UPS delivered the whestPRO Phono earlier today and it has been warming up nicely for the past few hours. Well well well. This is far better than I expected. The separation is staggering and nothing like I would have expected from a £1000 phonostage or even a £2000 one. I have my friends Hegel V10 here just while he is away and I must say that the whestPRO Phono is so close to it that I can't see ANY value in spending more on the Hegel V10. It is far too close and if anything I think the whestPRO Phono has the edge with detail and soundstage. The Hegel may have the edge on bass...but that is a maybe because sometimes the Hegel V10 plays bass notes a little bit overblown. The whestPRO Phono is definitely more neutral-real.
I wasn't expecting this at all but it has made me think what a great moving coil would sound like. The Audio Technica ART9XI that you recommended is something I will be looking at in the near future but for now the Ortofon 2M Black I have will have to do.
A GREAT Product that the magazines should really know about.
Technics SL1200G/ Ortofon 2M Black/ whestPRO Phono
Jackie Mitchell - Edinburgh