailed and open. We could also hear the instruments in a cleaner manner. We put the PH9 back on and we all noticed the sound stage got smaller but also more mushy/ congested.
So there we go. After a night of listening I decided quite firmly on the PS.30RDT SE without any reservations at all.
Now I just need to get it in my system when it arrives next week.
Transrotor ZET1/ Groovemaster 10″/ Lyra Delos (PS.30RDT SE and Audio Technica ART9XA soon)
Claude Mellier – Switzerland
Just got my TITAN Pro dialled in using my Lyra Etna SL on my TechDAS Air Force One Premium/ Breuer 8C MK2.
It is absolutely laughable just how good this combination is. I have been through so many over priced phono stages.
Audio Research, Manley, Boulder, Avid and a few others but the TITAN Pro clears a clear path across them all.
It is more insightful, far more musical and less ‘hifi’ across the whole band the TITAN Pro sounds far more like what I’d expect
the TechDAS to sound like. I’m really looking forward to the new Flagship model when you release that.
TechDAS Airforce One Premium/ Breuer 8C MkII/ Lyra Etna SL/ TITAN Pro
Ross DeVine – Hirslanden Switzerland
I am just writing this short review which compares my whestTWO.2 phono stage to it being upgraded to the new Discrete specification.
The new upgrade is really amazing. The soundstage is definitely larger with even more detail and it sounds much more realistic.
I can follow bass lines very easily but now the musicians are all in the room.
My Hana ML cartridge has never ever sounded like this. Even through my friends Cyrus phonostage the HANA ML sounds OK but with the whestTWO.2 and the new Discrete upgrade the ML is fantastic. I am so pleased I upgraded my whestTWO.2 to the Discrete version.
I think it is the biggest upgrade I have ever heard with the amount of money I spent.
Mofi Ultradeck/ Hana ML/ whestTWO.2 Discrete (originally whestTWO.2)
Pierre Montpier – France
Thank you again for the marvellous service. The whestTHREE Discrete phono stage is happily singing away. I can’t be any more pleased with this combination. I have never heard the Brinkmann Oasis sound this good and to imagine my local hifi shop wanted me to upgrade the Oasis – money grabbers. The whestTHREE Discrete is also extremely quiet in my system, near silent. I had no idea that transistor Class-A could be this silent but the partnership with the EMT S75 cartridge is just amazing. I cannot put into words just how my system has changed. I have tried the Brinkmann, EAR, Roksan and Avid Pellere phonostages but non of them really could match the whestTHREE Discrete for those things that make listening to music on vinyl so enjoyable. Thank you again James. Wonderful
Brinkmann Oasis/ 10.5″ arm/ EMT S75/ whestTHREE Discrete
B.Baumann – Wilhelmsburg Germany
Hey Sarah/ James
Just spent all weekend with a friend comparing the whestTWO.2 and Hegel V10 phonostages. WOW is all I can say. With all the chatter about the V10…we cannot see why the V10 is even talked about. We already know of several people on several audio forums that have bought the whestTWO.2 phono over the Hegel V10 but we really wanted to hear the differences for ourselves. Well… first off the whestTWO.2 phonostage is so much more musical and detailed in a more natural way. The whestTWO.2 is just so much better overall. It has a far better soundstage, MUCH better dynamics, better projection and it sounds like a BIG expensive unit and can be upgraded later on to full Class-A discrete which will make it EVEN BETTER !!!!!! How … hahaha. A really brilliant product. I can see what all the fuss is about now.
VPI Prime Signature/ Audio Technica ART9XA/ whestTWO.2 in Silver
(previously a Sutherland PH3D which sounds super DEAD in comparison)
David McCoy – Calgary Canada
I am now 30 hours into this new combination and can say with my hand on my heart that this is by far the most realistic sound from my Nagra CDC that I have ever heard. Even adding various high-end DACs haven’t given me what I am currently experiencing.
What a brilliant product. Thank you and congratulations on turning digital on its head.
Nagra CDC/ Mastering Buffer Model BII/ Nagra Classic Preamp/ Audia FLS4 amp/ Focal Sopra N2 loudspeakers
Bastein Kleinwort – Switzerland
Well as it says in my title I have a Tascam DA3000 DSD recorder I use in my studio and normally mixdown or master to this from Protools via a Prismsound TITAN. The addition of the Mastering Buffer BII has completely changed everything. Not just in the low frequency definition but the precision in imaging and the clarity that I now hear in the mid and highs is pretty stunning. Definitely a product that I will be telling folks in my field and a must for all mix-down studios.
Prismsound TITAN / Mastering Buffer BII/ Tascam DA3000/ ATC SCM45A monitors
Josh MaCallie – Cold Studio Edinburgh (Mixed analog/digital mastering suite)
Sarah and James.
This is a fantastic combination. The MPS-8 with my SACD of Elgar ‘Short Orchestral Works’ is the best I have heard.
A match made in heaven.
Playback Designs MPS-8 CD/SACD/ Mastering Buffer Model BII/ Pass Labs pre/power
Costa Galanis – Greece
Hello Sarah from Sweden
I have received, unpacked and now warmed up the Mastering Buffer Model BII. It has been on for about 2 hours.
I have connected it to my DCS Rossini using my Furatech Reference III interconnects and all I can say is that even after 2 hours the sound is AMAZING. It has completely transformed the Rossini in a way that I could not imagine possible. My good audio friend Claude Belles who also has one told me about this product and I can now see why. It is incredible and just after 2 hours of use. What will it be like tomorrow?
YES.. I have been fully converted and I hope this product gets noticed more in the coming months and years. A game changer.
DCS Rossini player/ Mastering Buffer BII Silver/ Vitus 102 preamp/
Vitus 101 power amp/ Audio Physic Cardeas 30 loudspeakers
Micha Van Beek – Sweden
Hey Sarah and James
I just want to say that I absolutely shocked that what I thought would my ‘quality’ 2nd system phonostage has turned out to be my MAIN phonostage sitting along side my Kronos Sparta/ OL Enterprise II/ Lyra Etna. I never questioned the Audio Research PH9 phono stage but just warming up the 40RDT SE for an hour I was able to hear things that the PH9 was clearly covering up. Vocals for instance sounding very realistic on the 40RDT SE whereas the PH9 had this thickness to vocals that covered up the vocalists technique. Lyle Mays on Lyle Mays was an amazing insight into the differences between the two phonostages. The PH9 was clearly the slower and warmer with a masked soundstage whereas the PS.40RDT SE was, well it sounded like Lyle was playing in my music room. Incredible listening experience.
Kronos Sparta/ Origin Live Enterprise II/ Lyra Etna/ PS.40RDT SE
Josh Vogel – Canada
I’ve finally plugged in the Model BII and know that this is it. I have a Benchmark DAC3 next door that I bought into this system to compare. The Benchmark is an excellent DAC but comes nowhere close to the Model BII output for 3D space, imaging, vocal projection and everything else. The Model BII is so far ahead of the curve that I can’t see why anyone would invest in a DAC at this price or more.
Brilliant piece of kit. Merry Christmas to you all.
Bryston BDC-3/ Mastering Buffer Model BII/ Conrad Johnson ART Mk1 preamp/ ATC SCM 100 ASL
Joel Claymore – Calgary Canada
James. It is always great speaking to you
Thank you for your advice on cartridges and also for the whestTHREE Discrete phonostage that has transformed my record collection to no-end. This is without a doubt the largest upgrade I’ve ever heard in my system. Vocals sound real, instruments clean and real, imaging sounds real. The whestTHREE Discrete is also ultra quite compared to my outgoing Moon 310LP phono. It’s not that the Moon is noisy but the background noise level on the whestTHREE Discrete seems to be blacker/ darker or more silent. I wasn’t expecting that at all.
A work of art that deserves a Nobel Prize for best sound hahaha.
Transrotor Dark Star turntable/ Jelco 850/ Lyra Kleos/ whestTHREE Discrete Silver
Roberto Mann – UAE
Thank you for the brilliant service before Christmas. Well I had a chance to compare the whestTWO.2 to the new Vertere Phono 1 MK2. The demo took about 5 mins. The whestTWO.2 is in a VERY different league. My wife and I were just stunned on the difference. Although we took into account the very small price difference, it was so obvious that your product is aimed at vinyl lovers and not just another phono stage for shops to sell. A truely fantastic product in every way. Happy New Year to you all and thank you for the amazing service.
Rega RP8/Hana ML/ whestTWO.2
J. Harris – York
OK. So I was definitely sceptical about the Mastering Buffer Model BII until my good friend Costa bought his over. I’m currently using a Leema Antilla IIS which was actually going to be upgraded next year to something a lot better and probably much more expensive. The Mastering Buffer Model BII has stopped that upgrade totally. The difference is staggering. I have had a few sub-£7000 CD players in my system on loan from hifi dealers mainly. The Leema Antilla with the Model BII gives me something that the others didn’t even hint at – music, 3D, enjoyment. This thing is CRAZY !!!! I understand why you recommend a very good but cheap CD player BECAUSE in reality you don’t need to spend thousands. If the Leema with Model BII can do this, then what does a cheap £500 CD player do? Probably kill off any £7K player ..I believe it. Brilliant product and a much needed one in this crazy audio arena.
Leema Antilla IIS CD Player, Mastering Buffer Model BII combination
Keith Parnell – London
This is a very short review of my experience with the Model BII. I have had the Goldnote CD1000 for about 8 months now and although it is a wonderful performer I always had a feeling that there was more to get out of this player. I borrowed a Goldnote DS1000 DAC and while the sound was definitely better I didn’t think the price was actually worth it. THEN a friend on Instagram told me about your Model BII. I was definitely skeptical before purchasing it – just being honest. But after 3 hours warm up I was hearing things that the Goldnote DAC wasn’t even picking up. The Model BII really does bring out everything from the recording but also makes all of it make sense. It is incredible. Everything sounds quite realistic and instruments come alive from beyond the loudspeaker positions. GREAT product. Thank you.
Goldnote CD1000 + Mastering Buffer Model BII/ Ayre KX-5/ Prima Luna EVO400/ Harbeth 30.2XD
Claude Mante – Belgium
Sarah and James.
I am so proud to say that I am now part of the whest audio family. The new Mastering Buffer Model BII in Black arrived yesterday, just in time for an early Christmas. My CD player is what I consider a very good unit – Roksan M2 Caspian. It may not be the best in the world but it is a very nice player that I have always felt was easy to listen to. What I didn’t like about it was that it wasn’t vastly different to my previous M1 and other players that my friends have purchased. With the Mastering Buffer BII added it is completely different. I don’t recognise it at all. The reporduction now sounds ‘lifelike’. Every instrument has weight and body. Even triangles have weight – if that makes sense. I cannot believe what I am hearing. It sounds so real. I know that there will be plenty of people that will not believe you and this product but it is their loss. This is by far the best CD player combination I have ever heard. Really. I know that my friend Jacques is currently purchasing a unit too for his Exposure 3010 S2 CD. Thank you again Sarah and James. A marvelous achievement.
Roksan Caspian M2 Cd Player/ Mastering Buffer Model BII
Carlo Ponnetti – Lyon France
Your email lit a fire and I ducked out of a Zoom meeting to test the Mastering Buffer. H*LY SH*T !!!! My first reaction is that it makes CDs sound 1000% better. I played Alice Coltrane’s ‘Ptah El Daoud’ first running directly out of my Marantz CD6005 in the the ATC preamp…then I added the Model BII and it was like I’d flipped a switch. EVERYTHING is bigger, brighter, bolder, fuller…ore life, more shape, more presence. I am blown away. This is going to bring me so much joy (I have thousands of CDs)…
I’ll write more as I continue testing it, but I have to say that I am bowled over. I plan to spend the evening listening.
Marantz CD 6005/ Mastering Buffer Model BII/ ATC Preamp
Andy C. Vancouver Canada
Digital Audio Playback done the whest audio way !!!
I have just plummed in my whestTWO.2 into my system (Thorens TD550/ Jelco 750) and I can instantly hear the improvement over the Naim Stageline/ HiCAP phonostage. It’s a big improvement all around. I can hear more from beyond the loudspeakers and vocals are very well projected into my room now. The Naim was a little weak in the vocal department. Lovely upgrade.
Michell Orbe/ Rega RB700/ Dynavector XX1 retipped/ whestTWO.2
Paul Stanwood – Orpington UK
Thank you James for recommending this incredible upgrade. Moving from my 2011 Ps.30R phono stage to the whestTHREE Discrete phonostage has been the best upgrade in my system for about 10 years. Everything has changed but has kept that super open ‘whest’ sound. My Bauer DPS/ Breuer 5A/ EMT JSD6 has come into its own since getting the W3D. Incredible dynamics, separation and detail. Next stop 40Series in 10 years time 🙂
Bauer DPS/ Breuer 5A/ EMT JSD6/ whestTHREE Discrete
S Yamamoto – Nagoya Japan
Hey James. Thanks for the whestTWO.2 phono with that discrete upgrade. What a marvelous upgrade. You’ve heard it all before, well you told me what would happen and it has 🙂 My Rokan doesn’t need anything doing to it. The Tabriz with the XX2Mk2 works like a new setup now. Just brilliant. Thanks again from Australia.
Roksan Xerses 20/ Tabriz rewired/ Dynavector XX2 Mk2/ whestTWO.2 discrete
Gary Pelon – Perth Australia
Sarah. I cannot say thank you enough. This is exactly what I have been waiting for. Moving from the Icon Audio PS3 Mk2 phonostage was the best thing I have done and something that I did not really think I would ever need to do. The system now sounds lifelike. The whestTHREE Signature phono stage is so much more musical and more realistic in what it does. Going back to the PS3 Mk2 I can hear how that tube/valve ‘sound’ gets in the way of the music but also the PS3 Mk2 does not have the detail that the whestTHREE Signature has or the dynamic range. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Transrotor ZET 3/ SME IV/ Hana ML/ whestTHREE Signature
Karl Greene – France
Well I see I am the second here in recent times from sunny Canada to contribute a few choice words.
It’s not easy doing this so here goes. I have a Bergmann Audio Sindra table with Lyra Etna. This has always sounded very good
but Percy M who lives not a million miles from me bought over his TITAN Pro for me to check out. He was going away that weekend so
that was good timing. This is where I was blown away. My Pass Labs XP-27 was always good to me and I didn’t really think I was missing anything
UNTIL the TITAN Pro entered my system. Soundstage, dynamics, detail, vocals… everything took a huge step up. Going back to the Pass Labs was terrible. Now I have my own TITAN Pro I can tell you it has been the best move for my vinyl setup by far.
