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Tube rolling with the Willisenton R8 KT 88 amp


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I started my tube journey over 10 years ago with a hybird Yaqin 2100 amp with tube preamp and SS rear. Excellent amp along with several of the EL 34 amps which are exceptional for the money.   I have never owned an American tube amp but, have owed several Mc Intosh amps, SS for comparison.  Fast pace and to 2024, I am on a 3rd tube amp, lol. Not funny, lol. I tried the OldChen K3 Kt88 twice with the same transformer failure.  More on that later if interest.  China Hi Fi refunded my money with no problems.


This brings up the Willisenton R8 KT 88 amp.  It is a moderate priced amp and a back breaker going on 60 lbs.  The topic is tube rolling and this is the easiest amp that I have ever had that you can audibly hear a change with multiple tubes, preamp and power. The bias adjustment take about 10 second for a power tube and not needed for the preamp tubes.  Preamp tubes for the amp are Willisenton  6sN7x3 , PS Vane Fever CV 181z, Shuguang Black Treasure CV181z, and Willisenton 6SL7.  The rolling power tubes were the Shuguang Black Treasure KT 88 , Willisenton KT 88, PSVane KT88, Tel Funkenl Black Diamond EL 34, and an old quad pair of Sevlanta 6550 C winged quad on a trade for my NOS Tung Sung EL 34 tubes.


Well, I am very impressed with this amp and it's sound.  The tubes can make or brake a system. This amp has very noticeable changes in tube rolling and can be transformed by tube rolling. I did all my listening in triode mode using just a few watts.  I am not going to bash stock tubes because they most likely come from the same factories and are not inherently bad. 


The change of the Power tubes changed the bass and lower midrange. Where as, the preamp tubes influenced the midrange in this particular Kt 88 amp.  The point of the post is the fun with rolling, not the cost, lol. and the quickness for comparison.  These    topic are always so biase and less than scientific.  because it took 20 min. for the tubes to warm.  This thread is not that serious.  What's your take?  I did find some nice combo with my current  tubes without spending more money.  The old motto is nothing exceeds like excess!


See, I did not tell you about about magic tubes,  the must have amp, system . or made SS comparison.  Just roll with it.🥴  Rolling is not like steak or lobster, it is more like skirt steak vs t bone? 











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Right on, I've heard nothing but good things about that amp, glad it is working for you. I did some tube rolling in my Schiit Freya preamp which uses the 6NS7's and could hear pretty big differences between the tube sets. My Carver RAM 285 comes with all Tung-Sol tubes I believe KT-120's power tubes and 12ax7 & 12AT7 input tubes- I have not considered trying different input tubes but maybe I should? 

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