It's not illogical at all. How many times do you look at posts on head-fi from headphone apologists claiming the reason people are complaining of stridence and sibilance on a headphone is because it's 'revealing?' More often than not they're making an excuse for it having an elevated treble that's not too uncommon with detail-centric audiophile gear. People associated elevated treble with more detail and definition. The focus pads are just another example of that, providing an even larger peak at 4khz which a lot of people-- even Jude himself, considered to be even more detailed and transparent when they first heard the production 560.
Quite a lot of classical orchestral recordings and jazz recordings are mid-centric, so the treble spike on many of those audiophile headphone is seen as a nice sparkle to lift them up, even though it's still a coloration regardless. Take that same kind of elevated treble and apply it to a more modernized-type of recording that's slightly hot and/or brickwalled, and chances are it'll sound wildly bright (HD800, HE-400, DT990, Grados, etc).
The 560 (with focus-a) is not as pronounced in the upper treble as some of those other offerings, and I find it considerably more tolerable for poorer recordings.
Of course there's no getting around garbage-in, garbage-out, but going around reading a lot of posts on head-fi often gives you the feeling that people are blaming the recordings more than they should be, when they need to be blaming the coloration of their headphones more.
I agree. I don't really hear any harshness with the production Focus pads but I won't argue that the Focus-As are smoother.
I believe regardless of pads, the 560 has a very well dome treble and midrange that doesn't highlight harshness much and sounds very good in general.
Pads differences aside...