What to try?

Currently have Yamaha As1200 integrated with KLH Model 5.  Looking to get a more refined sound with a tube integrated.  220 square foot room,  8 foot ceilings.  I  am getting a somewhat foreword presentation now but good solid clear sound with punch.  Thinking about a Pathos Classic One MkIII or Willsenton R8 or Line Magnetic KT88.  The Pathos is a hybrid but have heard good things.  Play mostly vinyl with Fluance RT 85 and Ortofon Blue. Listen to mostly rock and alt country and some classical.   Just thinking of dipping my toes into tubes to get a different sound.  Any suggestions?


Try Bacch4mac theoretica.us. 

Game changer. I'm done with upgrades amounting to subtlety and nuance 


re VSi60 controls:

”Push buttons: Volume up, volume down. (103 steps, 20 LED indicators), Input, Mono, Mute, Power. All functions on IR remote control”

The owners manual is available at the ARCDB link I included in my previous post, if that helps.

Thank you @rfnoise.  I looked closer at the pictures and saw the buttons. I may pull the trigger on that. Thanks for the suggestions. 

I have had at various times in my room a Pathos Classic One MkII, Willsenton R8, Muzishare X7, Decware Zen TORII Mkiii and an LM 218ia.  The Decware was simply awesome.  I loved the LM as it gave spooky realistic "performer in the room" imaging.  This had a lot to do with the fact that it is a 211 based amplifier however which is SET and very different from KT88 PP.  But I enjoyed the Muzishare and it is KT88 based, especially for the price.  I felt the Willsenton was poorly constructed and overhyped and thought the Pathos was a bit anemic (in my scenario) and oddly designed (ungainly long with speaker terminals frustratingly close together).  Just my opinion. 

@maganga The Willsenton R8 is poorly constructed? What a blantant and biased lie. You’ve obviously never seen one in person so don’t comment on gear you’ve never experienced. The Muzishare you seemed to enjoy comes from the same factory btw, along with Line Magnetic, are they also poorly constructed?

@laecp for the most part your choices come down to China vs USA, big differences in price, but in terms of sound quality I have no idea. My search ended with the R8, my first tube amp and I don’t see myself upgrading to another tube integrated. Your best bet is to see what you can source locally and then compare them. I can comment on the Muzishare x7 and Willsenton R8 in terms of features, it was between those two when I was shopping. They are both available on Amazon with free shipping and a 30 day return policy, so not much risk there.

I won’t comment on sound quality, that is very subjective, and there are plenty of videos on Youtube with commentary.  There are some key differences however that may sway you in one direction or the other. The Muzi has VU meters (very cool) a balanced input if you need one, and a MM phono input. The Willsenton comes in two different finishes (black or silver), is easier to change between KT88 and el34 tubes (has a bias switch) and a remote with more functions (can swap between triode/UL, & source) The R8 is also a little less money. I didn’t need the MM phono, prefer the black finish, and the bias switch was also a big factor. Oh and I love being able to change UL/Triode on the fly, it makes a huge difference in sound. And finally the R8 is much heavier, by around 15lbs. Due what you want with those details.