Hi Wilson W/P8 owners, best amp ever to drive WP8?

I have a pair of W/P8 for over a year, used with Krell 700cx amp. The system sounds great but I crave for a little more warmth and glow in the midrange, overall airiness in the treble and soundstage plus a more natural/real presence of acoustics. I have audition Audio Research Ref210s with W/P8, love the sound but was bothered by the overly full mid bass(typical of tube amp?) and the slight loss of focus and precision when compared to my Krell amp. Well controlled bass and a tight mid bass are top priority. What amps, SS or tubes, have you owned that optimise the sound performance of your W/P8s. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Hi, What is the rest of your system and room? And did you hear the ref 210's in your system or somewhere else? Did your wp 8's get professionally dailed in via a wilson dealer?

The WP 8's are great speakers, but will let you hear everything ahead of them. The mid bass being overly full maybe lessened with differing speaker placement or bass traps. Also, maybe your sources, preamp, or cables might be a target for your objectives also...and keep your amp.
I have set-up WPs before.The Vac Ren amps are wonderful with these speakers.The feedback is variable,so you can "dial" in the amount of control-more feedback tighter ,less warmth.
speaker positioning
If is a large room and you play rock then you might be easily overdriving the WP 8's with that amp?
I had the 70/70 in a large showroom of a dealer.Didn't hear a problem there.YMMV.


Can you try Audio Redearch HD220?
I have a Krell cx series amp, and have found that it really reflects the upstream components. You didn't tell us what preamp you are using, but perhaps a good tube pre (REF 3?) might do the trick for you. That way you don't have to give up that legendary Krell bass management that you like, which should do a great job with the WP8's low end.
I like my choice Lamm ML 2.1's. What's upstream is so important? Settle on those components first then amps. Compare your system other Wilson systems online. Try emails. Forums don't always work.
FWIW, the Wilsons are designed to favor tubes. If you really want to get everything out of them that they have to offer, you will have to take the plunge into the world of tubes.
Dear Arwp: I respect the Atmasphere asumption that the 8's are designed to favor tubes but IMHO that assumption could be a " little " controversial ( for say the least ) due that the 8's has a complex electrical impedance curve that goes so low like 2.2 Ohms that always for any tube amplifier represent a very high target that the tube unit can't achieve ( fully " calm " ) making a degradation ( distortion/colorations ) to the audio signal, this does not happen with SS units like the one you own.

Even MR. Atkinson ( that like Atmasphere has a top knowledge on the subject ) in the Stereophile 8's review made this comment about:

" However, and also like its predecessors, the WATT/Puppy 8's impedance characteristic demands the use of an amplifier that can deliver generous amounts of current. " adding:

" It is definitely a difficult load for an amplifier to drive,........The Wilson did sound superb driven by Ayre MX-R monoblocks on both of the occasions I listened seriously to it in Wes's room. ""

No, I don't want to start any " argue " on the subject with Atmasphere, it is only a different opinion: IMHO I think SS is the best way to go with the 8's but of course any one else could think different.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I did listen to a system with Wilson Audio Maxx 2 driven by ASR Emitter Exclusive...."Incredible".

Not your typical solid state sound that's for sure.

Other amplifiers were home auditioned , Mark Levinson, Krell and Sim Audio before settling with ASR.

I don't know how much the Watt Puppys differ electronically from the Maxx.
For sure the ASR Emitter is one great amp with the Wilson and should be on your short list.
SS is excellent advice, but some of us have had excellent results with tube amps. In my case I settled on Lamm ML 2.1 Monos. They have all the power, detail, transparency, sound stage I look for while producing beautiful music. They are a touch darker than neutral.

Maybe Raul can explain why Lamm's 18W amps can do this? Is it current?
Nice system...I bet the Lamm mono's DO sound absolutely fabulous with the Wilson's also.
Dear Gerrym5: There is no doubt that your Lamm's are good tube design amplifiers aand that its quality performance is between the tube technology limitations that between other things means a high output impedance, depending on the " tap " the 2.1 goes from 1 Ohms to 2 Ohms that are considering high output impedances.

What happen with a high output amplifier impedance against the speaker electrical impedance is that exist anon-matched impedances and then the amplifier response instead to be flat fluctuate ( with differeces on SPL all over the speaker electrical impedance/frequency response ).
The response/what we are hearing in those conditions is a " equalization " on the signal due ( between other things ) to that un-matched impedances.
That " equalization "/deviations/colorations does not happen ( everything the same ) when the amplifier has a low output impedance ( say 0.1 Ohm ) and can match the speaker one.

Now, you like what you are hearing, you like those deviations/amplifier equalization, but that does not means is the best way to go with that speaker.

Just imagine your Lamm's with a low output impedance, that will be like " heaven " but unfortunately nothing is perfect and we have to choose the best trade-offs according our music-sound quality performance priorities.

Btw, Arwp the Krell Evolution could be well an " evolution " from what you own.

