Just reading your blog now. Out of curiosity did you ever find a suitable solution?
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I am using the Anthem AVM60 preamp which is obviously a much newer model than your D2V, however I have been told the D2V is a little better for analog reproduction work, so it should be very close to my experience with the AVM60.
I have had multiple phono stages over the past few years and by far the best performance in terms of being completely quiet, super detailed, very dynamic through out the entire frequency spectrum and just silky smooth is my Whest PS. 30 RDT SE 2019. I have also used for quite a while the Whest Three Signature which was a very close runner up to the PS.30. Either unit was a great match with my Anthem preamp.
I would avoid the Gold Note PH 10; this was a very noise prone preamp in my system and for me that is not acceptable. The Musical Surroundings Nova III was very nice and also quiet, but it was not in the same league as either of the Whest phono stages; but it is also a lot less expensive.
I hope this helps you.
@gestalt posted this on Amps Preamps forum:
The newly released May/June 2020 issue of The Absolute Sound has a review of the Gold Note PH-10 and PSU-10 you may find interesting:
If I had approximately $1600 to $2000 to spend on a phonostage, I’d get the PH-10. It’s that good. I’d open a nice pinot noir, put an LP on the turntable, sit back, and enjoy the music.
And a bit about the author’s experience with the PSU-10:
My recommendation would be to audition the PSU-10 along with the PH-10, if possible. The PH-10 is a very fine-sounding phonostage when used as a standalone; using the PSU-10 makes it into an excellent one.
The full review goes in to loads of additional detail; please consider picking up a copy of The Absolute Sound to read the rest.
I've been using the PH-10 and find it DEAD quiet. Have never heard anyone complain about it being noisey EVER well until now but that's a first. Yes I'm sure the Whest has better detail but at a much higher cost.
Read the TAS review and the other dozen positive reviews on the PH10 not hard to locate then start to enjoy your vinyl collection.
I was very disappointed with the PH 10.
My brother came over for a visit and stayed with me for a week. He’s a professional video/audio producer with a lot of experience professional grade gear; plus he used to do work with national level rock bands. I valued his opinions on the phono stages we played with here.
Just to set up the data points on the equipment used as that will vary with each system, here is what I have:
Anthem AVM 60 preamp
Anthem M1 Mono block main amps at 2000 watts per channel into 4 ohms.
Bryston Model T signature main speakers which were heavily modified into the full active inputs with all new internal direct to driver wiring
Bryston PX-1 external mil spec built crossovers with Clarity Capacitors and air core inductors.
VPI Ares3 turntable with customized medium durometer rubber vibration feet; and the Super Platter option. It’s dead quiet with virtually no feedback even at extreme SPL.
SME Series IV tonearm with a custom built VTA micrometer head calibrated to .001" for exact repeatability on the VTA.
Cartridges used for all testing were:
MM, vintage Audio Technica AT-20ss with a NOS beryllium cantilever super shibata stylus
MC, Ortofon A 90 in virtually new condition
We did A/B testing on the following phono stages:
Musical Surroundings Smart V2 $700 entry level phono stage
Gold Note PH 10 mid level phono stage at $1500
Musical Surroundings Nova III mid level phono stage a t$1500
Musical Surroundings Linear Power Supply $650 as an add on to the Nova III which would put the total at $2150 for an upper mid level.
Whest Audio Three Signature with the two chassis system (external power supply feeding the the main unit via two XLR cables). $4000 lower upper level.
Whest Audio PS.30 RDT SE 2019 custom build using the internal suspension chassis of the Titan, PS.40 discreet input stages, zero floating voltage chassis, elevated power rails, dual mono PS.40 toroid power transformers. The entire internals are full dual mono and all capacitors are Clarity Caps. One Custom trimmed input stage for the vintage AT-20ss MM $7000 upper level.
After a lot of testing, like a week of it; here is what we came away with in a quick note:
The MS Smart V2 is a lot of phono stage for the money; it doesn’t have a crisp upper end like the other units, but over all it’s so close to the PH 10 that I’d say its worth a look, in fact it has superior sound staging.
The PH 10 proved to be unreliable in ground loop problems, but we were able to get most of that removed with some creative rewiring. But it was the one with most noise of the lower and mid level units and by a large margin.
It was very good at mid range dynamics, so so at upper end frequencies, not great at all in sound stage and pretty good at the lower end.
The Nova III was not as good as the PH 10 in the mids, it definitely needs some help there; but the upper end/sound stage was very good as was the lower end. When we added in the the LPS, it was an improvement in the sound stage and upper end, but things almost seemed to be over boosted. But it is an extremely quiet phono stage, at least after putting it in line after the PH10.
The Whest Three Signature, well.... Nirvana. Amazingly well balance from the lower end through the mids and on up to the upper range. Super quiet, in fact we didn’t think it was connected at first and a cabling check confirmed that it was in fact plugged in. Amazing Bass, super tight and defined. The mids easily rivaled the PH 10 and the upper end was by far the best of the pack, AIR, OPEN detailed and expansive sound stage.
Whest PS.30 RDT SE 2019; Nirvana super charged.... the Whest Three on steroids. It sounds exactly like the Whest Three only imagine its like a Vidalia Onion being peeled back, you are getting deep into the center of things... DETAIL!! I heard things in the records I had not ever heard before and had no idea it was deep in the recording.
The AT-20ss is an amazing cartridge when teamed with this system. The A 90 is the AT-20ss on Steroids, very similar dynamics, only its like the PS.30, DETAIL.
Maybe we had a bad PH 10 with the noise, but for what it's worth, I have spoken to several others I know who had similar noise issues and in fact I was told the factory was working on a redesign of the electronics due to noise complaints. So maybe newer units are improved. From what I heard, the MS Nova III is a better phono stage at the same price point and don't bother with the Linear Power Supply, the base unit is good.
IF, and I say again IF you can find a used Whest at a good price point, buy it. They are far above the other offerings.