What? Earplugs?!

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So I joined a band a few months back and after lots of practice we are about to embark on some gigs. The only problem i have is after every practice my ears are ringing. When we first started to practice i bought some ear plugs form Boots, Just the clear ribbed ones you buy for flights etc. I tried them but just felt they pretty much made me unable to hear. I had real difficulty hearing notes and in the end just decided It was better without so I could at least hear what i was playing.  
Can anyone recommend some really good earplugs that reduce the noise but still let you hear what you are playing? 


Thanks 

Slightly deaf guitarist 
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  • the_jaffathe_jaffa Frets: 452
    edited December 2017
    I've just ordered some ACS Pro 17. These are the custom fit ones molded to your ear'ole. They're not cheap but they're a lot cheaper than hearings aids and losing your hearing.

    I had the moulds taken at my local Boots after a hearing test.

    https://www.acscustom.com/uk/products/hearing-protection/pro-series
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  • These look the business - Thanks 
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  • I use ACS Pro 17 ear plugs. They take the overall level down, but I don't lose hearing any sound frequencies in a band rehearsal. I also don't end up with ringing ears after the session, and our rhythm guitarist is loud.
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  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 653
    Earpeace are the most comfortable I've tried and I feel that I hear everything more clearly thanks to the attenuated volume. I'm mad on them, wearing them at gigs, in the cinema and in loud bars.
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  • Another Pro 17 user here, the perfect fitted moulded ear plugs that allow me to still hear all frequencies, just a lower volume. Esp when playing with loud drummers!

    For £120 it was a bit steep to start with but have been using them for almost 4 years and worth every penny!
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3445
    I use the non-custom ACS earplugs - marvellous things ! They attenuate - you can still hear stuff.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 373
    Can I make a radical suggestion and suggest you are maybe all playing too loud?  

    I've played God knows how many hours in bands and only once did a session get out of hand (the drummer's fault of course) and we ended up with temporary deafness.   Despite what others might tell you this is not necessarily an occupational hazard.  
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  • ^ ^ This, although it rarely happens from experience. :/ Don't play at full volume between songs is another thing to aim for Another ACS ER-17 user here - I play rock and go to loud gigs or trade shows. They took a few goes to get used to but are worth it.
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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  • Neill said:
    Can I make a radical suggestion and suggest you are maybe all playing too loud?  

    I've played God knows how many hours in bands and only once did a session get out of hand (the drummer's fault of course) and we ended up with temporary deafness.   Despite what others might tell you this is not necessarily an occupational hazard.  
    Disagree massively, though I’m guessing you don’t play modern heavy music.

    It is just not safe to be within a few feet of a heavy rock/metal drummer without ear plugs. Hard snare rimshots are dangerously loud at close range as are crashes.


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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3445
    Neill said:
    Can I make a radical suggestion and suggest you are maybe all playing too loud?  

    I've played God knows how many hours in bands and only once did a session get out of hand (the drummer's fault of course) and we ended up with temporary deafness.   Despite what others might tell you this is not necessarily an occupational hazard.  
    Disagree massively, though I’m guessing you don’t play modern heavy music.

    It is just not safe to be within a few feet of a heavy rock/metal drummer without ear plugs. Hard snare rimshots are dangerously loud at close range as are crashes.


    Don't play heavy rock/metal, but it's still true.  Drummers are noisy wee bastids, snares & crash cymbals are indeed the worst. Used to play jazz with a gentle old soul on the drums no problem, but he retired, new chap is way too loud - so am now wearing my earplugs when he's around.  Covers band drummer uses his kit for anger management therapy, totally OTT volumes - always earplugs.


    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • +1 for Pro17s. They're brilliant. Mine are now 5 years old and not quite sealing in one ear (obviously it's my ears that have changed, not the moulds). 

    I describe their importance thusly: "As a musician, if you fucked your hearing, you'd obviously move heaven and earth to fix it, so why not spend 120 quid now and make sure you don't have to, because you can't."
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  • I use the older ones from ACS...ER-15s which they were agents for before their own Pro range came out, I should really get some new impressions taken us I;m way past the recommended life of the molds.

    One of the best gear purchases ever, as I do have tinitus from various gigs/rehearsals when I was younger, and that damage has been done, so I really don't want it to get any worse (and it hasn't since having these).
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  • Thanks for all the feedback, Sounds like the Pro17s could be the ones to go for. 
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 373
    Neill said:
    Can I make a radical suggestion and suggest you are maybe all playing too loud?  

    I've played God knows how many hours in bands and only once did a session get out of hand (the drummer's fault of course) and we ended up with temporary deafness.   Despite what others might tell you this is not necessarily an occupational hazard.  
    Disagree massively, though I’m guessing you don’t play modern heavy music.

    It is just not safe to be within a few feet of a heavy rock/metal drummer without ear plugs. Hard snare rimshots are dangerously loud at close range as are crashes.


    Don't get me wrong, I like volume as much as anyone, but the OP is just starting out and I think it's better to advise someone in his situation not to immediately run out and buy earplugs all round - why not just try turning it down a bit.  If you play pub gigs, functions etc you have to learn to get a good sound at reasonable volume though I agree the problem is usually the drummer and that's often difficult to resolve..




