Zesto Andros II with ESP vs Modwright PH 9.0 XT?

About to make a big phono stage upgrade. Has anybody compared these two or have experience with either? Cartridge will be a Soundsmith Carmen II, but I also have a low output Hana that I could use.

The MW with the X upgrade and the tube rectified PS puts it in the same fiscal neighborhood as the Zesto.


I had a Zesto Leto Preamp.   I sent it to George for new tube sockets and the ESP upgrade while it was there .  I bought it as a demo and  believe someone whacked a tube laterally, damaging a socket.   

I can't say enough about my experience with George and Carolyn. They are some of the nicest people you will encounter in HiFi.   They could have gouged me like many companies would on a product with a $7500 price tag but parts and labor was only around $300 for the repairs.  The ESP upgrade was reasonable too and worthwhile.   

That was a phenomenal product with great support.  Only sold it to fund a DHT pre to compliment my amp.  If I could have funded that and kept the Zesto I would have..  it was the most quiet preamp I have ever owned or had first hand experience with.   Complete black background 


I have the PH9.0.

Probably going to upgrade to the X.

I like the separate PS.  Don't really like that it's a hybrid but the reviews convinced me.

If I had the cash, I might have gone with the Andros II.  Better loading selection, not sure it's an advantage as I use  SUT.  Pure tube.

Sonically, based on what I read, maybe a toss up.  Modwright might be a bit more SS (base upon comparing with my Tavish Adagio).

Maybe take a look at Luxman EQ500 too.

Can't go wrong with either one IMO.

I have the Ph 9.0 with the X upgrade and the tube-rectified PS. Excellent piece, I've had it around 5 years, always dependable and great sound.  Match it with an SME 30/2 and sometimes an LP12.  From the 9.0, it goes to a Modwright KWI200, also excellent.