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I'd give this 5 stars for sound quality. I highly recommend the CTH overall. I'm being picky about the design for possible future revisions.
1. Superb sound quality: extremely clear with a noticeable touch of tube character. Tested with Focal Elex, Sennheiser HD-600, AudoQuest NightHawk Carbon, and Grado SR-80e headphones. The HD-600s in particular have never sounded better.
2. The regularly used controls are on the front (e.g., no blind reach-around for power)
3. Twin headphone jacks are a nice convenience
4. Built like a tank
5. Great shipping box and great out of box experience
1. It's huge and flat. It hogs a whole lot of surface space and the input jacks on the back require even more clearance. I'd prefer a 25% reduction in size Left/Right and Front/Back.
2. There is a naked (but fashionable) tube sticking out the top. While definitely eye-catching, this limits stacking options and will make me forever worry about snapping it off. It's particularly sad because many have indicated the CTH doesn't benefit from tube swaps. I'd rather have the tube mounted flat inside the chassis with an access window. I never plan to swap tubes, only replace when the factory tube dies (or when accidentally smashed by my phone or a stacked DAC).
3. The volume knob has only a tiny dent to indicate its position. It totally disappears with any shadows at all. I was forced to put a small piece of tape on the knob -- a permanent solution is a single drop of white paint.