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Etymotic transducers

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Tugrik, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. Tugrik

    Tugrik Big Blue Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    920
    Location:
    Valley of Quartz, CA
    My set just came in yesterday, after a month of waiting. I got the castings done at the San Mateo motorcycle show by the Ear Defenders guys. Cost for the molds and transducers together: $149.

    They fit snug, and are still about 29dB of hearing protection, just like standard ear-mold plugs. The transducers are surprisingly high quality for the price. Full and robust bass, waay down deep in the frequency-basement, without distortion. Good midrange, and decent high-end with some slight roll-off. The high-end dampening is to be expected, as the material the plugs are made of is designed to absorb higher frequencies like that. It's a tolerable drop, though, and easily equalized back to normal if your player has even a basic EQ on it.

    The cords are stout and well designed, with an interesting free-floating strain relief at the "Y" in the cord. They look like they'll survive a good tussling about by either a riding jacket (for a worn audio source) or the environment (if dangling to your tank bag).


    The point here is to play games with the signal/noise ratio to make music and/or comms gear listenable while riding. Previously I did this by wearing good earplugs (which lowers the noise floor) and cranking normal in-helmet ear speakers way up high (thereby maintaining a good signal level even through the plugs). The downside here is that you're fighting the earplugs with the speakers, requiring a higher volume and thus higher distortion. You're also competing with the wind noise. It works, but the sound quality isn't very good. With in-ear transducers, there's a small tuned-chamber sound port directly up near the eardrum. Your signal level is clear and accurate, without requiring much power at all... while the earplugs still vastly reduce the outside noise just as before. I've never heard such good sound while riding.

    These things also rock at the office. They're the ultimate way to shut out the outside world, much to the annoyance of my co-workers who have to actually come get my attention instead of shout across the cube-floor. :evil I highly recommend these (or similar brands of in-ear types) for folks who like good audio and want to protect their hearing. If you normally listen to audio in a higher-noise area (server room, jobsite, etc) you have to crank it up to hear the sounds, leading to hearing loss over time. These fix that.

    Ear Defenders are at a lot of motorcycle shows, but the bums don't have a website. There's a gaggle of ear-docs that do the same thing; you'll find them all over the web. A few companies make transducers to go in them, but the ones I have are <a href="http://www.etymotic.com">from Etymotic</a> and are pretty top-notch.
    #1
  2. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Enjoying the ride

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,025
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Tugrik, you have the descerning ear of audiophile. So, what's your current home audio setup?

    Patrick
    #2
  3. Tugrik

    Tugrik Big Blue Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    920
    Location:
    Valley of Quartz, CA
    Martin Logan SL3 'stats up front, Scripts in the rear, Cinema center chanel. Nice family-set. Driven off of the older silver-cased Marantz monoblock class-A's with Nordost flatline (solar wind) cabling. Primary source is a DVD-Audio unit into a Denon pre-amp/switch (the weakest part of the system, but hey, it switches component video at least).

    The video part belongs to my roomies. I blew enough on the audio as it is.

    <img src="http://www.martinlogan.com/art/stereophile_SL3.jpg"><img src="http://www.martinlogan.com/art/spgal_script_zoom.gif"><img src="http://www.martinlogan.com/art/spgal_cinema_zoom_horiz.gif">
    #3
  4. Stick

    Stick Jingoistic Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    458
    Location:
    Northern Kalifornia
    Do they also incorporate bug zappers?

    Nice speakers dood.
    #4
  5. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Enjoying the ride

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,025
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I had a pair of electrostatic Acoustat 2+2, and loved them, but they are so damm room dependent that I went back to box speakers. I use pretty much Audio by VanAlstine (AVA) tube preamp and hybrid amp. Great stuff, but IRD amps have my ear telling my wallet to shell out for some mono blocks. I've always been a fan of mission speakers, because their silk tweeters are the best. My highly modified Monarchy D to A converter really helps out the CD player. Cables I made myself are average to good quality. I think Maple shade records

    http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/

    has great recordings and accessories, so check them out.

    Patrick
    #5
  6. jschnitz

    jschnitz Freeway Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2001
    Oddometer:
    398
    Location:
    Bay Area
    I like this setup with the custom plugs. However, what if I do not feel like music for the day. Is there a way to take the little speakers out of the plugs? Do i just ahve to deal with the wires hanging all over the place?

    thanks,
    Jason
    #6
  7. Tugrik

    Tugrik Big Blue Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    920
    Location:
    Valley of Quartz, CA
    The transducers do not come out. So you have one of two options.

    (a) deal with dangling wires

    (b) Have them make a second set w/o transducers from the same mold impressions. Anywhere from $25-45 depending on the shop you use.

    I took the (b) option, and have two sets of the ear-molds, one with the sound and wires and one without. Works great that way.
    #7
  8. jschnitz

    jschnitz Freeway Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2001
    Oddometer:
    398
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Thanks for the info.. I thought they would cost me a bundle to have them make two.. that does not seem tooo bad..

    Jason
    #8