I love their timbre. It's a bit cold cold and clinical, but not too bad. Slapping the Utopia pads on and using/calling them "CC" pads is FAR from fair as well. Compared to a pair of HD650? They smoke them IMO. I haven't had the HD650 for ages, but they sound warm, rolled off, and massively boring in comparison. Micro Dynamics lacking? Ok maybe a little bit. I used to own the Utopia, there is no comparison. The Abyss holds its own in terms of Dynamics, beats it in terms of resolution, mids are a bit pulled back compared to the Utopia, Treble is better, and slam is better than the Utopia. My impressions couldn't be further away from yours. "So for 5k you get something that underperforms and is unbearable to listen to." I'm sorry but thats horseshit. The Abyss, even if you don't like it, is not unbearable to listen to. Its a good pair of headphones. With the market the way it is today, it doesn't underperform at 5K.