Willsenton R8 tube integrated stereo amplifier thread

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by RockAddict, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    Maggot Brain - DAMN good stuff! :righton:
     
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  2. Tony-A

    Tony-A Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tampa USA
    Well I've to say that after running my R8 for almost two month with the new Miflex capacitors, I'm super impressed with the sound quality, wider soundstage, more detail and bass control. Matter of fact, I truly believe that before you get into tube rolling, swapping the 4 capacitors should be priority number one.

    Peace,
    Tony
     
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  3. pressureworld

    pressureworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    ATL
    I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on the R8. What is the correct or best voltage to get in the USA 115 or 120?
     
  4. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    It doesn't matter as you voltage to your house can vary more than the delta between the 2. You just need to make sure the 115/240 voltage selector is in the right position. Some have received theirs with the switch in the wrong position. It is not a big deal if wrong in the US. It is a major problem if you receive it set to 115 in Europe when your house voltage is 240.
     
  5. Rcube

    Rcube Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Heya
    This amp is really something else.

    Changed tubes to el34 (psst: not mullard sf2 or such)
    Got the German gold package from this seller. He tests with his own wellsenton R8.
    Valnesnmore is the website.

    I simply cannot understand how this amp works so well.

    Just ordered a quad of matched winged C Svetlana to see what those highly hyped tubes are about.

    I will not say it sounds like highs are sparkling or stuff like that but I can say this (damn I think I get it). The notes flow like a story well told. "Liquid", just got a new defenition
     
  6. gwompek

    gwompek Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Thought I would come back here and post an update on the R8 after owning for two weeks. I will be brief because I wrote a very lengthy post over on the mega stereonet thread.

    Long story short, the amp sounds great after chasing out a few demons and rolling in some Tung Sol EL34B. Still not quite where I want it but I have a bit more tube rolling to do and also possibly a few modifications to undertake.
     
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  7. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    Sounds awesome Bro! I'm thinking that down the road I might give this amp a try if I can figure out how to bi-amp with it since I need to run my 2-15" dipole woofers with my Crown amp.

    I've been lusting after the Primaluna Evo integrated amp, but IDK now... I wrote Steve, the guy who owns Decware and it sounds like his amps are more pure. He even offered to modify a Torii Jr (20w/side) for me so that it had an output to bi-amp. He insists that the Primaluna has all kinds of crap in the signal chain, even though they CLAIM that everything is point to point direct wiring, and the picture LOOKS like it is. Too many damn choices... :shake:
     
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  8. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Do you have a link to the seller Sir?:)
     
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  9. Rcube

    Rcube Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Yes. I have a link but not sure if I will be allowed to post links here

    Website name is "valvesandmore" (can Google it)

    The owner is a person named Jim. The best part is he has special packages for R8 and tubes are tested and matched on his own R8 amp.


    Please use the discount codes
    Cheers10 for 10$ off for 100$ buys
    Cheers20 for 20$ off for 200$ buys
    Just change the number to 30 and 40 for respective buys.
     
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  10. Tony-A

    Tony-A Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tampa USA
    You can also easily find him on YouTube. He has several videos related to the R8.

    Peace,
    Tony
     
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  11. Rcube

    Rcube Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Sorry I gave the wrong name.
    Valvesnmore is the right website

    valvesNmore
     
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  12. Rcube

    Rcube Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Can someone help with this dummy question please?
    There is a plate current for tubes and its way above the wall outlet ratings. How is that possible thr tube can draw 440 volts when the wall socket is rated for 110/120?

    Is it the capacitors hold some current and totals to 440?
    Sorry but just learning
     
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  13. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    The power transformer steps up the voltage. Google how a transformer works.
     
  14. Rcube

    Rcube Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Oh. OK.
    Will read sir

    Any references you could share?
     
  15. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
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  16. RockAddict

    RockAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    @Tony-A Earlier in the thread, you mentioned Miflex caps and some clarification would be helpful if you're happy to help.
    @rockin_since_58 Earlier in the thread, you shared the info about replacing resistors and, as with caps, I'm hoping you can help.

    Caps: My knowledge of electrics ends with fitting a wall plug, so that sets out the baseline... Tony, in your posts, reference is made to "Miflex 0.22pF" replacing existing 0.22uF caps. What difference, if any, is there between the pF and uF reference? Also, which caps did you replace (for reference, I have a picture of an R8 with it's bottom plate removed)?

    Resistors: rockin_since_58, did you only replace the resistors to the socket with the blown tube or did you do all four? Also, did you end up with 10R3 rated resistors (any particular make?)?


    Background: One of the valves (EL34, socket V2) has red-plated and I may well send the R8 off for a once over and, at the same time, it could be the right time to get any upgrades / changes done at the same time.
     
  17. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I only replaced the burned resistor and checked the others with my meter. I just ordered genetic 3 watt metal film resistors for the replacement.
     
