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the scotsman

Tinnitus! The bane of my life at the moment!

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Hey.

My name is Billy and i'm a musician that suffers from Tinitus. I've been using the crappiest foam ear plugs for the last year or so and my Tinitus has gradually got worse. Before i invest in expensive ear plugs, i need to know which ones are the right selction for me. I play in a progressive rock band that reaches silly Db levels. Also when we play gigs the monitoring is usually unbelievabely loud at points which is causing damage. I will be investing in PROFESSIONAL ear plugs due to this adversary called Tinitus, but i would like to know which ones are the best i.e which ear plugs will alow me to actaully hear my band, and at a really safe Db level? Also, i do know that profesional plugs are expensive, so feel free to suggest those ones too, as money is nothing compared to a life of constant high freguency ringing bells in my head.

I appreciate your time on this important matter of mine.

Kind Regards

Billy Balmer

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In my mid 30's I found that the high pitch of the hi-hats and cymbals was hurting my ears and giving me headaches.

I now use foam ear plugs from Boots.

Have used them for the past few years and have no problems.

It did take a few weeks to get used to it but was well worth it.

Cheapskate - moi?

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The best for the money would be these - Etymotic Research, Inc. - ER•20 High Fidelity Earplugs

I got them for 10 online somewhere (can't remember where though, I thought it was stringsdirect, but I can't seem to find them on the site) and give a pretty flat response while cutting down the volume

The step up from that would be the custom moulded ones, of which Etymotic do (Not sure who else does them, I have only really seen these ones) the main differences between these and the ER20's is that they are custom fitted to your ears, so are more comfortable to wear, and you get a few different levels of filters instead of a set 20dB cut (9, 15 or 25 dB of cut)

These will cost you, around 150 when I had a quick look a while ago, though you might find them cheaper, those need a mould taken of your ears (which can be done in places that fit hearing aids and the like normally) which gets sent off and made into the earplugs

David

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I have used quite a number of things. Do not buy expensive ear plugs without trying all the inexpensive alternatives first.

I have been using foam ear plugs for a number of years and they sound good enough, for someone who lives on a house situated in a black hole (everything goes missing). Sound is altered in a negative way but I can live with it for band practice. Nobody sees them also due to hair. Being in a progressive rock band you should have enough hair to cover earplugs also. I got 10 or 20 (Can't remember which) for £1.99 per pack from B&Q

Wax ear plugs offer a more accurate reproduction of sound. They however will stick to your hair (or anything else). Wax ear plugs are over-all preferable but are stocked in less places.

I invested in a pair of fitted ear plugs a few years a go. It was a mistake as I foolishly managed to lose one of them after the first band practice I had with them.

Bruce millers do rubber/plastic ear plugs for around £12 a pair. Never tried them, drummer uses them and says they are good.

Also, never let drummers near your kitchen table while they are in the process of removing their ear plugs. My drummer decided to leave his ear plugs on the kitchen table. Yuck

Might concider trying the one's in Soundian's link.

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i use docs proplugs and have done for several years when jamming/playing/going to gigs/going to clubs and they've done me well. about £12 a pair.

/x

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I used to have a pair of the £15 ones R&B used to stock that were sized to fit your ear. Stopped wearing them after a while 'cause I found I couldn't get into the music as much due to the drop in sound level. They also seemed to cut a lot of the top end out and leave a bassy mess.

Should really try some more earplugs though as there seems to be a much bigger range out there now.

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I used to have a pair of the 15 ones R&B used to stock that were sized to fit your ear.

those would have been the proplugs i use. used to hang on the back of the door to the basement and had a mirror and a size guide thing that you held against your ear. i find them suitable, but a bassy mess works well for me :D

/x

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Without trying to be flippant you are treating the symptoms, not the cause. You state you hit stupid loud dB's at some points. For prog rock? I thought it metal/punk that wanted stoopid loud, well there you go, you learn somehting new every day.

Just turn it down.

You only get your hearing once you know, don't fuck with it!

Quiet, man its the new loud!

