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Good point! Any way to be sure the Whest is operating properly short of sending it to England for service? Is there some sort of bench test to see if it is operating up to spec? I have a dealer in the area that specializes in analog, and he has repair capabilities, but I think they are general capabilities, and he is not a whest dealer specifically.
Dear Mark, Am I correct in thinking that you assume your Whest phono stage uses balanced circuits? I ask, because to the best of my ability to investigate it, back when I myself was in a buying mode, the Whest is not balanced. It may have XLR output jacks, but so far as I could tell, the RIAA correction and amplification circuits inside are not true balanced topology. The Whest website is not very helpful in any way to figure this out. This is not to say that it cannot sound great. Just something to keep in mind.
If you are a novice with electronics, and if you don't own proper test equipment, there is no way you can very easily check out a phono stage. But since your only problem appears to be hum and/or noise, first thing to do would be to define the problem a little better. For example, "hum" has a certain meaning, usually a 60Hz or 120Hz tone. Usually the presence of hum indicates a grounding problem. Other kinds of noise might require the attention of a competent tech in order to eliminate it, but no reason to dump the Whest just for that, IMO.
Sorry to hear of this continuing problem.
I have used the Whest PS0.3r (55db setting, 220 ohm loading) and Lyra Delos combination for several years and find no issues with noise even with the volume cranked up to ear-damaging levels.
It’s a very clean, dynamic sound. Occasionally, with any phono stage you may be aware of recorded tape hiss on the vinyl. Go higher in volume and folk may start to hear rumble and other mechanical issues.
I draw the line at listening at levels up to 110db as someone in the other thread suggested. I prefer my ears to continue working.
As a double-check I use an SPL meter at the listening position to make sure it’s not much more than 85db on peaks. (I was a bad boy recently when I measured 93db on crescendos…) :( ;^)
Analogue power supplies are more prone to “hiss” when the attached pre-amp is cranked to high volumes, especially very old amplifiers which may need re-capping/servicing. Switch-mode PSUs can be deadly silent in this regard.
The simplest solution, apart from sending it back to the manufacturer, would be to unhook your phono stage, take it to your Dealer and ask him to try it in his system.
This may at least determine if you have anything functional to worry about?
Those who are blessed with more than one turntable based system can do this for themselves (unfortunately I only own one turntable)
Solid state used to have a higher potential for low noise. But in the last few years, those low-noise components are being manufactured differently to save costs. Specifically, they are not receiving the same "baking" as earlier manufactured semi-conductors. When new, they may test just fin on the bench and perform up to specs in their respective audio implementations. When new. But after time, as they "break in" they develop increasing noise. Not all, but a SIGNIFICANT number of the devices. Over 50%. WELL OVER 50%.
I have to agree with Moonglum: I have been using a Whest PS.30r with a Lyra Kleos mounted on an SME V on an Oracle TT. The Whest\Kleos combo is absolutely quiet. Not a hint of hum or any other noise. Hum is usually generated by a ground loop. You need to have BOTH your TT and the cartridge/tonearm grounded to your first output device - the Whest - and not to anything else.. If you are using a noise supression power strip - conditioner- make sure that it allows the ground to pass - many do not.. Try connecting the TT, and Whest, and your AR preamp directly to a regular grounded outlet. If that works, try moving the AR back to the power conditioner. Leave the Whest and TT alone. The Whest is a really good phono stage and if the Delos is 3/4 as good as my Kleos, its a beautiful analog combo.