Regards and enjoy the music.
You have a great amp. What power cord are you using for it?
If I'm not mistaken I think Wilson uses Audio Research when designing, and tuning their speakers. So that might represent a good choice. Based on some of the above responses and my own experiences it seems like they both work well depending on your tastes. There are a relatively small number of speaker companies that excel at both but Wilson is one of them. I've heard WP8's driven by Boulder and Mark Levinson and both were excellent.
almost everything will have less control than your Krell in the bass department.. so expect a sacrifice.

2 options.... Get a tube preamp and flavor the krell that way

or Theta Citadel's work amazing with the WP8's, and have tremendous bass control. The Ayre MXR's are warmer on top and have way less bass control than the Citadels, plus I find the Citadel's to be more open and transparent (if you are running balanced because of their truely balanced design). Make sure you have at least 1 dedicated 20amp circuit, as the Citadels provide limitless current and volume with the WP's. another huge benefit with the theta amps are they idle at 80watts so there is no warm up time for instant pleasurable listening!! this was a key factor for me.

If you are a deep bass head that likes excessive volume don't get the Lamm ML2.1's (which I own currently along with the Theta Citadel's as I determine which I can live with my Maxx 2's, soon to be three's but I owned WP7's with Lamm M1.1's and M2.1's and the Citadels.) The Lamm's have more texture around the bass notes but the are about 30% of the impact of the Lamm's (then again I'm waiting for a new tubeset because I think the breaking up of sound at volume is a tube problem and not an amplifier problem) But there is no way the 18 watts will ever do what the Theta Citadels do with Wilson speakers (effortless transparent volume).

The only compromise that I considered that I liked better was the VTL S800's or VTL 750's which have all the current and provide the air that tubes have without the bloom/excessive warmness of other tubes. The newer VTL 450's or the S400 would work on the WP8's where they don't quite drive the Maxx's as well.
Dear Arwp: +++++ " little more warmth and glow in the midrange, overall airiness in the treble and soundstage plus a more natural/real presence of acoustics................. Well controlled bass and a tight mid bass are top priority. " +++++

Maybe you don't need a " new/different " amplifier but IMHO a " new " approach due to the WP8 characteristics.

The " key " factor can/could be that the WP8 goes really " down " into the bass ( 21hz. ), this fact put " pressure " on the IMD ( intermodulation ditortion ) in that driver that has to handle ( at the same time ) frequencies over and to 200-250hz.

Waht happen if you add two self powered subwoofers ( in true stereo fashion ) to " liberate " the WP8 of the " responsability " to handle that last ( bass ) 1.5 octave?, the IMD goes down and all what you are looking improve/change for the better: you can achieve a higher quality performance on your system and according with what are your overall targets, everything improve: your Krell will perform better in this " new " frequency range ( with out frequencies say from 50-70hz and down ),better mid bass, better ( quality and quantity ) and controlled deep/low bass ( here you not only will have the right drivers/subs to handle the bass frequencies but a " dedicate " amplifiers to that specific and difficult bass frequency range. ), better soundstage, better mid range and high frequency due that you don't have " smeared/distorted " sound coming from the WP8 bass driver, etc, etc.: you system change for the better!!!!!

IMHO I can tell you that a pair of WP8 with two subwoofers ( everything the same ) outperform a pair of MAXX2 , no doubt about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I'm listening an ASR Emitter II version Blue with Watt/Puppy 7 and the set is really amazing.
It's the solid state more similar to tube sound i ever heard. Moreover, it has the ability to give as much current as they need, and as you know, WP8 are really demanding.
The only flaw i feel, are the low frequencies. I feel it can be better but it will need some work in the silent partner, the room, not the amp!
Pro memoria: its a hell of a german tank.
I've have very enjoyable results with VTL MB-450's Driving WP8's

I've found I Wilson products like a big power amp even if your not cranking the volume.

WP8's can produce a scary amount of bass in a controlled manner. I've had musicians and other audiophiles make comments along the lines of "where is the subwoofer?" "bass response is unbelievable."

I've also enjoyed Jeff Rowland equipment driving WP7's

I thought some of you would be interested in reading the comments made about the BAT-W/P8 room at 2009 CES.


I had the VK55 in my system for awhile mated with a VK5i and it sounded wonderful. I know it is not the 55SE and my preamp and source are not what was at the show but the 55 is one hell of an amp. Would love to have a 55SE or 75SE :)
I know this is an old post, but I hope someone can help. I just picked up a pair of wp8 and am currently using with a CJ CT-5 pre-amp which is single-ended only, and a Spectron Premiere 7-7 channel amp.

I love the CJ, and want to keep it, but am considering selling my multi-channel Spectron. I would consider a high power tube amp (must be rca capable), Spectron mono-blocks or any other experienced recommendations.

Any comments wouyld be greatly appreciated.
I own a pair of WP7's and have been driving them with a Parasound HCA-3500. I cannot get that amp to clip no matter how hard I push it. The bass is unreal. The down side is the parasound is way too harsh and grainy sounding when critically listening. The focal tweet is not a good match with that amp. Definately need something more refined, any helpful hints . . . trying to stay under $3,000. Supposedly AYRE's are a good fit?