Wouldn't the Alpha Dog be in more direct comparison with the 1540? Especially if one consider the price. I haven't owned/ demoed the Mad Dog but Alpha Dog sound signature is different than the HD25.
The 1540 at louder playing levels, slightly higher decibels than say at normal conversation volume. The 1540 sounds 99% the same as HD25, sound signature wise. Small difference is bass boom of the 25 is slightly narrower freq range than the bass emphasis of the 1540, which is slightly wider and into the lower freq. Sound stage is bigger in the 1540 as expected. I personally been looking to get the HD25 sound signature but improvements in comfort for a long... long time. 1540 is the end game for me in closed headphones (k550 for some genres are better).
Comfort of the Alpha Dog is better in the headband area. 1540 for me still more comfortable as ears gets sweaty less of the time vs Alpha Dog. 1540 is also more portable in the sense it doesn't require as powerful of an amp.
I think you're convincing me on the 1540s. I've been working my way back through this thread to see other people's comments, as well. I need to see if there is somewhere I can try them out.