So I have a pair of ath-w5000 that I adore. Only issue with them is that their stock earpads have odd fitting issues on the head; especially if when wearing glasses. When the stock pads were fresh, they were awkward and pinched your ears. Eventually they molded to your head and this happened less often, but it still happens randomly and it sucks.
The obvious answer here was to pad swap. I ran the gamut in pursuit of making my w5000 as comfy as possible and retaining the stock sound. This journey has involved ZMF auteur perforated sheepskins, ZMF eikon suedes, ZMF eikon pleathers, ZMF universe sheepskins, ZMF pleather ovals, ZMF cowhide ovals, and Dekoni th900 sheepskins. Going off this list, it's easy to tell that none of these pads met my criteria. Each increased comfort, but none could retain the stock sound. The running trend was that each pad swap reduced the mid's quality to varying degrees and it took me awhile to attribute this change to pad thickness.
Enter Dekoni and their A/AD line of pads. Theirs is the first quality pad I've seen that matches the dimension specs of AT's stock pads. This was a good and bad impression. It was good because the pad thickness was the same. It was bad because I was worried there would be no change going from stock to these Dekoni. Regardless, I bit the bullet and purchased the Dekoni A/AD sheepskin pads; because someone has to risk it for the biscuit.
Below is a comparison of the two. Stock pads are on the left and the dekoni's are on right.
On the outset, they looks similar but there are some differences to note.
The stock pads have an additional concave shape to them and don't appear to be made of memory foam. Therefore the softness of the stock pads mostly comes from the leather they use, which I do believe is a higher quality material than what Dekoni uses. The comfort here is still finicky as all hell though.
Dekoni's offering is more plush and thicker in the middle due to not having a concave shape. Additionally, I enjoy their mounting system better than the stock pads. It's vastly more flexible and more robust than the stock pads. Also, the pads use a memory foam that makes them not pinch my ears and makes them better in terms of comfort.
But every pad I've used beat the stock pads in terms of comfort. What about sound? Does it match stock?
To Dekoni's credit, they made a pad that is closest in all the pads swaps I've done to match stock. This is probably because their pads match the thickness; however the sound doesn't completely match. There is just a slight attenuation of intensity in the highs/upper mids that I note when comparing between these and stock. Unfortunately, that intensity found in stock is what I found to be absolutely magical in the w5000.
This earns these Dekoni pads a 4/5 from me right now. This may change in the future if through continued use if I find the pads better fit my head and change the sound to better meet my criteria.
EDIT 10/7/2018: After continued on-and-off use of these pads, I determined they were unfit for my w5000 as a true a replacement as they added too much warmth/mid bass to the sound. HOWEVER, after much experimentation with other headphones, I found that these pads had a tendency to bring up vocals. I decided to apply these pads to my he-560 as I found them too bright with recessed vocals in stock form and the swap fixed that right up.
EDIT 11/16/2018: Amending my conclusions from 10/7 for the w5000. After continued exploration for pads for the w5000, I tried some cheap pleather denon ah-d2000 pads on them and found that they seemed to work. Messing with those for a bit I found that their plastic ring were their secret. Not really liking the pleather feel of the denon pads and wanting to see if the A/AD pads would benefit from a similar plastic ring, I ordered and tried using the dekoni attenuation ring. FIXED THE PROBLEM RIGHT UP by reducing the mid bass. Of course the attenuation ring isn't a perfect fit as it was designed for another headphone, but it fits well enough and I'm quite impressed with the result. Rating adjusted to 5/5 for the pads when a ring is involved.