I've left these playing for about 15 hours now. A few more observations:
My ears are not good enough to tell a difference between the out of the box sound and now. I really didn't listen to them enough straight out of the box to get any kind of reference point for a comparison.
The music I played was Blue Jean Blues by ZZ Top, High Heel Sneakers by Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, and Praeludium for Small Orchestra by the Minnesota Orchestra. I'm very familiar with these songs and they represent great bluesy, clear rock with guitar and drums, a small acoustic, intimate stage, and a large auditorium with a full blown orchestra.
I believe we're getting very close to perfect here for my tastes.
Bass is just a touch more than the Q701. Just enough. With the Q I was tempted to use just a minor adjustment with EQ to put the bass where I wanted it, we're talking .8-1.2 on the JRiver EQ, but now I find I don't have any desire to mess with it. Blue Jean Blues sounds as good as I've heard it. I thought maybe I wouldn't find anything better for this song than the HE-500s I used to have, but I'm satisfied for now.
If I shut my eyes while listening to High Heel Sneakers I'd swear Buddy and Junior were sitting about five feet in front of me. Very intimate, one just to the left of center and one to the right. I've heard concerns about the AKG sound stage and imagining being somewhat artificial and too wide. Everybody has a right to their opinion but I believe most would agree with me, there's no complaints listening to this song. The tone of the acoustic guitar and harmonica is very natural and accurate. No coloring, just like I was sitting there watching them record it.
Orchestra. Wide sound stage - check. Separation of instruments - yep, check. Dynamics between soft then loud - double check. In my opinion a good recording of orchestra music is a great source for judging how a headphone handles everything you can throw at it. Yes, I know I'm starting to sound like a fan boy here but this man's opinion is the anniversary edition of the K702 comes through this test with ease. I felt like I was about 10-12 rows back and the sound was just like the orchestra was perfectly spaced out in front of me.
Now to try and answer the question of the difference between the anniversary K702 and my Q701. Right now I'd have to side with those that think the difference is in the pads. I switched the pads back and forth between both several times. Wearing the memory pads I do not believe I could tell the Q from the K in a blind test. The memory foam pads on the Q take them really, really close to the K territory. The angled pads of the Q on the K - same thing, now they sound like the 701. A couple times I thought I could still tell a difference with the memory pads on the 702 vs 701, but I kept asking myself did I really hear something or was it the "Want to hear a difference" kicking in. With the memory foam pad my one ear just barely touches the liner covering the driver. With the angled pads it does not so the spacing between the ear and the driver is different. Visually the drivers look identical between the two. I reserve the right to come back and change my opinion after more listening experience but that's where I stand on it right now.
More opinions on the AKG anniversary K702 and others I've had:
Hifiman HE-500 -- I liked the HE-500 sound. Full and lush. Maybe too much for my tastes but I can appreciate the sound and why others would prefer to the AKG sound. Comfort? AKG hands down. Build? Two different animals. One is a tank, heavy, not real refined. The other is light, nimble, attention paid to details. For $699 you can't go wrong with the HE-500 if that is the sound you prefer. $499 for the K702, even better in my opinion. Going price for the Q701 of $250-$275, outstanding.
Audio-Technica W3000ANV -- nice, very nice. Very musical, extremely enjoyable to listen to for long periods. A toss up to me on which I would pick up to listen to. Fit and finish, impeccable. Comfort, if they fit your head you are good to go. The wing arrangement seemed to work for me at first but long term it didn't seem to fit. Not uncomfortable, just didn't fit, I kept adjusting them. I paid $990 for them so price wise AKG comes out on top again.
Ultrasone ED8 -- Different. I liked them for most music, especially live rock recordings. But for other music the tone was a bit off. Female voices didn't sound quite right. I listened to years of my sister's practice on a baby grand piano and the ED 8 just didn't sound right when playing any kind of music with a piano in it. If I listened to them exclusively for a while I liked them, but then when I would go back to my Q701 I would realize how much better, to my ears, they were. Fit and finish, comfort, on a par or better than the AKGs. Price, $1100 on sale from Amazon, no comparison.
As a point of reference I listened to my Ety ER4P for years. Some would say those are cold, analytical, bass light. Maybe that's why the AKG house sound appeals so much to me because I've heard them described the same way. I could be happy with any of the headphones listed above but have sold them all. There is no absolute right choice. When the funds come available I'm looking forward to trying a few others, but I think I'll always have a pair of AKGs in the mix and right now those will be the anniversary model. Look for my Q701 to be up for sale soon.
Hope all of this helps someone in their decision making process.