Bergmann Sindra/ Lyra Etna/ TITAN Pro
Claude Mannet – Toronto
I just received the TITAN Pro yesterday and intact. UPS got it to me in the morning so I immediately powered it up and left it running while I was at work. Today is day 2 and I have spend a fair amount of time running through the albums I love to test my gear on. Pink Floyd, Steely Dan and Ella Fitzgerald. Well I must say that instead of playing Dark Side of the Moon side 1 with the lights off, I played 5 mins of that side and immediately thought ‘I have a totally different system’. The STEREO is incredible. I have sounds/ instruments coming out way beyond the speaker cabinets. Even on something as simple as AJA by Dan, everything sounded so new, like I’ve never heard the album before. Crazy dynamics and crazy stereo imaging. Ella sounded like she was in the room with me. I have never experienced anything like that before with any phono stage in my system. The Audio Research and Brinkmann were good but sounded like many other phonostages really. The TITAN Pro just brings out so much of what is on vinyl that I still can’t believe I’m listening to vinyl.
TechDAS AF2/ Tri-Planar/ Ortofon A95/ TITAN Pro
Cristoph Teller – Germany
Hey Sarah. Thanks a million for the great service. Josh on Instagram was spot-on. I got to listen to his whestTHREE Discrete and well that was enough to tell me that whest was the way to go…and BOY has it transformed my system. This phono stage has not only opened up the vinyl soundstage in my system but opened my ears to my record collection. I am beyond happy and mostly lost for words. Just discovered the Tone Poet Jazz series and am going to buy the lot. A ‘Thank you’ isn’t good enough – check your post in 10 days.
Acoustic Solid SM/ Jelco 850M/ Shelter 901 III/ whestTHREE Discrete
Joe Casse – Calgary Canada
I am very pleased to say that the whestTHREE Signature phono arrived safely and that I have now had a chance to compare it to the Rega Aura Reference, Avid Pulsare II and Goldnote PH-1000 phonostages – this last one was just really for fun. The interesting thing was that the whestTHREE Signature wasn’t that far behind the Goldnote PH-1000 and this surprised all of us in the listening session. BUT compared to the Rega and Avid the whestTHREE Signature phono stage was way ahead. In all areas of vinyl reproduction the whestTHREE S really stood out as the best of that 3. The Goldnote being nearly 3 times the price could not really justify its price against the whestTHREE S. I see that Gorge has already contacted you too … a future client I am sure. Thank you James and Sarah for an amazing product but I am sure you already know this.
Thales TTT Compact Ref turntable/ EMT 75S/ whestTHREE Signature
Jean-Marc Deadon – Brussels
This won’t take long but just to say that I am having the best time of my life listening to the TITAN Pro
phonostage in this system with my Kronos Pro turntable. It’s the best I have ever experienced it.
TOTALLY believable in every sense. A remarkable product and so under priced. It has not just replaced my
Audio Research PH9 phono stage but has done it in style. The TITAN Pro is by far MORE superior.
Kronos Pro/ Reed 5T tonearm/ Ortofon MC Anna Diamond/ TITAN Pro
Dr Jeremy Branston
Hi James. I’d just like to say thank you for this amazing piece of kit.
If anyone wants to know what vinyl should sound like they really do need to
go to you first. I’ve been through quite a few phono stages over the past 18 months
and I am so glad I found you guys. My local dealer was very good in pointing me
to the whestTHREE Signature phonostage. I just can’t believe he didn’t do it before.
Anyway my SME Model 12 is sounding how it should – INCREDIBLE !!
SME Model 12/ Jelco 850/ Dynavector XX2 MK2 Paratrace tip
Paul Benson – Brighton UK
Thank you James for the recommendation and direction. It is so easy to get lost and confused in this game and the audio forums are full of know-it-alls. It has been a great experience dealing with you and my dealer. And as for the whestTWO.2 phono stage, it is exactly what I have been looking for. Sound, size, looks – it ticks all the boxes.
Mofi UltraDeck/ Audio Technica VM750SH/ whestTWO.2
Finally Sarah… I have listened to this upgrade for the past 2 weeks and honestly IT IS STUNNING.
It still sounds like a whest audio 40 Series phono stage unit but the 40SE has so much more detail and not the type that you need to listen over-and-over again to make sure you aren’t hearing things…it is the ‘slap in your face’
MUCH MORE detail. The 40RDT SE phonostage has transformed my already excellent front end system to
a jaw dropping very addictive front end. Can’t get enough of it.
VPI 40th Anniversary turntable special/ Groovemaster tonearm/ Lyra Atlas/ PS.40RDT SE
Thank you Sarah and James for the great assistance. The 40RDT SE was the right choice not just
because it fits my budget but also is so far ahead of everything I have tried.
I was so close to giving up on this vinyl quest.
The other products I tried by Aesthetix, Manley, Brinkmann were good but not this good.
I really cannot believe that the 40RDT SE can pull off all of this information from vinyl
because it is SO much better in every area compared to the others.
The TechDAS has definitely landed and sounding how I thought it should.
Thank you again.
Chris Banks BA, BSc Hons, PhD
TechDAS Airforce TWO/ Breuer type 8/ Ortofon MC Anna
You have probably heard this so many times as I think I have read this so many times here.
The whestTHREE Signature has really changed my vinyl playing habits. Those 1 or 2 albums
a night have turned into 4 or 6 albums and often tracks on repeat. It is INCREDIBLE just how
much detail the phono stage with my Brinkmann Bardo/ Audio Technica ART9 is pulling off
vinyl. This ATR copy of Lion Heart by Kate Bush is sounding STUNNING. I can’t stop playing it.
And my Tone Poet collections is sounding like I have never heard it – lifelike.
5 thumbs up for this product and 6 thumbs up for your service.
Brinkmann Bardo/ ART9/whestTHREE Signature
Thank you Team whest…thank you so much.
James, I am more than pleased with this purchase. Dealing with you through my UK dealer has been an absolute pleasure.
The combination of the Gold Note Mediteranneo/ AMG tonearm/ Hana ML and the whestTHREE Signature phono stage IS a match
made in heaven. I cannot believe what I am hearing. Detail, space, vocals all sound so real. I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to
work. It is such a joy to finally be where I have always wanted to be. Thank you so much.
Gold Note Mediteranneo/ AMG tonearm/ Hana ML and the whestTHREE Signature phono stage
Karen Taylor Brighton UK.
6th May 2020
36 hours of running-in the whestTHREE Signature phonostage and I can honestly say it is far better than the already brilliant whestTWO.2 phono stage that now occupies my second system. My MoFi Ultradeck and Hana ML really needed this. It is by far and away the best vinyl system I have ever heard at home and betters anything I have heard at audio shows. Don’t need to attend thos shows ever again 🙂
MoFi Ultradeck/ Hana ML MC cartridge/ whestTHREE Signature / Luxmann L-505 II/ ATC SCM20 PSL
A.Harvey – San Diego CA
I have had about 25 years of using various tube phonostages – EAR, Audio Research, BAT, Manley, Conrad Johnson, Aesthetix Rhea and a few others I don’t care to mention. Each had it’s own sound, were generally larger than life but in the back of my mind I always felt I was losing out on something but didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t until I heard a TITAN Pro at last years Rocky Mountain Show (2019) and later on at a friend’s house that I thought ‘should I’?. Well here I am with the best phonostage that my system has EVER been blessed with. Incredible speed, detail, imaging and image size. And it sounds ‘PERFECT’.
Continuum Caliburn/Cobra/Ortofon A95/ whest TITAN Pro/ BAT and EAR system
Dr Gregory Lavitz
It’s been a while since I upgraded anything in this system. The last thing was the cartridge and that was the Audio Technica VM750SH which I know you guys like. This phono stage however has really transformed my old Td125 Mk2 into a monster of a turntable. I didn’t think it possible. A 1975 TD125 sounding this MARVELOUS. Thank you and beyond.
Thorens TD125 Mk2/AT VM750SH/ whestTWO.2 Silver
Pascal Diot – Paris France
Thank you Sarah for helping me through this somewhat complex maze of audio. Your advice and the chatter on Audiogon Forum really helped me sort out the truth from all the ‘fake news’ 🙂
Well the whestTHREE Signature arrived and I have plugged it and well what can I say. It is fantastic and performs way beyond my expectations. The chap on Audiogon with the Ortofon A90 cartridge wasn’t wrong and I fully agree with him on the ‘whest presentation’. It is neutral in that it sounds like I don’t have a phonostage. It is incredibly detailed and SUPER dynamic. Listening to some of the latest Tone Poet releases and my older James Taylor pressings is a revelation. No need to close my eyes to imagine he is there…. the imaging is SOLID with my eyes open. FANTASTIC.
VPI Prime Signature/ Ortofon A95/ whestTHREE Signature Discrete
Corey McLaughlin – Washington USA
Sarah and James
I can’t say enough about the level of service you guys have devoted to me. It has made this whole purchase ‘fluid’ and perfect.
My brand new HW-40 is sounding pretty incredible right now. Even plugging in the Merrill turntable into the TITAN Pro makes me think I should have headed for a TITAN Pro before any other change in the system. But hey…you only live once and the TITAN Pro is really doing it for me. So what’s great aboout the TITAN Pro? Soundstage -BIG, dynamic range -BIG, detail -BIG. I have never heard anything like this. It sounds way ahead of everything else I have ever owned or had in this system. I actually can’t wait for your flagship product now… put one aside with my name in it !!!!
VPI HW-40/ Lyra Atlas/ TITAN Pro/ D’agostino Progression Pre-Power/ Magico S3 Mk2.
Daniel Forte – California
Sarah and James.
Thank you for your very good advice and assistance. This is very good.
My Brinkmann Bardo is sounding wonderful and the TITAN Pro is a fantastic upgrade from the Aesthetic Rhea I had before. It is quiet, dynamic and lifelike. VERY VERY NICE and my wife loves the sound too. I want to ask you about the Audio Technica ART1000 cartridge you also sell but right now the EMT JSD6 is great.
Brinkmann Bardo/ Brinkmann arm/ EMT JSD6/ TITAN Pro
Mikko Virtanen – Finland
How to start?
Well having gone through the usual Naim, Cyrus, Lehmann, Graham Slee and Heed route with a vision to never buy a phono stage again I think (know) I am here now. The whestTWO.2 is simply incredible. The others all sound very average and some of them even boring. The whestTWO.2 on the other hand is pulling information out of my LP12 that I SERIOUSLY have never heard before. Ok.. it’s not the best LP12 in the world but is decent enough that now my vinyl setup sounds so dynamic, has a great presentation and wants me to play more and more. I never experienced that with the others. I also think that I might try another cartridge … I have a whole new perspective on vinyl playback now. Thank you all.
Linn Lp12 1995/Ittok/Lyra Delos/whestTWO.2
David Wells – Devon
Thank you for your assistance with helping me through this tough process. Trying to find the right phono stage for the Firebird was hard until my friend George P (who you know ) bought over his whestTWO.2 which really opened my eyes.
I’m really enjoying the whestTHREE Signature. It sounds ‘true’ to the recordings and I now am able to hear the Kuzma Stogi Reference and Jelco 850M properly thanks to the whestTWO.2 on the Jelco. I’ve never been happier with my vinyl setup. Never been happier.
Dr Feickert Firebird/ Kuzma Stogi Ref/ whestTHREE Signature/ EMT 75S
& Jelco 850M/whestTWO.2/ Audio Technica VM750SH
Danielle J – Switzerland
Thank you James and Sarah for pointing me in the right direction and not destroying my wallet. You were both absolutely right. The whestTWO.2 was the way to go. The MoFi Ultradeck is amazing but you don’t hear it with the MoFi phono stage. In fact the MoFi phono stage kills the Ultradeck…..weird product from a manufacturer that makes a great turntable.
The whestTWO.2 with the Ultradeck and Ultratracker is an amazing combination. Truly magical.
Mobile Fidelity MoFi Ultradeck/ Ultratracker/ whestTWO.2
Sam Clarke – London UK
‘WOW !!!! ‘ pretty much says everything there is to say about this phonostage.
I thought this move from the Audio Research to the whest PS.40RDT
was going to be a good one BUT after a week it is FAR bigger than I thought it would be.
Do listen to Bill Withers – Still Bill and Recomposed by Max Richter. They really show just
how fast and dynamic, musical and present the 40RDT is.
TechDAS Airforce V/ Brinkmann 10.2 tonearm/ Ortofon A95/ PS.40RDT
David Harrison-Michaels Washington DC area
I cannot believe what I am hearing. The little whestTWO.2 is incredible. Why didn’t I move from a tube based
phonostage to a whest earlier? Just amazing. Spinning/ playing ‘Minor Move’ by Tina Brooks – Tone Poet reissue. It sounded
pretty decent on the EAR834 but on the whestTWO.2 it is sounding like Tina is in the room. It sounds REAL.
Mobile Fidelity UltraDeck/ Ultra Tracker cartridge/ whestTWO.2
Cristoph Bajoria – France
……now on my 3rd whest audio phonostage in the past 9 years I think. That must be a record!
The whestTHREE Signature is sitting in the system so comfortably. The improvement is brilliant.
I feel so at home with the sound of your units – they feel like home. My new Pear Audio Kid Thomas
with the Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC is sounding sublime and far better than the Sutherland Duo that
my local dealer dropped off. Comparing the whest to the Sutherland was quite funny really. The dealer agreed
too. All-in-all and again the best phono stages around.
Pear Audio Kid Thomas turntable/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC/ whestTHREE Signature
D. Harewood – London, LA and France
James, this is incredible. From cold the upgraded whestTWO.2 is just so addictive. It is so much better at everything.
The extra detail, the bigger soundstage, the depth of sound and stereo presentation are eye-watering.
I’m just listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours AGAIN and I can say with my hand on my heart that
I have NEVER experienced it like this. The new all-transistor discrete input stage you have fitted
to it has made this into a MONSTER phono stage.
Brinkmann Le Grange/ Graham Phantom II / Ortofon A95/
whestTWO.2 discrete input stage upgrade
B. Germome – Nice France
Thank you again James and Sarah for your impeccable service.
The second installment of this marvellous phonostage is really kicking in now.
The ALL NEW and all discrete transistor input stage upgrade has got to be the best £1200 I have spent.
It has elevated my already AMAZING whestTHREE Signature to something I couldn’t have every dreamt.
What a brilliant upgrade and far better and cheaper than getting the Ortofon Cadenza Black that I was so close to getting.
THANK YOU SO MUCH
Technics 1200GR/ Jelco TK-850S/ Audio Technica ART9/
whestTHREE Signature with NEW Full Discrete input stage
David Moore – San Diego
Thank you Sarah and James for your continued guidance and assistance in this complex world of analog.
