Yeah, I completely understand your skepticism. I was hard for me to believe what I was hearing also. But you have to call it like you hear it, right? I was on the test panel when the Alpha Pads were beings demoed. We all had lots of long discussion about the sound signature of the new MD's. I wasn't the only one who made comparisons to the he500 and to the lcd2 as well.
You always give a little ground to a truly open headphone, but the air and sound stage is truly impressive for a closed back hp. The new pads really open them up and you end up with is a great sound stage with awesome isolation. That's quite a trick!!