Whest P.30R, P.30RDT and P.30RDT SE

Hi guys,
Anybody had any experience on the Whest phonostages? The different levels are priced quite far apart. How different are they? Any other recommendations on solid state stages?
Do a search as there are several threads here comparing these models. I owned a PS.30R at one point but decided to go with a tubed unit (Herron VTPH-2) after hearing what a very good, low noise tube phonostage could do in my system.
Didn't realized it's a widely owned unit!

Except for the Herron, any other unit that you think best it?
I had many phono stages through my system.

The search simply stopped once the .30RDT arrived. It has great sound staging, is silent and has a firm solid state signature to sounds rather than a warmer less focused valve one.


The Whest was my first foray into a stand alone phonostage. I previously used integrated amps or preamps with built in phonostages (like the ARC SP-16). So, I cannot say that I have had wide experience in this area beyond the Whest and the Herron. I liked the Whest very much and found it easy to use and reliable. I contemplated moving up the range to the RDT or even RDT SE but decided on the Herron VTPH-2. I had made several system changes that moved toward greater neutrality and wanted to preserve a touch of tube spaciousness and warmth that the Whest did not impart. (The Herron provides JUST a touch of warmth being quite neutral but did have significantly greater spaciousness and separation of instruments than the Whest). The Herron is also VERY quiet, unlike some tube phonostages--nearly as quiet as the dead silent Whest. Finally, I really felt that the pricing of the Whest units had migrated upwards to the point where I suspected they did not represent a good value for money. I say "suspected" because I was never able to actually hear the RDT or RDT SE but was simply scared off by the price compared to the Herron, which significantly outperformed the PS.30R in my system. In any case, I think you would do well to demo the Whest models and the Herron and see which you prefer. These are all fine phonostages that I suspect are at or near the top of their class.
I've now had all of them over the years and compared them to many many others. I'm now on the BIG MC REF V MK4 which is quite amazing but not part of this thread.

Depending on your system and funds I would go for straight for the PS.30RDT Special Edition which I still use in my second system. It is far better than anything I have had in my system. I have had in my system the ARC PH7, Boulder 1008 and 2008, Manley Steelhead, ASR Basis Exclusive and a couple of others which really don't feature in the game and should not be on the market.

If what you are looking for is musicality and accuracy then the Whest range is for you. They are musical, ultra quiet, detailed, transparent with a super stable soundstage and minimalistic. They will tell you what is on your vinyl system. The Special Edition is more like the MC REF V MK4 in that it is more 'holographic' and 'large' with dynamics that a tube phonostage can only hint at. I have always found tube phono stages 'soft' in dynamic terms although some are better than others - granted.

I don't think you'll better these solid state stages. The PS.30R is great and very well known out there. The PS.30RDT is even better with better separation, detail, soundstage and musicality. The Special Edition is a VERY big jump up the ladder and worth 3-4 times its price - easily.

Try and compare any of them to anything else. No BS there, just straight common-sense design.
Dear Sirotseta, In the end, and before you open your wallet, you really must listen for yourself. Your personal taste, your ancillary equipment, your speakers, even perhaps your musical preferences, should determine your choice. Not the cheerleading you may find here.
Planet of sound(Toronto)uses a 30-RDT for home auditions.
whether they'll send to the US I'm not sure.
For a new one:30-RDT 4000.00Can.
30-RDT SE 7499.00
It's great that they will do that because if it's not for you
then send her back,then you'll know what she's like,
in YOUR room,YOUR gear ect.
It's a bit of coin to dish out and then decide it's not what you wanted.
This way,she's a win,win situation.
Anybody compared the SE to the Esoteric E-03 ?
Anyone know what constitutes the $3500-difference between the 30RDT and the 30RDT-SE?
I think it is primarily better quality parts and better matching of component values but I'll let others with more experience provide details. The price differential you cite, however, is exactly what caused me to look elsewhere. I just had a hard time believing that the SE was $3500 better than the RDT and felt there may be better value products worth exploring. Again, I did not get a chance to listen and compare so it was really just conjecture on my part.
I had the PS 30 R Until december last year ,then got the SE as a Cristmas present,the difference is really huge.
The SE really boogies plus all the ques and hall reverbs,
All facets of the musical construct sound much more realistic,the music really dances.
If your system is up to it,you will only have great pleasure by inserting the SE,IMHO. Obviously.
Just decided to settle on a demo Esoteric E-03. The thing is I have two turns. The Whests have one input and adjusting the load is not as easy. I can then sell my ASR mini basis exclusive to part finance for it. Let's see how it goes and if I'm not happy, I may go for the SE without losing too much money.
I own the PS.30RDT SE as well as a REF MK4 and the load and gain changes are simple! Unless you are changing cartridges every 10 minutes I can't see why you would want to change settings regularly? I've never needed to change settings regularly and often wonder why people make such a fuss. It takes about 1 minute - maybe 1 and a half but not 2 minutes to change settings on the PS.30RDT SE - is that a long time in anyones life??

