I had listened to 1266 Phi CC driven Dave direct for brief time but it was impressive with accurate presentation although I had felt Dave is not up to driving 1266 to full force.Just chiming in given the recent discussion. I think it's hard justifying paying for a top tier Stax amp (whether that's a carbon, BHSE, whatever it is to the individual) when there's truly only 3-5 TOTL headphones to pair with it. I've bought a lot of gear recently with the hopes of pairing down to one rig and I don't think I can do so. Stats just have a magic that's hard to replicate. That said, it feels quite silly having a $5k amp and only a few choices of TOTL headphones to try out/pair with them.. with no sign of anything in the future to be released (at least that's unique and isn't the 007 and 009). Outside of the MK1, HE60 and 009, I have no desire to buy any of the other stats.. I can't say that's the case for non-stat cans. At least if I purchase a top of the line dynamic amp I know I'll have new exciting headphones to try or settle on for years to come and usually cheaper. That said, a great stat rig is just pure magic and does some things better that non-stat rigs rarely can.
As far as the commentary on the TC, definitely one of the best HPs I've ever heard. The fit is a PITA though and it needs to be dialed in right to sound that way. The issue with this is that the fit sometimes needs to be changed based on the genre or song you're listening to. I've figured it out for the most part and I'm willing to deal with it, but it couldn't be my only headphone..just feels impractical. However, the 009 or HE60 could. I go back and forth over which presentation I prefer between the TC and the 009.. I think ultimately the 009 for overall cohesion of the sound. But the TC has better bass and a true holographic sound, both very enjoyable.
Side by side, I had also listened to same music through Sr1a driven by Chord amplifier.
I had difficulty in choosing between Sr1a or Phi or TC for two months.
Then I had pulled the trigger for Sr1a to add to my headphone collection including 009s and HD 800s.
I had been happy with Sr1a driven by Jot R for the first two months but it sound too aggressive from time to time.
To tame the sound of Sr1a, I got Schitt Freya in front of Jot R.
After fitting Freya with Nos tubes like Sylvania GTB made in 1955, it seems to work making sound out of Sr1a slightly relaxed and nuanced.
I also had tried Freya in front of Kgsshv Carbon amp to drive 009s.
Somehow, Freya makes 009s sounds fuller and deeper with more relaxed details.
My source is Dave and HMS which sounds neutral or slightly cool side.
I am going back and forth between Sr1a and 009s.
Sometimes I still like open and fast sound out of Sr1a, but now I realize 009s has overall cohesion of sound with correct tonality,
while Sr1a still shows some metallic edge from time to time( although much better after driven by Freya, it is really terrible without Freya).
Another thing to note is that 009s driven by Carbon has fuller and deeper bass than Sr1a driven by Jot R without any eq.
To conclude, addition of Freya really helped to make sound of 009s driven by Kgsshv Carbon musically satisfying.
I had never tried T2 in front of 009s.
But I do not feel the need to get T2 at the cost of 10k$ or more.
I am happy with Freya(fitted with Nos tube, stock tubes also sound decent but not refined as Nos tubes) and Kgsshv Carbon to drive 009s.
It is quite musical and enjoyable with excellent details and bass slam.