Got Matt's Mad Dogs (with Alpha Pads) as a loaner.
First impressions: Holy crap, they are stupid comfy. Seriously, that comfort is like 9/10. The pads feel amazing. The comfort strap is VERY welcome.
Getting a good seal for me isn't easy with my ears and these pads. I would prefer stronger clamp, as just barely pressing the cups to my ears gives me a good seal and sound improves quite a bit. As it stands, it feels a little loose, and voices sound slightly sibilant, and bass isn't strong. So without holding the cups, I feel I lost a little SQ. It's like two different headphones depending on clamp.
I could definitely tell these are quite stellar, assuming you can get a really tight seal and good enough clamp.
The sound signature definitely sounds like a less refined, closed LCD2. Assuming you get a GREAT seal, this is a pretty solid, cheaper alternative. Still, you can hear the refinement/improvement when jumping from the MD to the LCD2. No question. A cleaner, smoother sound, with quite a bit more air and dimensionality. Voices are more natural than the MD too. Mid forwardness is similar, so I must say, LOVE the tonal balance on the Mad Dogs.
Not a fan of the alpha pads due to the lack of 'give' they have. I would have loved for them to mold on the face, so the seal would improve more, ah well. I wonder how the dog pads are in comparison? I really do want a fair bit more clamp. I have to ask Matt if he bent them for less clamp.
Don't get me wrong. Assuming I get a tighter clamp, these are easily the best closed headphones I have ever heard outside of the D7000. They are a STEAL at $300. No doubt about it. I wouldn't QUESTION owning these if I needed a closed headphone, if it gave me the sound that they give me when I just barely hold them to my ears.
And yes, I would actually choose these over the HE-400, again, if the clamp was stronger, and I could manage to get it to sound like when I press the cups to my ears just a little. Why? Because it does sound like a baby/closed LCD2. Not quite there, but for $300, you can't expect it to be.
Also, gotta mention, these should fit ANY head. There is a lot of extension here. Very appreciated.
Consider me a believer in the MDs, despite a few caveats, and it not quite reaching LCD2 status.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 3/27/13 at 1:29pm