clayton s40 vs. pass aleph 3 or 5

Looking for a new solid state amp to power my audio physic step se's and maybe even my newforms if there's enough juice. Have heard numerous good things about each line though I've had a hard time finding someone who has actually experienced the clayton. Anyone whose experienced one or both lines could save me a lot of postage.


Hi cbird. How do you like the Newform? I am an Apogee junkie. the Apogees are the direct ancestors to the Newform. I have a Pass Labs X 150 powering an Apogee Duetta Signature in my present set up. The X series are perfect for more laid back ribbons, but for the Newform I would go for the Alephs. You just can't go wrong with these. They have a lush detailed mid and treble band that are just perfect for lively ribbons. They are class A, big and heavy. I don't know anything about the Clayton, but Pass designs always go for the simplest layout in order to preserve the true character of the music and not color it one way or another. Hope this helps.
To my ears, Aleph's has less harmonics and leaner, but in a veiled system, Aleph's may impose some clarity to balance out.

I consider Clayton a better amp overall, and gladly sold my ML 23.5 for the Clayton (M100). Upon my recommendation of M100, my friend bought the S40 and drove his ATC SCM50 passive (famous for power hunger), with incredible dynamics and ease.

Just the fact that Clayton is hot, not burning hot, would have been enough to swayed me. Pass is scalding hot not suitable with children.
I've thought about the Pass Aleph 3 to drive my Newforms too. With 92db the 30 wpc will be plenty. I think the Clayton will be about 1.5x the Pass.

Other amps I'm considering are the BAT VK-200 or VK-60, Sim Audio W3 and Classe 201. Have you considered any of them?
Having read John Meyers thoughts on amplification...he asks us to spend little until his digital active upgrade is effective...I've gone back and forth trying not to be foolish in my choice. I love atmasphere amps. They're balanced otl's that are very stable and class A. They make a 30 watt stereo amp, their only non mono block design that is essentially a mono block on one chassis, the s-30. I've seen it used for 1,700. I think it would sound great given the relatively flat 6 to 8 ohm impedence of the ribbons, but its risky if they dip. Also keeping in mind John's advice I could pick up and aleph for around 1k and it has good current which is really what driving ribbons is all does the clayton. The only solid state amps I've thought of are class A designs, probably an antiquated view point but there is a roundness to the sound I enjoy. The bat stuff sounds great but I'm uncertain if tis in my budget, but I'll check it out.