All you need to do on the Whest units is remove 2 screws underneath the unit and flick a couple of DIP switches.... and that is not easy ???? Am I missing something OR you must be thinking of the older PS.30 chassis where you had to remove the lid with the 9 screws. That was a 4 minute job. It is now 2 screws and a 1 minute job.

I checked out the REF MK4 after reading Dcarol other raving posting, looking at the design over all I have to say it's odd and far from being practical specially at the asking price in comparison to other manufactures offerings out there.

If this unit is actually placed within a rack which I would think most are as mine then you actually have to disconnect all your cables to it, then remove it.

Once removed flip it over and then unscrew and remove the plate which I agree it's self would not take long to do but being located on the bottom of the unit is just strange, you do the switch of the DIP switches and then reverse the whole process.

No way does this take 1 minute or even 5, way more!

Once in place if for some reason you don't like the setting or you are actually comparing then you have to repeat the whole process again, to me this is rediculous and very inconvenient.

This unit is far from being cheap and a far cry from what is suggested above only taking 1 minute to change settings.

Sound, I heard this unit in a unfamiliar well respected set-up, not my own though. I listened to a few pces of music and then it was swapped out for a ROSSNER & SOHN Canofer S phono pre. and I listened to those pces again.

This specific phono Canofer S offers knobs on the front for convience to make changes on the fly, no having to disconect or remove it etc.

Over all sound, I would suggest you add this unit to your list and compare, you will be pleasantly surprised. You can just google ROSSNER & SOHN Canofer S phono pre for more info.

Anyone has listened to the new coming version called "Titan" ?
If yes which kind of improvement I can expect? More low-level information? a better soundstage? more dynamics?
I must decide for a purchase between a 30rdt "Special Edition" or the new upgraded version (going in production now in November but it seems that probably in Britain a few audiophiles had the chance to hear it).
My cartridge it's a Zyx 4d-h.
Any comment would be appreciated
Bloody hell! How many version can they squeeze between the P30R and the Reference mk "whatever" now?

Yes, if you need knobs and stuff on the front of your stage then the Rossner & Sohn sounds marvelous but for shear musical enjoyment I'd take the Whest everytime.

As for switching over. In the 27 years of having a vinyl playback system I have only every changed settings about twice. Once when I moved over to MM as my Koetsu was being retipped and again when someone let me borrow their Decca London. Apart from that I have always used low output MC with 65dB/100 ohms selected and it has always sounded GREAT.

If you are a reviewer and constantly changing cartridges of different manufacturers say from Lyra to Dynavector to Decca then switching over settings on a Whest can be boring, I mean in that 1.5mins you could be ordering a big mac :)

But we (the majority here) are not reviewers and the Whest has been designed for playback and a 'forget about it' style of listening which is what it majors in.

Dev, if you need knobs and switches on the front panel then great because like I said I would take musical enjoyment everytime over the ability to switch settings every 5 mins and not enjoying the music.
Dcarol, One might well have more than one cartridge or even more than one tonearm with one or more cartridges. On a certain evening or for a certain LP, one might be in the mood for one cartridge/tonearm combo vs another. It would indeed be nice to be able to adjust for gain and load resistance via external controls; even rear-mounted ones. I read elsewhere that the Whest designer has taken a purist approach, saying that to externalize the switches would adversely affect the noise characteristic. So be it, but it would be nice; I have to agree with Dev.

I must say I never have known anyone to be so devoted to one brand of gear over all others as you are to Whest phono stages over all other phono stages. You are beginning to make me think I need to check for myself. But I need more information; it's the way I am built.

I think that over the years, like many, I was lead to believe that I always needed to change my turntable/arm/cartridge and leave the phonostage alone as I was told that 'these are all pretty much the same'. How wrong was I, how wrong was the dealer.... I now look at the phonostage as the first thing to change before arm and cartridge.

I just read a short review (Norweigian) where the chap compares the ASR Basis Exclusive to the Special Edition. He came to the same conclusion and sold his ASR 2 days later. I compared the 2 units and would have sold the ASR within 30 secs on that comparison :)

It does take a while to get there but like you I 'needed' to hear for myself.

My funds are not so limited so If I had 3 tonearms I would buy 3 stages. I'm not the type to disconnect cables etc... I much prefer to spend that time listening to music.

