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September 2, 2008

Ear, Ear?

On a (muted) side note, has anyone tried these before?

No, they're not magic mushrooms, space-age maracas or transistorised Christmas trees. They're ear defenders for musicians. According to the blurp they filter out damaging frequencies and generally roll off the volume to levels that you can actually hear what people are playing.

Years ago I minorly f**ked my hearing whilst working on the big rigs... oil rigs, that is. Nothing major, but I lost a few higher frequencies. Lately I've been becoming concerned that I'm putting myself in more and more noise hazardous environment (such as rehearsal rooms) and so I figured it might be worthwhile trying these out. They're not likely to break the bank... you can get them online for under a tenner... so I may just try a pair, but I thought it worth asking the more seasoned (or pickled) musos out there whether they've road-tested them already.

Thoughts, people?


Axe Victim said...

I have waxey lug 'oles so I'm usually pretty comfortable at volume. However, I'm not into 'volume wars' for the same reason. It takes a while to learn to turn it all down but once you all get into the habit it makes the music so much better.

Pribek said...

Those particular ones don't look familiar. I have tried stuff like that before. There was a period where I was doing iron work during the day, gigging at night. I was more concerned with being around trip hammers all day than I was with the music.
I would often wear earplugs at the shop and tried all kinds including ear "valves" designed to filter specific frequencies that were made for musicians. Still made everything sound thud like which, is sometimes ok for blacksmith work, not good for music.
I've never found anything that didn't affect the sound and therefore, how I played for music application. Best to keep volume at a reasonable level like Axe says. The music that's meant to be played loud isn't meant to be played in a confined space such as a small rehearsal studio so, you have to simulate some of the feel and concentrate on getting the parts right.

Further on up the road said...

Those look very much like the ones I use.

So I'd say try them. They take a little getting used to and can feel a bit uncomfortable at first but generally I've found them a total result. I've used them mostly at gigs and motor-racing.

To be honest now I actually enjoy gigs more with them - esp. in small venues like Folkestone or the Astoria since normally in places like that the volume is just too much to listen clearly and these help.

I've not used them much playing myself - largely as I generally play with myself in my little room... but I'd have no issue doing so if I was in a gigging band.

Kenski said...

Well, purely for research purposes (they were £8 and free shipping) I bought a pair of the Elacin ER20's. They're supposed to evenly mute everything evenly (ie turning down the volume, not muffling) by 16dB.

They seem well received by other customers. Only one said that the treble was very slightly overdamped, but he was cranking a pair of headphones to test them, so hey, maybe it was the headphones that were the issue.

Worst comes to worst I'm out the price of two pints. I think my waistline will thank me in the long run, even if my ears don't.

I saw somewhere that Elacin make custom dampers for pro bands (eg Radiohead) and that this is basically the same thing only not 'fitted'.

Inbetween songs it might be a case of 'Eh? What?', though...

Dave Jacoby said...

Ever see the G3 vid when it was Vai, Satch and Eric Johnson? There was a set each, then one set when they jammed together.

Johnson came out with big jackhammer-operator cans on his head. Afraid for his hearing while competing in volume with the other guys, I guess. Which is fair.

I figure those plugs will be a less-muffling choice than that.