Hairspray, I do agree that velour earpads seem to make the sound more shallow if you have the wrong type which I believe I do. I do feel that HD 540s do require a specific dac/amp combo. I feel like either Burr Brown (maybe Texas Instruments) or AKM dacs seem to produce a more enjoyable sound for me when using HD 540s.
Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good. - Page 46
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This is another auction to look at: http://www.ebay.de/itm/Sennheiser-HD-530-/221472207806
Until someone can prove wrong the impressions that the HD 530 (not II) sounds like the HD 540, I don't see much point paying two, three, four or x times as much for the HD 540.
I went back to the Ref II today after just using the Ref I for a while. First impression was that it didn't sound as good but it's because of the flattened velour pads I put on them. Looks like I'm going to have to get either HD430 or HD560 foam, transplant it into the old skin then learn a proper suture and knot technique with needle and black thread to stitch it back up.
Any support would be appreciated. Please leave your "+1" here for the HD540.