       
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  • Most people on here wouldn't begrudge a hundred quid or so to make their whole rig sound better.  I thought I'd been reasonably careful over the years but now find myself with a resonance in my right ear which makes everything - and everybody - sound like I'm listening to a busted speaker cone.  I have an appointment with a consultant in January but I reckon he'll just look at me with that 'it's your own feckin fault' face.

    Looking on the bright side - I can't hear the beeper when the dishwasher's finished!


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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1172
    I’d look at the Read Audio molds. They’re much better than the ACS Pro 17’s (particularly if you’re a singer)... I have both and haven’t used the ACS since getting the Reads.

    http://www.read-audio.com/
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  • MayneheadMaynehead Frets: 1219
    I just have some cheap rubber ear plugs that cost me about 15 quid. I find that they block out too much treble when they’re both in, so the trick that I use is to leave one in and one out.

    Most of the time when I get temp hearing loss it’s mostly in one ear - the ear facing the drummer. So I just have one earplug in the ear on the drummer’s side, and though the other ear I can hear my amp normally. Never had a problem with either ear after I started doing that.
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  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 653
    If you only wear one plug in a high noise environment your un-plugged ear gets more damaged. 
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  • simonk said:
    I’d look at the Read Audio molds. They’re much better than the ACS Pro 17’s (particularly if you’re a singer)... I have both and haven’t used the ACS since getting the Reads.

    http://www.read-audio.com/
    In what way are they better? I'm intrigued
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  • MtBMtB Frets: 433
    Yes, another ACS Pro 17 user here. I started out with the ACS...ER-15s but back then they didn't attenuate well across a range of frequencies - so they got relegated for use inside the crash helmet on the motorbike. The ACS Pros are really good now.

    Get yourself down to Boots the Chemist and book an appointment to have moulds done of your lug'oles.   
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  • capo4thcapo4th Frets: 3194
    Turn yourselves down and buy some ACS pro 17s
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1172
    the_jaffa said:
    simonk said:
    I’d look at the Read Audio molds. They’re much better than the ACS Pro 17’s (particularly if you’re a singer)... I have both and haven’t used the ACS since getting the Reads.

    http://www.read-audio.com/
    In what way are they better? I'm intrigued
    They’re more comfortable to wear over longer periods of time and offer much better sound quality - the ACS dumped too much treble for my liking. I always felt like the ACS ‘bunged’ me up and I really struggled to sing whilst wearing them... I have no such problem with the Reads (I even convinced our frontman to get a pair and he loves them).
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  • Interesting, cheers.
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9358
    Get a drummer with a smaller ego? Once you've played with one you'll never go back, believe me. 
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  • I've been using ACS stuff for years. I found that the PRO17s attenuated a bit too much for my taste so I swapped 'em out for PRO15s.
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  • djspecialistdjspecialist Frets: 450
    edited December 2017
    Personally I agree that ear plugs are a must - primarily due to high frequencies from the drum kit.

    My band is not particularly heavy, but our drummer hits pretty hard and the rehearsal room isn't huge.  If I didn't protect my ears I'm 100% sure they would be damaged - if not after a single session then certainly cumulatively, week to week.

    I currently use a pair of Alpine Musicsafe (~£20).  They're OK, but roll off a bit of upper mids / treble.  I don't find that a major problem for playing guitar, but it can be quite noticeable when singing (feels like performing with a heavy cold).

    Our last gig was on a good sized space with not-excessive stage volume.  I stood a bit further from the drummer, played without plugs and felt happier for it.

    Would an upgrade to ACS / Read be worth the extra £100?  If so, how do I decide whether 15dB is good enough?
    Trading feedback  |   FS: nothing just now  |   WTB: Bypass looper
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  • EggmanEggman Frets: 12
    Etymotic research ER-20
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  • MtBMtB Frets: 433
    @djspecialist ;

    This from the ACS website FAQ
    Q - WHICH PRO FILTER SHOULD I USE?A - The following is a good guideline but If you are unsure please feel free to contact us for advice on 01295 266 665.
    Pro10 – For acoustic musicians and small ensembles. Light protection in everyday environments.
    Pro15 – Orchestral musicians.
    Pro17 – DJs, vocalists, amplified instrument players, sound engineers, gig goers, clubbers.
    Pro20 – Extra High frequency protection, ideal for drummers.
    Pro26 – For venue staff and people exposed to high levels of noise for long periods of time. Good for industrial use.
    Pro27 – Best suited for motorcyclists and motorsport. Thinner sound tube on mould to help reduce wind noise under a helmet.
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  • dariusdarius Frets: 42
    I got ACS Pro15s after a chat with them at this years guitar show. Got them via the Musicians hearing scheme so much cheaper. Upgraded from good standard music plugs. Drummer is never allowed to hit anything until the whole band is plugged up. Snare and Crash basically destroy anything in a 1 mile radius.
    15s really attentuate well, and i sing too and they are good for me.
    17s would be too quiet for me.
    ACS let you swap them for free within a few weeks if you feel youve chosen the wrong ones.
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  • I started with 17s...then 20s...now gigging with 26s with no problems.
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