WhestTHREE signature phono pre vs. ModWright PH 9.0X

I've mostly got my phono preamp upgrade down to a shortlist shootout choice between the WhestTHREE and the ModWright PH 9.0X. They're pretty much at the same price point (the MW is ~$300 more than the whest, give or take). 

What I listen to mostly: Jazz & Jazz Fusion primarily (I do have things from many other genres, but want to tune my system to Jazz since that's 95% of my listening on vinyl).

What I like: wide soundstage, incredible mid-range, detail, some warmth

What I don't like: clinical! 


There are a lot of passionate Whest owners out there all over forums raving about them, but I've also seen people mention that they can be a little on the clinical side. 

The modwright has less hands-on info out there that I could find, but the few things I could find review it very highly. 

If owners of either could comment on their experience and some objective pros / cons of either, it would be helpful! 


I did have someone recommend the Gold note PH10 to me some time ago, and while it is at a lower price point, I've seen a lot of mixed reviews. 


I initially got to know Modwright from an upgrade to my Pioneer LX500 CD transport. So I knew what Dan was capable of. I went from an SPL Phonos to the Modwright PH9.0XT. I am so impressed with the dynamics, soundstage and tonal clarity of this unit. The SPL was very good but I was missing that airy midrange. The PH9.0XT is my endgame. Superb build quality, built like a tank.  I am switching between the Hana Umami and AT-ART-9XA (.2mV) running into an Octave V70 Class A to Spatial M3 Sapphires. The Octave is known for its outstanding midrange and the Modwright delivers everything that is on the LP in a luscious detailed way. What I notice most other than the unbelievable soundstage and instrument separation is the tonal quality of each instrument, Beautifully Presented.Tube rolling is encouraged. I'm running Siemens and Telefunkens and a Sophia Blue in the PS with stellar results.  I highly recommend the PH9.0XT and you might want to reach out to Dan and Kristin with any questions or issues you might have. 

@paulietunes I agree. I have been given some good recommendations that weren't even on my radar in the past. There's so much gear out there, especially in the mid-range price points.

@audiosaurusrex Thanks for the info about the modwright. Pretty much falls in line with what I've been reading elsewhere with great dynamics and soundstage. Good to know that it performs really well in the midrange (which is very important for me since that tends to be the make or break when it comes to Jazz, at least). 

It's interesting you mention the Umami - was debating upgrading to that cartridge!

How easy is it to change the tubes in it? Is it as simple as just removing the cover and popping them in and out? 

Yes easy to change just unscrew the case, but I found no need when you find the ones you love. I must say big difference in the new Power Supply upgrade. Just adds so much air. In reference to midrange someone stated the the midrange is where the soundstage lives. I am in total agreement with this. If your gear can produce accurate frequency response including midrange the soundstage blossoms in front of you, Happy Listening and let us know which direction you wind up going in ;-)

 paulietunes , so sorry, I didn't mean to (Gasp ! )  " stoke division ".. My post was in reference to the myriad simple requests about 2 products that get buried under responses that had nothing to do with the original query. Sorry if that went over your head, but it happens all the time.

I’m a huge fan of the Modwright PH9.0X and have posted about it on the forums in the past. In my opinion it’s the best phono stage I’ve heard under $7500, especially after adding better tubes and power cable. I don’t own one anymore as I upgraded to a few phono stages over the $10K mark, but the PH9.0X still holds a special place in my heart because of its musicality, soul, and dynamics.