The brown used to remind me of a leather couch out of the 80's but it's starting to grow on me. The pads are looking a lot better as well. Rayzilla, I don't think this was ever intended to be better than it's big brother, but more of an endeavour to address the complaints people had about the 1266 - price, size, weight, looks... Surely there has to be SOME compromise in sound quality, but how bigger compromise? Well, who knows. But even Joe maintains that if you are going down the road of no compromises, the 1266 is the way to go. Would be a good time to pick one up second hand as everyone is moving to the phi. I am personally considering downsizing my audio gear collection so I have a keen eye on this. The other obvious comparison to make would be with the MX-4, but I am quietly confident this would kick it's butt. (Based on absolutely nothing except for what I've heard in the past and my own personal biases of course ).