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  #1  
Old 12-01-2010, 01:55 PM
gjg1986 gjg1986 is offline
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Default Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

Another thread about someone having trouble with the labyrinthine market of hearing protection.

I need more isolation than is offered by the standard vic firth ear defenders or in ear christmas tree shapes (the shape of which hurts the inside of my ears after an hour of use). I recently bought a pair of EX-29s thinking that the 29db isolation would be great. However, I had to send them back because they actually offered zero isolation (the pads were so rigid that they didn't mould to my head). So they didn't work for me and I've read nothing but terrible reviews about Metrophones so I'm now looking elsewhere.

I'm now seriously considering getting custom ear plugs made by ACS at a cost of 160. Ow. Obviously they're moulded to your ear canal so they should be a perfect and comfortable fit and they supposedly reduce the dull thuds that come through the side of your head too. However, they only come with a 25db sound filter and although the sound is supposed to be amazing and they are marketed towards drummers, is 25db really enough?

I've heard only good things about Ultraphones and although I don't really need the stereo element to them (but I'd certainly use it) they offer greater isolation and work out about the same price. My only concern with them is that it appears that to change the muffs on them, you have to send it back to the company. So at least once a year I would have to send it across the Atalantic at great expense.

Anyone got any experience of either? Please keep your posts relevant to these products.

Cheers.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:43 PM
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BradGunnerSGT BradGunnerSGT is offline
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Default Re: Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

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Originally Posted by gjg1986 View Post
However, they only come with a 25db sound filter and although the sound is supposed to be amazing and they are marketed towards drummers, is 25db really enough?
It depends on the music you play and what your goal is. For me, 25 dB for hearing protection (as opposed to in-ear monitoring) is usually a bit too much, 15-20 is about right, since that lets me hear the rest of the band comfortably, the nuances of the drums (especially ghost notes on the snare), and a little bit of the the "sizzle" of the cymbals. Of course, we keep our rehearsal and stage volume reasonable, and don't play a really loud style of music anyway (kind of a Rock/Americana sound). i actually keep a variety of ear plugs in my stick bag, from cheap $3 "Christmas trees" (which I seem to use more than any other!) to $10 Hearos, to some foam ones for the really loud rooms. I'm looking at getting some of these to test them out to see how "transparent" they are, sonically.

Others might need 25 or even 30+, depending on the environment and the band volume.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:17 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

I own the GK Ultraphones and love them. I've had them for almost ten years now and I haven't had to change the muffs out yet. If you take care of them, wipe them down after use and store them in their case, well, mine have lasted this long. Human oils left on the muffs would definitely mess them up over time. I just keep mine clean. The muffs themselves are made by a company called Peltor (they make the popular ear muffs for gun shooters), I would think by contacting them for parts and a little bit of DIY you could replace the cushion parts yourself.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:41 PM
gjg1986 gjg1986 is offline
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Default Re: Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I own the GK Ultraphones and love them. I've had them for almost ten years now and I haven't had to change the muffs out yet.
How frequently do you use them? You've not noticed any reduction in isolation over time?
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:14 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

I've been using the Ultraphones for several years as well, and never had a problem with the muffs. During a normal tour, they're on & off my head sevveral times a night, 50 or 60 shows in a row, and they're not babied much in-between shows. So to quote the old watch commercial, they "take a licking, and keep on ticking."

Bermuda
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:33 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

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Originally Posted by gjg1986 View Post
How frequently do you use them? You've not noticed any reduction in isolation over time?
Nope. When I first got them I was mixing bands with them, these days not so much, but they get used. I would think they would begin to stiffen up from non-use. Great headphones. I like them so much I actually got the Sony MDR-7506 which is what is installed in the Ultraphones. Best sounding headphones on the market, and I have them in two flavors!
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

I use these. Like you, the xmas-tree style eartips irritate my ears. These come with 4-5 different types of eartips, I use the foam ones which are comfortable and isolate better (~40 iirc).

http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6i.aspx
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:01 PM
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Alain Rieder Alain Rieder is offline
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Default Re: Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
The muffs themselves are made by a company called Peltor (they make the popular ear muffs for gun shooters), I would think by contacting them for parts and a little bit of DIY you could replace the cushion parts yourself.
The cussions are just clipped. Insert your finger underneath in the inside, and just pull, that's it. Regular Peltor muffs can probably be bought at your hardware store, as it is the case here in Switzerland. They are pretty cheap, so you could buy one in order to use only the cushions on your more expensive model.
Unclipping the cushions is also useful if you need to replace any wire.

I was using Peltor muffs before they were offered by Vic Firth and/or GK, so I've been using them almost everyday for more than 20 years now. Although they look pretty cheap I think they last much longer than I would have thought they would, the first time I bought one.
I use the Vic Firth now since I'm an endorser of their products.

Cheers
Alain
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:20 AM
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BillBachman BillBachman is offline
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Default Re: Ultraphones vs ACS Custom

I've had the GK music ultraphones with Sony drivers for about 6 years and they are absolutely great!!! They've seen plenty of use and travel and have been dropped a few times and they keep working great. I highly recommend them! They cost 2x as much as some others, but they're about 7x better so it's well worth the investment.
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