Spritzer - I still think these Jade sound great, and they are only slightly behind the O2 Mk2 which are only slightly behind the O2 Mk1.
I had to trade my Mk1 for a K1000 that I wanted badly, and then 3 weeks later I had the chance to buy Naamanf's O2 Mk1 to replace mine (with my tax refund money). But after a 2 hour listening session last week with both the Mk1 and Mk2, listening with GES and SRD-7 Mk2 and a decent amp I decided to stick with the Mk2 and save the $1,300 for my HD800. The O2 Mk1 sounded a little better off the SRD-7 Mk2 and the O2 Mk2 sounded a little better off the GES.
I don't think I made such a bad decision. If it wasn't for you and the ear pad spring mod this would have been an easier choice to get the Mk1, but the same tubes that I rolled into the GES for the Jade also improved the O2 Mk2 a good bit as well. I told Blutarsky to get the Mk1, and that if he wanted my Mk2 more that I would trade him if he wanted later, so we'll see how his incoming SRD-7 Mk2 drives the O2 Mk1 with his two 18 watt Dared mono-blocks and move on from there.