The staggering thing about all of this is that I have honestly tried to purchase a different phono stage for my 3rd system. I listened and compared my existing TITAN Pro 2017 to so many others on the block by the likes of models by Dr Feickert, Avid, Audio Research, Luxmann, Jadis, FM Acoustics, Brinkmann and BAT. OK so some are a lot cheaper than the TITAN Pro but even so the distance between the TITAN Pro and all of the rest is so great and in fact far greater than the distance between the others if you just compare one against the other.
Even my PS.40RDT Special Edition bettered the competition by a furlong and then some !!!
Anyway, it’s time for me to give thanks to you guys for an amazing product range and an incredible product in the TITAN Pro. Having a 2nd one feels so exciting. I’ve lived with one for 3 years now and this new one, although new, feels like a new toy 🙂 fantastic product and thanks again.
Goldman Reference Turntable/ GrooveMaster Titanium 10.5″ Special/ Ortofon MC Anna Diamond
whest TITAN Pro phonostage/ FM Acoustics 155 MK2/ 2x BAT 655SE Poweramp/ Magico S3 Mk2 loudspeakers
Dr Andrew Cohan
San Francisco USA
….this is now my last upgrade in this system.
The PS.40RDT Special Edition is by far the
best phono stage that has ever blessed this system.
EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING in the albums I have been playing recently sounds like they have come alive. 3D, dynamics, soundstaging, pace and rhythm are all playing at 100% MAX plus some !!!!
Dr P Stephens
Thorens TD550/ Triplanar/ Ortofon A95
Ps.40RDT SE/ Simaudio Moon 700i V2
San Francisco USA
I did it, I hated it but it had to be done.
I went and compared 4 x phonostages and the whestTHREE Signature won by the largest of all margins. When I got to the whest it was an easy win. The other 3 were all the same or lacking in so many areas. My Dr Feickert turntable is now working and sounding the way it should. FANTASTIC
Dr Feickert Woodpecker/ Jelco 750D
Ortofon Cadenza Black
I have just received the whestTWO.2 and just couldn’t wait to open the box. I’ve plugged it in a WOW! It is already sounding great. My Audio Technica LP1240 is sounding like a monster on steroids. I can’t believe that it gets better after a few days of warming up…
Audio Technica LP1240/ AT-150MLX/ whestTWO.2
Stuart Gibson – Middlesex Uni
USA based Stereophile and Audiogon Forum user. I’ve been into audio and music for about 40 years and have owned many-a-product.
I recently purchased a Mofi Ultradeck with a Master Tracker cartridge for my 3rd system in a spare bedroom which we have just converted. Having tried several phono stages – Mofi Ultra Phono, Musical Surroundings Nova III, EAR 834 and the Cyrus Phono Signature. The Ultradeck sounded good through all of these units but I always felt there was something missing. An audiophile buddy/friend bought over his whestTWO.2 just for some ‘audio fun’. As soon as the whestTWO.2 went on I knew that this was IT!! The others played at the same level playing field. Nothing outstanding, just good sounding phono stages.
THE whestTWO.2 however is a whole different ballgame. The Ultradeck suddenly had real dynamics. But that wasn’t all of it. What was shocking at this price range was the separation and textures of instruments ‘popping’ out of this massive clean and dark soundstage.
There has been chatter on the forums for years about the whest range and recently a post was deleted by one of the forum moderators because it looked as if whest audio was getting a bit TOO MUCH praise. That I’ve seen before unfortunately. But now I can see (hear) why. This isn’t an ordinary, run-of-the-mill sub-$2000 phono stage. This thing plays close to if not better than my Pass Labs XONO (I don’t want to compare in case I hear what I expect).
A brilliant product and worth much much more.
Thank you Sarah and James for your superb service and patience.
MoFi UltraDeck/ MasterTracker/ whestTWO.2/ Pass labs and Focal
My ‘special build’ Silver whestTWO.2 arrived yesterday and has been warming up in the system since then. There are no words to explain the improvements to my vinyl setup. This single unit has elevated the sound to a much higher level than I thought was possible.
Firstly – soundstaging it out of the speakers, far left and far right. I have new instruments too 🙂 Night Fly by Donald Fagen has never ever ever sounded this way. There are instruments and sounds popping out of this soundstage that I’ve never experienced before.
Secondly – Dynamic range and musicality. 100% increase. Even my cat loves it. She never really reacted that way with the Graham Slee combinaion.
Third and lastly – the build, sound, musicality and service – 150% increase on anyone else out there.
The best setup I have ever owned. A Very happy Jacques
Brinkmann Spyder / Brinkmann 10″/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ whestTWO.2 discrete
whestTWO.2 vs luxman E-250 vs Chord Huei vs Sutherland 20/20. Turntable Rega RP8 with Ortofon Cadenza Black. Well you know who won and that wasn’t a small increase in quality by the whestTWO.2 AMAZING phono stage guys.
Rega RP8/Ortofon Cadenza Black/whestTWO.2 Luxman L-505 II/ Harbeth P3ESR
USA and UK
First and foremost Sarah, I have to say thank you for your speedy communications throughout the past week.
OK I realise that this is your entry level unit and that my budget isn’t ‘up there’ with the BIG BOYS but the whestTWO.2 with my TechDAS Airforce V/ Jelco SA750/ Ortofon A95 is simply staggering. As you know the whestTWO.2 is a ‘stop-gap’ until my finances change early next year but what I am currently hearing is far better than my friends EAR 834 and my dad’s Goldnote PH-10 and way better than I thought it would be. Like many others, I have been listening to average phonostages over the years – Clearaudio, Graham Slee, Rega, PS Audio etc
What I wasn’t expecting was the size and solidity of the soundstage PLUS that incedible dynamic range. All that along with the overall musical delivery makes me wonder what the larger models will give me.
I’m just so happy having found you through a fantastic review on Audiogon, well several amazing reviews actually. OK, other companies get great reviews too but yours seem to be more about the things that make folks get into vinyl in the first place.
Thanks again Sarah.
TechDAS Airforce V/ Jelco SA750/ Ortofon A95/ whestTWO.2 (for now)
Jacques A. Montpelier
PS.30RDT SE 2019
It’s funny that you ask about how it is sounding….. well here is the synopsis of the first week of 24/7 ‘break in’:
Day one, right out of the box cold: It sounded huge in soundstage and detail, lots of bass
Day two, 36 hours of warm up time: The output seemed to be even higher and stronger, I had to reduce the gain on my main preamp to the amplifiers by about 3 db as it was so strong; also had to reduce the bass setting as it was overpowering.
Day three into four: the elevated output seemed to settle back down and I was able to put the main amps back to where I usually listen in level.
Day five into seven: things really evened out, output, bass, etc. all within the area I like to have it set at. The detail was very alive in all cuts played on my vinyl. Sound stage was huge as was the imaging.
Day seven into eight, I followed your suggestion of turning the 30 RDT SE 2019 off and then powering it back up the next day an hour before use: The response curve was super smooth, so well balanced out, more detail and more soundstage/imaging
Now at approaching 2 weeks from first installation: Everything is just perfect…. I am still turning it on and allowing 1 hour warm up time. The imaging is amazing and the upper end response as you had predicted from the AT20ss is much smoother. I can actually listen to some female vocals which I found harsh in the past and enjoy it.
The bass is so smooth that I sometimes have to look to see if I have it up or not. I also pulled the 30 RDT SE out of service and re-installed the Whest Three Signature for a comparison. My initial reaction was that the Three is definitely the little brother, it has the same ‘family resemblance’, it almost sounds the same except the Three does not have the deep detail and upper end smoothness of the 30. The sound stage in the 30 is larger, the imaging is better, but the Three is very good too. The Three is wonderful, it could easily be my main Phono Preamp, but the 30RDT SE is just nirvana and worth the extra expense.
VPI Aries/ Audio Technica 20SS MM cartridge (rare)/ whest PS.30RDT SE 2019
Bruce in Maine USA
Upgrading from the Musical Surroundings Nova II to the whestTHREE Signature has been an eye opener. I can hear so much more and the W3S is so much smoother than the Nova II in the way it presents everything. Not that it glosses over anything, it’s just that the W3S sounds more natural and less forced, more focused and less hard. Now to upgrade the cartridge to the Audio Technica ART9 as you recommended.
Mobile Fidelity Ultradeck/ Nagaoka MP500/ whestTHREE Signature
Thank you Sarah for pointing me in the right direction. You were spot-on with your suggestion of the 40RDT SE. My VPI Prime Signature/ Lyra Etna SL always sounded good with the Audio Research and Manley phono stages I have but the 40RDT SE elevates it to another level. I have sold the Audio Research and Manley now as I am so happy and totally blown away with what I am hearing from my system. Ok.. you’ve heard it all before – incredible imaging, dynamic range, realism etc etc etc BUT what I didn’t expect was after reading the other testimonials mine would read the same. I know the TITAN Pro is better and come 2020 I will most likely get one 🙂 and move the 40RDT SE to my other system but right now I just can’t believe that the 40RDT SE totally walks over, tramples on, kills both the Audio Research and Manley. Thank you Sarah. It was such a pleasure dealing with you and if you ever need a great bottle of wine, you know you can contact me.
VPI Prime Signature/Lyra Etna/Whest PS.40RDT SE/ Classe pre&power/Raidho D2.1
Thank you Sarah and James for aiding me in selecting the right product for my Dohmann Helix 1 turntable. I can say with my hand on my heart that I have never experienced my Helix 1 in the way that I now experience it with the utterly superb 40RDT Special Edition. The whole combination now sounds just jaw dropping. It’s silent between passages, has a truely scary 3D presentation and is so dynamic. The previous ‘high-end’ tube phono stage I had before was so poor in comparison and that wasn’t cheap and is highly recommended by Stereophile… have to question that.
I can’t stop smiling 🙂
Dohmann Helix 1/ Breuer V/ EMT S75/ PS.40RDT SE
Avignon – France
Hey Sarah. Just a quickie to say that the shoot-out between the whestTHREE Signature, Sutherland 20/20, Macintosh MP100 and Roksan VSC Reference is over. My friends had a great evening listening, comparing, laughing and drinking. The end result as you know is that your whestTHREE Signature left the others way behind. Here in sunny California you now have yet another whestTHREE Signature user in this crowd of music lovers. Thank you for such an amazing piece of gear.
C. A. Casper
VPI Prime Signature/ Audio Technica ART9/ whestTHREE Signature
This is just what my turntable needed. The Rega Aria phono stage always sounded a bit ‘flat’ like the Lehmann units I had. The whestTWO.2 sounds super dynamic and real. Even playing Dark Side of the Moon sounds AMAZING. 5 star recommendation
VPI Scout II/ Dynavector XX2 II/ whestTWO.2
What an unexpectedly huge upgrade on the EAR 834P. I really wasn’t expecting that !!!
Rega Planar 6/ Hana SL/ whestTHREE Signature
Firstly thank you for your recommendation and a totally honest view of what I really need. You certainly have saved me $$$$ !!
My SME 15/ Origin Live Conqueror/ Lyra Kleos is sounding quite incredible. I have never heard a REAL soundstage before let alone one so deep, wide and natural as what I now have in the 40RDT. I can’t imagine what the next models up sound like but this (40RDT) is far far better than my ‘ex’ Manley Steelhead and Avid Pulsare II in all areas of detail and musicality. I really do love what I now have and can now enjoy the music.
SME 15/ OL Conqueror/ Lyra Kleos (and Ortofon Cadenza Black)
To James, Sarah and Team whest
You are reading this and need to imagine a family of 4 sitting in front of a pair of Magico A3 loudspeakers wondering ‘HOW’ is this happening. The soundstage just opened up !! We have never heard this system sound so wide and deep and with so much information/detail. The TechDas AF V/ Groovemaster/ Ortofon A95 has NEVER EVER sounded so good. In fact the dealer we got this from has probably never heard their own recommended combination properly. Absolutely STUNNING !! I love this phono stage. I love the way it disappears and love it doesn’t intrude in any way. PERFECTION.
TechDAS Airforce V/ Groove Master/ Ortofon A95/ Whest PS.40RDT Special Edition
The Family Jenkins – NYC USA
I’ll keep this short and sweet. I just got the PS.40RDT and it’s currently sitting next to my Avid Pulsare II phono stage. My god… the 40 is just jaw dropping. I really wasn’t expecting this. Yes, I knew from other forum users that the Avid stages are good for rock and that’s about it but I didn’t think for a second that going to a whest would give me so much more from my turntable. My Avid Volvere Sequel SP table has never sounded this good. Bye Bye Avid.
Avid Volvere Sequel SP/ SME IV/ Ortofon A95/ Whest PS.40RDT
Paul Lineker – Ontario Canada via London
Thank you James and Sarah for your great service and pointing me in the right direction. The difference your the new whestTWO.2 has made in the system is just incredible. My previous whestTWO Mk1 was very good but this is a huge leap forward and I can now see that I would like to explore a far better MC than the (Denon) DL304. The new whestTWO.2 is gorgeous to listen to and has a far wider soundstage that I was expecting. The separation between instruments is unnerving at times – in a good way though. Love it !!
Rega RP10/ Denon DL304/ whestTWO.2/ Naim Super Nait2/ PMC Twenty 21.
Roger Winston – London
First of all I would liek to say thank you for your amazing work. I am so happy I have an amazing RIAA in my system. It sounds amazing with a detailed sound at different levels. The singer sounds like she is singing to me 🙂 I can listen to this forever.
whestTHREE Signature Full Discrete Special
Evgeniy – Bulgaria
whestTHREE Signature with my Rega P10/ Lyra Kleos combination –
EXTRAORDINARY and far far better than my year old Trilogy 907.
Thank god I found you when I did… it could have been an expensive road.
whestTHREE Signature with my Rega P10/ Lyra Kleos
London – UK
I would firstly like to say that it’s been a pleasure dealing with your team. All of you have been so helpful in guiding me through the process and helping me decide what cartridge and where I should go to purchase it, that you did not need to do but it’s those things that I feel makes a great company. Thank you.
Anyway, the 2019 PS.30RDT SE has been on for about 2 days now and is getting better. From cold it was FAR better than the Allnic 1202 which is on loan. The difference is night-and-day. The Allnic sounds MONO and far too warm. My Trigon battery phono stage has now been sold on and I am glad to see the back of it. It was OK but your PS.30RDT SE is quite amazing. I can say with my hand on my heart that I haven’t experienced vinyl like this. The Trigon and Allnic are quite similar in how they present vinyl but yours is more 3D and lifelike with instruments ‘popping out’ of the left and right channels. Fantastic.
