I've been listening to mine for a few weeks and really like them. Some random comments in no particular order: Mine don't creak at all. Funny enough, the Utopias I keep playing with at the local hi-fi place creak like crazy (although they sound fantastic and they only creak when futzing with them, not when they are on) I put the Dekoni fenestrated leather pads on mine. They were a major PITA to install since I could not get the soft leather to flow around the groove (I know how it works, I can remove and replace the regular pads easy peasy). I ended up working the leather in the groove with a credit card. Took a long time but it was worth it. I really like the leather over the velour. I was also using a DF red for a while. It did ok, but IMO they really sing with some more power. I am am using a Vanguard 2 now (with the DAC from my Marantz ND8006) which really sounds good with them. I have also tried them with an Aune X1S/X7S which also works well. When using my Mac as a source I have found that I really like using Sonarworks Tru-Fi with them. They have profiles for both the stock pads and also allow you to adjust the sound signature a bit. I've lost some treble over the years and Tru-Fi really helps to bring it back.