Santa came early this year or we can call him James from @whestworld. Let me talk about James a little and than we can focus on the review. Having my own business I have learned one thing and that Word-of-Mouth advertising is one of the most powerful way of advertising that exists. This is were James and his products excels. Psst…customers talk. Throughout our entire communication he never tried to oversell or be smart-ass. Heck, he even convinced me to buy “cheaper” model. Which means he will be first to contact when the upgrade bug bites me again. So thank you James for great customer service :)
After many months of research for a phono stage upgrade, and deciding where to take my sound next, I happily pulled the trigger on a WhestTWO.2 dual mono phono stage. Other contenders were Lehman Decade, Sutherland 20/20, Herron and Allnic. All of them besides Lehman are US based and are outrageously priced in Europe compared to US. My current phono stage is Trigon Vanguard II with Volcano III PSU. By the way Trigon Audio has the worst customer service and that alone is one of the reasons of upgrading.
Each step i have taken in my audiophile journey has been a significant upgrade in more ways than one! I've never been a fan of lateral moves, selling and buying a bunch of similarly priced and performing components and then squint aurally to figure out the subtle differences. I like to buy equipment that (at least on paper) should provide the buyer with huge gains and stick with it for a long run. Next and hopefully last big upgrade will be MC cartridge but my 2M Black definitely got a new lifeline with the Whest.
First thing that striked me is the built quality. It’s built like a tank and in my opinion very nicely designed. It has this industrial design feeling which I like. Been spoiled by craftmanship of my Mastersound Compact 845 and GyroSE, not to mention B&W 803D. WhestTWO.2 is definitely up there, considering the price. (Review continues below)