Originally Posted by vaed Tl;dr: an airier, sliiiiightly v-shaped open-back upgrade to the mad dogs that is perhaps a little more aggressive, but retains that beautiful midrange.
I'm running an asgard 2/bifrost. I'd probably upgrade the amplifier, but id like to stick with the asgard2 for as long as I can.
I've been thinking of either the LCD-2's, but afraid the treble might be a bit shelved, but the things I've heard about its bass is very tempting, plus the fact that the MDs seem to be its natural precursor (in terms of voicing)
I've also been thinking about the he-500s, but they're perhaps a bit laid-back from what I've read, and their power as a jack of all trades might not be the perfect investment since I listen mostly to a single genre (albeit a multi faceted one with vastly different production values and timbres). Other than that, their sparkle and slightly more present bass while retaining balance is attractive to me.
Thanks for indulging my curiosity!
If size and weight is not a concern, the LCD-2 is your best bet if you like the sound of the MDs.
HE-400 aside (which, IMO, is not a good performer, at least the pair I owned), the 500s are the least balanced of the Hifiman's lineup. The 5LEs are more balanced but they might lack the bass kick you're after (or not, depending on your DAC/AMP).
For metal and hard-rock, the HE-4 are kings but you want to pair them with a warm/dark amp to tame the treble a bit (it is never ever harsh, but it has energy, just like the DT880).
The old Hifimans (5LEs, 4s) are much lighter less heavy than the new x00 series ;)
Put a pair of Alpha Pads on either and you get an extremely comfy set of cans!