x2 Thank you! Pretty much my experience and the reason I purchased them. I don't think that the HD700 are the monsters some make it out to be.
To me, there is enough improvement over the HD650 to warrant the purchase (SQ and especially comfort). I was hoping to add sparkle to the HD650's by upgrading my amp, DAC and was considering a silver cable.
On the other side of the coin, toning down (I'd like to think of it more a synergy than toning down) the HD700, I already have the hardware. I pulled my PSAudio DLIII out of my main system permanently (detailed and warm DAC) and am playing around with the three sets of tubes I have for the Lyr.
With good recordings, the system is stunning but is not as forgiving as the HD650 for some of the poorer recordings. I have the HE400 for that. I'm finding that the HD700 and the HE400 compliment each other nicely.
I've been going back and forth between the HD700 and HD650 with some of my favorite well recorded tunes and the HD700 is always my preference. I just find them more exciting and engaging.
My only problem is the price/performance, especially compared to the HE400 bang for the buck. If they were $750-$799, I'd feel a little better.
I've got until Saturday to return them for a full refund. If I can find a local Toronto dealer that stocks the LCD2, I'll give them a audition.
Otherwise, I'll probably be keeping them.
Interesting observations, and you're likely just who Senn made the 700 for. From your descriptions you're in the crowd that didn't really like HD650 for what it was and preferred a more sparkly treble and were trying to "fix" HD650. That seems to be a large crowd, and isn't the core HD650 crowd. 650 is unique, and strong fans of it prefer it to most anything and won't jump on a new headphone until someone can offer a "better" version of its signature including the reduced dynamics and highly rolled off treble. But there is a large group of folks, like you, who like it but prefer something more sparkly...and it seems that's the target group the 700 may be aimed at after all. The ones who say they like HD650 but actually don't and prefer a more lively presentation. IMO HE-400 and HD650 also compliment each other nicely. HD650 is quite specifically not exciting and that's why it's liked, the famed "laid back" sound that delivers smooth presentation to just take in the music. HD700 seems to scream "we've got your treble sparkle right here...." It's the "doughnut hole" of headphones. It has its own treble plus the treble pieces left over from cutting it off the 650's at producction But you've nailed it it's the price. It's a good idea to offer two different sounding cans to the same audience...it's a bad idea to segment them at 100% price differences.
For my money, if I were to upgrade, I'm thinking HD800 or LCD-2, and conveniently ignoring the DT-700...err....SR700i...err...HD700's existence . But both would be more likely to replace HE-400 than HD650 which is firmly fixed as my main listening headphone.