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IEM- In Ear Monitor ... Usage/Experiences

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by svtb15, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I don't know if this has been covered here before so here we go. I think this is the right thread to post in,.
    It does have to do with sound amplification..

    IEM Otherwise know as In-Ear-Monitors.

    *Is anyone using them?
    *What type or Brand have you used or are you using now?

    *And do you have any Pro or Negative experiences with certain companies or products.

    I started out a 7-8 years ago using a real inexpensive set of ear but with a band that was on IEMs. I never used them before that time and didn’t want to spend money …Just your typical Koss $15 ear buds.. I liked the idea but had a hard time adjusting at first.

    First they were very uncomfortable, had almost no isolation in my ears, and the bass sounded sterile since the signal i would hear was the Direct DI sound without any amplification involved.

    Within one week i stared to use my Bass Pod and then my F2B preamp to send the IEM signal to get a little character to my ears. it helped..

    Then within a month dropped a whole 100 dollars on a cheap set of Shures:smug:..

    They actually sounded pretty good considering, and i was getting used to hearing my bass that way and the mix of the other instruments coming through the ears..
    I have found out over the years that even the $1000 ones don’t block out everything, which is a good and bad thing at times..

    In a short time i went to the Westone UM2s which i loved!
    Great universal IEMs at a reasonable cost.. Dual driver so you get better bass and tight clean top too.. I don’t like those foam ear inserts since they take a minute or two to seal and they get dirty.. So i experimented and found that the Silicone mushroom shaped Shure inserts that fit the older Shure E3s will fit the Westone UM2 nozzles.. mmmmmm

    Westone UM2s were Very Comfy , good seal to block out gui****s, and i could get a great drum and bass mix with some vocals and keys to get a nice feel at a nice level,, and the westons are made in the USA too.....

    Then i went to a custom set of Ultimate Ears.... i hate to say it but the ones i got had WAYYY too much bass... never thought that i would say that... It was like a low rider in my head...

    Talked to allot of friends in the bizz and decided to go for the big boys toys a few years ago and got Sensaphonics... wooohaaa.. That is the way they are supposed to be... big $$ 750-ish... ouch but it was IEM heaven....
    Then I Lost them... :bawl::bawl:

    So that brings me to today..
    I found a company through a friend called Live wires. they do have you get Custom moulds ,and they are reasonably priced at $250. Many reviews say that are very similar to the Sensaphonics in sound and tone..
    Im now thinking Perhaps you get what you pay for, time will tell , they (Livewires) are not getting off to a great start as of yet..

    I went o the audiologist in my town. And had moulds/ impressions done of my ears. They are told to go to the second bend in the canal.
    I could not believe in the year 2009 that the Audiologist only charged me $20.. I was told by a few that is about the going rate.. I have no idea how they make money doing that..

    But they check your ears and then set a foam plug into your canal. Then pour some green silicone gook into the canal..
    I had this done once before but this was a more pleasant experience.
    Then they let the stuff solidify.. It still remains playable though.
    You send the stuff off to the IEM guys and they make your custom fit monitors from the impressions that you had made..

    So that is what im waiting for.. I hope they are as nice as the Sensaphonics.
    And so far the Livewires folks don’t exactly have the best customer service.. But i will give them some time to perhaps return the phone call and emails regarding my questions on fit and color.
    I will post back here with a review whenever they do get here..:)

    If anyone has IEM stories or product info..

    There may some folks interested in the experience with purchase etc.
  2. GML


    Oct 1, 2008
    Sierra foothills
    I recently had a set of Westone custom molded earplugs made through the local audiologist. These fit the standard Shure E3/E5/SCL whatever nozzle as well as the Westone line.

    I have used them only once on stage and had one of the removal string things pull out so they're back to Westone for repair.

    I use the custom plugs with Shure SCL3 earbuds through an Aviom system and have no complaints regarding the sound. However, I don't have any experience with any other earbud type products. So I will be watching this thread with interest.
  3. Limpingbass


    Sep 19, 2008
    I have weston um1. I don't use it for monitor but I used it w/ my mp3 player when I used to commute in NY train. Loved it. Blocked out all the noises. I'd close my eyes and i could be in a totally difference place.

    I wonder if I could tell the difference between um1 and um2....Now they came out with westone 3, which they say is the only triple driver IEM in the world (1 driver each for bass, mid, treble). But it'd be a long time before I get to buy one. After all, it costs as much as about 3 SX basses. :)
  4. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    The UM2 have a rounder bottom than the UM1s... I have the UM1 on my iPod .. I like them alot too
  5. bassninja7


    Mar 1, 2008
    Napoleon, OH
    shouldnt this go under live sound?

    ..,just a thought
  6. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    i dont know.. i think it was amplification related..

