Clayton Audio M200's.

I'm considering trying a pair of Clayton Audio M200 monoblocks. I owned a pair of M100's a few years ago, and thought they were very musical, good bang for the buck. They had a problem with low level transformer humming though that I never could resolve, and was one of the reasons for me moving on. I've been through about 10-12 amps in the last 6-7 years (thanks AudiogoN! :) ) and have never had this hum with any other amp in my system. Talking with several other M-100 owners, it seemed like this was not an unusual problem with these amps.

Now I see that Clayton is out with a new M200 amp, different design. The M200 is fully differential, the M100 was a single-ended design. I'm curious to hear from any M200 owners as to if any of them have experienced this transformer humming. Perhaps Wilson Shen has resolved the issue. If so, if it still as powerful and musical as the M100's this could be an amp to reckon with.

Happy New Year!

I get just a minimum of hum w my M200s.

Rather easy to ignore.

Hi Borst,

Thanks for your reply. So it seems as if Wilson has not resolved the hum problem yet. FWIW, I thought it was easy to ignore in the beginning too, but after time wore on, I found myself asking "why should I?". There are so many other options out there. Yes, it did sound very good, but other amps sound good and do not hum.

I have to get within 2-3 feet of the amps to hear. Can't hear at my seat with no music playing.

The AC and furnace and fanned components make more noise.

Mine was a demo and maybe a first run. Later amps could be different.
Well maybe it is a little better than before. I could hear my M100's hum from 10 feet away with no music playing. A quiet hum to be sure, but it did eventually get on my nerves. Noticeable enough that when others were over they would inevitably ask "what's that noise?".
I tried the "Humbusters" and what not to no avail.

I'd read somewhere that Wilson changed transformers for the M-200/300 amps. I was hoping he had eliminated the hum issue. It sounds as if he may have improved it, but not eliminated it altogether.

I will still consider these amps, but will not buy unless I get a chance to hear them in my room first. I'm not holding my breath. Do you still own your M-200's?

Thanks again for your reply,


Favorite of all my amps.

I have the m-300's and they are dead quiet. I had a hum coming from my speakers but came to realize it was from my preamp that was not a true balanced design. Once I swithced pre-amps the hum was gone. I have lousy Ac coming into my house so I thought that was my issue. So back to the topic. The noise was not transformer hum. If you plug your amps into the wall and they are quiet than any noise you hear after is not a transformer noise. It can be a ground loop or dirty ac. Hope this helps and yes the power supply has been changed and updated.
As a matter of interest, does the Clayton have a toroidal transformer. I had a similar hum problem with my Karan amp. An engineer tamed it with extra grounding on the transformer. Much to my suprise, it completely went with a quality power chord, in my case, the Audience chord. It might be worth looking at similar solutions
For clarity sake, it was transformer hum from my M-100's. Disconnect the input interconnects and the hum was still there. You could hear the hum coming from the chassis, not through the speakers. I switched power cords, cables, preamp, I even tried the PS Audio Humbuster, nothing changed. Change amp, and the buzz completely disappeared. Again, with music playing these were exceptional amps, especially for the price, but the longer I lived with them the more the hum bothered me. I owned them for a year.
Talking with fellow M-100 owners, this was not an uncommon problem. Not in all cases, but frequent enough. There was even a thread on AudiogoN about it a couple of years ago.

The M-100's were NOT a fully balanced design. So when I read that Wilson Shen had designed a new amp, that was fully balanced and was using different transformers, I was hoping he had solved the transformer hum issue.

Hey, I should listen over the Claytons again now that I have put the M200s on a Titan from Isotek. They seems to run cooler on the Titans.

One mono seems dead silent and the other I have to put my ears 3 inches over the amp, in the front only, before I can hear a buzz/hum. I had to close the listning room door to silence the area and the furnace is not running.

And I can rest my ears on the cooling fins on top and not get bothered by the heat.
Very interesting Borst, I wonder what the Titan does that makes such a physical change in these amps. Does it affect the sound? How much does the Titan cost?
Maybe Wilson should incorporate some of these technologies.

At least I can isolate the effects of the Titan during the first two hours of breakin. Then I placed the Sigma in the system for the components.

There was an improvement, vs 20 amp wall outlets, in detail, soundstage, coherence, noise and especially bass quality and quantity. It has broken in for almost a week now, but no comments, what is the Sigma contributing also to confuse the question. The system with both units continued to improve over the first three days the most.

Can't answer question one.

I think the prices are going up soon since the dollar has crashed. You may have a favorite dealer, but Acoustic Sounds may list the products for your price question.
My M200s are 2009 samples bought 2 months ago from Wilson.

Dead quiet. The sound is spectacular on my Intuitive Design Pingoras.
I just a pair of Clayton M200. I used a Calypso Aesthetix linestage and the system is dead quiet.