I've attached the copy below. It has been translated through google but corrected by my good daughter.


No, not a "duel" or test this here, just a small comment about a personal experience of two very good RiAA steps namely

ASR basis Exclusive vs Whest PS 30RDT Special Edition.

Why? Both are transitor RIAA and is arguably in the top division at least until prices begin to take off. Whest is well for the sake of order a few hundred Euro more expensive in relation to the latest version ASR.

Has not the habit of posting something on the forum and therefore a little info card:
Personally, I grew up in a time when vinyl was the medium you bought your music. In a home with lots of music and a father as a professional jazz musician, there were many "plates" in the home. Most jazz, of course, but for my part, also other things. At that time there was much "easier" course, and not a lot of talk about adjusting Pick up ... Oh no buy "new pin" screw it in the head inclined in a flash to play music. In the 80s, a time where the CD album came, I could something so brilliant as to go to a thrift store selling all vinyl. Today I regret of course, like a dog, but I must admit that many of the plates were of very poor quality and a lot of cozy fireplace even though we of course had many releases that I would like to have today.

Although vinyl again is relatively new board for me this time, I have worked with it for the past 25 to 30. It has been 2 years since I was thus again able to buy a good turntable and was actually now completely sold. I realized quickly that this was something I wanted to keep on with forward and purchased the equipment fairly quickly that I was to be happy with for a long time. Vinyl consists of Avid acutus, Dyna Vector 507 mk2 arm, Benz LP and thus Whest PS 30RDT Special Edition that came in favor of the ASR Basis Exclusive or 300B and Verity Audio speakers.

I'm no technical genius so I'm saving you from a more detailed description. This will find yourself on the internet. Visually, however, they are very different. ASR of separate power supply (battery) has a total weight of the impressive 32 kg. Whest just a simple box of 6 kg. The size of the ASR, I got confirmation when I had sold it and went to the post office to send STOCK TRUCK! In contrast, Whest simply done purely aesthetic, simple design, a small red light in the lower right corner. To be honest .. refreshingly simple.

First I must say that ASR has performed impressively at me. The few times I have tried other RIAA preamps both tube and transistor, it has been shown to be completely looked over. It is quiet, dynamic, well-defined bass and extremely dissolved and open up. Many I have spoken with and who have had the ASR has been and is very happy owners. Tests around the world indicates indeed that there is a reference product. The only objections I have had, is really that it can occasionally seem a little sterile in the midrange. Voices and instruments lacking a little body and I have the feeling that it is lacking a bit in the organic and thus the "analog" feel. I have been the case relied on careful matching of cables (copper) for the best tuning even if I never came right exactly at this point.

I must admit I was pretty excited when I picked up and packed up Whest. Setting the impedance and the gain made from the underside. Whest however, had promised to pre-set at 65db and 470 ohms. I checked the course before I put it in and so it has been since I got it. Have not even been curious about the other settings but think of course to try some soon. However, I've been more concerned with the signature and what happens during the recording before I can have any opinion about the settings.

Right out of the box, cold, and yet a little smell of paint from the cabinet, played it simply compelling and matched ASR at all. Realized quickly that this was something special. The next day, early in the morning, I sat down with quiet piano music and a cup of coffee before the house was awake .. Fyttirakkern for a resolution and a sound for a serenity, a listing and then amazingly dissolved upwards. On all these parameters was better than the ASR in my system. The backgrounds seemed blacker than the piano and is still more clearly. Speakers disappear in a different way and it radiates almost the sound round speaker. In retrospect, it has only gotten better and better and now a piano I have not been near the ASR. In addition, the voices and instruments obtained with natural body and sound. The difference of ASR is difficult to describe, but ASR works dynamically a little worse. Whest provides a way of feeling that the instruments get more energy from the inside out. ASR is a little flatter with less colors. Upwards is it, as I said yet airier and more liberated than ASR. Soundstage is overall better defined holography, focus, width, height and depth is without doubt the best I've had in my system. Today, about 2 weeks old, is getting better and I'm very happy. The sound is dynamic, coal-black background, analog and "right" midrange, extremely airy upward. The bass goes no deeper than the ASR but it still resonant and seamlessly integrated into the whole.

The fact is that I sold my ASR 2 days after that I switched Whest and never need to double check the other way. I'm not the type who checks back and forth or a song here and a song there. The sound I hear, over time it means something to me. Sometimes I'm insecure and sometimes, as here, no way back.

This post was not meant as an attempt to denigrate anything, anyone who has an ASR can rest well. It's not any worse from what I have written. I KNOW that this is also incredibly good and that it had stood still here if I had not tried Whest. This was in fact was a little fun .. for you who may have interest in such:)