  7. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005
    I like the ones with the sweeter top end.:)
  8. Nicka


    Jan 10, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: Peavey Electronics
    Once you go IEM you will never want to go back to the 'live' sound again. I've used Shure and Senheiser units before that were provided by a backup / production crews and I far prefer the Shure models both for comfort and sound quality. Since they were provided by production companies I never got into custom molded buds. I was always handed a packet of new stock shaped buds. The Senheiser's always fealt really bulky and didn't have a good responsiveness to bass. I'd say look into the mid-range Shure units if you're setting up an IEM rig for you band.
  9. Alaska Bass

    Alaska Bass

    Dec 31, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I never could get used to the universal molds, so I pony'd up the dough for a set of Ultimate Ears UE-11's for me and a set for my wife (we sing together). I will never use anything less as far as IEM's go.

    We run through a Sennheiser SR 3256 dual channel wireless transmitter and receivers so we can each have our own mix.

    Once you switch to pro grade ear buds you will never regret it. I know it sounds cliche' but listening with my UE-11's has let me hear stuff that I have never heard before. Even on an iPod I hear things in songs that I had never noticed on my home system. In the case of my UE-11's, it truly is like listening on the mains in the studio.
  10. Alaska Bass

    Alaska Bass

    Dec 31, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Here is a pic of my wife's set; mine are the same color except the treble clef on hers is a bass clef on mine. The two dots to the right are jeweled, as is the dot on the upper left of the bass clef. They are really nice.

    Attached Files:

  11. yeah i love mine. take with as much salt as needed since i got them with artist pricing.

    future sonics - they don't use drivers. instead it has an actual speaker inside. like a subwoofer in your ear. great bass response and overall tonality. switchable holes to let in more air to push the speaker more or less for bass response. great customer (just excellent) service, and great price. i have the custom molded (for live use) and non-molded (for jogging). nice warranty too.

    another major bonus is that the EQ is not "tailored" to you, it's flat. when they tailor EQ to you, they boost the freqs that you are already going deaf to, and just make you more deaf to them. bad idea.

    if you have questions just email future sonics, marty (the owner/dude who invented in ears) usually answers them all. super intelligent smart dude who loves talking about all the stuff.
  12. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    yes the shures can vary from inexpensive to pretty high$$ I only had the lower priced ones before i got the sensaphonics.. and the inexpensive shures still sounded pretty good..
    I found the wires to be a bit bulky and not as tangle free as the westones though

  13. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    those look nice i was skeptical about ordering blue.. but those look real sweet

  14. Shure SE530's

    Amazing headphones, totally comfortable, two woofers in each earpiece and the sound quality is stellar. I own and have sold them at work for years =)
  15. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    i as looking at them too.. you said the Customer service is pretty good?... If you need a new wire there is actually someone in the office that can get them out to you withing a day or two?
    I am dealing with a company right now where iit is almost impossible to get them on the phone or email much get the order straight..

  16. Alaska Bass

    Alaska Bass

    Dec 31, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, we both love them.
  17. Man. Having that goop poured in your ear is one of the weirdest sensations I've ever felt.
  18. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    yes it is.. especially when it seals all the way... I sing at times so i was told to open my mouth and move my jaw so i get a better fit when your moth is open and singing...

    sort of like a cool mud going in your ears...:eek:

  19. I have used them when travelling by plane to shows where I wouldn't have a decent rig and use the Shure E5's they have good tight bass response but also a slightly boosted treble response (or maybe thats just my ears?) that i usually eq out a fraction...

    If you have a whole monitor mix in there they are great and you can really enjoy all the extra things you hear in the sound/music that just weren't there before :)

    I've had to use them on occasion with just my bass coming through and using stage volume of the others to complete the mix... I don't recommend this as you feel quite separated from the rest of the band... great if you usually wear plugs already onstage, but i don't so it was a bit weird for me and difficult to get used to

    I did miss that feeling of moving air from a cab, so sometimes would use a small cab to supplement the stage sound a bit but it starts becoming a lot off gear to cart around
  20. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've always been curious about in ears. I don't suppose I'll ever use them - none of my bands seem interested. I always figured that I'd make a small riser (2'x2' or 4'x4', about 6" deep) with a speaker or two or four in it. The speakers would just be there to shake the riser a bit, and wouldn't be there to make much sound. This is just for the sensation of having an amp behind me. A similar thing has been done with "butt shakers" built into drum thrones for drummers.

    Has anyone tried this? Does it seem stupid or workable to you guys? It wouldn't be that expensive to try, I suppose: one 4x8 sheet of plywood and some inexpensive speakers like Jensen Mod 50's or something, a bit of carpet to make it look OK. Actually, I've got four 10's just sitting in boxes in my basement.


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