Originally Posted by tomscy2000
The CIEM design/build process is much less complicated than what most believe it to be. The only reason why they cost much more than universals is that the process is bespoke, and is thereby low volume by nature. A low volume universal such as a K3003 or whatever takes as much effort to build as a custom. With that being said, it's not worth its asking price (blame that on Harmon), but it does require a lot more effort to build than any other universal around, with the exception of the high-end FADs.
While the K3003 may indeed be overpriced, people tend to dismiss/ignore the costs of R&D, specially for a product that will not be selling thousands of units. Then comes a company like Vsonic that practically takes the same design developed by AKG (not Harman), and simply steals that from AKG. Yes, I know everyone does it, which is no excuse, really, but at least there's some sort of justification for the K3003 price. Have Vsonic managed to also steal the sonics produced by the K3003? That remains to be seen, but that's not the point.
Originally Posted by DefQon
Yeah unfortunately for you US guy's, it was at $1350, the Australian Logitech site had them for around $1750 or something when it was announced back then.
I'm not based in the US, but that's beside the point. The point is that, for instance, the UE18 in Europe costs $1,800, while still being made in the US. The Westone ES5 costs $1,500+ but at least it's made in Europe, with western European labour costs & added taxes. Westone & Shure universals cost a hell of a lot more in Europe (and Japan), too.
While people will often insist that customs are a (much) better option than a good universal IEM, there are many things that can, and do go, wrong with customs -- things that often go unreported for several reasons. Then you have the usual claim, mostly hype, unfortunately, that customs are so much better sonically than good universals.
This is my last post on the subject.