standard moving magnetic cartridge puts out about 5mV, a good
Moving Coil cartridge just 400uV (0.4mV). This needs to be
amplified and equalised before feeding the line input of an
amplifier. Some amplifiers and preamplifiers have phono
inputs, but not all, and they vary dramatically in quality.
Here we present phono stages that we have tried and liked.
Our MD Dave Cawley has tested each unit, and listened very, very hard.
The T-01MC moving
coil phonostage has been designed to work with every moving coil
cartridge from a DL-103 to a Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement. We
know that because we have tried them all and many, many others.
The design comes from Dave Cawley who designed and built his
first MC phonostage in 1981 and recently manufactured the award
wining A.N.T. Kora phonostage. Dave also had a £9.5K phonostage
re-engineered and used it as a reference, the results were
amazing and somewhat surprising.
Building on his experience Dave has now produced a dual-mono
phonostage with not a single integrated circuit or transistor in
sight! No less than 16 FET's are used including a FET discrete
power supply. The input FET's are laboriously hand tested and
categorised before being inserted in blocks of 8 into the PCB.
The dual mono design is very evident just from looking at the
PCB, indeed with a small saw you could make it completely mono,
although we don't recommend this! Great attention to detail was
applied both in the design and later in listening tests. The
very expensive Dale input matching resistor coupled with the
PTFE input sockets were probably the most influential, followed
by the Wima polypropylene RIAA capacitors.
The biggest sound improvement is by using only FET's and no
overall negative feedback. The T-01MC has been directly A-B
compared with several phonostages costing up to £9,500. How did
it sound? as good but with less hum! How could this be we hear
you ask? Well the circuit and components are very similar, but
we don't put it into a huge, two-box enclosure weighing 30kg.
Instead we use a simple but well made case and a very, very
expensive hum-free transformer.
Truly a case of less is more!
• Input : 4 x 2 hand matched parallel J FET's
• Input match : Dale CMF55 0.1% 100R, any value to order
• Input & output sockets : gold plated PTFE dielectric
• Total : 16 FET's
• Class : A
• Capacitors in signal path : Wima polypropylene and Starget or
• Overall negative feedback : none
• Power supply : discrete FET regulators
• Transformer : 200% oversize cored toroidal, custom wound,
inter-winding screen, silicon-steel magnetic band screen and
additional screening can
• Power supply capacitors : Panasonic FC
• Shottkey diodes : x 4 Vishay
• PNP - NPN transistors : none
• Op-amps : none
• Integrated circuits : none
• Integrated regulators : none
to see more
to read the Hi Fi World review ?
to read the Hi-Fi Choice review ?
here to read the HiFi+ review
here to read the HiFi Pig Black Magic review
PS.30RDT Special Edition
Developed on the
same design platform as the flagship model MC REF V MK4, the
fully discrete Class-A PS.30RDT Special Edition is now the
premier in the 30 Series in the Whest Audio range.
The soul of the PS.30RDT Special Edition comes from a fully
discrete bipolar Class-A input stage which is very much related
to the MC REF V MK4 discrete input stage. This Class-A input
stage is now partnered with an audiophile ‘trimmed’ version of
the same Class-A output stage used in the MC REF V MK4 which
renders the new PS.30RDT Special Edition thee ‘tour-de-force’ in
the high-end marketplace of phonostages – below the MC REF V Mk4
• Model No.: PS.30R SE
• Discrete Class-A throughout
• 2 ultra low mechanical noise power transformers
• Ultra low impurity copper used throughout
• Hand selected and matched parts
• Single box solution for MM and MC cartridges
• Internal PCB suspension for reduced mechanical noise
• Designed on the MC REF V Mk4 platform
• 6 gain and 6 load settings
The PS.30RDT has
become the phono stage which other stages are compared against.
The PS.30RDT is not only a higher specified and closer tolerance
version of the PS.30R but is electrically dual mono in design
from the power inlet onwards! Every magazine that has reviewed
the PS.30RDT has loved it, comparing it to the best of
valve/tubes but without the pitfalls, namely: noise, microphony,
bloated bass and image blur. They have also compared it to many
stages costing many times its price and the PS.30RDT has always
come out on top. The PS.30RDT is used in more than 30 archiving
libraries worldwide due to its amazing resolving power. It is
also used in several magazine reviewer systems worldwide and is
now a Whest Audio best seller.
This very large and
very impressive Phono Stage is without doubt one of the very
best in the World. It is a joy to behold, visually
Model No.: PS.30R
• RIAA curve accuracy: 18Hz - 22Khz +/- 0.2dB
• Frequency response: 5Hz - 65Khz -10dB /- 1.0dB
• Working band: 15Hz - 85Khz
• THD+N: 0.006%
• MM Gain 40dB
• MC gain 50dB-72dB internally adjustable 6 steps.
• Connections: Silver Unbalanced RCA, Neutrik XLR impedance
• Connectors: Silver Audiophile
• Unpacked weight: 4.5Kgs
• Packed weight: 6Kgs
• Dimensions: W 430mm D 290mm H 78mm
• Operating voltage: 230VAC 50Hz or 115VAC 60Hz