If there was ever a product that could upset the apple cart….this is it! Priced at $9995 the MC REF V is a tour de force to be reckoned with.
The all new circuitry developed for the MC REF V Reference phonostage was first started in 2001 and put ‘on hold’ while the PS.20 was under development.
The MC REF V Reference phonostage is a departure from the current way of looking at signal integrity and the power supply’s behaviour on the signal. Where most others will use very exotic components to try to achieve a decent sound, we at Whest Audio have designed, from the ground up, a RIAA playback system using radical audio principles plus some of our own R&D ideas amassed over the years. The result is extraordinary audio reproduction.
Like the PS.30R, the MC REF V lets you listen to music with extreme amounts of detail without the phonostage getting in the way. PLUS the resolution capability of the MC REF V is about 10 times more than the PS.30R! Instruments come to life like no other phonostage and their images just hang in the soundstage with absolute solidity and with space that brings a whole new dimension to vinyl.
The R&D gained from the MC REF V has already been implemented in the design of the entry level whestTWO and PS.30R phonostages.
Already being hailed as one of the very best phonostages ever, the PS.30R is about to take the world by storm. Based entirely on the Whest Audio MC REF V platform, the new PS.30R is set to become the NEW STANDARD in the sub-£3,500 category. Imagine the resolution power of a $8000 phonostage in a $4000 package. This is what the design criterion was for the design engineering team at Whest Audio. The only way to achieve this type of performance was to scale down a true reference, so the MC REF V was used as the platform.
Where the MC REF V uses what the design team call a 'buried discrete' differential input stage to achieve it's ultra low noise 1.2nV sqHz input stage noise level, the PS.30R uses an ultra low noise bipolar 'matched' input stage to achieve it's vanishingly low 1.0nV sqHz input stage noise level. This means that even using an MC cartridge like the Audionote Kondo IO-J with it's ultra low output level of just 0.15mV, is no problem for the PS.30R. At 72dB you'll have all the gain you need with absolutely no noise.
The 'hybrid' passive/active RIAA filter has been lifted directly from the MC REF V and used for it's accuracy and, more importantly, it's transparency. The output stage in the PS.30R was developed for the MC REF V and is used in it's fullest glory in the PS.30R to bring unprecedented levels of detail from the lowest harmonics to the highest levels of the frequency band. And because the output stage is totally discrete in design with an output impedance of only 50ohms at 1Khz driving a 600ohm load, it has no problem in driving long lengths of interconnects even if they are of relatively high capacitance!
The PS.30R also sports a true balanced output which is a first for a phonostage at this price point! If you run either a fully balanced audio system or broadcast studio you won’t be left in the dark.
And finally, you get all the quality you expect from a Reference Whest Audio product at a non-Reference price! Because we wanted to make absolutely sure the audio quality from this product should match or better anything in the £4,000 price bracket the PS.30R employs Vishay metal film audio specification resistors, EVOX RIFA and Vishay polypropylene film capacitors, in-house hand selected and matched transistors, Panasonic low ESR and low impedance power supply filter capacitors, ultra low ts time rectifier diodes, low noise voltage regulators, … and the list goes on and on and on. Oh, and it’s hand built and assembled in the UK!
Based entirely on the famed PS.20 the new entry level whestTWO utilizes approx 90% of the former’s electronic design but with a twist, which is about 10% of the MC REF V. Yes, during the design stages of the whestTWO we made a mad decision to incorporate some of the MC REF V ideas, namely it’s hybrid active/passive RIAA filter stage. Unlike other units at this price point that use the standard ‘input-Passive RIAA filter-output’ configuration, the whestTWO uses an identical configuration which was borrowed from the MC REF V and this can also be found in the PS.30R. This new RIAA configuration along with the high-current output stage means the whestTWO can resolve much more information compared to any of its rivals.
'This phono preamp is an audiophile delight. Highs are pristine with very good extension and clarity. Midrange is clean and unembellished. Good, taut bass. Soundstages are recreated with well defined width, depth and height extending beyond the physical boundaries of the speakers. Imaging is pin-point accurate. Lightning fast transient response and iron fisted control creates explosive dynamics. Music emerges from an inky blackness. High transparency and detail means nothing is hidden from the WhestTWO.' - AudioNZ New Zealand High End Magazine
The whestTWO... forms part of 'BEST VALUE SYSTEM AT SHOW' - New York HiFi Show 2007
Check this out..... http://www.stereomojo.com/HOMEENTERTAINMENTSHOW2007PART2.htm
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Last Update: March 7, 2009
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Phone/Fax 707-578-4434 or 800-450-HIFI