Got a pleasant surprise from the mail lady.. the O2 pads arrived!
The comfort is NO JOKE.. just awesome. I could wear these ALL day & night. My ears do not touch the drivers at all but aren't so far away to smear the soundstage or "hollow" the sound: perfect fit to me. Despite the ridiculous amount I paid for them (~$155 USD).. I have no regrets whatsoever. My reasoning: if these phones are intended to compete with phones 10x their cost, might as well shell out a little (relative) dough for pad comfort.
The 003 leather pads have a very similar fit & feel to the O2 pads.. but the O2 pads are softer (yes, my 003 leather pads are extensively broken in considering I've had the 003 for over a year). If you're handy with the needle & can get the 003 leather pads to fit on the T50RP, you can save some change and get a very comparable fit and feel.. if you're like me and don't want to hassle with it, the O2 pads are well worth the premium, require no modding (the slide right on and hug the phones perfectly, like the stock pads), and have a better fit & feel than the 003.
I'd love for some suggestion on dealing with the lower midrange spike I'm having.. I can hear just how spectacular the midrange could sound on these.. bass is not an issue, it goes deeeeeep, textured lusciously, but it's a little slow. but they're quite one dimensional, too thick, warm, and dark right now.
Edited by FlySweep - 9/20/11 at 1:49pm