Your recommendation of the Audio Technica ART9 is spot-on for my musical tastes of Jazz and Classical with a hint of Prog-rock every now and then. It really does everything so well and is a great step up from the Dynavector 17D3 I had before.
Again, thank you for your marvelous service, a great product and your teams attention to detail.
TW Acustic Raven One/ Zeta Tonearm/ ART9/ whest PS.30RDT SE 2019
John P Massey – ON Canada
YES.. The upgrade I was looking for plus some. I was expecting the whestTHREE Signature to sound smoother than my Trigon Advance phono stage which is does but I wasn’t prepared for the LEVELS of detail and the instruments ‘popping out’ of the soundstage. This is something else. I have never ever experienced this before. My aging copy of Kind Of Blue (Miles Davis) now has dimension and real separation between instruments and notes. I can hear the piano strings individually and not just a mass of piano like the Trigon or Avid stages.
The whestTHREE Signature is something else.
Thorens TD350/ Jelco 750 9″/ Lyra Kleos/ whestTHREE Signature in Black
Marcel P – Paris France
Thank you for your great service and assistance in helping choose the right stage for my system and not the most expensive on your list. This I very much appreciate. Most dealers I have encountered want to sell something to me that comes close to breaking my budget. I was amazed I had change to buy a new cartridge afterwards and your recommendation of the Audio Technica ART9 was spot on !
So, what is it all sounding like 6 days on? Well in one word – SPECTACULAR !! I have never experienced this level of musical engagement before. The sound I am getting is something I thought was not possible. Every instrument sounds real. From Dire Straights to Pink Floyd and Billy Holiday to Al Jarreau it all sounds quite astonishing.
The PS.40RDT SE is also so quiet. The background noise levels are as good as my CD player but is really is the reproduction on vinyl that leaves the DCS combination wanting – it can’t keep up with what the turntable is now doing. I don’t think I’ll replace the DCS because the other players I tried sounded just as good and knowing that means they are NOT AS GOOD as my turntable…simple.
Again thank you so much and I’m sure that in the furture I’ll be back for the TITAN Pro. I can’t imagine what that’s like if this one I have is heaven.
TechDAS turntable/ SME IV/ Audio Technica ART9/ PS.40RDT SE
Paul Dorset – London UK
27th Aug 2018
I do think I have stolen from you. I cannot believe that your PS.40RDT costs what is costs. I have spent the past 6 weeks demo’ing several ‘high-end’ phono stages from Clear Audio, LFD, Audio Research, Linn, Naim, Avid and Rega. None of them ticked 70% of the boxes. Most were very ordinary, plain sounding and not that much better than my Clear Audio Balance +. Some of them cost twice the amount! So you can see why I am gobsmaked with your PS.40RDT. Yes, it costs twice the Clear Audio but it sounds like nothing I have ever experienced before. I could use all the same superlatives like the mags use but the mags over use them in my opinion – everything to them is ‘THE BEST’.
It was an eye opener to hear my Stevie Nicks albums played through the PS.40RDT and it felt like I didn’t know them. It was quite incredible to hear EVERYTHING in a soundstage that sounded so ‘real’, and to add to that it draws you into the music like nothing else I have ever experienced. I am truely shocked that this unit is priced where it is. It should cost 3 times what you are asking. But thank you for this … just incredible.
Thorens TD903/ Jelco TK-850S/ Audio Technica ART9/ PS.40RDT
Patrick Collier – Oxford UK
Tom – USA
VPI Avenger PLUS/ Ortofon A95/ PS.40RDT SE/ Audio Research REF 6 preamp/ Genelec 8351A
Cary Former- San Diego USA
Mohan – Malaysia
Hi. Another newby here. I’m glad to have discovered whest audio and truely appreciate both James’ and Sarah’s great service and advice.
Having demo’d about 4 phono stages in the last 3 months I know 100% that I have found what my system has been searching for. OK it’s not a 40RDT SE but I can’t imagine just how much better than my 30RDT SE it is !!!
I am hearing things that I have never heard before. I am also finding that I want to play MORE – that has to be a good sign. Everything about this unit is amazing. I cannot fault it.
SME20/ Jelco SA-750D/ Audio Technica AT33SA/ PS.30RDT SE (2018)
Christian Mellor – Amersham UK
Just to let you know the PS.40RDT Special Edition arrived safely yesterday together with the Audio Technica ART9 cartridge.
I was going to keep the Zyx in place for a few days whilst the phono stage came up to speed,
but that lasted only a couple of hours as I couldn’t resist giving the ART9 a try.
The upgrade even straight out of the box with the Zyx has given an even greater clarity to recordings,
the soundstage and extracted more detail. So it can be done! It is like another veil has been lifted that
I didn’t know was there. I am impressed.
I wasn’t expecting much from the ART 9 straight away as I thought it would need quite a few hours to
start to open up, but wow I am also impressed with its ability to bring the stage forward and give the
music more purpose than the Zyx. You are right the combination is great and I am looking forward to
the next few days as they get going. I have left the ART 9 on the 220 ohm setting I had for the Zyx and
I may try the 100 ohm setting but right now I am very happy.
PS.40RDT Special Edition / Audio Technica ART 9
Jonathan – UK
Before I committed to purchase the PS.40RDT SE, I ask you to summarize in two lines what I could expect from the PS.40RDT SE compared to my older PS.30RDT SE.
You offered these exactly:
1. More space, dynamics, bass, midrange, high frequency, air, lower noise, SPACE, immediacy, and realism.
And 2. All of the above PLUS a real sense of ‘musicality’ outside of the electronic world. I pulled the trigger.
Wow! It was obvious the moment the first groove rotated on the exceptionally well-recorded
German ECM issue of Pat Metheny’s Works that this preamp was something special.
Right off the bat, I heard great detail and sparkling clarity, and deeper bass.
What astonished me was to hear the finger picking on guitar strings and minor details that were otherwise subdued. The music absolutely featured more space around the instruments and a singer’s voice that created a sense of air and realism.
The presentation I heard improved over the next few months, playing about 2 hours a day, and that had me pulling records of all sorts off the shelves.
In all cases the music was cleaner, most distinct, present with subtle detail on both ends of the frequency spectrum, and in a magnificent sound stage.
On my promo copy of Van Morrison Veedon Fleece, I was delighted to hear the dynamics of space as his voice resonated in the air.
It is not easy to reproduce that feature on most systems. I could go on, but sufficed to say, I am delighted.
This preamp delivers an uncommon level of realism and immediacy that honestly I had not expected.
As the PS.40RDT SE has conditioned further the tone has sweetened; I just love it.
Thank you James. Well done.
Michell Orbe/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ PS.40RDT Special Edition
Mike – USA
This will be a first for me, so here comes a short mini-review of my PS.40RDT.
First of all I have to confess that I was only introduced to whest audio about 4 months ago. Previously I was the happy owner of an Avid Pulsare II but my circumstances changed a few months back and I had to downsize. The Avid Acutus SP/ SMEV had to go and be replaced with a Rega RP10 and an Audio Technica ART9 which wasn’t my first choice (as you know).
So here we are with a smaller cheaper table, cheaper phono stage and cheaper cartridge. WOW.. was I expecting the worse. James rightly pointed me to the ART9 cartridge as his 1st choice under £1200.
So first off Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. This is a 1980 copy, nothing special that I think cost me £6. As I started to play it, I was immediately shocked on how ALL of the instruments were separated and how I could hear everything so clearly. The system noise was also very quiet for vinyl but the volume pot was still at my standard position for normal listening.
OK, let’s try Frank Wess and Coltrane – Wheelin’ and Dealin’. I know this one really well because I like to practice flute to this album. I love the speed and sheer fun these guys are having on this album. Again I found that I was hearing MORE separation, MORE texture and it just sounded farfar better than my previous BIG Avid setup.
Lastly, Sarah Mclachlan – Fumbling towards ecstasy. I love her voice, her music …I think I might just love her :-). This album was enough to convince me that my downgrading was actually a BIG upgrade. The whest PS.40RDT although cheaper than the Avid Pulsare II is streets ahead. My buddy Mark next door is just about to pull the trigger on a whestTHREE Signature as you know. The RP10 is just great. The tonearm could be better finished but it really does the job. And as for the Audio Technica ART9, James you really do know your stuff. I have just compared this to the Ortofon Cadenza Black on Mark’s system and he preferred the ART9 over his own Cadenza Black.
In all what I thought would be a Road to nowhere turned out to be a Stairway to Heaven (cheap shot).
Great service and great product knowledge.
Rega RP10/ Audio Technica ART 9/ whest PS.40RDT
Darren Goddard – Exeter UK
whestTHREE Signature + Acoustic Signature WOW XXL + Lyra Kleos = True MAGIC
Michel Bigou – France
I now have the whestTWO.2 fully warmed up and playing the 45rpm Pete Le Roca – Basra. OK, I don’t know what the 40RDT or TITAN Pro sound like but I’d be amazed if they sound this good 🙂 I have never heard anything like this. The soundstage is BIG and detailed, the bass is incredible and it’s FAST. My 3 month old Audio Technica ART9 is sounding too good to be true. Yesterday I played Debussy Arabesque No.1 (if you know it), one of my favorite Classical pieces. I have never ever ever experienced audio from my system like this. It is so lifelike and so emotional. Why did I find whest so late? This is vinyl at it’s best.
Dr Feickert Woodpecker table/ Ortofon TA-110/ Audio Technica ART9/ whestTWO.2
Paulo De Luca – Milan Italy
I took some time to provide a little feedback for you. Feel free to use all or part of it for your website:
OK, I have a confession to make: I’m an audio cheapskate. There, I said it. Not that I buy cheap gear, but I typically buy gently used gear at roughly half of the original MSRP. And so it was while searching for my next phono stage to replace the ARC PH6 in my system. I was thinking about purchasing a used PS.30 RDT SE at a very nice price. That led me to the Whest Audio home page for a little research. I dropped James a quick note, got a prompt response and recommendation for a Nov 2017 hybrid PS.30 RDT SE with some 40 series technology, and the next thing I knew I was wiring over a fairly hefty chunk of change for the new unit. Very un-Todd like behavior. BUT it wasn’t that much more expensive than a used unit, came with a 5 year warranty, and had the potential to sound better than a stock 30 series SE. So why not?
Fast forward a couple of weeks. You know that feeling that creeps in when you KNOW something isn’t quite right in your system? Sure it sounds great, but…those drums sound smeared…or the stereo image is vague…you get the idea. Let me tell you, after inserting the 2017 Whest PS.30RDT SE into my system, those lingering doubts evaporated with the first drop of the needle. Some observations: vastly improved dynamics, weight, detail, soundstage, and above all clarity. My system finally sounds the way I had always hoped for. All at a price that satisfies my audio cheapskate sensibilities. I can’t imagine getting a better audio value for my hard earned money.
Thank you James!
VPI Classic 3 / Lyra Delos / 2017 Whest PS.30RDT SE / Audio Research Ref2 MkII / Audio Research VT-100 MkIII / Magico S1
Todd Conroy in Ontario, Canada
whestTWO.2 with the Rega RP6 is just wonderful. Thank you for such a beautifully designed product.
Rega RP6/ Ortofon 2M Black / whestTWO.2
Sharon and Mark – Bolton UK
Thank you for the super fast delivery, I wasn’t expecting it at all this side of Christmas.
WELL… I have just unplugged my Manley Chinook and hooked up the whestTHREE Signature and boy is there a BIG improvement. I now have a REAL soundstage and it’s SO quiet. The Dynavector XV1-S retipped by Soundsmith needed this. The Chinook was always a bit ‘warm’ and ‘slow’ I thought and definitely not upto the XV1-S level – although the Positive Feedback review of the Chinook would have you think otherwise.
Now my SG2/ XV1-S with the whestTHREE Signature is fast, wide, quite with bags of gain and super addictively musical – ‘EAT ‘THAT Positive Feedback 🙂
I can’t wait until it properly warms up !!!!! Killer phono stage.
Spiral Groove SG2 table/ Dynavector XV1S retiped/ whestTHREE Signature
Grant Black – New Hamshire USA
Good Morning. I have just received my whestTWO.2 and have just plugged it in. Already it is a marked improvement on the Avid Pulsus I also have here. It is just more ‘alive’ and more of what I would expect from my Avid table. An excellent product (whestTWO.2) that I will no doubt be upgrading VERY soon now I know what vinyl really sounds like. Will the whestTHREE Signature work just as well?
Avid Volvere SP/ SME 309/ Hana SL (to be updated)/ whestTWO.2
Philip Mcintyre – Melbourne Australia
Because they sound so good, I just bought another whestTWO.2 for my son and his Audio Technica LP5 fitted with an Audio Technica VM750SH thanks for Analogue Seduction UK. I love whest !!!
Happy New Year
Audio Technica LP5/ AT VM750SH/ whestTWO.2
John Manion – Cambridge UK
Brinkmann Oasis/ Brinkmann 10.5/ EMT Ti/ whest PS.40RDT – Wonderful !!!!!
Cary Moon – Washington USA
James. Thank you for your help and helping me choose the right product in your range for my new table. Yes you were right as always. The Tecdas Airforce 3 works like a match-made-in-heaven with the whest TITAN Pro. I think I will be adding another for my Nakamichi TX1000 turntable but will call you first for your expert advice. Thank you James and I hope you all have a nice new year.
Tecdas Airforce III/ Graham Phantom III/ Audio Technica ART1000/ whest TITAN Pro
S Joshi – New Delhi India
Merry Christmas guys. Got my whestTHREE Signature and it is as you said 🙂
If only the rest of the world could hear what I am hearing right now. AMAZING
Rega RP8/ Audio Technica AT33SA/ whestTHREE Signature
Joseph Maker – York UK
Fantastic and speedy service and right before the Christmas break. It was worth every cent and the months of saving up I had to do. My system with the PS.40RDT Special Edition has NEVER sounded so good. Having moved from a Sutherland Engineering phono stage to a Manley Chinook then an Audio ResearchREF Phono 3 in the space of just 2 years, I thought that was it for vinyl. With my VPI Prime/ Ortofon A95 the system always sounded good but not GREAT. The money was GREAT but the sound was below par.
Bring in Instagram and after ‘following’ whest audio I could see this company (you) were very different. The main difference was that whest is not about pushing product but pushing music – I really liked that. But it was after a short private message and longer emails that I was sold.
Bring in the PS.40RDT Special Edition. Instantly it is noticeable quieter and more dynamic than the Audio Research Ref Phono 3. It is also far more accurate – not overly warm and BIG like the Audio Research. The BIG sound of the Audio Research is it’s downfall. It sounds impressive to start but you soon realise it’s ‘Fake News’.
