Has anyone else heard Modwright PH150 Phono Stage?


If anyone else has heard the Modwright phonostages, I would like to hear your thoughts about the new Modwright PH150 phono stage, and the KWA 150SE power amp.
almandog
I haven't heard either of the pieces you are referring to, but I do have a Modwright SWP 9.0 SE phono stage, that I installed an upgraded power supply provided by Dan Wright.

NOS tubes are also being used. It's by far the best phono stage I've had the pleasure of owning, so I'm willing to bet the PH 150 would be a great choice.

Regards,
Dan
I own both the SWP 9.0 and the PH-150, the PH-150 is an excellent phono and I would recommend it, black back ground, transparent and excellent dynamics. It did take quite a while to burn in and I didn't much like the stock 6922 tubes, a good pair of Amperex 6922 really makes it sing. That said, I still very much like the SWP.
First off ... <<DISCLAIMER >> I know and like Dan Wright.

I took a PH-150 phono stage home after the Rocky Mountain Audiofest, to evaluate and comment on it for him.

Executive summary:
  • Beautifully designed with first-class manufacturing techniques
  • Excellent adjustability via front panel controls
  • Great MM section
  • As much gain as you'll ever need (even with a .1mV cart)
It has well thought out convenience features, like front-panel loading (resistance for MC's and capacitance for MM's) as well as gain matching (0dB, and -6dB and -12dB attenuation).

In my limited evaluation, I found that the 0dB gain setting allowed the phono stage to truly "open up", and I used this setting throughout my evaluation, even though the -6dB setting was "correct" for the gain structure of my system. 

The turntable was a prototype of our rim drive, Galibier Design Eiger, fit with a Kuzma 4Point and Dynavector XV1s cartridge.

I compared the Modwright against my current reference (the Herron VT-PH2), using the MM input for both phono stages in order to "create parity".

Both of these phono stages have solid state power supplies and vacuum tube MM gain stages. They differ in how they address MC gain. The Herron has an active, s-s MC stage, and the Modwright employs Lundahl step-up transformers.

I found the MM section of the two phono stages to be too close to call out a difference when judged in this context. 

Both the Modwright and Heron phono stages MM inputs loved my Tamura step-up transformers (an Air Tight PH1) as well as some Cinemags built into a Hagerman box.

Comparing both units as intended by the designers was a bit more tricky, and I can easily see preferences being the opposite from what I observed.

Rather than expound on the MC input for the Herron (a solid state front end) and the Modwright (Lundahl step-up transformers), I'd call them roughly equivalent, with my preference for both units being to run them with my own external step-ups (as referenced above).

I can easily see someone differing from me, and preferring either the Herron or Modwright's MC input stages to the external step-ups I used.  I wouldn't begin to guess at individual preferences or system configurations.

A lot of engineering went into the Modwright, and much of it into simplifying the user experience with an elegant ergonomic design combined with absolutely bulletproof construction. 

If your gain structure is challenged, know that the Modwright will easily work with as low output a cartridge as you'll ever consider purchasing and noise will not be an issue.  While it's a bit more pricey than the Herron, there's a lot of value built into it.

I would absolutely recommend auditioning it, but remember that I have an association with Dan, so take that into consideration as you read this.

Cheers,
Thom @ Galibier