If the whole unit was red, then I’d have bought it in red originally. It’s just the faceplate though, so no … I’d still do black - even if the red is very pretty and very tempting.
While the THX AAA 789 is the best “technical” amplifier I know of for the price - and is, in real terms, probably underpriced vs. competition, when it comes to actually listening for pleasure I just don’t find that I use it very much. When I do it tends to be for rather shorter sessions than with the Phonitor X.
The SPL unit remains the only solid-state amplifier I’ve heard that doesn’t audibly sacrifice transparency vs. the direct output of my DAVE. And it has a more effortless sense to its delivery, better stage (even with all the features disabled), is more resolving and is smoother from top to bottom.
Not that the differences are big, but they’re there.
Put in other ways …
I would take the THX AAA 789 over the Phonitor X and spend the difference on headphones if I didn’t already have flagship/TOTL cans (or, at least, hadn’t settled on my end-game headphones regardless of what they were).
The THX AAA 789 it the best $350 headphone amplifier I know of.
It very likely beats the Lyr 3 from a measurements perspective, but I’d rather listen via a Lyr 3 (unless I was using IEMs). Though for reviewing purposes the THX AAA 789 is preferable.