So where I am now is where I have wanted to be for YEARS. This phono stage is EVERYTHING I have ever wanted and MORE. Thank you so much and have a wonderful 2018
VPI Prime/ Ortofon A95/ VPI ADS Power Supply/ Accuphase C-290V modified preamp/ whest PS.40RDT Special Edition
Thank you for all your help, although I suspect it wasn’t too hard for you guys. Dirk Megan has been on my case for the past 2 weeks trying to get me to listen to his new whest PS.40RDT Special Edition. I’m glad I did because my Technics SP10Mk2/ Obsidian plinth has NEVER EVER EVER sounded this good. It is simply stunning. I think Dirk is typing a short review, so I’ll keep it really short. EVERYTHING HE SAID !!!!!!
(see Dirk’s review below)
Technics SP10 Mk2 in modified Obsidian Plinth/ Graham Phantom 2/ EMT 75s/ whest PS.40RDT Special Edition.
Cary M Jabobs – Connecticut USA
VPI Classic 4/ Tri-Planar/ TW Raven/ Lyra Atlas/ Ortofon Anna/ Audio Research REF Pre/ PS.40RDT Special Edition.
Basis Debut Signature turntable/ Basis tonearm/ Decca London Gold/ – soon whest PS.40RDT Special Edition
Dirk Megan – Connecticut USA
Add me to the other ULTRA happy whestTWO.2 users. This thing is streets ahead of my ‘now gone’ Avid Pulsus. I now know what vinyl is all about ! hahaha
Pro-ject Classic SP turntable/ whestTWO.2/ Roksan Caspian M2 amp/ Acoustic Energy AE1 Speakers
Stephen Walker – West Sussex UK
Thank you to James and Team whest for a great day. The weather was amazing and now I have a quite stunning sounding turntable. Before the whest PS.40RDT Special Edition I was using an Audio Research REF 2SE which I thought would be my last phono stage, but was I SO wrong. Not that I was wrong but the AR 2SE was wrong. Even through the new Thorens TD550 I now have, the AR 2SE sounded blurred, too warm and the imaging was vague. The PS.40RDT SE changed all that. Listening to some Nick Drake showed just how different the AR was to the far better Whest. There was no contest. Thank you James for a wonderful day. The best upgrade to my electronics I have ever done.
Thorens TD550 Silver/ Jelco SA750 10″/ Ortofon A95/ Lamm L2 preamp/ PSi A25M active loudspeakers.
Graham Stening – Kent UK
What a great and worthwhile upgrade !! If this gets onto your website I want to say this:
IF any of you are looking to upgrade or start in the world of vinyl then really there is nowhere else to go. These guys really do know what they are doing. The whestTHREE Signature I purchased is by far the best I have heard in and around this price range. It not only give me VINYL playback like nothing I have ever experienced but I know that I can upgrade my turntable (if I want) to silly levels before even thinking of upgrading the whestTHREE. So what did I have before – a Trilogy 907 Twin box but I always felt that I was missing something. What I was missing, and now I know is MUSIC, DETAIL and that REALISM that I get from the whestTHREE Signature. On top of that, the Trilogy 907 didn’t sound convincing with the SME15, whereas the whest sounds AMAZING with the SME15 – just INCREDIBLE.
SME 15/ Jelco SA750/ Kiseki Blue/ whestTHREE Signature/ Prima Luna Premium integrated/ Focal 906 stand mount speakers.
Peter Wan – Washington Seattle USA
Thank you James for another fantastic unit. The MC REF in my main system sounds far far better than I hoped. The TITAN Pro now sits with the Continuum Caliburn and is already sounding marvelous. I had a friend over yesterday from Hong kong with his BAT VK-P12 and I can tell you now you will be receiving a call very very soon! I am now running the new ZYX Omega on the Kronos Sparta turntable in system 1. This sounds very good. There are things that I think are better with the EMT 75s but I will wait for another 10-20 hours, but so far the MC REF is playing me details that I have never experienced before. Thank you.
Kronos Sparta/ Black Beauty/ ZYX Omega/ MC REF
Continuum Caliburn/ EMT 75s/ TITAN Pro
Tube and horn based systems.
JP Kwan – Hong Kong and London
As you know James, this is my 3rd time visiting your product range. The whestTHREE Signature in my 3rd system and the PS.40RDT in my 2nd system are what I refer to as the ‘heart and soul’ of those systems, and yes after several lengthy discussions, borrowing an MC REF V from my good friend Ian, I am more than happy to have moved to a whest MC REF V MK4 for my main system. James, the system sounds marvelous. The Audio Research PH9 always sounded good in the system but like you said… that is the main issue with it, it just sounds good. It sounded ‘good’ on everything to the point where I remember saying to Ian that the PH9 makes all my LPs sound the same, same character throughout.
Both you and Ian plotted this sale, I’m sure of it, but it was worth every penny. The MC REF V Mk4 sounds like I no longer have a phonostage but I am now just listening to what’s on the LP. My VPI Classic Direct is now operating at a very different level. It’s as if I don’t recognise some of the LP content anymore. The dynamic range is staggering and so is the level of detail. The contrast between LPs is also huge, something I knew the PH8 wasn’t showing up. KJ WestOne in London were absolutely adamant that’s how vinyl playback was, well I can tell you now KJWO – IT’S NOT !!!.
Why you don’t make a preamp I will never know, but if you ever do then call me. I’ll be your first customer.
VPI Classic Direct/ Lyra Atlas/ whest MC REF V Mk4 (2017)/ Aesthetix Callisto Signature/ Aesthetix Atlas Poweramp/ Harbeth 40.2 on bespoke Resonant Woods Stands USA
Dr Adam Schnee – UK and USA
I thought I needed a new turntable but BOY was I wrong. The Cyrus 8/2 DAC is no slouch and I love that UK sound, but partnered with the whestTHREE Signature, my vinyl setup has just hit the roof. 3D NOPE… more like 4D. Crazy details coming from my system now.
VPI Prime/ Lyra Kleos/ whestTHREE Signature/ Cyrus 8/2 DAC/ ATC SCM19
Clayton Barry – Caracus Venezuala
whestTWO.2 just replaced my Nagra battery powered BPS. The Nagra didn’t stand a chance. Thank to my good friend Tan who did exactly the same thing. It just goes to prove that MORE MONEY doesn’t always mean better in audio.
Acoustic Signature Thunder MK2/ Dynavector XX2 mk2/ whestTWO.2
Yusuf Khan – Madrid Spain
I’ve received the PS40RDT Special Edition and have unboxed it like it’s Christmas. Fantastic bit of kit !! It didn’t take me long to connect it to my Burmester 082. I’m AMAZED. It sounds far better than I remember and streets ahead of my Brinkmann phonostage which has now been demoted to my 2nd system. This is so right even right now. I was thinking of upgrading the EMT JSD6, but I see why you were against it, YES it’s a great cartridge. I have read that I need to burn this in for another 48-72 hours. That should be fun as I have the whole of Easter off. Thanks again for what sounds like a whole new record collection.
Brinkmann Balance/ 10.5″ tonearm/ EMT JSD6/ PS.40RDT Special Edition
Larry Rosen – Miami USA
I’m going to keep this very short James. This is the best phonostage I have ever heard – full stop. Vinyl cannot get better than this, can it? This (PS.40RDT Special Edition) is so far ahead of the other units I have listened to, it is a joke. How is it you are able to give me a soundstage like this when the others can’t? However you do it, just keep it up. Just amazing value for my setup. My Pear Audio Kid Thomas turntable is singing – really singing. I now can say with my hand on my heart that I have never heard my Miyajima Kansui Blackwood cartridge like this, I really feel that Miyajima users need to use your products if they want to hear them properly. Thank you James for a brilliant product.
Pear Audio Kid Thomas turntable/ Miyajima Kansui Blackwood MC cartridge/ whest PS.40RDT Special Edition
Roger McKenny – BC Canada
Firstly, thank you for your fantastic service from begining to end. Having installed the whestTHREE Signature in my system I can say that after only an initial 3 hours of warm-up time, my Thorens TD550 is sounding absolutely fantastic. The EMT S75 cartridge and Jelco SA-750E have NEVER EVER sounded so good, real and dynamic. I am currently playing K.D.Lang ‘Hymns of the 49th Parallel’ and Ms Lang’s voice and the instruments are sounding as if they are in my room. The shear level of detail is incredible. Whatever terms the magazine reviewers use for ‘INCREDIBLE, LIFELIKE AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED’ I would also apply to this outstanding product. The background noise/hiss levels are so low, it’s like CD or my soon to become redundant Naim Uniti streamer. The Thorens TD550 always sounded better with my last phonostage but now it has surpassed everything I have every heard in my system. Thank you for such a great product.
Thorens TD550/ Jelco SA-750E/ EMT S75/ whestTHREE Signature
Ms Danielle Martin – Calgary Canada
What a marvelous upgrade over my Graham Slee Accession MM stage. If it wasn’t for one of your other ex-G.Slee users I would never have known just what I was missing. The whestTWO.2 is really in a different league. Ok, the G.S unit has variable switching for different record labels but the whestTWO.2 is just so much more enjoyable to listen to, and I can hear so much more from my Clearaudio Concept.
Clearaudio Concept MM/ whestTWO.2/ Sugden A21I/ Harbeth P3ESR Loudspeakers
Mr A. Jacobs – Midlands
Got the unit (PS.40RDT Special Edition) on Friday but was out at a concert (Neal Morse – probably the best live band I have ever witnessed), so got it connected and powered up on Saturday morning and had a listen. I can honestly say that this is the most significant improvement I have EVER heard from my hifi. In fact my turntable beats my fairly impressive DCS digital front end, a result I was not expecting.
Michell Gyro SE/ Soundsmith MIMC/ PS.40RDT Special Edition
Mark H. – Edinburgh
Having just upgraded to the new Avid Acutus SP/ Brinkmann 10.5 combination I thought I’d look at whatcan happen if I change my Avid Pulsare II phono stage. Quite a few of the UK and USA forums were saying that the Avid phono stages were good for rock and nothing else. I certainly found the Pulsare II good for rock but a bit harsh on other genres and not great on classical. I’ve always had a question mark about it, but my dealer told me to let it warm-up.
Fastforward to a vinyl meeting in Islington London and there I saw an Avid Acutus SP and a whest PS.40RDT sounding incredible. At the break I spoke to the owner of the system and he confirmed what I had read and what I had experienced. The Avid phono stages are OK but not great and cannot handle raw acoustic or jazz well.
One call to my whest dealer in Scotland and I managed to snap a whest PS.40RDT for a short home demo. From out of the box, the PS.40RDT showed itself as a real special player. I was now hearing things that I had NEVER experienced or heard before. The soundstage was perfect and the timing was like being in a live concert – foot taping timing. I loved everything about this product.
I asked the dealer for a demo of the PS.40RDT Special Edition and was told it would be a special order as they didn’t have one in stock. Well, I bit that bullett and purchased it. It was the best thing I have done to my turntable system. I really didn’t need to go to the Acutus SP and could have stayed with the Volvere SP with the PS.40RDT Special Edition – I’m sure that combination would have been just as good really.
Fantastic. Really happy with my vinyl setup that to whest.
Avid Acutus SP/ Brinmann 10.5/ Lyra Atlas/ PS.40RDT Special Edition
Dr Prasad PHD. Glasgow
Garrard 401 Slate/ Jelco 750 9″/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ whestTWO.2 and very happy.
S.Petersen – West Midlands.
I’ve been a VPI Superscout Master turntable user for about 12 years and have used various cartridges and phonostages to try and get that ‘right’ sound. It shouldn’t be rocket science should it? I currently use an Ortofon A95 MC and up until about 3 weeks ago a Manley Steelhead phono stage. The system sound was by far the best I had heard in my system. The Manley providing that extra something the other phonostages just couldn’t deliver.
Then while on Instagram I came across whest audio (you). What I mostly liked was that it wasn’t all about the phonostages but about music as well. The testimonial page on your site was very interesting because I hadn’t really experienced a lot of what was talked about with regards the description of the whest audio phonostages. mmmm?
A quick chat to my local dealer in Scotland and he managed to get a PS.40RDT from you – as you know. That changed my whole life!
The Manley Steelhead was good but the PS.40RDT just blew it out of the water. It took me about 2 tracks on Royal Scam by Steely Dan to figure that out. The PS.40RDT was just incredible as pulling detail out that the Manley missed out. The imaging on the 40RDT was rock solid and strong. The Manley was a bit wishy-washy and mainly all centred. The soundstage on the 40RDT was wide but linear – instruments had space and the images were again strong. The Manley very weak in comparison, and the Manley was by far the best I had heard up to this point.
Needless to say the PS.40RDT is now in my system sounding incredible. It feels like I have a new record collection. Everything I play has extra dimension, extra detail, extra dynamics, extra musicality extra everything. This is what I have always wanted.
VPI SSM/ Ortofon A95/ PS.40RDT/ Whest Audio TITAN Pro Interconnect
Mr I Barry – Edinburgh
I have just upgraded from a Naim Superline Reference/ SuperCap to the whest PS.40RDT Special Edition and thought I would send in my small review.
I am a long standing Naim Audio user with the obvious LP12/Ekos/Keel/Lyra Kleos. The system is a vinyl based one and I only listen to classical music and mainly Baroque 1600-1700. Vinyl playback has always been very very difficult on this system, something that I have tried to fix. The Naim Superline Reference/ SuperCap combination was the last upgrade in my system and to be honest was also the least convincing. It was better than a lot I auditioned but it was still lacking.
I was recommended to listen to a whest unit, a company that hadn’t crossed my already limited path. The nearest equivalent to the Naim combination was the PS.40RDT. After a good 5 mins of listening at the dealer’s studio I was sold. The Naim struggled with those 17th Century instruments whereas the whest not only played them as if they wee in the room, but I heard other parts to those instruments that I had only heard in a live concert. My harpsicord playing wife also commented on the whest’s ability to pull apart the piece as she was easily able to follow the different string sections. Her hearing is far better than mine as she then told me that it felt like there were whole frequencies missing on the Naim. My feeling was that listening on the whest was a real life experience and the Naim (and others) felt like hifi/ audio equipment always getting in the way.
So I now have what I have always wanted. Baroque concerts in my living room.
Linn LP12/ Ekos/ Keel/ Lyra Kleos/ whest PS.40RDT/ Naim 52 SuperCap/ Dynaudio Contour 20
Dr R. Grovesbank – Richmond London UK.
Being a big vinyl playing fan, I was recommended to go down a well known ‘small package’ UK built phono stage that seemed to get great reviews and they do headphone amps which I was also interested in. WOW 5 months of listening to vinyl in mono it felt like. No life, No music. This phonostage ticked ZERO boxes.
