I still prefer the velour overall. I didn't test an unaltered pleather because I lost them lol. I have a hunch that the pleather with bass vents, and some varying density of cotton in the grills will bring a nice improvement. I also experimented with angling the drivers, and found an audible improvement, but I was losing any sort of seal I had that ruined everything else. Therefore, I see the merit of the Audeze pad for sure. The Audeze pad may in fact be better than we can ever get the hifiman pads. I'm buying a pair for sure.
Yup.... I've played with angling mine, as well, and saw the potential. Placed my order for the LCD pads tonight :)
Thanks for the work and the impressions!