I sell both and them them both very much. That being said, the Manley Steelhead is in a different leagur than the Whest. The Whest at the 2600 price point is terrific, but it is not a fair comparison with the Steelhead.
FWIW, I greatly prefer the K&K phonostage to the Whest and the Manley, of course, trumps the K&K (as you might expect given the price difference). But, whether there is enough sonic difference to justify the cost difference is a personal call.
I had the Whest.20 with Nottingham Spacedeck/Ace arm and ZYX Airy3 SB in my home and played it next to my ARC PH3 SE with VPI Aries 2/JMW 10 and ZYX Fuji S combo. It was very good indeed, but not enough to make me sell my SE. Each had its strengths...they both had huge soundstages and excellent dynamics. The Whest excelled slightly at bass tightness and coherency. The ARC had deeper bass(with tubes! with more bloom and depth. One cavaet is that the Whest was still breaking in with about 50 hrs on it..so it would still be getting better.
I suppose the point is that I agree that if it was that close to my PH3 SE..then would it be fair comparison to the Manley? I would think the Manley would be killer and perhaps as Jtinn suggests..in a different league.
I've heard both, and in my opinion the Steelhead is leaps ahead of the Whest. More dynamic, far greater textural depth, wonderful balance to it. I agree with Jonathan, that for $2600, the Whest is a great value. But the Steelhead is awesome. For $4500+ more, I'd expect that it should be.
I recently heard a Steelhead that was not fully broken in and compared to my Whest. The Whest equaled the Steelhead when the Steelhead was operated via either its MM or MC inputs to a line stage. However, when running the Steelhead directly to my BEL amps, it clearly outperformed the Whest. The sound was pure, dynamic, and extremely detailed. Is it worth extra $4700 to get the ultimate improvements? I still have to figure that out. I will compare again when the Steelhead is fully broken in and make a decision as to whether it is worth extra $4700.
I have not responded to this thread because I can't help with the Whest part of your question. I can tell you that I have had some highly regarded pre/phonos in my system in the last six months (Tom Evans Groove +, Supratek Grange, Rhea, X-ONO, TAG ...etc)and the phono stage in the Steelhead was my favorite by at least a slight margin against any other I have heard. I should say several of these phono stages were good enough to have been welcome in my system. The line stage is another story however! With four 5687 Tung Sol black plate tubes installed, the Steelhead's line stage was and is the most full bodied, detailed AND musical linestage I have had in my system by a large margin. I am amazed by the improvement in digital sound the Steelhead's line stage delivers. Before the Steelhead entered my system, CD's were used to warm the system for vinyl play. Now CD's, while not vinyl of course, are none the less just as enjoyable to me. The phono in the Steelhead has received its fair share of praise but the line stage section deserves as much or more IMHO. So if you consider that the Steelhead is a great full function preamp ( hey, how about a remote volume control Ms. Manley?), the list price of $7300 seems like one of the better buys in this crazy sport. And remember, if you shop around, you can buy a new unit for much less than retail.
has anyone compared a whest to a dynavector p-75 ? just curious.
>>has anyone compared a whest to a dynavector p-75<<
What's to compare? A Creek OBH-8 or Graham Slee 2SE are far better comparisons to the P-75 than the Whest.
why is that, because it costs more ?
I agree with Judy. An odd comparison to say the least. I have a Whest and am in the process of comparing it to a Hagerman Trumpet which just arrived. I'd like to compare it to a Steelhead but that unit is a bit rich for my wallet.
no, you're right, i think the main difference between the phono amps like the p-75 and the whest or the manley steelhead, or any other piece in that price range, is that dynavector is a piece of electronic equipment that serves it's purpose very well, and nothing else, whereas the whest, manley, etc. are beautifully made pieces of art, made of the finest materials, that also happen be an piece of electronic equipment, and they all sound different, and they all look different, and the price differences are astronomically different, but sonically, i don't hear much difference, but it's cool, because i also own a suite of burmester equipment, that i absolutely love, and it sounds great to me, and it looks awesome, so thats the way i see it, and i honestly think its silly to argue so much about what sounds awesome, or how this piece blows this piece away. but hey, i guess you gotta be into something, so why not audio.
>>but sonically, i don't hear much difference<<
I suggest you upgrade your system or make an appointment with an audiologist. The Dynavector is a cute piece but soncially, levels below the Steelhead, Whest, and Trumpet.
I have actually heard the Whest and P-75 in my system. Note that I use a dynavector XV-1s cartridge so all comparisons were with the P-75 in PE mode which sounded easily the best loading.
The P-75 was in the same league to the Whest or my Pass Xono.
The P-75 was as quiet as a tomb, the whest was not)and the music was slightly richer in comparison to the Whest. The Whest really did not impress me much considering the ravbes and the price difference to the P-75. If I did not have the Xono now I would gladley own the P-75 and save myself some serious cash.
The Whest is no better built than the P-75.
Must be a deficient component(s) in your system if the Dyna sounds as good as the Whest.
i agree, downunder, i was very impressed with the p-75, i think the silence and clarity of it, comes from the unique power supply, from what i've read anyway, but the most important think is it sounds awesome.
btw downunder, nice system, i enjoyed looking at your pictures, i am definately not seeing too many deficiencies in there !!
Thanks Readster, As I said I have actually listened to the P-75 in my current system. Nothing to be ashamed of owning one ( especially if you own a dyna cartridge), the Whest in my opinion is not worth the money.
OTOH, I would luv to hear a manley Steelheard.
Judy, have you actually heard any of the phono stages you are offering worldly advise on??
It's advice not advise. Thanks for asking.
thats nice of you for correcting his spelling judy, but can you answer the question, i would like to know as well, have you heard them ?
You're welcome readstir!!
I did a series of reviews - including the Dynavector P75 in my system. The problem with the Dynavector was that it was, for want of a better phrase a bit hurried and breathless. That said, the rest of my chain is high resolution, detailed, and solid state. If, on the other hand you had warmer speakers and amplification, the P75 may be an excellent choice.
I tried a Whest PS.30R in my system comparing it to my then BAT P10se. The Whest was very close. The BAT just had that valve(tube) richness and a bit more scale, which I prefered. However the BAT is 2.5 times the price of the Whest here in the UK.
The DT version is another league again I believe.
spotted a mistake in previous post - Should be Whest PS.30R DT - the upgraded version is 30R DT se.
you might be interested in this thread - An evening with the Whest PS.30RDT. (Special Edition)
See testimonials on Whest website--guy there reports going to a ps30 or 40rdt se from a Manley steelhead--said the Whest creamed the Steelhead.
^^FWIW dept.: We have a customer that claims that our entry level UV-1 preamp bested his Whest, for which he was quite happy as the UV-1 is one box including the line section. His testimonial can be found on our site...
I would take the testimony of Vetterone (circa 2005) over those to be found on the Whest website, but that's just me. ("Vetterone" is a professional with many years of experience in the very high end, and he is the designer of a very high end direct-drive turntable.)
Years ago, I thought about buying a Whest phono stage based on the accolades that the best of them do get. I then visited their website in an effort to get some idea of the circuit design, the goals thereof, etc. I found their verbiage to be very opaque. It really reveals nothing, in fact. I think I also contacted them but did not get a satisfactory response. I understand the need for a small company to protect its novel ideas, but this experience caused me to back off, together with my admitted bias for tubes vs transistors. But I would be curious to learn more about the Whest circuit, if anyone here could enlighten us without revealing secrets.