Clayton Audio- warmer, denser, more liquid but a darker treble than the Ayre in my (limited) listening experience.
- 16 posts total
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.
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.
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.
- 16 posts total