So… the dealer then played me a whestTWO.2 phono stage using a very similar setup to mine. Rega RP8/ Ortofon Cadenza Black. Now that was a lot better. Everything seemed to be there. But to be sure he then put on the ‘other’ UK build device. The comparison was quite stunning. The whestTWO.2 had a wide soundstage, really detailed, super low noise. The other sounded like it was a supermarket special. ZERO music ZERO detail.
OK. So I was sold. But I ended up buying the whestTHREE Signature and replacing my RP8 for an RP10 why? because the whest had opened up so much about my vinyl collection that it was quite clear that I really wanted more of that and I wanted it NOW !!! Now I have the best vinyl setup I have heard. No hifi shows ever again.
Rega RP10/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ whestTHREE Signature/ Roksan M2 amplifier/ Spendor SP3/1R2
Thank you to the team at whest for supplying the PS.40RDT Special Edition so quickly and it was worth the very short wait. My Micro Seiki RX5000 has literally come alive. No matter what I play, no matter what cartridge I use, no matter what time of day, no matter what the weather, the sound I now have being played back is simply stunning. All of you are invited her to my place of music.
Micro Seiki RX5000/ Fidelity Research FR64S/ Lyra Atlas, EMT 75S, EMT TSD15, Ortofon SPU #1 and Ortofon A95.
Minori Tesuka – Hong Kong
The path to nivana is paved with snake oil, is a moto my ex always said. This is so true as I have literally wasted money on so much ‘average’ sounding gear over the years. Your whestTWO.2 is what I would call a clear pathway to heaven. It is like someone has hoovered a kilo of wax from my ears. How on earth do you do that? Why is it I can hear new information from my vinyl collection that I have owned for many years? My Avid Pulsus wasn’t all that bad I thought, well that was back then. This is something else. The combination of my Avid Diva II SP and the whestTWO.2 is quite something else. Even with my same Benz Micro Glider SL it sounds so different, real, true. The whestTWO.2 gives me back the sort of sound that I have been hankering for for many years. I know my friend Keith has been on to you, no doubt looking to outdo me. Whatever he ends up with, will no doubt be in my system a few days later for his ‘shoot-out ‘ evening. God help me!
Avid Diva II SP/ Benz Micro Glider SL/ whestTWO.2/ Sugden A21 amp/ Harbeth 30.1
Andrew Pinton – Norwich UK
WOW or should that be AMAZING. I’ve had my ASR Basis Exclusive for a few years now and never thought I’d be able to get much better from my existing vinyl setup. How I was so wrong. My Rega RP10/ Apheta 2 MC never ever sounded this good. The separation, imaging and vocals are simply outstanding. Even listening to something as ‘common’ as Steely Dan Gaucho is an eye opener. I can say with both hands on my heart that the ASR Basis Exclusive sounded mono in comparison. I really do have stereo/ 2 individuals LR channels and a really strong center channel, something that my Basis never ever did. But even after all of that is the extra instruments or the same ones but now so well defined. I am so excited to get through the rest of my small collection which will no doubt grow now.
Rega RP10/ Apheta 2/ whestTHREE Signature/ Roksan Caspian Integrated/ Focal Aria 926
S.Semple – Madrid Spain
Audio Technica LP5/ whestTWO.2/ AT95EX/ Mac Mini/ Dynaudio BM6A active monitors and a ton of vinyl.
Carlos – another poor music student based in London.
thank you for your help during this very confusing period in my life. The Audio Technica LP5 and whestTWO.2 combination is exactly what I needed. I have been onto Audio Technica regarding a AT33SA which I will most likely purchase in a month or 2, but currently the cartridge that comes installed is working so well, I am reluctant to move to a better cartridge right now.
When you said that this combination of the LP5 and whestTWO.2 was a match made in heaven I don’t think you were wrong. It has certainly changed my view on what is possible with vinyl.
Thank you so much for recommending the new Audio Technica LP5 turntable. This with the whestTWO.2 with the Audio Technica AT95EX supplied sounds pretty amazing to say the least. I wasn’t expecting this type of sound quality from vinyl. I was really expecting a 1970’s type of cuddly sound but instead I’m getting something that sounds better than my dad’s older modified Technics turntable system. And I have also found a great source of vinyl at my local charity shop, which is just perfect. I suppose the next step is a new cartridge for Christmas. Say thank you to Sarah for her assistance and speedy service.
Audio Technica LP5/ AT95EX/ whestTWO.2/ NAD 3020/ Mission 770 loudspeakers.
Paul Denton – SE London
On the upgrade path. Well I’ve just upgraded my older PS.30R, which was excellent, to the new PS.40RDT and James, I must tell you, the 40RDT is bloody incredible. I upgraded the Thorens TD125 last year to a VPI Scout 2 and Benz Micro Gullwing SLR retipped with the ES Paratrace tip. This combination has got to be the best vinyl setup on the planet. I really can’t imagine there is anyone else out there that is listening to a vinyl setup as good as mine. I took yesterday off work – pulled a sickie just to listen to vinyl. That is how I feel about my setup now. It is that good, no it’s better than that.
VPI Scout 2/ Benz Micro Gullwing SLR/ PS.40RDT
Mr Paul Emrose – Hampstead UK
I’m not good with explaining the sound I now hear. The improvement over the Avid Pellar phono stage is very big. I was worried for a while that it would be just a small improvement. I can say with ease that everything with my humble vinyl setup has improved. The bass is stronger and more tuneful, the mid range is much clearer and has more detail and the treble (high frequency range) is so smooth and lacks the harshness of the Avid. Altogether the whestTWO.2 has been a vast improvement and a great addition to me system. Thank you for your help in helping me with this.
Clearaudio Concept/ Lyra Delos/ whestTWO.2 lots of 1960s Jazz albums.
S.Hiraga – Japan
Thank you team Whest for getting me this whestTWO.2 for my setup. Really loving it. The dads’ vinyl collection is coming in handy right now, and thanks for the shop recommendations, I’ll check them out.
Thorens TD125MK1/ Denon DL103/ whestTWO.2/ Nad 3020/ Nad 8020 loudspeakers
Stephen A Foster – Bristol Uni
Where to start? Coming from a pretty large 2 box Audio Research and having to go smaller because of ‘things’ happening around me. Well I thought I was downgrading but, certainly pricewise, but the sound – definitely not.
So to recap, I have more detail, no noises, a better soundstage, it’s smaller and cheaper and I saved money. Hold on, that doesn’t sound like audio 🙂 Now I know what vinyl is really all about…it’s great. Thank you.
TW Acustic Black Night with 10.5″ tonearm/ Ortofon MC ANNA/ PS.40RDT Special Edition
Generally London – Richard Walker
‘I spent a few hours tonight playing records and the TITAN Pro is a really huge step compared to anything I have had in my system. My Micro Seiki/ Kuzma PS.30RDT SE is not in the same league as my Acutus/TITAN Pro – Great Job 🙂
Kenneth with a VERY BIG system… but has a really beautiful Micro Seiki/ Kuzma Airline.
‘Massive step up from the Angel Audio audiophile phono stage I was using, even with my Rega Elys – such a massive leap forward. Going to be a long night! 🙂
‘There’s stuff leaping out of the Harbeths from everywhere! (Nitin Sawhney – Displacing the Priest).
Stephen – Chorley Lancs.
Thank you for your help in helping me chose the right phono stage for my system. After hearing the 2 x whestTHREE Signatures in the Audio Technica shop in Paris with the ART-7, I knew you were the right company to go to. I now have the whestTWO.2 in my house and it is brilliant. A very very big step up from the Graham Slee Revelation unit I have been using. I haven’t heard my own ART-7 sound this good. Incredible detail and soundstage. The Revelation always sounded like I was just playing records, now I feel I am playing music and getting out what my turntable is really doing. And all this from popping into a shop in Paris to see what Audio Technica have right now 🙂
Rega RP8/ Audio Technica ART-7/ whestTWO.2
Joseph Alvarez – Cambridge UK and Bordeaux France
Another forum user and good friends, outside of audio, with Larry kaufmann. I used to own an Avid Pulsus phono stage until I went to Larry’s place with it to compare it to his nearly warmed up whestTWO.2. What a mistake that was. It took 2 tracks of Steely Dan’s Royal Scam to decide that the Avid needs to be trade-in or ‘flee-bayed’. Next we went through Steven Wilson, some Justin Timberlake 1st LP (courtesy of Larry’s son), some new 2015 female folk stuff that was excellent – should have written it all down. Anyway back to the story, the Avid lacked in every area and I mean EVERY AREA. It couldn’t keep up with anything the whestTWO.2 did. The whestTWO.2 just took everything in it’s stride. The soundstaging was the first thing that certainly hit me. Smug Larry was behaving a little unkind but I deserved it…. I recommended the Avid a couple of weeks before.
Well I plunged for a whestTHREE Signature. Same sonic signature but even better. Just more detail, better soundstaging, more textures. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Larry said we should only take audio forum recommendations with a pinch of salt… I’d say less!
Michell Orbe SE/ SME IV / Dynavector XX2 Mk2/ whestTHREE Signature in Black.
Antony Morgan – Berkshire UK
Well having gone through 4 very well (audio forum) recommended phono stages, I was then pointed towards the new whestTWO.2. OK, I’m starting out again on the vinyl path with my ageing LP12/ Rega RB300 and a new Denon 103R. I was expecting much of the same thing that the other 4 units played – a bit of hiss, music nothing fancy, but maybe a bit more OOMPH.
What I wasn’t expecting was a soundstage, separated instruments, OOMPH, real musicality, LIFE. This thing smashed all expectations of what I thought was possible with vinyl. The backgound noise is near zero – no hiss. I have bags of gain, I have 2 individual channels ( I know that sounds weird but the others sound mono in comparison ), and it’s so musical and detailed. My ageing LP12 sounds like it has gone through a timewarp.
We’ll see how it goes over the next 2 weeks because I’m now thinking I ‘may’ jump to the whestTHREE Signature – ‘smitten after being bitten’.
1989 Linn LP12/ Rega RB300/ Denon DL103R/ whestTWO.2
Larry Kaufmann – Berkshire UK – slowly going off forums
The PS.40RDT Special Edition is not one of those products. Firstly this unit was recommended by a few forum users from 3 different continents. I’d only ever heard one Whest Audio phonostage before and that was at a show. This little beast is a killer. It’s extremely well made and the sound – it’s incredible. My ageing Walker Audio table has never sounded this good. In fact I don’t even remember it sounding good because I spent 40% of the time listening to CD. Now I find that I’m listening to CD about 5% of the time. I listened to a CD last week I think. Vinyl through the 40RDT SE sounds like they are in my room. It can be scary at times because I can hear things coming out of the loudspeakers I’ve never heard before.
Thank you to Whest, my local dealer in Chicago USA, Andre in Germany, Chet in California and Kyle in Thailand for pointing me in the path of the Righteous. I owe you all a BIG BIG drink.
Walker Audio Proscenium Gold Turntable/ Clearaudio Reference Wood/ Whest PS.40RDT Special Edition
VPI Classic 4/ Dynvactor XX2 Mk2, Ortofon Cadenza Black/ Whest PS.40RDT SE and PS.40RDT.
Mr C.M Fitzpatrick – Chicago USA
Thales Compact/ Simplicity II/ EMT JSD6 / PS.40RDT Special Edition – Excelente !
Mr S Alves – Alicante Spain
I wasn’t too sure that I was going to get a big improvement over the 30RDT Special Edition, but BOY was I wrong. I think VPI need to hear this. The (VPI) Avenger produces an amazing soundstage and really deep bass, see through everything else. VPI need to hear my system !!
VPI Avenger/ VPI 10.5″ tonearm/ Dynavector XV1-S/ PS.40RDT Special Edition
Mr C Brady – Ontario Canada
Thank you James for your help. You are right. The PS.40RDT is a perfect match for my Brinkmann LaGrange. The ASR and Tron phonostages cannot compare. They sound flat and lack so much information. The 40RDT is perfect. Thank you
Brinkmann LaGrange/ Brinkmann 10″ arm/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ Whest PS.40RDT
Mr E Brauer – Gottenberg Sweden
I have now put 48 hours on the 40RDT Special Edition and it is incredible. I remember how the 30RDT SE sounded in my system and this really is a huge upgrade. The combination with my Avid turntable is stunning. It has improved everything in my vinyl system, absolutely everything. The detail I am now getting surpasses my expectations and your initial description. Incredible and maybe the best phonostage in production today!
Avid Acutus SP/ Graham Phantom/ Lyra Etna/ Whest PS.40RDT Special Edition
Mr A George – New Jersey USA
The short testimonials: all 2015 versions
TITAN Pro – ‘everyone has already said what I wanted to say but they forgot to say it’s like a drug’
TITAN Pro – ‘I’ve been buying Jazz for about 50 years now’ ‘my whole Blue Note collection sounds NEW’
MC REF V MK4 – ‘it has been on for 5 hours and already my system is sounded 3D – that’s a first’
whestTHREE Signature – ‘!x*!!**!*x* amazing’ ‘My Ortofon A90 never sounded this good EVER’
whestTHREE Signature – ‘best purchase in the past 10 years’
PS.30RDT Special Edition – ‘really, I still can’t believe I’m listening to vinyl’
TITAN Pro – ‘I never do this but I have recommended this to my friends everytime I speak to them’
PS.30RDT – ‘ the improvement from the Trilogy cannot be put into words’. ‘ in the room’
TITAN Pro – ‘ one of his friends’ see above – it’s true
MC REF V Mk4 – ‘ I’m now listening to The Bard by Sibelius and it is the best I’ve ever heard’
whestTWO – ‘ I now need to update my other phono stage which cost twice the whestTWO’
Poor student system – Rega 2/ whestTWO/ Ortofon 2M Black/ Lots of vinyl mainly soulful house – bad ass!
Dinky Simmons – everywhere.
Having spent the past 18 months on a quest to get my vinyl setup finalised I now know I am there.
Everything else on the market might as well throw in the towel. The PS.30RDT Special Edition is just incredible. Everyone uses ‘incredible’ but it is very hard to put this into words if you are not hi-fi literate. BUT here goes. My vinyl system is certainly more dynamic and just listening to Eric Dolphy play Naima is amazing. He sounds like he is in the room. I can hear more of the performance which I put down to the low noise and that dark background. The different drum sounds are easy to hear and very eay to follow and as a budding bassist I love the way this unit deals with complex bass notes, I can hear them, see them and follow all of them. The seeing part is strange but this the ‘soundstage and imaging’ you go on about, I understand!
