I find that the pleather is quite inferior to to the velour. The velour pales in comparison to the jergpads.
I've to decided to jump back into camp hifiman. Ordered the he-4 on Saturday from Justin at headamp for $350 NIB. I may not understand what hp or signature works for all people but I have learned a few things about myself. And one is that comfort reigns supreme over everything in the end. I have lusted over the lcd2 for a year now after auditioning them. Then about six months ago I had an opportunity to purchase a pair for $600 mint. I lost sleep over that decision. Ultimately they would have been too heavy, clamped too much and gotten little head time. I have almost bought the he500, again...but would have given up on it for basically the same reasons.
The he-4 is light enough for me to enjoy for hours at a time. The jergpads work nicely with them. With a little hardware EQ they are an oustanding hp and gets me back to that visceral bass impact and planar sound that I've missed with my hd650. About 60% of the music that I listen to work works very well with the hd650. But I'd love to have the he-4 for that other 40%.
Hifiman would be remiss to overlook the effects/advantages of the jergpads. Of course it will never happen. All those who have performed the full mod realize that it's a fair amount of work. I'm sure that hifiman knows this as well. But how nice would it be to see them incorporate the pad design into the all new 2014 he450?