Earplugs Question

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Big Bad Bill
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Ka wrote:Hey almost 50, have been seeing/living/hearing gigs (up close) for approx. 30 years, dont think i have a hearing impediment yet... so why are the earplugs important for Mr. Vai, i have seen/heard him before, the thought never arised to wear earplugs...
If you've been a regular gig goer and never worn ear plugs, unfortunately your hearing will definitely be impaired! If you can sit thorugh a Vai gig and never feel uncomfortable at the sound pressure being pumped out at you, then your hearing is probably already fairly badly damaged. In addition to cumulative noise damage, smoking and increasing age are the two greatest factors for hearing damage.

I've been really careful with my hearing all my life since I love music and thus want to preserve this special sense for as long as possible. I even use -30dB ear plugs when walking around busy streets with loud traffic, on buses, trains and planes to cut out the often loud noise found in those environments. But for gigs I eventually bought myself some custom made ear plugs designed for musicians and there was a discussion about it here:
http://www.vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=22391&start=0
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brentm
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Big Bad Bill wrote:If you've been a regular gig goer and never worn ear plugs, unfortunately your hearing will definitely be impaired! If you can sit thorugh a Vai gig and never feel uncomfortable at the sound pressure being pumped out at you, then your hearing is probably already fairly badly damaged. In addition to cumulative noise damage, smoking and increasing age are the two greatest factors for hearing damage.

I've been really careful with my hearing all my life since I love music and thus want to preserve this special sense for as long as possible. I even use -30dB ear plugs when walking around busy streets with loud traffic, on buses, trains and planes to cut out the often loud noise found in those environments. But for gigs I eventually bought myself some custom made ear plugs designed for musicians and there was a discussion about it here:
http://www.vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=22391&start=0
Yeah, unfortunately I'm not sure genetics or luck have much to do with hearing or the loss of. If you've repeatedly subjected yourself to concerts and other loud situations, you're going to incur some loss in your hearing. However, thats your personal preception because you can't hear the difference (like being able to try on someone elses ears for a while). So I'd protect what you have left :)

I didn't know that smoking contributed to hearing loss! That makes me even happier that I quit (besides other obvious reasons) some time ago.
maximus
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I have hearos cause that ringing in your ears after gigs? that's the hairs in your ears dying. or something. Anyway, it's hearing damage and that freaks me out. Earplugs are a little lame but it's a lot better than being deaf.
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Big Bad Bill
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brentm wrote:I didn't know that smoking contributed to hearing loss! That makes me even happier that I quit (besides other obvious reasons) some time ago.
Oh yes. The free radicals such as carbon monoxide damage the har cells in your inner ear.
amanvai
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Your hearing can most certainly be impaired slightly without you really noticing. Especially at a Vai show, protection is necessary, and though you may not feel any effects in the near future, this sort of actvity over time will definately damage your ears, unfortunately. Sometimes, the process may be so slow that you won't realise it's happened, but there's no doubt about it. If you attend many shows up close without protectiong your ears they will be affected.

I use cotton. Plain and simple, and it works really well. Steve uses cotton too actually, although he has used various earplugs from time to time.

A.
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Big Bad Bill
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amanvai wrote:I use cotton. Plain and simple, and it works really well. Steve uses cotton too actually, although he has used various earplugs from time to time.
The risk with using an 'unrated' form of protection like cotton wool, is that you may think you're protecting your hearing by blocking out/attenuating the 'painful' frequencies, but you could still be letting in other harmful frequencies that can damage your hearing. Disposable earplugs cost peanuts so it's worth buying them http://www.snoringshop.com/
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lydian2000
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But there are professional earplugs out there like the ones used by Steve, who drastically reduce the sound level but let all frequencies through...last gig I saw with steve I was constantly putting in and out my "standards ones" to listen to some songs, however painful it was( and I was satnding far at the back) I think there has been a thread about it but I can't find it.
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Big Bad Bill
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I had a pair of those made for me recently. They're called ER15/25
http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/er915and25pr.html
amanvai
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Actually, if you use it correctly, cotton still usually does the trick, and I don't mean just by reducing sound levels and painful frequencies. The problem with cotton is that people may not be putting it in right. You have to make tight balls and plug your whole ear to the point where you can't really feel the cotton ball with your fingers. Steve's used cotton at every show I've been to, and just did so in Madrid.

Actually, to tell you the truth it depends on the venue and the sound levels. But you do have a point BBB about it being 'unrated' as such and therefore not the best form of protection.
%thd
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I have always heard that for the best form of protection always wear a condom. I guess the non lubricated ones work best.. this way you won't have to clean your ears. You might look strange though.

I don't wear ear plugs b/c when I get old I want to be just like both my grandfathers who lived to be > then 90 and couldn't here didley. Everyone would pester them and they couldn't have a care in the world b/c they didn't hear half the crap ppl were yapping at them about. This is why they always had a smile on their face.

Seriosly speaking now :) I think it doesn't matter... your hearing loss increases with age no matter how much you protect it. Yes it differs with individuals but non the less it is affected w/ age. I agree that it is better to protect your ears however in the end if you truely want to hear with the quality of when you exited your mothers womb, Then properly tuned hearing aids are the way to go.

The problem is hearing doctors are morons (ok not all) put properly tuned hearing aids end up being an objectional thing.

FM
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resha
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Get your earplugs with you mate!

Once your hear has gone you cannot have it back no more :(
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Leanne_777
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I would definitely suggest earplugs. The only reason I don't wear them is because I'm pretty sure I've fooked my hearing up already. Mikey gave us some for soundcheck at the last EVO, I still have mine (unused) :D
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