Home Made custom IEM earpieces

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by buldog5151bass, Feb 5, 2017.


  1. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    The new band I joined uses IEMs, and I got a pair of Westone UM2s. Our sound guy sent me a youtube video on making your own custom earpieces from the Radian "mold your own" shooter earplugs (cost is about $10). This is designed for shooters, and full earplugs are rated at -26 decibels. You follow the instructions for the plugs, but while the stuff is drying, you put in the earpieces.

    I made them this afternoon. It's interesting, and the pieces are still curing. After our next rehearsal Thursday, I will let you know how it goes.

     
    Farseer, mngnt and bjelkeman like this.
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    My take is that you get what you pay for..
     
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I'm guessing better than stock earpieces, not as good as custom. Will report in.
     
  4. I found this to be intriguing and was going to give it a try but I got busy with other stuff....

     
    derrico1 likes this.
  5. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I've done this using Sugru. Works fine: compared to the same buds in their starting (universal-fit) state, much better in terms of comfort and seal (and therefore, bass response). But the sound depends on the quality of the buds you start with, and I haven't tried it with TripleFis or any similar quality universals.
     
  6. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Now *that's* a sweet DIY.
     
    Renaissance likes this.
  7. Farseer

    Farseer Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2014
    Parker, Colorado
    Please explain how you do this with Sugru.
     
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I would imagine the process is the same with Sugru. So far I have only used it listening to music - very comfortable. I am getting some more and am making a second set, trying different things to see how best to get a seal.

    I have rehearsal tomorrow night (winter storm permitting). When I get to use them on stage, will report back. I just started using IEMS after 30 some-odd years with wedges, so it is an adjustment for me.

    The one thing that this video does not mention that I have seen on other videos. When you press the monitor into substance, there is a chance that it will get into the small hole. What I did was use some cotton, and twist the end to get a fine point to put into the hole to prevent this.
     
  9. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    It didn't work well for me. In fact, because radians do not come with the foam on a string that you put in your ear first before filling it with the radians putty, there's a good chance you can get some stuck in your ear. Ask me how I found out? I had some of the worst pain of my life until I finally was able to flush it out a week later.

    You're way way better off either getting custom sleeves made for the headphones you have (sensaphonics can do it for some models, not sure if that includes yours), or getting real custom iems. You definitely get what you pay for and custom molds make a HUGE difference.
     
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    You don't jam it all the way in - you don't want in in the canal.
     
  11. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    Custom molded iem's go all the way down, that's how they isolate. Anyone is free to try the radians of course, but it's nowhere near the same. I did it on my meeaudio m6's as a backup solution to my custom molds successfully, but there is almost no low end without going into the ear canal. My second attempt, to try to make them sound better, resulted in that issue, though thankfully no long term consequences. Nothing like spending your one hour break between the end of sound check and the start of a wedding on the end of Cape cod looking for a cvs to get something to try to extract it... I will say I have ADHD so sometimes my impulsivity gets the best of me. That was one of those times.
     
    craigie likes this.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    No, I understand. I do not expect these will be the same as a custom job, but right now I am not making enough where it is worth it. Maybe for Christmas.
     
  13. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Very similar to the vid that bulldogbass linked, except on three points.

    1. I first wrapped enough Sugru around the ear-canal side of the buds to form the business end of the impression, then (w/ buds + initial Sugru still in place) packed in the rest of the Sugru.

    2. During that first phase, I packed the end of the bud w/ cotton while wrapping the bud w/ putty. Then I trimmed off the excess (still soft) material and removed the cotton before putting the buds in to form and cure.

    3. That let me play music through the buds while setting them, so I could adjust depth and placement to check that I was getting the bass response I wanted and that both ears were balanced. Probably unnecessary, but it worked for me.
     
    Farseer likes this.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    did anybody do the thing where you put a bite block in your mouth while they set, so that the seal would be good while opening your mouth to sing? that's apparently what they do at the audiologist's.
     
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I did move my jaw.
     
  16. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    That's absolutely what they do at audiologists.. assuming the audiologist has done IEM molds before and know what they are doing! :)
     
  17. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Finally rehearsal tonight (drummer was sick) - no PA, just IEMs, so I will have a good idea how well they work, and will report back.

    And I did not use a bite block, but moved my jaw during the hardening phase. I am getting some more of the compound to try it again, will try a bite block this time.
     
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Well, it worked really well - it did a decent job blocking outside sound, and was quite comfortable to wear. I am going to make another pair, and see if I can get more down a little way into the canal.
     
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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