Hey Magicman, I think that you have shown a good level of restraint relative to what's been thrown at you, so kudos. And I am really enjoying your impressions, so please don't get discouraged and please keep them coming. It will be interesting to see what you think after you have given the S500's a couple hundred hours of burn in, and potentially with some different pads. I find the bass to be a bit boomy with just the stock pads (but then again, I'm a wimp lol). But with the HM5 pads over the stock pads, I love the sound.