Here are some impressions of the amp thus far. I also posted these to the head-fi Volot thread in case you end up seeing them in multiple places:
Positive impressions so far driving the 1266 out of the Volot. Bass sounds fuller, more textured, and has authority to it. Vocals have more presence and don’t feel so distant as they did at times on the FA-12. It feels like music sounds more natural and I get more of a feeling like I’m just hearing the music and not listening to headphones. I guess this means that imaging and soundstage is a bit better too. Overall I would say that the Volot sounds natural. The tonality is similar to the FA-12 although I think the FA-12 had a bit more treble energy which was nice on some tracks. The Volot is to my ears an improvement over the FA-12 although it’s definitely not a 3x improvement given the price difference. Maybe 1.5x or so.
The buttons don’t feel as nice as the switches on the FA-12 however I like the volume control better on the Volot than the FA-12. One thing I noticed is that at the beginning of the volume knob there is about 10 degrees of movement before the relays start clicking and the same at the end. I don’t use the volume in that range but just something I noticed when I was playing with the knob before I plugged headphones in. The amp gets much hotter than the FA-12 so I wouldn’t stack anything on top.
Going forward I want to try my other headphones and also test the single ended connection between the Pontus and Volot to see if there’s any noticeable difference with that. I’m guessing my impressions will change over time especially once I go back to the FA-12 and see what I think of that after adjusting to the Volot.