I agree. I more often use HE-4 instead of HD800 because of the bass quantity which is just perfect for me. The dark sound also appeals me, very smooth too. I prefer leather pads which make them less bright than the velour and SS amp makes them sound very energetic. They are certainly not hard too drive.
I have never tried (nor own) the pleather Hifiman pads, but I think you're the first one to comment on them paired with the HE-4. I am hoping the new Hifiman pads (when available) will not change the signature too much, but add some much need comfort for us with glasses.
As for my SS experience... My GCHA pushes the smack outta my HE-4, to head rattling levels. For a more laid back, musical approach, I like my EF-5 pairing. Somewhere in between would be my vintage NAD. If nothing else, I am super happy with the flexibility. I cannot say the same for many of my other headphones.
Edited by mrscotchguy - 5/28/14 at 7:06am