Willsenton R8 Tube Integrated Amplifier Review

Getting a tube-integrated amplifier is essential if you’re a serious audiophile. Not only does it improve your current sound settings, but it can be attached to a speaker to bring your music to life. And which amplifier is suitable for that? The Willsenton R8.

This article will give you a clear review of how the amplifier works. We’ll give you a full insight into how its tubes give you optimal sound and how you can use it for your musical preferences.

Now let’s get started! When using the Willsenton R8, we’ll give you advice on using it to maximize its sonic capabilities. By the end, you’ll have enough confidence to determine if this is the right amp for you.

 

 

Review

The Willsenton R8 Tube is an integrated amplifier designed to take your music to the next level. It features a 310-watt power consumption, which aids it in reciprocating sounds clearly and efficiently. Try this if you want an amplifier that will help in increasing your music’s volume without any sonic disturbance.

Weighing in at 70 pounds, the Willsenton R8 is known for its heavy, bulky size. Most of the weight is in its large transformers. The large iron creates a good low-end audio response.

You can connect a device to the Willsenton R8 Tube through the Bluetooth link. It will produce a low-end response of 20 Hz. This results in a clean and solid bass. So, this is a suitable device that will aid in creating lossless sound.

In addition, it creates a clean sound. When music is played, you won’t have any difficulty distinguishing the lows and highs. It has good stereo imaging, meaning that the amp’s phase response is clean versus the device’s frequency.

Speaking of frequency, the Willsenton R8 has a 10Hz 40kHz frequency effect. This gives the user an expansive range of sounds to listen to. Thus, this amplifier helps listen to multiple music genres while still maintaining exemplary audio quality.

This amplifier allows you to play music at a loud volume without damaging your ears. It does this without distorting your sound from the inter-modulation distortion or the limiting slew rate. The Willsenton R8 does this better than competing amplifiers, making it a good choice for those wanting the most bang for their buck.

Willsenton R8 KT88/EL34 x4 Tube Integrated AMP Power Amplifier Headphone Used (Black)
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Willsenton R8 KT88/EL34 x4 Tube Integrated AMP Power Amplifier Headphone Used (Black)
  • This is a second hand item and has been unboxed, it has been tested, and it is in good working condition and does not require maintenance.
  • Pure hand-made, Point to point manual welding. One amplifier can used wiht tube EL34, KT88 or 6550, so, you can get 3 kinds of sound from different models tubes. The default matching tubes of this machine is KT88. If you need another 2 new sets of tube, please purchase in addition. There is a Red selection button on the Back of the amp to switch.
  • Willsenton R8 is an integrated Amplifier, it is a Power Amplifier too (there is a group Power amp input), it is a Headphones amp too.
  • Triode and ultra-linear selection are available which can be switched by the button on the amplifier
  • With a remote control,Vacuum tube protective cover,Fuse and an English manual.

 

 

Should I Get the Willsenton R8 Tube Integrated Amplifier?

Should I Get the Willsenton R8 Tube Integrated Amplifier

So you’re probably asking yourself, “Should I Get the Willsenton R8?” Yes! It’s a rare bargain for its price and delivers the sound results you’re looking for.

If you need additional power than 2-6 watts, you should consider this is the first amplifier. This amplifier is good for the Rock & Roll sound with high bass if you plan on getting the KT88 tubes.

In its ultra-linear mode, you’ll notice its sound capabilities in full form. The amp’s bottom end can be turned down by changing the KT88 tubes to more linear KT34 tubes.

The R8 has a switch to change from ultra-linear mode to triode mode. The ultra-linear mode gives you more power, more robust dynamics, and bass, which is suitable for intensive listening sessions.

 

Design

Based on its dimensions, the Willsenton R8 is 40 cm wide with 15 ¾ inches long. Most of the amp’s weight is stored within the three transformers. Each of the transformers shows a good indication of the speaker’s quality.

Rotate the dial on the left to turn the amplifier on. You’ll notice 4 LEDs that indicate its input selection. The last LED determines the amplifier’s mode of operation from triode and ultra-linear.

The dial in the middle indicates the bias adjustment of the amplifier. There’s a button that allows you to switch from triode to ultra-linear mode, giving you more ways to optimize your sound results.

The Willsenton R8 comes with a sturdy metal case to protect the tubes. When in operation, the tubs can become hot and overheat if used for an extended period of time.

It includes a remote that has the following features: input selection, volume adjustment, mute, and to toggle the triode-ultra liner settings.

A pre-input allows you to use the Willsenton R8 as a power amplifier. It also allows you to connect 4 inch and 8-inch speakers, which is great for those wanting to enhance the sound in the room.

 

How Do the Tube Amplifiers Work?

The most basic form of a tube is a diode. The cathode produces electrons that attract the anode’s positive protons when in use. The diode only allows for your current to go in one direction.

A triode is a tube with three elements, and it works as a metal grid that runs alongside the tube. As a result, it turns the AC current into DC current. And that’s what the 6SN7 tube does while it’s operating.

The way it works is by varying the voltage across the control grid. This gives you the ability to influence the amount of flow to the tube itself. It will make it more positive and attract more electrons to the anode.

That’s the basis of the Willsenton R8. It is an amplifier that has a large output signal going out, and it mirrors the input that’s going in.

There is a subtle difference between tube amplifiers and transistor amplifiers. The first one is that the tube amplifier operates at a higher voltage rating. There is a pre-amplifier gain and the driver state gain. A transistor amplifier will have a solid voltage within the range of 60-100 volts, depending on its power.