I love it. It is very very addictive. Thank you. The trouble is now I know what the 40RDT Special Edition is going to be like 🙂
VPI Classic 4/ Lyra Delos/ Dynavector XV1-S/ Whest PS.30RDT Special Edition 2015 version x 2
Mr Larry Dolphy (just a coincidence) – Northampton UK
A complete transformation in all areas going from a Avid Pellere to the 2015 PS.30RDT. I can’t believe at this price level that there can be such an improvement. See you for the 40RDT Special Edition when my wallet recovers!
Avid Diva II SP/ SME IV/ Transfiguration Proteus.
Ivan McAvoy – Edgbaston UK
‘A TOTAL TRANSFORMATION TO MY 45 YEAR OLD RECORD COLLECTION !!!!!!’
PS.30RDT Special Edition 2015 version is incredible
Brinkmann Bardo/ 9″ tonearm/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ PS.30RDT SE 2015 version LC OFC wireloom
Dr Johnathan Bamford – UK
Thanking all the whest team for the brilliant service and helping me with sorting out my system. I have to be honest in that it never sounded right with the Avid , Clearaudio, Ayre or ASR phonostages. I knew my Avid Volvere SP was really good but it took the whestTHREE Signature to really tell me. The others just play the tune (like you said) but the whestTHREE just gets into what vinyl is all about. I was never interested in imaging but now I really have it I can see its importance. I have real stereo for the first time. The other phono stages I had did not have this type of precise soundstage. So I am now 3 months into the whestTHREE and 200LPs up as well. This things wants you to buy more vinyl, that’s one thing you didn’t tell me!
Avid Volvere SP/ Jelco 9″ tonearm/ Lyra Delos/ Ayre K-5x preamp/ PSi A21 Active monitors
Chris Barber – California
Update to Mr Joseph Koch – existing TITAN Pro user
I’ve been using the TITAN Pro now for about a year and have found it to be the most consistent phonostage I have ever had. Everything I play sounds 3D, musical – those things the rest of your customers talk about. I had the opportunity to build a second large space in my house and as you know I went with an active loudspeaker setup which worked for the space I have ‘acquired’. This time around though I thought I’d treat myself to a better turntable/arm and cartridge so I have ended with a Brinkmann Balance/10.5″ tonearm and the EMT JSD6 which seems to be a perfect combination and a very common one. I had no reservations in purchasing another TITAN Pro for this system – it makes absolute sense.
What I have now are 2 systems which sounds incredible, play vinyl like nothing I have ever experienced – even the dog loves it. I can play for hours on end and it sounds REAL.
Thank you again for such a great product and system recommendation. It has really worked out perfectly.
Brinkmann Balance/10.5″ tonearm/ EMT JSD6/ TITAN Pro (second one)
Mr Joseph Koch
‘The MC REF V Mk4 is the missing link in my system. The synergy is incredible and if it’s not synergy then the whole system is singing like never before’
Basis 2802/ Graham Phantom 2/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ Whest MC REF V Mk4/ Conrad Johnson ART2/ PMC twotwo Active Monitors.
Mr Hector Rodriguez – Columbia USA
I would just like to say thank you to your team to organising the Special Edition to arrive before the Easter break. Well what can I say. From cold the Special Edition sounds marvelous and so much better than the units I had in my system previously. I cannot tell you where it is better but all I can say is that the Special Edition has opened my eyes to what vinyl is all about, how real is can sound and just how poor my Krell CD player is! I might just sell the CD player and buy a cheaper one because I can see now that CD is the poorer format. – 2016/7 will be a TITAN Pro year I think. 🙂
Have a great Easter and could you please say thank you to your team especially Sarah who was able to point me in the right direction to start with.
SME 20.2/ Triplanar/ Ortofon MC ANNA/ Whest PS.30RDT Special Edition/ BAT VK23 Preamp/ Psi A25M active monitors.
Dr Christoph Schell – Edgbaston UK
he he he …. Roksan Xerses/ RB300/ Denon 304/ whestTWO/ Nad 3020/ Mission 751
It can’t get better than this 🙂
Poor but happy student
P Hall – Oxford UK
what an amazing product. I’m not going to go into a whole review suffice to say that listening to my whole record collection is a totally new experience. My Rega P10 has NEVER sounded so dynamic, musical and rich. It’s incredible. I know these albums so well and yet I am only now hearing things in them that makes them sound so new. i just played Tapestry by Carole King and it’s as if I was listening to it for the very first time. The whestTHREE Signature has totally transformed my collection and I now understand what vinyl playback (as you call it) is all about. A big thank you to you and the whest team.
Rega P10/Lyra Delos/ whestTHREE Signature/ Roksan K3 amplifier/ Harbeth Monitor 30.1
Ms K Woodward – Westchester USA
As a complete newbie to Whest Audio, I can see what all the fuss is about. Although not hugely known in the USA, I still found that the audio community following whest audio was positively stronger than the followers of other brands. So enough of all this waffling and let’s get down to what I eventually ended up with and why. Firstly my system is pretty normal’ish. A VPI Classic 3 with Ortofon Cadenza Black with the Discovery Cable (not Nordhost – don’t like it), Modright KWI 200 integrated amplifier and a pair of Raidho D-1 stand mount loudspeakers. My phono stage at the time was the Sutherland Duo battery phono stage.
It all sounded really good, clean and pretty dynamic until a friend bought over his Manley Steelhead and that was it. I knew instantly that the Sutherland Duo HAD TO GO! The Suthland was just too polite, lacked drive and well sounded dead. The Manley was on a different level – bring out the credit card !!! Well not yet. After searching the web I came across a review of the Whest Audio MC REF V which looked interesting. Well that was way lout of my price range but I saw that there were other things in the range that I could afford.
The web is a minefield but I came across a few people that had converted from known US units to a Whest product and never looked back. A bit more reading and a PM (private message) later and I was able to listen to a 2014 PS.30RDT Special Edition in my system. A quick call and I managed to get the Manley Steelhead back for a proper A-B.
The A-B took place 2 days later as I needed to take a day off work but that gave the units enough time to warm-up. The other guys were also invited down after my initial listening session which was an eye-opener. So this is how it went. Manley first for 2 tracks, Whest next. I thought we’d go through a few favorites like Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd etc. It was easier to do that with the 3 of us as we all knew those albums.
So the Manley goes on and it sounds really really good. We played AJA first and the Manley Steelhead gave this nice big controlled sound, detailed with a touch of background noise but nothing to really worry about. The main thing is that we all thought that the sound was great and at times amazing. Now the Whest PS.30RDT Special Edition. HA HA HA…. The Whest from the very first second positively destroyed the Manley Steelhead in every area. Lower noise, bags more detail, larger soundstage, more fluid but also more music. It was in a different league on the whole side-1 of AJA. We played a few tracks of the other albums and it was the same. The Whest Audio PS.30RDT Special Edition was just light years ahead of the Manley Steelhead and left the Sutherland for dead. In fact the Sutherland was switched off because it was not allowed in the shoot-out.
So I finally settled on the Whest and it wasn’t even a struggle. I was the best move I have made in YEARS. I wish I could shout from the top of some mountain because these products need more presence in the USA. AMAZING is an understatement.
VPI Classic 3/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ Whest PS.30RDT Special Edition/ Modwright KWI 200/ Raidho D-1
Mr C Handy – Maryland USA
Firstly, thanks to Sarah for talking me through the range and pointing me in the right direction.
What I now hear in my system is so much of an improvement that it feels that I don’t know most of what I am listening to anymore. I can hear so much more from my Avid Volvere SP and SME 30 turntables. My last phono stage which I will not mension placed everything on a single plain, but it also lacked so much detail (which I now realise) that I have to question why it was recommended in the first place. The magazines were way-off on that one.
The Avid Volvere SP/ whestTHREE Signature combination is quite amazing. The whestTHREE Signature is by far the best phono stage that has blessed the Avid under £6k. It is simply incredible in every way.
Across the whole band, the whestTHREE Signature is so ‘right’ and sounds like a real hi-rez device/ tool that plays music not tunes like the others do.
The SME 30/ Titan Pro/ Ortofon MC ANNA is what I think the best vinyl setup I have EVER HEARD. I know that this combination will help me wear out my cartridges very easily! What I love about the SME 30/ Titan Pro setup is the lack of ‘sound’ and the ease of super fast dynamic range, impossible to put into words resolution and ultra low noise. I feel like I am listening to a performance and not to a vinyl setup. It is quite incredible what you guys have achieved in your range. James is a gifted designer with a marvelous skill set.
Avid Volvere SP Turntable/ whestTHREE Signature / Ortofon Cadenza Black & Lyra Delos
SME 30 Turntable 2 tonearm mod/ Titan Pro/ SME V rewired/ Jelco 10.5″ tonearm/ Ortofon MC ANNA, Lyra ATLAS, Dynavector XV1-T, Denon DL-304 heavy body mod from Japan
Mr P JACKSON – LONDON UK
I have a Benz Lukashchek with a modified power supply as per
My modifications to the Benz transformed it into a very sweet sounding phono stage, so much so that I thought that phono stages could not get much better. I was running the Benz with a Well Tempered Classic and a ZYX Bloom (low output – 0.24mv). I did enjoy the sound, but then the upgrade bug bit when I saw a Maplenoll Ariadne Signature turntable for sale at an irresistible price. The Maplenoll was modified with a custom, one piece, cast magnesium, hyper rigid, well damped tonearm, so the damping trough is not necessary; it was also modified with a custom corian and lead laminate platter. The original owner said that these changes vastly improve the Maplenoll’s sound. I set up the Maplenoll with the ZYX and it easily beat my Well Tempered even before I fine tuned its setup. Then the upgrade bug bit again and I bought a Van Den Hul Colibri XGP. The Colibri did sound better than the ZYX in some ways, but I could not get it to sound right; no matter what I did it sounded thin and light, but extremely detailed. Then I decided to upgrade my Benz phono stage, since it has a 22K ohm fixed input loading and my Colibri ideally needs 50 to 200 ohms.
This is where the whestTHREE comes in.
I bought the whestTHREE in late May and set it up as soon as I got home, leaving it’s default gain and 100 ohm resistive load. When I first turned on the whestTHREE and listened, it sounded awful, worse than my Benz; the sound was stiff and harsh. However, after about two hours it sounded much different.
Now it sounded fluid, smooth, detailed and dynamic; it started to beat the Benz, but not by leaps. The sound of the whestTHREE kept improving over time and by day four, it left the Benz in the dust in every sonic parameter I can think of, I could not believe my ears! Now the highs are extended, detailed and smooth while being quite energetic; there is no splashing at all. Cymbals shimmer and tambourines roll and shake with clarity. The mid range is smooth yet vibrant, and vocals are rendered with body and authority, but do not sound “woolly”. The bass is voluminous without being overpowering or “boomy”; it sounds full and rich, but is rendered with lots of detail.
It is also well extended and well controlled in the lower frequencies. The whestTHREE renders each instrument with its own space surrounding it; it is that detailed. I am hearing things in my records I never knew were there; things I thought could not possibly be there.
The whestTHREE has brought my Colibri to life. The Colibri is very finicky and has stringent requirements; consequently, if its operating requirements are not met, it is mediocre at best. However, once its demands are met, it is simply glorious. Thanks to the whestTHREE, my Colibri is alive and I am now in sonic heaven; I do not want to stop listening to my records once I start.
The whestTHREE has scintillating high’s, smooth mids and thundering bass, while having great detail in the entire sound spectrum, and it does this without sounding harsh or uncontrolled in any part of it.
This phono stage is wonderful, it has surpassed my expectations and what I thought could come from an LP; it is “impossibly good”.
Mr. Walsh – Canada.
Brinkmann LeGrange/ Brinkmann 10.5/ EMT JSD6/ MC REF V MK4
Is there anything else to know apart from the words ‘AUDIO HEAVEN’
Hi. I just purchased one of your TITAN Pro phono stages to go with my TW Acustic Raven turntable. My previous phono stage was your Special Edition and previous to that was a GT Tron Seven which I thought was very good until a dealer installed your Special Edition – that’s the moment my system came alive! The TITAN Pro is without a doubt yet another league above the SE, and the Raven with the Ortofon Cadenza Black just keeps getting better.
Thank you so much for the continued enjoyment I get from listening to my vinyl collection. It’s an old collection but it’s very dear to me. Before this email I just finished listening to Oscar Peterson Affinity. I know this LP so well but with your TITAN Pro is has a completely different meaning. It’s not the extra dimensional information or realism (as you say) but more it is all about Oscar’s expression which has really come through. The SE did this to a smaller extent and the Tron Seven never did it. I remember doing a straight A-B with the 2 latter units and the SE was gthe clear winner. The TITAN Pro though is telling me so much more. I am an amature pianist but play in 2 local bands and this product allows me to hear and feel the music/ soul. I think my piano playing is about to get better.
Thank you.TW Raven/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ TITAN Pro
Mr Jon Barrington
‘Just what the doctor ordered’
Well what a nice surprise. As you know I had to downsize my system for personal reasons but kept my DPS 2/ Tri Planar/ Lyra TITAN i turntable. My large Focal Maestro Utopia definitely had to go with the big Gryphon power amp. I really felt my listening pleasure was going to go. Vinyl wasn’t my primary source as I was using a DCS transport and DAC which I felt was very very good but even that had to go. KJ WestOne was kind enough to sell me a good one-box CD player in the Metronome CD8 which actually was pretty much as good as the DCS combo. To keep the rest as simple as possible I got the Audio Research LS27 with a pair of ATC SCM100ASL. It meant less boxes on the floor and a simple rack. My wife was now very happy.
This is actually about replacing my ASR Basis Exclusive phono stage. The system sounded great and better than my last, even after downsizing! The ASR was my reference for about 3 years but was pretty big. I read on the net about someone changing an ASR Basis Exclusive for a Whest PS.30RDT Special Edition and ended up ‘binning’ the ASR. Well seeing as vinyl was my ‘second’ source I thought I give this a go.
All I needed was a small phono stage, nothing BIG like the ASR and not expensive. The whestTHREE seemed to be the right thing. After a 2 hour warm-up and some biscuits, James from Whest and I sat down to listen to the ASR. Sure enough I smiled thinking James would just walk out with the whestTHREE under his arms. He didn’t but sat there listening to the music, reading the LP cover and asking me about the band playing. He certainly enjoyed it.
Next was the smaller whestTHREE Signature. Switching over was simple enough and it was smaller which was what I really needed. We put on the same Wibutee LP. This time I sat there with my mouth wide open and James was still just listening to the LP. The ASR was definitely heading for the bin!!
And this is why.
