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Hearing Loss and Earplugs 2.0

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Blackbird, Nov 12, 2000.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    This is Jason Oldsted's original post from a few months ago. I felt it deserves to be run by us all one more time.


    At the suggestion of Will C., I am pulling this topic from another thread. Will and I both feel it might benefit some musicians here who do not use ear plugs.

    I have done irreparable damage to my ears and I DID use ear plugs. But I'd probably be stone deaf if I hadn't used them. As it is, I have permanent tinnitis. What is that? I'll tell you...it is a permanent high frequency ringing in my ears twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It never stops. What I have to do is try to "cover" it up by running an electric fan or always having a TV or CD-player on.

    How did it come about? Well I was in a heavy metal band that rehearsed at full volume and played at full volume, so hours and hours of aural assalt added up unrelentingly and insidiously. I'm talking about two Marshall stacks at full tilt and my bass stack at full tilt, plus the drums being pounded at max to compete with all our sonic blasting.

    I wore earplugs. I had to or my head would ache. I used Sonic II plugs, the ones that come in the nifty plastic carrying case. Anyway, the others in the band, refused to use plugs. They believed that the plugs were "so NOT cool." Not cool looking. Not cool for blocking out damaging frequencies of sound.

    Here's the deal though. High frequencies ( two distorted guitars) damage in the short run, but damage worse if the high levels are sustained over hours. And the damage is permanent. Once you have tinnitis, there is no road back.

    In short, if you must play in that kind of environment, use the BEST earplugs you can afford. Cotton just doesn't do the trick. And seriously question the need to rehearse at "eleven" on the Marshalls all the time. Turn that equipment down, for crying out loud! If one musician turns up, then the others have to turn up to be heard. What you get is each one playing at max. For what? So you can be heard a block away?

    Take care of your ears. They are a musician's best friends. Jason Oldsted
  2. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    It's funny really how little you have to do to get
    tinnitus. I haven't played in a band without earplugs, and the volume has been reasonable. I haven't listened loud music at home. My only 'sin' has been watching half a dozen gigs without ear protection and I usually tend to stand near the stage at the middle where volume ain't so large. And yet I have sight case of tinnitus. I can well imagine how miserably it is for the guys who don't wear plugs.

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