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  18. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    GENETIC...??! OMG! Your developing Tubes of Mass Destruction! :yikes:
     
  19. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Oops :(
     
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  20. Tony-A

    Tony-A Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tampa USA
    I posted this same message on the other Willsenton thread.

    I purchased this amp about year ago. My decision was based on some reviews on YouTube (Thomas), plus (main reason) the information provided in the R8 thread on the Australian StereoNet website. After I read the technical information provided and all the pictures (inside) of the R8 I was completely sold. I wanted to purchase a Tube Amp for a second system and just wanted to experiment a bit since I like to tinker.

    After receiving the amplifier, I was stunned how good it sounded right out the box. It crumbled a lot of perception that I had in regards to speakers impedance and efficiency, and Tube amplifiers. I've some Dynaudio (Focus 340) and this amp drove it without hesitation. I continued to read the thread which is now hundreds of pages long, and I started to read about the capacitors on each power grid (don't know if I'm saying this right), it was so cheap for the shop to do it, that I decided to give it a go.

    I got the amp back after the modification and waited about 6 weeks to make a comment. I was impressed and I truly believe that R8 owners should do this mod first before even getting into tube rolling.

    This amp is now sharing time with my Hegel H-360, and Im very happy with both. I don't post much information as I don't want to get into debate or arguments. I see how people are so dismissive either because its a Chinese product, don't fit into the mold, speakers won't work right due to the efficiency rate or number, and all that other stuff. I rather hear it myself and be the judge.

    Peace,
    Tony
     
  21. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    Tony, if you are powering these nice 87db 5,000 Euro speakers and are happy, I would say that that is not only very useful information but also a pretty damn good recommendation! :D

    If I may ask, please... I noticed on Thomas's review and comparison with the Doge and the Caiman (if I'm spelling that correctly) I know it's just on YouTube, but I noticed a HUGE soundstage that I really liked on the Doge, although, yes, that older model was a little bit forward. The R8 by at least that comparison, sounded a bit recessed, but I thought better than the Caiman.

    So, what are your thoughts about that? Did you listen to that comparison? Any opinions about what you think between the two, because from what Thomas's friends and others have said, the soundstage of the Doge is bloody phenomenal! Previously, I had kind of had my heart set on the R8, but after hearing that I'm not so sure now. So, I would very much appreciate any input or observations by you or anyone else who may have had the chance to compare the two. BTW, due to the way my system is designed, it probably is a bit more laid-back. So, maybe a more lively tube amp would suit it better. IDK if I've posted pictures of my system on this thread before or not, but just in case anyone is totally bored and has absolutely NOTHING else better to do, I'll put a link to pictures of my system here so that you can have an idea as to what I would be pairing a tube amp with. I've added comments on the lower-right corner of some of the pictures giving more details about how my system is set up (note, that a tube amp would only be running the high-end tall multi-driver open baffle dipole line-arrays. The 2-15" dipole, open baffle woofers are powered by a Crown 2502 400/side amp - thus the possible preference for the Doge since I believe it has a 'Pre-out' to biamp, or in my case tri-amp. The R8 unfortunately does not have this capability)

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/9ja3UKob7tppW4Y38

    Thanks! :tiphat:
     
  22. Tony-A

    Tony-A Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tampa USA
    Good questions!!
    I can only compare the R8 against the Hegel. No doubt that the Hegel produces a better soundstage and bass control. Those are the two main qualities or attributes that definitely make the Hegel excel compared to the R8. That being said, the R8 has a wonderful top end shimmer that sounds wonderful. Also, I Ike the options of tube rolling, and having the UL and Triode, which makes a big difference depending on the recording. One thing that I also find strange is that some folks mentioned having problem with "no bass", for me is the contrary, I feel sometimes that the R8 has to much bass I my room, hence my preference for the Hegel (better control). My room is not that big 12 x 13 feet, have some room treatment (no bass traps) and the measurements are not bad (a bit of a bump on the 50hz). Done some room correction (REW using Roon Lab), but I really decided not to use the room correction option after several month of testing. Thats why this hobby is so weird, and how it can be so different from individual to individual.

    Peace,
    Tony
     
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  23. latheofheaven

    latheofheaven My Pants are FULLY Analog...

    Thanks Tony! :)

    Yeah, that is weird about the bass; everything I've heard so far if anything seems to stress that the bass is rather forward out of the box. BTW, Good for you ditching the electronic 'treatment' of your room! :righton: There are other simple and more organic ways to do that (in my pictures posted above, I show the bass traps and the other acoustic treatments that I made)

    That's good, too, to hear about the 'shimmer' at the top end of the R8. Perhaps changing those caps contributed to that...? Down the road, I might just hafta do the 'Amazon' thing and try it out :D

    Thanks again Bro! :cheers:
     
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  24. Tony-A

    Tony-A Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tampa USA
    Its always a pleasure to talk about one's passion!

    Peace,
    Tony
     
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  25. Rcube

    Rcube Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Am gon a closely follow this discussion before I send my amp across the street to get re capped

    I guess it uses alps caps and those are not laggards.
     

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