The soundstage on the whestTHREE is bigger with SPACE. The instruments sound real and don’t move. It images are ‘visual’ as well as aural. The noise floor is lower. The bass goes deeper. The highs go higher. The mids are see-through crystal clear. It conveys emotion. And I can tell you I have never heard these things before. The air is now cleaner! My vinyl setup kills the Metronome CD8 in every way possible. If you want to know vinyl seriously …….GET A WHEST !!!!!!!!
Thank you James for your products. Yes… I’m coming back for a TITAN Pro 🙂 and I hope you enjoy the bottle of Vinfandel.
DPS 2 Turntable/ whestTHREE Signature/ AR LS27/ ATC SCM100ASL
Mr Sebastian Sword London
What can I say that hasnt’t already been said apart from “WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE TO MY VINYL COLLECTION !!!! 🙂 TRULY AMAZING ”
SME30/ Thales Simplicity/ EMT JSD6/ MC REF V MK4/ Full Active ATC SCM110 ASL Pro loudspeakers
I hope you are well.
Then I am a new user of your WONDERFUL PS.30RDT Special Edition and I would like to let you my testimonial.
Dear Reader or Colleague Listener,
I use a LENCO 75 JTN Ref MKII (Graham Phantom Suprem II + Lyra Atlas + Nordost Vahlalla cables (phono+rca) in a Linn Aktiv system KOMRI, KLIMAX filters, 8 SOLOS… and the Whest Audio PS.30RDT Special Edition is the best upgrade ever made in my system.
My Lenco became certainly the best LP Source in the World…
I strongly recommend Whest products and truly the PS.30RDT Special Edition as the best phono in a range of price up to 10,000 Euros (I tried the Moon 810LP, Boulder 1008) and they were so far away…
Buy without any reservations.
In a life I would go to the MC REV V for sure… as the ultimate upgrade…”
Many thanks for your job,
All the best with the TITAN PRO.
Jim – in a country in the European landmass!
UPDATE TO THE ABOVE
So I upgraded my Whest Audio PS.30RDT Special Edition to the superb wonderful MC REF V MK4model.
The MC REFV model received last friday – 20 hours of LP”s… Better and better… The best upgrade ever made. In a new dimension… Only music…
What you get IS everything within the full spectrum and WOW : The bass control… My Komris are dancing now… and the velocity and resolution and the soundstage size : 6 m minimum, no back and front walls… ONLY MUSIC COME TO YOU…
In terms of improvement by comparison with the PS.30RDT Special Edition previously owned, even if the last one is a super product for his price, a factor of 10 for the resolution improvements is close to what I feel and read in some forums… A wonderfull product, not enough well known and for the price… well positioned…by comparison with Gryphon, Moon, Boulder and Audio Research (one session listen : not stable because of lamp…)…
With this device, if you get a good LP player (tone-arm, cartridge, chassis…), this is the only upgrade to make and believe me : I did a lot of upgrade before coming to my Linn KOMRIS Aktiv system (8 Solos, Kontrol…)… Various amp, loudspeakers, preamp, cable…
Don’t waste your money, whatever your system, first Whest Audio is a very good investments and the MC REF V is the UPGRADE to do in a life…
Of course the better is the system, the better would be the results but don’t forget : Put always the money nearer to the SOURCE and don’t neglect the foundations : Power cable and Power distribution… I hope I could share my little experiences.
Enjoy the music.
All the best,
TITAN Pro = Absolutely STUNNING !!!!!!!!
Bauer DPS/ Naim ARO/ Lyra Kleos/ TITAN Pro + interconnect.
Mr Joseph Koch
James, I may not own a big super-deck but the whestTWO 2005 Roksan Xerses/ Rega RB300/ Lyra Delos has taken it from a skimpy player with that crappy modded Cambridge 640P and that was after the very average Dynavector P75 ! (never again will I listen to a forum member at a hifi show)..into a really music playing monster machine. it is incredible what is now coming off my vinyl. Everything from Classical to Jazz to Rock to Pop is sounding totally open. I can hear instruments that were never there, space, and different textures/ sounds in the mix. I was just listening to a John Coltrane track called Naima which he has done a fair amount of times. What struck me when I put it on was that his saxophone sounded like a saxophone and it had real power behind it. When i switched back to the modded 640P the power had gone, the imaging had gone and the saxophone had turned into a ‘rough image’ of a saxophone.
A bit like my iphone 4 competing against my Sony Nex 7 camera. Both can take a picture but the Nex 7 is by far the better performer in all areas. I recently did a shoot using both my iphone 4 and Sony Nex 7. The Sony images were amazing even enlarged because of the superior image processing, sensor size, glass and design. The whestTWO is a lot like the Sony in that respect, it is amazing at all levels and I suppose this is all because of design.
Rokan Xerses/ RB300/ Lyra Delos/ whestTWO/ Naim 202 & NAP200/ Epos ES14
Mr B. Sharpe – Bristol UK
A fellow Rockport System 3 turntable user warned me about what to expect going over to the MC REF V MK4 from my BAT VK-PK10SE. What he didn’t tell me was that I would be listening to music so much more that time would feel as if it were standing still! The MC REF V is incredible and far better than the BAT PK10SE, AR REF series and many others. This is a very different breed/ feel of sound reproduction and one that blows you away from the first 2-3 seconds. Why? Because it only take 2-3 seconds to realise that what you were listening to before was pretty awful! Yes, strong words but the BAT like the Audio Research, Boulder, Manley and many of the Stereophile ‘numbers ones’ sound pretty plain, a bit like white bread with no spread. The MC REF V MK4 on he other hand sounds like ‘Music with Colour’.
The Rockport has always been great but I have just elevated its performance by 100 fathoms! The distance between the MC REF V and everything else I have had in the system is GREAT!
A brilliant product from an amazing team.
Rockport System 3/ Lamm LL 2.1 preamp/ MC REF V Mk4/ ATC SCM300 Tower loudspeakers
Mr Sugimoto – Japan
I should have purchased one of your phono stages a long time ago. As an owner of a great turntable in the VPI Super Scout Master with the HRX flywheel and using a TW Acustic 10.5″ tonearm (a bit like your combination that many folks know about), I always felt that is was missing something and felt that it was always sounding like ‘hifi’. Well after a good friend bought over his TITAN and compared it to my Audio Research Reference 2 SE I was completely sold on Whest Audio. My REF 2 didn’t stand a chance. The TITAN was so much more ‘MUSIC’ and had far better inner resolution. The soundstage on the TITAN sounded far more correct dimensionally. The REF 2 SE was sort of too big but also spaced out at the sides which meant that the center was stretched out. Although this sounded impressive I soon realised after listening to the TITAN that the REF 2 SE was wrong in its presentation. This is not the first time I have come across this false effect with an audio product.
I am now the owner of the TITAN Pro which with the Linear Crystal cable sounds superb. As an aside I bought another TITAN Pro cable for my turntable-to-phonostage to replace the Nordost Valhalla that I was using and can tell you that the improvement is again a big leap up.
All-in-all I am now a very very happy vinylhead (as you would say). Your advice has been excellent and spot on.
VPI SSM/ HRX Flywheel/ SDS/ TW 10.5″/ Lyra TITAN i, Whest Audio TITAN Pro with Whest Linear Crystal ICs.
Prof J Kenyon – UK and USA
SIMPLY INCREDIBLE !! Not in a million years would I have imagined vinyl to sound like this. Now who wants to buy my DCS Transport/ DAC combo?
VM Andriy Pinchuk
Clearaudio Master Innovation/ Kuzma 4Point tonearm/ Ortofon MC ANNA/ Whest Audio MC REF V Mk4
I suppose you have heard this many times before but your service is exceptional as are your products. I have had the PS.30RDT Special Edition in my system for approx 3 days and yes it is getting better but incredibly it outperformed my Avid Pulsare II at the first bar. I always thought the Avid was far too hard and I was right but did not expect to hear so much more from my setup. The Special Edition plays my record collection as if the recordings we made yesterday. It all sounds so new to me. That ‘wall-of-sound’ has been replaced by a wide and deep canvas, the harsh violins are now bright, full and harmonious and I have space around everything. It is incredible. I always knew the SME 30/2 was better than what I was listening to and your PS.30RDT Special Edition has proved my point. The combination is staggering.
SME 30/2 / SME IV Discovery re-wired/ Ortofon Cadenza Black/ PS.30RDT Special Edition
Does my 1979 Rega planar 2/ Ortofon 2M Black/ whestTWO qualify for being put on your Testimonial page? I hope it does because I just blew my student loan on your gear and it’s DOPE (as you oldies would say).
Now I just need a job to buy books and stuff…. do you need help ?
The vinyl scene where I am in Brighton is pretty big and buying used vinyl now feels so right. My system with the NAD 3020 and NAD 8225 is amazing. Ever heard soulful house played on a system like this 🙂
Thanks for the music recommendations. Eric Roberson was pretty tough to get BUT the Wansel stuff on 12″ is rare.
Poor Student with a cracking system.
Yes…I am one of the Brinkmann Bardo/ EMT JSD6/ whestTWO users. What a system. Everything in the system has now come together. Nina Simone and Erykah Badu sound as if they are in my room singing to me. I know that I should look at the 30RDT or Special Edition in the future, and I will, but because my turntable is sounding so good that upgrading is not on the list of things to do. It’s your fault for designing the whestTWO!
Ms K Hebden – Stroud UK
Brinkmann Bardo/ EMT JSD6/ whestTWO
My journey has now ended. Yes it is quite a statement but I can say with my hand on my heart that what I now get from having your TITAN Pro in my system is nothing short of remarkable. As you know from my previous emails I spent time listening to the competition from Brinkmann, Boulder, Nagra and a couple of others which I have had on loan for a few months, not all together BUT there were times when I had 2 units to play with.
The others did sound good with varying levels of detail, colours and image sizes. It was only when I got the TITAN Pro did everything gel/ fit together. I had no idea my Lyra Atlas and Ortofon MC ANNA sounded the way they do now. The TITAN Pro has a noise level like CD but the images, air and space around the instruments, timbre, textures and colours are things I have never experienced ever before in any system. A very close friend and AESTHETIX lover had a moment of clarity when he heard my system (with TITAN Pro). He was saying that the level of detail is staggering from the TITAN Pro and he was quite sure his Aesthetix could not reproduce at this level. He was right!
2 days later with the TITAN Pro in his system running an older but newly re-tipped Ortofon A90 on his TW Acustic AC ‘Special’, the system came alive. The TITAN Pro clearly resolves information the Aesthetix is only capable of ‘sniffing’ at but more interestingly is how the TITAN Pro makes everything sound ‘effortless’ and ‘lifelike’ unlike the other phono stages I tried which made everything sound like ‘hi-fi’.
A fantastic achievement from the house of Whest. THANK YOU SO MUCH ! I know the MC REF is next but I’ll wait for the BIG version 🙂
Rockport S3/ Modified/ Triplanar, 10″ Special Graham Phantom/
Lyra Atlas/ Ortofon MC ANNA/ Whest TITAN Pro
Now I have made that leap to the TITAN Pro the system has jumped to a new level. I haven’t heard a system that resolves at this level….at all! I recently spoke to your USA dealer regarding cartridges and they told me that they think the TITAN is one of the very best phonostages around and certainly the best they have heard. I am so pleased with the upgrade that I can see that whatever you guys do is going to be ‘Special’.
TW Acustic Raven One/ Thales Simplicity/ EMT JSD 6/ Whest Audio TITAN Pro
Mr Paulo Cabral – Brazil
Before the MC REF V Mk4 came into my system I had tried at least 6 other so-called high-end phonostages. The Whest MC REF V Mk4 is by far the very best phonostage I have heard and owned’
TW Acustic AC/ Triplanar / Dynavector XV1-S
Mr P Deacon, London UK
‘To say the upgrade was BIG is pretty much an understatement’
Brinkmann LeGrange/ Davinci Grandezza Reference/ Ortofon A90
Dr Teamouth – PHD Graduate – Oxford
‘I have to say thank you for helpng me in the choice of phonostage for my beloved Thorens TD124’ ‘the PS.30R absolutely compliments the quality of my system which means for me – many more years of musical pleasure’
Thorens TD124/ Fidelity Research FR64S / Ortofon SPU
Mrs H David – Israel
‘I needed to put pen to paper to tell you guys just how the PS.30RDT Special Edition has improved my audio system. It is like I have a whole new record collection’
TW Acustic Raven One/ Graham Phantom II/ Transfiguration Phoenix
Mr Paulo Cabral – Brazil
‘Having compared the whestTWO to the competition, I cannot imagine anything better than this anywhere near this price’
Rega P5/ RB700/ Denon DL304 (0.18mV)
Mr Mark Huang – Hong Kong
Moving over to a Whest Audio phonostage (PS.30RDT) was like a breath of fresh air. The level of resolution I now get from my system is staggering’
VPI Classic II/ JMW10.5/ Lyra Delos
Dr T Rosenberg – M.D
‘OMG…. I was told that I should have gone Whest years ago but just didn’t think it was going to give me what I am experiencing now. My whole record collection now sounds alive and real, what a revelation’
(PS.30RDT SE) VPI Classic 3/ 10.5”/ Lyra Titan i
Mr Delmo Salvi – NYC USA
‘What can I say but thank you so much for a brilliant product’
The MC REF V MK4 is the perfect partner for my SME 30.2/ Graham Phantom II/ Ortofon A90. The resolution is to die for’
Mr Brett Ingland – Denmark
‘It is simply amazing that from my LP12/Ittok/ Cadenza Black I can achieve this type of sound. I thought all phono stages were noisy with a limited sound stage, all my previous ones have been. This is truly a revelation. You just don’t know what this means to me. Thank you so much’
Mr William Reading – Surrey UK
‘Having read so much about your phono preamps on the web and on this site, well I thought there must be something in it and boy was I surprised by what I heard when I connected that cold PS.30R to my system.
Everything that I thought about vinyl was turned on its head. How on earth do you do that? Seriously guys you should be awarded a Nobel Prize for musical enjoyment. Brilliant stuff ’
Thorens TD125/ TP16/ Dynavector XX2 mk2
Mr Paul Emrose – Hampstead UK
‘Thank you so much for developing such a great product in the PS.30RDT Special Edition. My system has never sounded so good, real and pleasurable. I thought it was time to upgrade my Decca London Reference, you were absolutely right – it is an outstanding cartridge which only now I can hear. I don’t think my Amazon Reference will need upgrading or anything for many years to come. One thing though, don’t you think the PS.30RDT Special Edition is under priced ?’
Amazon Reference/ Morch DP6 12”/ Decca London Reference.
Mr Ulrich Naumann – Berlin Germany
‘Upgrading to the whestTWO has been an eye opener. The insight and the fact it makes you want to listen to more in addictive, what a brilliant product’
Rega P3-24/ Denon 304.