Anyone have or heard the Whest PS.20

Not much in the threads as yet on this new 2 box Phono pre. Ive read the reviews and it looks promising. In fact the superlatives( Fremer again) is comparing it to some lofty components. A friend and fellow audiogon member has one on order, so Ill most likely hear it myself before too long. Any comments?
It sure looks like a good S.S. alternative @ $2500.00
I was on the web site yesterday after reading the TAS review also.
I just helped get a friend into a Manley Steelhead and mentioned the Whest to him.
Please post results of your listening session and your friends turntable combo.
I have just auditioned a Tom Evans 'Groove' against the Whest 2.0. The outcome was a resounding disection of 'the groove' by the Whest. whilst the groove had super fast impact and simplistic wow factor, it still made the sound come out of both speakers seperately unless I turned the wick up, also it was a bit restless. Perhaps the easiest description would be that before one note ended another seemed to start. The whest was equally quick, but the bass was tighter and more tuneful, images hung mid air and in 3d. Most importantly it compelled me to play and pull out one record after another - remarkable. I'd say the Groove is a bit like a stripper who walks on stage naked and immediately proceeds to rub her breasts in your face, the whest is a dance of the seven veils that takes you on a journey but with more style and subtlety.
Couple of issues that I have with this stage. The MC gain is fixed at approx. 72db. And signal is amplified down to 5HZ, there is no subsonic filter. So if you have a cartridge that puts out above say .3mv, the gain is too high. Anyone that is using cone speakers (especially ported) with full range bass output is asking for trouble. With records that are anything less than perfectly flat or any compliance issues, you are going to have massive cone movement.
That's news to a lot of people. I for one certainly have never experienced the problem and speaking to the hifi dealers here nor have they. I know James at Whest quite well now and he has assured me that he would have had plenty of complaints about cone flap since he has sold 130 since the HiFi world review.
It could be something else in your system!?!!!
The gain issue I find is not a problem and can be set up be your dealer that isn't really a problem! Get your dealer to to reduce the gain.
Lohanimal really summed it up in his posting... it's the dance of the seven veils. I just love it. It's so much better than the Michael Fremers review!
You can't escape it, it's an absolute audio bargain!
I bought this Whest PS.20 without listening to it after reading Michael Fremer's good review. I was going to get rid of it if its sound was mediocre.

Much to my surprise, it is a very neutral sounding phonostage. It has excellent dynamics, very good images and soundstage. Top to bottom is well balanced. Plenty of gain and ultra quiet. Definitely it is better than my CAT MK III's built in phonostage.

I also compared the Whest with Aesthetix Rhea that my friend owns. Offering a great variety of features, the Rhea sounds sweet and rich. The Whest is not dull or bright, and not rich or bland either. But yet it is lightning fast, dynamic, and extremely quiet. It is quieter than the Rhea. Its bass is a bit tighter and transient quicker than the Rhea. If you want rich sound and extra features, the Rhea will be your ticket. But at $2,600, the Whest is quite impressive. I am keeping it. Don't let the look and size of the Whest PS.20 fool you. It is a stealth performer.
I too own the Whest PS.20, however it is boxed up along with the rest of my system as our new home is under construction.

However, fellow audiogoner Kehut was kind enough to invite myself with TT over to his pad. I know he has a blurb and some photos on his website about the afternoon.

For the turntable, phono stage, & cartridge all being new with about 50 hours on it, as well as the power cord, it sounded suprisingly good.

I will hopefully post much more once I get my system back out of boxes and set up...
There was a 3 month old Whest PS .20 listed on Audiogon yesterday that I snatched up. I had targeted this phono stage for some time, but the retail cost was out of my budget. I had already placed an order for a Decware SP-1.5 and now I'll have the Whest coming into my system as well. On top of it all I have a deal for a Hagerman Trumpet pending. I'll be comparing all three in my system by the end of the month I suspect.

Reb1208 - I was told by the dealer I bought this from that the Whest is 58db on the MC side. I asked specifically because I read the Fremer review where the Whest was supposed to be user adjustable between 58db and 72db, but it is not. My cartridge is a Benz M2 (M0.9) wood body with 0.8mV so I agree with you that if the gain is 72db that would be extremely high. Can you tell me where you found this information? I'll like to research this further.
My Whest is specified at 65db for the MC and it was manufactured in May 2005.

For brand new Whest, you can order it at a specified gain for MC. For a used one, I guess you need to go through a dealer. The dealer would either adjust the gain himself for you or send it to Music Hall or one of its authorized contractor. I believe Music Hall has one contractor in Southern California.

I received a response from James Henriot as follows:

"The gain on your unit for MC is set at 58dB using a 100R load. This has been recently changed to 65dB as most MC users use low output MCs. Michael Fremer asked for a 72dB unit and then said it comes as standard."

I am not sure how he knows mine is 58db other than the fact he may know what units this dealer had stocked. In any case I am going to get the serial number and have it researched by James. He seems very nice to deal with.
Yes, James Henriot is nice to deal with. He and I had exchanged emails a few times. Perhaps there is cut-off date for the Whest manufactured with the 58 db setting. He also probably keeps track of when he made the last shippment to your dealer. Confirming that with the serial # is of course the best way to find out the gain setting. Hope you like the Whest like I do.

I would assume you will find your unit has plenty of gain for your cartridge. My Whest was one of the units from the batch sent over in early March, so I am assuming having the 58dB for MC as well. My cartridge is an Airy 3S-SB which is LO (.24mV) and it seemed to be just fine going through Kehut's Manley Stingray integrated.

Hope this offers you some solace until the unit gets there and you can verify for yourself. Please keep us posted on your thoughts and assesment.