[fan-boy rant on
This is NOT in response to anything anyone else has posted - just a few thoughts I had:
The Livewires are still my favorite IEM, and even if delivery times are closer to the 4-5 weeks or more they are well worth the wait. My Livewires are the closest thing, that I have heard so far, to a closed and isolating in-ear Grado RS-1 with APS V3 cable. I know that John Diles wants to expand production and shorten delivery times, and he is taking steps to make that happen.
No universal IEM on the market has come close to the LW for me, except maybe the Triple.fi and they had some coloration of the sound that hurt their transparency (and the comfort sucked because I didn't know about Comply T400 tips). I have owned many of the Shures, including E2c, E3c, E4c, SE310 and SE530 and they don't match the transparency and realism of the LW (although the SE530 were close with the right tips). My Denon C700 highs are harsh compared to the LW, and the Q-jays while nice don't match the dynamics or transparency, nor do my Super.fi 5 Pro with either stock cable or Westone ES cable. The Westone 3 don't count because they don't exist in the real world yet - they are the one universal that I liked as much as the Livewires when I demo'd them last September. (I know, I haven't tried the Sleek or Klipsch yet).
As for customs, my SE530's in a custom shell are tuned to sound almost the same as the LW, and it would be cheaper to sell the SE530 and buy LW than convert the SE530 into customs. And the Freq Show were unbearable to listen to without EQ to pull back 4-5db in the lower mids (I know this will get pounced on in here but a couple of others have reported the same thing with their SuperFreq, so it isn't an isolated experience - and worse, nobody has a clue why that happens to some). Then there are the Westone ES customs that aren't taylored for audiophiles (nor are the Sensaphonics which have more complaints than praise) so I didn't look there. That leaves the Ultimate Ears - and their audiophile model's prices at 3-5x the cost of LW means they are not competing for the same market as Livewires and Freqs. Until I hear a UE10Pro or UE11Pro, I can't say they are better than the LW vs just equals - but if it takes a $900-1200 UE IEM to beat the Livewires consistently, then that doesn't say anything bad about the Livewires either.
I was planning to get UE11Pro someday, but I can't stand the idea of losing $1200 on UE Customs if they don't sound right in my ears. I'd be better off using my money to buy a nice amp for my HE60 electrostatics, or paying off that last bit on my Visa card; and just enjoying my Livewires which I have been unable to find anything to beat them since I got them 9 months ago.
[/fan-boy rant off]