Whest MC REF V - my new christmas present

Well I took the plunge and ordered the new MC REF V version 4.
I had one in my system for about a week and was totally bowled over with just how it plays. Yes it's MUCH better than the RDT Special Edition in every area but what I found is that the 30R and RDT are related sound-wise, whereas the RDT Special Edition is MORE related to the MC REF V.

After having the unit in for a week and experiencing real 'music' I got in contact with James at Whest Audio. He put me on to this - his distributor in Singapore (Modular Audio) has just taken delivery of the MC REF V MK4 and this is what they had to say:

'I am very happy to tell you the MC Ref V sounded awesome even I am at the early stage of run-in. Many customers were dropping jaws how a phonostage could transform our showroom main system. Compare to the RDT, it is certainly a few steps up in terms of sonic qualities. To me, I felt it is
really organic and as near as one could get from the original masters. This is the best phono stage I have heard so far - and in my years of playing, I've heard most of the the best brands out there. Two thumbs up!'

I felt pretty much the same thing. It's more organic and 'real' and seems to just get out of the way. Even with my current setup, the performance upgrade is a huge step up. Far bigger than I thought possible. It has made me realise that I have been upgrading cartridges much sooner than I needed to! I could have stayed with my old Linn Troika and still ended up with a great sound. The MC REF V really brings out the very best of what you have - and more.

It should be with me in about 3 weeks, I can't wait.
My unit was the only one in Australia, the manufacturer date was Oct 2009.

What was the UK price of the Mk 3.

I still find it hard to believe that they have increased the already expensive price by 67%!!!!
"It's £9900 in the UK including VAT."

That's £8425 w/o VAT which equates to $13230 in the US at current exhange rates. The US distributor is marking this up by 50% over the UK retail price. Nice.
The % mark-up by the importer is not unusual. Japanese-made phono gear is often subjected to the same treatment. Some Japanese cartridges can be bought in Tokyo for less than half their cost here in the US, with no special effort required. It remains to be seen whether or not the market will tolerate the pricing of the Ref V, especially if the amount of the mark-up becomes generally known.
I understand that everyone’s in business and must make money but 50% seems high. Considering that the distributor doesn’t pay retail for his product, the spread is even higher. It’s situations like this that make enterprising souls look for alternatives.

A quick search produced several outlets where one can buy these at the UK price. Some listed both the 230V & 110V versions so they must be aware of the pricing difference between here & the UK and are looking to capitalize on it.