opinions on Clayton amps ?

looking for opinions on the clayton amp, 40, 70 or 1000, , I will be using them with Onix Ref 3 speakers, thanks
I've never heard a disparaging word about Clayton Audio's amps. There was a 40 for sale on here last week. By the time I saw it there was already a sale pending, unfortunately.

Good luck finding any of the Clayton amps on the used market; they're very rarely seen.
I have a Clayton 40 amplifier and I enjoy the accurate recreation of music. I think that with your speakers you will enjoy any of Clayton Audio amplifiers
I use the amplifier with Zu Definition 1.5 speakers and the amp is terrific.
I also have Totem Mani-2 speakers. The 40 did not do so well with the less efficient speakers with music that has extreme dynamics.The 100's, that I previously owned, performed much better. I have never heard the 1000 amp, but it must sound beautiful.
I also have Reference Line amplifiers (standard and signature models) and they do well with any speaker that I have tried.
I've never heard the Clayton but am interested. For reader's info: At '07 T.H.E. Show in the ModWright inner room they had the latest greatest balanced preamp circa $4500, circa $12k Belles Power Modules huge class-a amp & $21k/pair Escalante Design monitors.

Someone in the industry w/ no known direct connection w/ Clayton, whose opinions generally matched mine on equipment w/ which we are both familiar, said the little $4k Clayton SM40 beats the big ole Belles heard in that room that day. That got my attention.

My current amp short list includes the Clayton, Ayre V-5xe & $4500 Primare A32 (A32 sounded fantastic driving $11k/pair Martin Logan; speakers current model as of early '07, audibly improved vs. earlier).
If I didn't have tube amps now and was looking to go with some great solid state amps, one of the Clayton models would be at the very top of my list:


First let me say that I am a Clayton Audio dealer. I will say that they are awesome. The sound is very smooth and precise. I use a pair of M-200's for demo. You will not be disappointed with them. I promise.
Clayton Audio- warmer, denser, more liquid but a darker treble than the Ayre in my (limited) listening experience.
A buddy of mine in Chicago is also a dealer for Clayton and I've gotten to spend a few hours with the M-200's on a couple of occassions. These are really terrific amps with plenty of jump and a very smooth presentation. jmlm has it about right although I would say they don't give up any detail to be that liquid and smooth. If you're near Chicago I could hook you up with him and you might be able to set up an audition to go hear them.
First off I am the Mid-West dealer for Clayton Audio and my web-site is the site Clayton Audio will point you to for the most current and comprehensive information on there product for the time being. They are currently developing a new site but until then, if you need additional information about the product you can go to:


The S40 is now a 50 watt class A amp. The S70 monoblocks have been replaced with the M100's (100 watts @ 8 ohms). The S40 and M100's accept both single ended and balanced inputs but are not a balanced design.

There is no S1000, there is an S2000 and an M2000. Both are based on much larger chassis and are custom order products only. The S2000 is a stereo 300 watt per channel amp at 8 ohms and the M2000's are 500 watt per channel @ 8 ohm monoblocks. Each chassis on the 2000 series weighs in at around 170 lbs.

The newest amplifiers in the line released this year are the M200's and the M300's. The M200's debut at the beginning of 2007 and the M300's were released around the beginning of this summer.

The M200's and M300's are monoblock chassis, both are truly balanced designs and only have balanced inputs. The earlier statements about the sound of the Claytons are pretty accurate for the S40 and S100's respectively. However, the M200's and M300's move the Clayton Audio sound into an entirely new level of performance. More power, a smoother and more refined sound, less darkness and more purity, better dynamics, et cetera. If you loved the earlier Claytons you'll be even more impressed with how Wilson made something great even greater.

I've been able to audition the S40, M100's and M200's in our showroom. The M200's were just recently sold and are being replaced by the M300's. Not because the extra power was needed, I just want to make sure I have experience with each one of these wonderful amps.

