Clayton Audio Class A amps. Need amp advice

Hi Guys,

I am looking to change my amps and for a few reasons.

First because I just upgraded my DAC from the great PS Audio DirectStream to the incredible Bricasti M1 DSD USB DAC. I love the Bricasti and it has shown that in my system it could offer me more with a more resolving and neutral amp IMO.

I am currently am using the wonderful sounding CJ Premier 12 mono tube amps. I love them and tubes in general but my speakers are the great Ascendo C8 Renaissance and look to present a somewhat benign load being 88 efficient and 6ohm but they are unique and have an internal firing 21 cm Kevlar Bass driver that is great but stubborn and the speakers I think will really shine with a iron fist control of that driver.

I love tubes, always have and always will but I grown tires of a flabby bottom which is exasperated by a unique and somewhat difficult to grip bass driver set up I spoke about above.

I want an amp that can give me as much tube sound as possible but with Grip and bottom end. I know this is a lot to ask for in the used $5k to $7k price range.

I have read and it seem like the Clayton offer exactly what I am looking for but wanted to hear from some of you guys if anyone has ever heard them or know of them or anything. Any info would really be appreciated. Here is the info on my speakers and I will also list the rest of my system in case you think that is helpful. Thanks

C8 Renaissance
Technical Data
• Three-Way with SASB bass unit (TOS Off)
(current damped outer driver with semi symmetrical band pass)
• Four-Way with SASB bass unit (TOS On)
Dimensions (W/H/D)
• 28 / 80 / 40 (without Base)
• 28 / 108 / 40 (with Base)
35 kg
Frequency Range
29 Hz (-3 dB) – 32.000 Hz
Power Rating
350 W Program (min)
6 Ohm
88 dB / 1W/m
Outer Chassis (COAX)
• 25 mm Neodymium-fabric-tweeter
• 18 cm Woofer with XP cone
Inner Chassis
• 21 cm Chassis, Kevlar cone
TOS Chassis
• Ribbon-tweeter
TOS Function
• switchable (TOS Unit - Dipole AN / AUS)
• Single / BiWiring Base
Dimensions (W/H/D)
28 / 18 / 40 cm
11 kg

Ascendo C-8 Renaissance Speakers (Germany) Speaker
Purist Audio Design Corvus Praesto Revision 2.5m Bi-Wire Speaker cable
Darwin TRUTH Pure Silver Reference 1 Meter RCA Interconnect
Darwin TRUTH Pure Silver Reference 1 Meter RCA Interconnect
Bricasti M1 USB / DSD / Volume Control DAC (New) DA converter
Tellurium Q BLACK DIAMOND Reference USB Cable
Decware ZSTAGE External Triode Output StageTelefunken ECC801S
Audio Research REFERENCE 1 MK II w/Rhodium IEC/NOS Tubes Tube preamp
PS Audio PowerPlant Premier AC Regenerator
Conrad Johnson Premier 12 Mono's 140 Watts Tung-Sol KT120's Tube amp
Salamander Amplifier Stands (2) Synergy System AV Furniture Stand
BMI Shark Jeweler Grade Platinum 9 AWG AC Power Cable
Mad Scientist PC-NEO with Power Purifier 11 AWG Power Cable
Sablon Audio Petite Corona 2.0M 7 AWG AC Power Cable
JPS Labs The Power AC+ 2M 8 AWG AC Power Cable
Synergistic Research Labs Tesla Series SE T1 AC Power Cable
Synergistic Research Labs Tesla Series T1 AC Power Cable
PS Audio Noise Harvester (5) Converts noise to light
OYAIDE RI Beryllium Power Outlets (2)
Blue Circle Audio The Yalu Balula Industrial Surge/Spike Protection
JPLAY v5.2 hi-end audio player turns PC into a digital transport.
Fidelizer Pro Version 6.1
JRiver Media Center 19 Music Software
128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xfsmithjack
Taking this whole conversation into account, it sounds like you sure better settle on a speaker that is designed for use with a moderately powered tube amp(s), and not decide on amp until you get the speaker figured out. Your CJs with new speaker will certainly be an acceptable interim while you look for the amp of choice (tube or SS). Cheers,

I second the recommendation to try the Merrill amps. They have other models at lower price points than the Veritas. And there are several other Hypex Ncore-based amps out there.
What do you guys think about the guy that builds the Hypex Ncore amps James Romeyn.

They seem like a great deal and are pretty much the same as the $4800 Thor from Merrill just without the fancy case. If these sound the same or almost as good as the Merrill Thors these seem like one the best amp deals going? Would love your advice. They used the exact same amps and power supply and internal wireing just different cash and maybe terminations. They have crazy power and everyone says they sound amazing. Super quite, crazy powerful with super low distortion. Paired with a great source and real hi quality cabling and a very high quality speaker these seem like it could be special? Am I wrong? Thanks
I would strongly suggest that you audition such an amp with your speakers, as they sound very different from the Class A bias amps that you have so far seemed to have a preference for. Not that they sound bad like some older Class D designs, just that they're different than Class A.