Herron VTPH-2A vs ModWright PH 9.0

Hello, I was wondering if anyone has compared the Herron VTPH-2A to the ModWright PH 9.0? Unfortunately, I am not able to audition the two in person but am very curious how they compare. Their price is similar, Herron - $3650; ModWright - $2900/$3200 (with XLR connections). They also use a different sets of tubes, Herron - two 12AX7, three 12AT7; ModWright - two 6C45, two 6DJ8. I've heard 6C45 tubes are extremely quiet but, again, I haven't heard them in person. Appreciate anyone who can offer their experience with either product and how they compare in sound. Thank you!

I’m sad I only came across this thread now. I compared the Herron VTPH-2A to an older Modwright SWP 9.0 SE and thought the Modwright kicked the living daylights out of the Herron. The Herron was very polite and reserved in comparison, and the SWP had more soul and excitement. I also found it to be more holographic than the Herron. 

I moved on from the SWP onto the PH9.0 and now to the PH9.0X, and each upgrade was a substantial improvement from the prior. I have no doubt I would recommend the PH9.0 or PH9.0X well above the Herron, any day. The 9.0X especially is dead quiet, and lack of caps in the signal path do an incredible job of bringing out the most life. It is an endgame unit for me, even after comparing it with other phono stages from other manufacturers. 


That PH9.0X does sound interesting and in the $4K range seems priced well against its features and design.  The more phono's I gain experience with the more I realize that the Herron is perhaps the most over-hyped phono of all time - developing nearly cult-like status thanks in part to a contributor on this board.  I owned the Herron and it was fine - priced about right.  It's sound is not refined at all, it's a bit noisy, the FET-based MC stage leaves quite a bit to be desired, and overall it sounds SS, not tube.  The lack of controls on the front made it a bear to dial in and I was only happy with it while using the MM tethered to a nice SUT.

My current Luxman EQ-500 is everything the Herron wasn't and simply a joy to use in every respect with a wonderfully refined, quiet, tube sound.  It's packed with features, a 7-tube compliment including tube rectification and all front panel controls, balanced options, multiple inputs etc.

In a second system I picked up a used Tavish Classic tube phono for $500 and paired it with a used $275 Rothwell MCX SUT.  Together they outperform the Herron!  Love that little combo. 

Enjoy your 9.0X!  Would like to hear one someday.

@three_easy_payments Thanks for your thoughts on the Herron and the Luxman. I’ve always itched to try the Luxman myself and likely will one day. Have you rolled tubes in it? If so what are your preferences?

I may have misspoke with the Herron. What I meant by refined is polite… restrained. I agree it was noisier than any Modwright unit I owned, which resulted in a lack of resolution. And it was just more… boring. Sometimes a component can be very high quality and refined and land in the same boring territory, even if it performs at a higher fidelity. The Herron was for sure noisier and further obscuring the music. 

@thiefoflight  Yes, I've tried rolling tubes in the Luxman after reading several pro reviewers report great results.  I started with the rectifier and am using a 1960 Mullard with nice improvement, particularly to bottom end grip and bass heft.  I then tried a quad of used Tele ECC83's and they completely degraded the sound so I went back to the stock JJ's which actually sound excellent.  I'm wondering if I just got a bad batch of ECC83's.  I rolled the two ECC82's with a pair of mid-50s Tele's for a slight improvement over the stock JJ's so they currently remain in place.

It's interesting with the noise issue on the Herron.  I know that Keith was very meticulous selecting the best EH tubes for the unit and I'm now realizing he probably had to because only the quietest tubes would yield an acceptable sound with his circuit design. I don't know why he didn't use the 6922/6DJ8 in his phonostage which is what he uses in his linestage. All this talk of noise wouldn't be an issue because the EH 6922 is one of the quietest tubes there is for this purpose with ample gain.  

I just posted in the Analog section wondering about Modwright, Luxman and Allnic phono pre’s for use with an AT Art9XI. Anyone have any experience with Allnic’s newish H-5500? Or care to project based on experience with a 1202? Thanks.