Originally Posted by danielghofrani
the reason I don't want to venture to customs is because:
1- they seem quite expensive
2- the added costs of impressions and shipping, refit issues
3- they need remolding every few years. I have had my 535s for 2 years now.
You should definitely look into this. The StageDiver 3 is the best IEM I have heard so far. It's a custom monitor fit into the biggest universal housing possible. An ergonomic and comfortable demo, you could say.
It is identical to the full custom LivePro 3.
Completely made in Germany, really amazing build and comfort.
The sound is relatively flat with no presence peak or sibilance, but it has a slight subbass elevation to further boast its immense soundstage. The StageDiver 2 costs considerably less, but amazed me with a really neutral sound. You might even prefer it.
Other than that, here are some universals that I easily prefer to the Shure:
Fischer Amps FA-3E, Logitech Ultimate Ears UE900, Westone 4 and probably EarSonics SM64 will go on that list, but I didn't hear the last one yet.
(I don't think you'd like the UE900, though.)
I haven't heard the Etymotic but I'd be surprised if they could challenge the SD2. The SD2 has the biggest soundstage I have yet heard in a neutral, fully closed IEM. It is a custom monitor, after all.