pp312, you are right on the money about that odd nasally coloration. As I said in an earlier post, I got the HE 500 and LCD2 R2 on the same day to audition sided by side at home (no emotional attachment to either). The thing that put the LCD2's clearly ahead of the HE 500's was the need to adjust to that coloration every time I put on the HE 500 while no adjustment was needed for the LCD2. The other factors were comfort and build quality.
Donlin, are you saying you found the LCD-2 more comfortable? Because the concensus seems to be that the HE-500 is more comfortable, though certainly not to me.
My hearing seems to be quite different to everyone else's, or else I'm listening to different things. To me the HE-500 has a smaller soundstage than the LCD-2. Also, it isn't much brighter (and remember, I have the Rev1). It's brighter in spots, giving greater definition to certain instruments, but this is somewhat undermined by a certain pinched, closed in quality, perhaps linked to that nasally colouration. The greater openness of the LCD-2 gives it the feel of a sunny day to the HE-500s slightly overcast hue. I know a small change can make a large difference with these things, and maybe the velour earpads will change the whole perspective, but the fact is that I haven't been able to line my perceptions of the LCD-2 up with the majority since I got them, so I guess there's no reason it should line up in this particular comparison. I don't find them "dark". The HD650s were dark; the LCD is very open and sunny, just a little shelved. I don't find the soundstage "small" or "intimate". Quit the opposite; the LCD-2 presents to these ears a nice, wide-open soundstage with instruments spreading to extreme left and right and depth where appropriate. So I seem to be swimming upstream for the whole length of the river, perhaps not for the first time.
Just as an amusing aside, I joined the "listened to the Fostex 50RP--wow!" thread a while back and on the basis of comments there ordered said Fostex phone. When I heard it "Wow!" was my reaction too, but it was more "Wow, I've never heard a worse phone!". (Well, I did buy a $2 headphone in K-Mart once, and that was probably worse, but it's too long ago to be sure). Yep, definitely swimming upstream....