Okay, it's time to do another bump on this thread. The other day, I got really frustrated with my T50RPs again. By the time I got enough dampening material around my pair to kill the reflections between the drivers and my ears, they sounded like there was a pillow in there (probably because there was). Without that, some things sounded great, but there was this strange midbass echo that plagued some tracks and muddied up the overall sound.
So I tried something I haven't tried for a really long time.
I put the stock pads on.
Suddenly, the midbass echo was gone, replaced by an impressive level of clarity. You see, I kind of like the T50RP just on the edge of losing control in terms of damping. Too much, and you lose that punchy, dynamic magic that makes them so special. My goal has been to tame the harshness while still letting them deliver that raucous goodness. Maybe I need to get some Paxmate and try the SA5K pads again, but for now I have the simplest scheme I've had in ages, and it sounds better than ever--with the stock pads.
I know a lot of people are grabbing these for the first time, and I just wanted to pop in and say that anyone sticking other pads on right away might want to spend a bit more time with the stock ones. To my ears, these cans sound better when my ears are relatively close to the drivers, without too much air bouncing around in there. The soundstage isn't especially wide, but it's convincingly deep, especially on some tracks.
There are a few ways to approach these cans, and all of them come with strengths and weaknesses. So far, I'm really liking this set of compromises, and it's been almost a week of listening.