This is an amp that is extremely neutral to the source, has lots of power and current. It actually continues to get better the harder you drive it. It is as comfortable with a solid state preamp as it is with a tube preamp. I've done demo's both ways and enjoy listening to it either way. FYI - Clayton Audio will be debuting their new preamp at RMAF 2007 and Wilson Shen, Clayton's designer will be there as well.

I have a number of customers that have come in to audition other items; preamps, speakers and source components. Many have purchased what they came in to audition and then turned around and ordered Clayton amps later to get that sound they heard during the audition process.

As you can tell, I love these amps. I wouldn't be selling them if I didn't. If you're looking for a great class A amp then these should be at the top of your list for auditioning.

Your friend heard that comparison in my showroom. It was shortly after RMAF 2006 and the rep for the Belles gear is located not too far from my showroom. They had paired up the Escalante Fremonts in the Belles room after hours at the show and there was good synergy so he wanted me to try them out. I had the new $12K 75 watt class A monoblocks they had debuted at the show and Dave's top of the line preamp coupled to the Escalante Fremonts.

While the sound was very good with the Belles amps and the mid-range was just a little more refined. The 50 watt S40 actually had more power, better soundstaging, depth, height, et cetera and by a noticable margin. Unfotunately the M100's I had where already out the door and on the way to a customers or I would have done that comparison as well.

That audition however was what prompted me to bring in the M200's next. At several thousand less than the $12K Belles amps and more than twice the power it was a no brainer. In addition, moving into the balanced units removed all comparisons between the two amps. The mid-range with the M200's was no longer and issue or a contest. The Belles gear is good but its just not in the same class as the Clayton Audio amps at the same or slightly lower price points.

The Powers Module gear is great equipment and David Belles is as nice as they come. I just couldn't bring on the line knowing what happened when we put the S40 in the mix. As you know based on what you've been told. This wasn't only my opinion. You heard this from the person that came up and listened to the same comparison and made their own decision about how things sounded. Interesting that it's coming out almost a year later. I almost forgot about that listening session.
Great ad Jjurzec.

Please send Audiogon $6.

I do believe there was clear disclosure and no offer to sell. They just happen to live up to the hype. There has never been a bad review and there is a well respected reviewer form Positive Feedback Online that uses the Claytons as one if his reference amps for reviewing. He upgraded his M70's to M100's when they where available and only sold his M100's when the M200's came out. His full review of the M200's will be coming out shortly and the best thing he could say in reviewing them is he's purchased them.

Ignore what I say and see what everyone else is saying. The amps speak for themselves and so do those that have heard them and own them.
"The S40 is now a 50 watt class A amp"

So what is the differenced between this class A amp and Cairn, Sugden, Musical Fidelity, Monarchy, etc?

Is the bigger difference between class A amps as a group and other amps or between individual class A amps?

Just curious as I've never heard pure class A.
Clayton Audio class A amps are using Motorola Bi-Polar (not MOS-FETS) matched pairs that are at 100 amps each...8 pairs is HIGH CURRENT only restrained by the fuse! They have special cooling heat sink fins that are simiiar to military antenna heat sinks.... heat generated via the fins only reach a max of only 124 degree F and by their design, will last 50 years or more!

You can keep your hand or rear end on the fins and never get burned! Nicely warm, though.

The design is truly class A.

The balanced design is truly balanced symmetry...mirrored parts/pairs...and it is correctly done. No glizzy metal foo-foo. Our chassis is fairly plain, and have designed in protection circuits for the end-user and have their special rear "bumpers" to protect cables and furnishings.

They use pair of gaint... HUGE caps, not multiple small caps. 200,000 uF of capacitance. Huge torodial tranny.
Clayton is truly neutral to the music. they do not impart any "flavor" of their own and they are tonally correct across the entire audio spectrum.

They will power any speaker and will never let go of control.

you can check out a review of the m-200's in positive feedback. It is an awesome review
Is this the review to which you were referring:


yes, that is the review