Hifiman HE560

I've owned a pair of 400's for a few years and have been in love with them ever since. To me they were the only headphones that I enjoyed as much as speakers and brought me closer to what real music sounds like in timbre and soundstage. 

I have been wondering if the 560's would be an improvement and get me just a bit more closer to the real thing. I was able to get a great deal for a pair here on AA and grabbed them quickly. I waited with bated breath for them to come. When they arrived they were in almost new condition, which underscored for me the nice deal I got.

Quickly I plugged them in and my first thought was " wow " what happened. Gone was every attribute I loved about the 400's. These were closed in, hashy and frankly not very good sounding. Okay, so maybe the prior owner didn't have them long and they were not burned in. Over the next 2 days they burned in. I put them on again and to my dismay they sounded the same. 

I was was just about to sell them when I decided to swap the ear pads with my 400. The 560's come with Focus pads, while the 400's come with round, softer and loose fitting pads. BAM! Now there was the sound I was expecting. Everything opened up and now music sounded real with truth to timbre.

IMO, the Focus pads sealed the cups too tightly to my head, thus truncating the soundstage and distorting the frequencies. Once I put the original and older pads on the beauty of the headphones came through.

Immediately, I went on line and bought a pair of round, leather Hifiman ear pads, which will replace the Focus pads. Cost of the leather ones were $20.00 while the Focus pads are $39.00. 

Lesson for for anyone who is running Hifiman headphones with Focus pads and wonder what the fuss is about, rid yourself of those pads and buy the older round one's and then you will get it. 
Not to derail your post, I think its time for Audiogon to have a separate forum for headphones and headphone amps and accessories.   Moderators?  I bet it would prove to be a popular category 
Hey thanks for the tip, I bough a new pair of Hifiman 560s a few months ago and was very pleased with them as stock, I trade them out with my Audeze LCD2f headphones powered with a Yamamoto HA02 and a Yamamoto HA03 headphone amps and love the differences between the two sets of cans. The cables that come with the Hifiman are quite good as well, I went to Nornan and got a set of adapters to use my after market Audeze cables on the 560s and verified that I liked Hifimans cables better than all except the Cable Pro. For what I paid for the 560s new, $446.00, if I had bought them first I would be more than satisfied.
Please update this post when you have received/installed and verified that the results of the leather pads are what you were expecting.
The leather ones came the other day and they were installed. They fit and sound the same as the old, synthetic round ones, which makes them perfect. Can't get enough of late night listening with the 560's. I very pleased!
OP which model did you start with..The original 400,400s(closed back)or 400i?
Raymonda, I recently bought the 400S which came with the leather ear pads. Really enjoy these phones, however not sure how they differ from the original 400. Almost went for the 560, however purchased the 400S for such a good deal (used) thought it a inexpensive opportunity to try open back planers.  
two points. What are you amplifying these with? Everything I researched suggested the 560’s need about 4 watts in order to sound right, requiring an amplified source. I am using the ifi Micro iDSD with all switches forward. My brother heard them and to save money bought the 400i’s. I noticed that they were not as hungry as mine. I also had returned a pair that had way too much resemblance on certain notes. They sounded amazing aside from that interference every few minutes. My new pair do not have the resemblance, but I’ve noticed that they don’t have the range my bad ones had. This could be because listening to them for the first time, I was blown away by the sound. I’ve listened for many many hours and got them replaced. So I may have gotten jadded ears by the time the replacements came. They are very nice. Listen for a few hours every day.
Secondly, How can I tell which pads I have on my 560’s as I would like to give a try at switching. I thought they seemed oval to me.
The original earpads that came on my 560s were tapered/thicker to the back with felt on the part that touches your head, I am powering mine nicely with a Yamamoto HA-3 with 1.4 watts also getting good results with my Yamamoto HA-2 with .35 watts. Also received my leather earpads, installed them and like them. Thanks for the tip Raymonda.
No the 560’s are like the 400i,easy to drive..The HE6 was the power pig...
You guys running HiFiMan should hear them with tubes...
The original earpads that came on my 560s were tapered/thicker to the back with felt on the part that touches your head.
Those are the same ones that came with mine. I feel that due to the combination of the ear pads and headband's propensity to be much tighter than the prior headband system it causes too tight a seal and skewing the frequency response and messing with the timbres.The leather ear pads allow for the planar diaphragm to breathe and retain a more accurate balance, as well as, keeps the timbres intact.  YMMV.
Raymonda, thanks for the tip. I ordered the $20 leather pads for my 400S cans..