I really appreciate your incite and comments as what you tend to favor sound wise really fits with mine. Even though I really like the HE-500, my real love is the HD650, and the way the old(er) LCD-2's were described really seemed like what I would love and make for a nice compliment to the HE-500 plus move them to probably my favorite headphone.
Based on your assessment of the newer ones, I am not thinking they are bad at all. They just don't seem like what I am currently looking for and maybe will never find with the headphones currently out there.
The thing is... when I had the HD650 side by side with my original R2, the LCD-2 was darker than the HD650. The newer LCD-2 is probably closer to the signature. Believe it or not. The newer LCD-2 isn't that bright or anything. There is a just a slight lift to the upper-mids that creates more openess and gives you like 15% more treble. The bass quantity is decreased by liike 15% but it still hits hard and deep. It's just no longer overbearing IMO of course. The HE-500 still sound more open and has more treble.
I think the newer one's are better for me. You still get that lush/darker Aude'ze house sound. It's just a little less colored now. But yeah if you were expecting to be hit by crazy Audez'e bass then you will be disappointed a bit as it no longer does that quite the way it used to.