Another exciting addition is the output transformers. They reduce the high voltage and place it at a safer level. Because of this, it gives you more sustainability and protection when used for extended periods of time.

 

Limitations

With the Willsenton R8, you’ll have enough power to drive through every speaker out there. While it still operates like a fully functioning amplifier, some limitations stop it from achieving perfection. The only exception is the highly damaging speakers.

You’ll get a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to the R8’s features. You’ll get a remote control, pre-amplifier input, and headphones output—a lot of handy stuff that some competing amps don’t have.

If it’s combined with a Streamer/DAC, it will take care of all the hard work. That way, this device can retain its timeless design, which is what most of us want it to have. However, you won’t get digital inputs and subwoofer outputs.

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The Willsenton R8 is a bit on the expensive side for some users. But with its price, you’re getting a high-quality amplifier that will aid in enjoying music a lot better. Despite its minor limitations, it’s still an excellent amplifier that will last for a long time.

 

Sound Performance

Sound Performance

The Willsenton R8 is a large, loud-sounding amplifier with a wide sound stage. It has more sound stage depth than computing amplifiers. The amplifier has a real mid-base punch.

The vast majority of people will find the amplifier dynamic and engaging. It trades bass speed with weight, but it isn’t slow. Instead, the amplifier’s bass comes off as well-judged once the music is played.

Regarding its midrange, the Willsenton R8 is great for playing instruments. Try playing a saxophone or violin on the amplifier, and notice how it recreates the music into a rich sound. Thus, there’s a bit of texture and body to the midrange, but the background is quiet enough to have a good decay structure and improve the instrument’s resonant sounds.

If you listen to music in ultra-linear mode, you’ll notice a balanced performance across a wide range of music genres. However, the triode mode doesn’t have the same level of bass control. The highs will sound rolled off, and its clarity was reduced, but it does have a more harmonically rich sound than the ultra-linear mode.

The mode that you’ll prefer will depend on the speakers you use to pair up with the Willsenton R8. It’s nice to switch between the two modes with the help of the remote control.

You’ll find the Willsenton R8 provides great harmonic sound at the expense of bass control. Running the EL34’s tubes on ultra-linear mode gives you a similar sound effect as the KT88 in triode mode. Unless you’re an audio enthusiast that likes a warm sound, you should stick to the KT88.

 

Why Should I Buy The Willsenton R8 Tube?

The Willsenton R8 is the amplifier that convinces users to switch to a tube amplifier. You should buy the Willsenton R8 tube if you want to experience lossless and high-level sound.

However, you can switch the tubes for more linear and smoother EL34 tubes. Consider switching your factory tubes to this one if you dislike strong bass.

 

 

How Do I Set Up The Willsenton R8?

How Do I Set Up The Willsenton R8

Before setting up the Willsenton R8, it’s important to know that tube integrated amplifiers can be microphonic. This means that they can act as a microphone. They can turn the vibrations into sound energy through your sound system.

The tubes can get very hot during operation. It’s not hot enough to burn you, but you shouldn’t come into contact with the tube unless it’s completely cooled off. Ensure that the tubes are well ventilated and away from children to protect them from any damage.

Then, you’ll have to think about the lifespan of the tubes. This depends on the tube and how often it’s used through the amplifier. On average, most tubes have a lifespan ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 hours.

If you notice your tube becoming less effective, cost-effective replacement tubes are available.

Always turn the amplifier off when it’s not in use to increase the tubes’ lifespan. Alternatively, if the tubes get too hot during operation, turn them off for a few minutes to allow them to cool down.

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It’s easy to install the tubes because they’re labeled throughout the amplifier. The four KT88 tubes must be biased, as the current operating needs to be adjusted. And the five tubes up the front are self-bias. You can adjust the bias through the bias adjustment tool on the left.

Hold it down and use a flathead screwdriver inside the appropriate hole once you’ve placed it on the desired setting (V1 or V2). Continue to adjust it until the needle in the front of the amp is placed in the middle. There is a V3 and V4 bias adjustment on the right side, and you can adjust it the same way.

The R8 plays sound at a reasonable volume. However, when you place the volume knob past the 12 o clock position, the sound will begin to harden up. So it might not be a good choice for those who listen to music at loud volumes.

 

Why Use An Integrated Amplifier?

The biggest reason why people like integrated amplifiers is because they are affordable. In comparison to power amps, they are cheaper and offer similar sound quality. You don’t have to pay extra money to build the system. It is a one-and-done purchase.

Another reason why you should use an integrated amplifier is that it has better connectivity options (Wired or Wireless). This allows the amp to become the central hub of a sound system.

Integrated amplifiers can handle digital and analog sound signals, making them more modern than power amps. With integrated amplifiers, it allows you to stream music. Or, you can hook it through a turntable, so you’re able to listen to vinyl.

What makes the amp “integrated?”. It features the preamp, tuners, switches, and more. This means that you don’t have to worry about any additional baggage. Plugin the device and watch it play sound efficiently.

 

 

Conclusion

The Willsenton R8 is a reliable amplifier for those wanting to get the most out of their sound. It takes time to set up the amplifier, but once it’s fully configured, the user can experience high-quality results and reasonable sound control.

Conclusively, get this if you’re ready to get a holistic experience when playing your favorite songs. Behind the amplifier, we’ll show three line-level inputs.

 

Willsenton R8 Tube Integrated Amplifier Review Pin

 

 

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Is a musician and journalist with over 13 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands. Ray loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar gear and synths, to microphones and music production hardware.

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