Man, I was pretty close to selling my HE-4 because I was thinking the HE-400 would be better for me and not be amp demanding. But, I thought about it some more and decided to stick with my trusty HE-4. I'll be getting an EF-5 for them shortly; impressions to come.
What I really came back to this thread for was to post more earpad impressions.
I've been using the pleather pads for the past month. Things were fine. Just today I tried the cloth pads again...they sound SO much better (to me) !
No, there's no upgrade/downgrade in sound quality, it's just that the presentation from the cloth pads sound so much nicer IMO.
It gives everything a bit of distance so now the soundstage is quite roomy and comfortable with more perceived depth.
The pleather pads are too shallow. The soundstage was more like listening to a flat wall and everything was more forward...not a good thing with the HE-4's forward sound sig.
I believe the new Hifiman models are shipped with newer pleather pads that are thicker? Anyone know if these are the same pads you can purchase individually? Because I got the pleather pads when head-direct first released them and I would interested in another pair if they have been upgraded since.