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Without trying to be flippant you are treating the symptoms, not the cause. You state you hit stupid loud dB's at some points. For prog rock? I thought it metal/punk that wanted stoopid loud, well there you go, you learn somehting new every day.

Just turn it down.

You only get your hearing once you know, don't fuck with it!

Quiet, man its the new loud!

Yeah, were more a post-rock band. and yeah it gets loud. If we turn it down we loose the intensity we are after. And yes, i fully understand that i get my hearing only once, thats why i'm protecting the beauties from now. And it's not just the band, it's clubs (which i hardly attend these days), the djembe circle i'm in, my drum kit, gigs etc etc. Thay all contribute to the mess.

Recon i'm gonna try the cheaper plugs first of all... the 10-15 ones and see how that goes. Splendid.

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I used to have a pair of the 15 ones R&B used to stock that were sized to fit your ear. Stopped wearing them after a while 'cause I found I couldn't get into the music as much due to the drop in sound level. They also seemed to cut a lot of the top end out and leave a bassy mess.

Should really try some more earplugs though as there seems to be a much bigger range out there now.

Did you have the vented ones though? I've got a pair of the vented ones and they let enough top end through to be a practical solution for me as a system engineer (when the band has their own engineer). Even drummers hitting their snares right next to me ear doesn't hurt with them in but I can still hear enough to know if there's a problem that the band engineer is failing to fix.

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Guest texjamm

I use Elacin ER15's - designed for musicians so they lower the overall levels not just certain frequencies. Hope this helps

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We particularly recommend Alpine's MusicSafe earplugs.

And you charge twice as much for them as some places I've seen online :up:

Average seems to be about 13 but a deaf shop (2nd or 3rd results if you google Alpine Musicsafe has them for a tenner). They look pretty good though, might invest in a pair.

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I got custom moulds made for Elacin ER-15's for 140 a number of years ago via the hearing shop on George Steeet. They are pretty much the same as the Etymotic's. Well worth it.

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Guest bluesxman

When I worked offshore we were allowed to get the custom moulded ones and claim the cost back on expenses. I kept hold of them and use them at practices, score! Haven't used them live yet as they dull things down somewhat. I think I just need to get used to it.

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I am amazed! Wireless in-the-ear monitoring can cost as little as 150 and still there are people out there destroying their ears with screeming monitors that are driven to distortion. Then they say, ooh-err, I've damaged my hearing! Now what do I do?

We have had in-the-ear monitoring for well over ten yeras now (prob. more like 20!) so there is no excuse. You have seen EVERY major act use them. Even Ozzy was told by his insurance that he had to use them. No matter how wild and crazy the act, they ALL use in-the-ear monitoring and so should you.

Or are you telling me that your hearing is not worth 150?

In-the-ear monitoring -

1. Is CHEAPER than a stage full of wedges.

2. Does away with feedback on stage.

3. Gets rid of phase problems on stage and therefore cleans up the sound.

4. Protects your ears.

5. Lets YOU set the level with a volume control right there on your belt-pack.

Yes, bits of cheap foam is better than nothing, but only just. Get a proper set of fitted in-the-ear monitors and stop playing fast and loose with your health. I bet you don't belt fcuk out of your willy with a hammer, so why do that to your ears?

Here are a few pages from the Thomann site, so that you can compare prices and features.

Search Results - Page 1 - U.K. International Cyberstore

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1. Is CHEAPER than a stage full of wedges.

Unfortunately the bands have to buy their own IEMs, but not the stage monitors which are provided by the venue/PA company, so it's not cheaper at all, unless of course they own the PA.

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Isn't one of the main reasons big acts use in ear monitoring is because they spend half the gig moving around their gargantuan stage, thus never standing in front of the same monitor for long enough to set it up correctly?

Something local bands playing The Tunnels or Moorings don't have to worry about really.

How do in ear monitors work anyway, where does the feed come off? Do they just take a line off the desk that would normally go to the stage monitor and stick it in the sending box for the IEM?

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