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  • Ear Protection

    Well, I done wacked my ears again a week ago - rehearsal with a new band I joined. I stopped carrying my earplugs as I haven't really needed them lately - that was stoopid <facepalm>. Anyways I'm looking at the latest in protection. I've not had any issues with "generic fit" and in the past loved the Etymotic ER-20's which are also sold under the Hearos name. Macks has a similar high-fidelity unit too. Now I found these $300 actives:
    http://www.etymotic.com/hp/mp915.html
    Has anyone tried them yet?

    BTW for reference I was running an Ampeg Micro-VR head into a single SVT210AV cab and had it full in the red, master and gain on "10" - that amp has a defeatable limiter and an analog MOSFET output amp that comes pretty close to a tube amp sound when overdriven, rated 150wrms into that cab (probably closer to 250 watts overdriven like that). I added a second cab this weekend so I could dial the gain back to 2 o'clock. That amp on 2 o'clock with the one cab is as loud as we should be rehearsing at without ear protection IME .

  • #2
    Does it drive you nuts to have someone tell you to turn up? I'm much rather they turn down instead.

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    • #3
      Ron those actives sure look good. Pricey but money well spent if they protect your ears and assuming they work as advertised.

      Anybody using them?

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      • #4
        Regarding not having protection with you; I've been carrying an extra set of Hearos in my truck, so it's much less likely I'll be without protection, either in a band situation or a work environment.
        "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Art Flood View Post
          Ron those actives sure look good. Pricey but money well spent if they protect your ears and assuming they work as advertised.
          They look to be significantly "flatter" than the <$20 passive "hifi" ones - perhaps even good enough to mix with? The fairly cheap batteries are good for 300 hours, over a year of gigs for a typical "weekend warrior" soundguy.

          OTOH the passive ones emulate fatigued/damaged ears better I suppose .

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          • #6
            Originally posted by WynnD View Post
            Does it drive you nuts to have someone tell you to turn up? I'm much rather they turn down instead.
            As long as I have earplugs I don't mind turning up at a rehearsal - if the others want to destroy their hearing it's really none of my business. I do let them know that I'm putting them in and why.

            At a gig that I'm mixing it's different - I've only mixed in earbleed territory once over the last year and that was a special case where I knew ahead of time that the drummer was insanely loud and it was a favor for a friend of a friend. That one took me two weeks to get my ears to quiet down - 115dB measured at 20 feet . Hopefully my ears will (mostly) recover this time in another week. I first had to start using earplugs back around 1980 - fortunately my "normal" tinnitus is mostly white noise and part of that is just hypersensitive hearing...
            Last edited by RoadRanger; 05-12-2014, 05:54 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Craig Vecchione View Post
              Regarding not having protection with you; I've been carrying an extra set of Hearos in my truck, so it's much less likely I'll be without protection, either in a band situation or a work environment.
              Yah, I have like four pair around here somewhere if I can just find them LOL. I ordered a couple more pairs anyways.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Art Flood View Post
                Ron those actives sure look good. Pricey but money well spent if they protect your ears and assuming they work as advertised.

                Anybody using them?
                Have you looked at the price of hearing aids today? My Mother-in-law just got a couple at a total price of $3000. These would be a bargain to help extend your hearing in comparison.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WynnD View Post
                  Have you looked at the price of hearing aids today? My Mother-in-law just got a couple at a total price of $3000. These would be a bargain to help extend your hearing in comparison.
                  Rather interesting that these have two modes, a -9 and -15 db mode. The -9db mode actually boosts quieter sounds by 6dB - possibly good for those who have already damaged their hearing. I'd probably find that level of reduction about perfect but would rather not have the boost.

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                  • #10
                    I use the $20 HiFi Hearos that RR mentioned... and keep them in my vehicle so I'm never more than another 5-10 min. walk to hearing protection. Funny, when I think about it I was never as resolute when it came to packing another kind of protection.
                    Where the Mississippi River runs west...

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                    • #11
                      I have a couple pair of check "hearos" that I keep handy (there's one pair in my rolling case along with all my miscellaneous stuff) - and a second pair that now lives in my little iPad carrying case. They're not the most "transparent" hearing protection that I've used - BUT, when I need something, I need something.

                      Just curious ... why are rehearsals at such a deafening volume? Is it simply a case of too much stuff in too small a space? Bad placement for you personally in the rehearsal space (too close to cymbals, somebody else's amp next to your head, etc.)? I can't imagine adding cabinets when the volume is already over the top. You've obviously been around the block enough times to recognize the danger - and have the knowledge of what's needed to avoid it. Is the road you're trying to head down solving the right problem?
                      The SpaceNorman

                      www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
                      www.souldoutrocks.com

                      Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
                      Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
                      Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SpaceNorman View Post
                        Just curious ... why are rehearsals at such a deafening volume?
                        In this particular case it was mostly the two Peavey PR15's on an XLS2000 set up on stands pointing back at us - the singer wanted the vocals LOUD and those aren't the flattest speakers in the world. A limiter would have helped a lot IMO, it was mostly the peaks from that drilling through my ears. The drummer wasn't all that bad for a rock drummer. Strangely enough - and against stereotype - the guitarist is with me on trying to keep it down and wasn't a problem at all. There's only one guitarist and the keyboard player is fine too.

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                        • #13
                          I use custom-fit passives (had never heard of actives until now) from ACS http://www.hearingprotection.co.uk/ With their ER series, you choose protection of 9db, 15db or 25db. I tried 15db and found that 9db is just right, but I don't play in a REALLY noisy environment. An educational moment came after playing a set with one plug in (next to the drums) and one out. When we took a break, I took out the one I had been using and was startled at the difference in sound from the protected ear compared to the unprotected one. Since then, I use them for all but acoustic practices and all gigs.

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                          • #14
                            With my custom set, I use ER-25 filters when mixing. It's not complicated mixing, by any stretch. I'm simply adjusting vocals for balance between them and whoever is creating the most stage volume. It's a real fun time...

                            Soundcheck is done without hearing protection, plus I remove the plugs every ten minutes or so for a quick check. Works for me and my ears don't complain. I'm only ~35 feet from the mains.
                            http://www.stlband.com
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                            • #15
                              I'm interested enough to buy a pair. I can use the slight increase at low levels. I went skeet shooting with my Son and he had gun muffs that included a similar feature that killed off high level noises while allowing normal conversation. I didn't know that even existed before, but it's pretty easy to live with and adds a lot to the safe operation at a gun range.

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