I only owned the lowest level Whest two.2 and very satisfied with it. Heard the 40 but no way can afford it even though it's way way better. If one needs better I think I would just move up the Whest line up!
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To my ears the Whest PS.40RDT SE and Tom Evans Mastergroove are without a doubt the two best solid state phono stages I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard a good few. The differences between the former and the regular PS.40RDT are almost vanishingly small in my estimation and I can’t even imagine how acute one’s hearing must be to properly benefit from the additional £2500 or so difference in price.
Be that as it may, I can’t think of a better choice than a Whest or a Tom Evans if a solid state phono stage is what one is after. Presuming your "special edition" PS.30RDT SE ends up about as good as the PS.40RDT, I’d say you’re already within spitting distance of state of the art.
There is still more to be had of course, as there always is, but whether your other components can do that "more" full justice, whether your wallet can bear the cost and whether your ears can actually properly appreciate the difference once the initial "I’ve got a new expensive toy" placebo-euphoria has dissipated are matters which also ought to be taken into consideration before shelling out.
From everything I have read, the jump in performance when moving from the original 30R to the 30 RDT and then up to the 30 RDT SE is very substantial. The PS.30 RDT SE is supposed to be a major move up in resolution and detail over the previous two versions. However James told me the other night that the new 2019 spec PS.30 RDT SE is a totally different animal than the first model PS.30 RDT SE. This latest one contains many of the attributes designed into the 40 series. Although it’s not a 40, it is very close to one. The only thing better than a 40 and this 2019 30 series would be the Titan Pro.
I suspect that if one were using a very resolving MC, they may hear the differences, however that is not really where I am at. My interest is placed in the very high end MM AT 20ss which too benefits from what these phono stages deliver. The noise level is non-existent and the details dug out of the vinyl are astounding. Plus the dynamic presence at the low end to mid frequencies is just what I like.
So let us see or hear where this next level preamplifier brings us to.