I got in my ESW9 after market pleather pads or the "ATH Leathers" as they have been referred to in this thread. I like them better than any pad I have tried other than the HD25 pleather pads and I wanted to put my immediate impressions/comparrison.
HD25 Pleather Pads vs. ESW9 Pleather
Comfort: ESW9 wins by a long shot. Softer, larger circumfrence, better seal without wiggling them around to find the right fit.
Bass: My first thought was wow these have been made into bass canons. But after listening more closely the ESW9 pads have more bass impact by a decent margin but the bass also extends better. In comparrison the HD25 get's a bit "one note'y" if you will and doesn't hit the low bass extension the ESW9 gets. I think the quantiy of the HD25 is more desireable and not as overpowering. For certain bass critical songs the ESW9 pads are a lot more fun to listen to and hit all the notes better.
Mids: The HD25 win this race by a long shot. While listening to Hotel California live and Layla by EC I had to strain to hear the details I was used to hearing in the very up front sounding acoustic guitars while using the HD25 pads. EC's voice had gone way to the back of the "room" with the ESW9 while with the HD25 he was right there up front. The ESW9 really makes the mids and lower mids sound distant in comparrison.
Highs: Again the highs with the ESW9 sound more that of what you would expect of a true V shaped phone. Lots of detail but more distant. The highs are more upfront with the 25's but very slightly "veiled" in comparrison.
Soundstage: The ESW9 by far have a wider and deeper soundstage yet at the sacrafice of the feeling that aspects of the music are "distant" as described above.
My conclusion is that the ESW9 pads would be most desireable for those looking for lower bass extension and impact while the HD25 would accomodate those who want a more forward midrange and vocals that pop better. Personally I do prefer the 25's still but I can see myself actually switching to get a change of pace with different music to the ESW9's whereas with the other pads that I have tried, I don't see me putting them on again.
That's just my initial impressions and are subject to change. If anyone cares at this point
Edited by Doc-holliday - 10/3/12 at 8:38pm