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.
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.
Maybe it's a ploy where the dealer will sell it for $12,000 thus making it seem like you have purchased a bargain. It works!!!!

Mind you I am not degrading the mc ref. It's one of my best purchases. Also by making the new pricing $20k, I probably make a handsome profit if I ever decide to sell.

Btw the Uk pricing, is it for the old ref v mk 3? Some of the uk websites look like they have not been updated.
Hey all. I think the problem as I see it with world pricing is the crazy exchange rates and the changes it has gone through since year 2008. All products no matter what go through dealers and distributors so the markups and margins are there. The system is the system. Walmart buy toothpaste for $0.50c and sell it on for $1.95...no one ever says anything about that YET these guys make the audio dealers looks like kids playing at making money!

Anyway back to my MC REF V. I listen to the new MK4 version. I had a look inside one of the channels (both are identical). It's very full inside. The main circuit board takes up about 80% of the case width. Then there are 2 gold coloured metal panels and a transformer. The main board has 20 cigarette sized yellow boards lined up like soldiers. They look impressive and in the middle is a whole bunch of transistors, resistors and capacitors. The Whest/Clarity cap is of the polypropylene type and has a Whest logo on. The discrete input module you cannot miss as this is BIG and sits proud at the other end. The build is impressive. The chassis is the same 'type' of chassis as in the PS.30RDT but not identical. The chassis design again is interesting and if any of you have looked at a 30RDT you'll know what I mean. It looks ordinary until you pick it up. It doesn't flex! The whole chassis is CNC machined and then hand welded to strengthen it - check out Stereotimes review of the 30 RDT as he talks about the chassis a bit. Like the 30RDT the MC REF V uses an internal PCB suspension. The way to tell the difference between MK3 and Mk4 is by the red writing on the front panel and the innards.


I don't think it is unreasonable at this level to charge $$$$ to strip down your unit, replace a whole load of parts, add a new discrete stage, test it for 72 hours and send it back with a new warranty! Krell, Audio research, Levinson etc would just say - buy the new model! That means taking a hit when you sell it and then taking a bigger hit buying one of there new ones. It's cheaper to do it the other way.

I did contact Whest today to see how things are going - getting there I was told. I won't try to rush them. But 2 good things came from the call: 1. There is a new website coming with loads of info and images AND 2. check this out:


Interestingly the guy commented on the supplied mains cable. I would rather choose my own than have the manufacturer put in a $$$ mains cable that I did not like. It's far better for 'us' to experiment with such cables (if we are that way inclinded) than it being force upon us my the manufacturer. At the moment I'm using Kimber PK10 mains which I find well balanced and not too expensive. I like to spend most of the funds on electronics then vinyl (or CD - less so) then coffee, then petrol, then food....then cables, in that order.