I received my new HD800's about 2 weeks ago (S/N: 19922) fully expecting to send them back for a refund because my main music genre's are rock and metal. However they are going nowhere.
I have no idea if the theory of a newer improved HD800's are true or not but what I am hearing is pretty special.
Bass is superb, very deep, fast, tight and with plenty of impact. It might not go quite as deep or be as full bodied as the LCD2.2's bass but does not have the sense of congestion that the LCD's can have in the bass department. PRaT is excelent and very 'foot tapping'.
Mid-range is quite forward with great clarity and vocals are quite close and intimate, which I love, and instruments can also have great presence and are very vivid. Vocal also have stunning clarity and realism. The mid-range is not thin or unnatural in any way.
The hf's seem very extended but also clean and lively, adding a lot of excitement to recordings. Lead guitar solo's are stunning. Soaring with clarity, precision and speed.
A lot has been said of the HD800's sound staging, much to the detriment of rock/metal/pop music, however I find the sound stage to be just right. Recordings are not subjected to artificial sound stage enlargement just very accurate and real positioning and layering.
The only downside I have at the moment is that sibilance can be an issue on recordings that I know are prone to it, maybe more burn in and a cable upgrade in the future will improve that but it's not a major issue.
I would like to state that at the moment the HD800's are being used single ended out of my balanced amp which is not ideal. I will upgrade to a better, never been a fan of silver plated copper, balanced cable in the near future when I expect the HD800's to take another lead forward.
So in short I find the HD800 far better than expected and many of the reviews are totally of the mark. The HD800's are not just an exceptional headphone but also an exceptional rock/metal phone, assuming the source/amp are up to the job.