I used to own a pair of these amps, need careful match up to a preamp, preferably tube. However I did a side by side comparision to a pair of Blue Circle BC-2 monoblocks and it was no contest. The Blue Circles were far more musical. So I sold the Claytons. I am not saying they weren't good amps but he would be probably better with a pair of the new Bel Canto digital EVO 200.2 in bridged mono for around the same money. Read the review in www.stereotimes.com or better yet have him audition both amps and let him be the judge. The EVO 200.2 bettered my pair of Blue Circles, so I am going the digital amp route soon.
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Blue Circle BC2 is a hybrid tube design and really should not be compared to a solid state design like Clayton. They are really apples and oranges. The Clayton is a high current solid state design that sounds as good as any solid state out there is the price range. They are as accurate as any amplifier that I have heard. They are designed and voiced around classical music. Several reviews that are good to read can be found at ecoustics.com. I would suggest you listen to them to see if you like the way that they sound. They have some of the tightest base that I have heard and no grain at all in the higher freq. The only preamp that they won't work with is a passive preamp and from there you need to try before you buy. The reviews have said that the midrange is "tube like" but I have read that about many solid state amps and don't hear what they are talking about. They are as true to the music the way it was recorded as any amp I have heard. Also check out the reviews by the owners of these amps on Audioreview.
Since both the Blue Circle and the Claytons are in similar price ranges I think it is fare to say that the Blue Circle beat the Clayton in all aspects, a much more musical amp. And my question goes out to Bohemiam7 did you own both and had both available at the same time to audition. So I feel I can make this statement and compare the two. I personally don't see the Claytons in the same league as the Blue Circles and I will say it again to the gentleman asking about the Claytons that you should audition the Claytons against the Bel Canto EVO's and let your ears do the judging. Accuracy is not everything especially if the amp is not musical. Once I listened to the Bel Canto it bested again my favorite the BC-2's. More people who listen to all the best solid state amps say the same thing about the Bel Canto EVO. Read Stu's review in Stereo Times, and this is coming from someone who has listened to many solid state amps loves the EVO 200.2. And one of Stu's favorite amps before the EVO was the Blue Circle BC-2's.
Mroadster, I am glad to hear about another rival to the Clayton M70's. I was going to buy a pair of them used for 2200.00. I will have to take a listen to the Bel Canto before I make a decision. Thanks for the input. I have listened to the Clayton's for quite a bit. What would you say is the big difference between them and the Bel Canto? I have a pair of ML Requests with an Audible Illusions pre-amp. Will these work well with the Bel Canto?
Hiflyer, You must listen to EVO200.2 before picking up the Claytons. You must also listen to them in bridged mono mode. Much better sounding as well as having about 350 watts per channel in 8ohms and short term power of 800 watts p/c in 4ohms. This is one quiet amp, best I heard yet which will let all the details through. It has the best qualities of solid state and tube. You just do not get much better than this amp. Many are truly believing this is the future of amplification. They might be right. The only drawback is two amps in mono will cost $4600.00 retail. i have not tried to buy this amp yet because Ric Schultz of EVS is also coming out with very similar amps with more money in parts and execution producing 500 watts per channel. Best of all a pair of his amps will cost about $2400!! I am not sure when his release date is probably not till spring of 2001. So before I invest in a pair of EVO's I have to hear his amps. He has not let me down yet with sound he promises. I own his digital rig and love it. So if you can't wait hunt down a deal on the EV0's. I just can't see investing in the Claytons, the more the digital amps catch on the more current amplifiers price on the used market will go down. Good luck and let me know what you think of them when you hear them. email me at [email protected] Mike
Yep the price is solid at $1200.00 the pair went to look at them. The guy needs cash bad looking for quick sale. However in my opinion do not compare to my Threshold Class A. Could be the speakers he is using or the preamp. Preamp is a ARC SP8 if I remeber correctly. Speakers were B&W 801. I think he is going to buy them,although I am still not sure if they have enough current to drive the Acoustats properly.