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ACS Pro Hearing Protection - Help me choose

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Hi, i'm in the process of getting a pair of hearing protectors. I've set on the ACS due, mostly, to the good reviews here on Basschat. I do need some input on which model should i choose. I'm between the ACS Pro 17 and the ACS Pro 15 models:
https://www.acscustom.com/uk/products/hearing-protection/pro-series/pro-17
https://www.acscustom.com/uk/products/hearing-protection/pro-series/pro-15
I'm playing in a covers band that has a very wide set-list, from soft to funk/soul to hard rock, if needed  (we can start the gig with "Ain't no Sunshine" and end it with "Highway to Hell"). Our band lives from our interaction on stage and we often need to communicate with each other mid song. From the specs it seems that the 17 are more suitable for me as they have more attenuation, resulting in less hearing damage from the cymbals but i don't know if it will have an impact on my ability to hear the rest of the band members talking to me mid song.

The 17 has a flat response -17dB attenuation all across the board, the 15 model has a -12dB attenuation in the mid-range that slopes to -15dB in the high region. On paper i prefer the flat response, my bass sound and bass gear is as FRFR as i could find.

So i'm reaching out to BC to help me get some insides from those who are using them live and have had some experience with them. Will i be fine with the 17? Will they affect the communication with the rest of the band?

Cheers

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Go for the higher protection.  It’s really worth it.  

I’ve used the 17 filters for a year or two, and provided you put them in a few minutes ahead, then it all feels very natural and you don’t really miss anything going on. 

Having said that - mine certainly do attenuate “low” bass a lot, so I try and set my stage sound/level before hand.  Otherwise there is a real danger for over-compensating with too much eq 🙉

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I have -10, -17 and -26 filters and swap them as necessary according to the volume anticipated at the gig.  Bassbod's comments are spot on.

Edited by franzbassist
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I don't mind the low bass thing, in fact i use a HPF at 80hz in the mixer and the GB shuttle has an on-board HPF that shouldn't be much lower than that. thanks for the comments ;)

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I use PRO17's.

Personally I wouldn't go for any lesser protection than that.

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23 minutes ago, chris_b said:

I use PRO17's.

Personally I wouldn't go for any lesser protection than that.

Can you hear your bandmates talking to you during the gig?

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1 minute ago, Ghost_Bass said:

Can you hear your bandmates talking to you during the gig?

Yes. As long as they're not whispering.

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I personally have not had a lot of joy with them, the folks at ACS have been very helpful, initially got the 17’s, couldn’t hear my bass, changed them for 15’s, same problem, changed again for 10’s being sure these would definitely do the job, can only just hear my bass but not enough to feel comfortable playing live.

I had a free hearing test when I had the earplugs moulded and there is no issue with my hearing.

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I have the 17s and have no trouble hearing my band mates.  In fact I can hear them a lot better than our drummer, who has never used hearing protection and consequently can’t hear a thing 🤦‍♂️

Personally I feel that the flatter response of the 17s makes them the right choice for most situations, but I have also bought some 26 filters for those occasions where I know I’m going to be standing pretty close to the drums.

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17s for me and if anything they bring the bass a little forward (to my ears).

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Another happy user of the PRO 17s here - had mine five years or more, got a set of 20dB filters for a particularly loud band a couple of years ago, but don't use them now, the 17s work fine for the only band I'm in now.

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When you get the moulds done, do it with an open mouth. Much better seal. 

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Thanks for all your insights guys, very helpful. BC to the rescue, once again ;) 

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Get the -27db ones! They are great. I've been a pro musician for 30 yeras and I've been using these for about 10.

i had the -25db ones before they made a new model at -27db. Anything you put in your ear for protection will affect sound obviously but I just love how these things are. My original pair came with -15db I think but I've used the maximum ones as I say for about 10 years. 

I can still hear conversations, hi-hats and any other high end frequency and I can also easily hear my bass.

good luck.

mike

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I used my PRO17's for the first time atlast weekend's gigs.

They were incredible - I'm used to the usual basic earplugs, and these are a different league. Amazing flat response. You can hear people talking quietly in the room, but they seem to kick in at volume. I have no idea how they do it.

And.. singing doesn't feel weird and boomy. That occlusion reduction really works.

I completely recommend getting them via the musicians' hearing scheme I mentioned above. £40 is a complete bargain.

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..forgot to mention, I think the PRO15s would be a slightly better match for me, but the 17s will do fine. They have a flatter response, too.

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I play in a acoustic band and I've replaced the 17 filters with 10s recently. 17s were great for full band stuff, but too much for acoustic. I love the versatility of the plugs!

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17's for me altho our band isn't overly loud on stage incl drummer. I always have them at reherasals but very rarely need them as we can talk over it.

When i have used them it takes me a little while to get used to them and as said before set up my bass tone without them and once in my ears i set volume as required. I can usually hear the guys talking tho.

Dave

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I'm getting a new pair to replace my current ones in a months time (had them 10 years but they still work reasonably well) and this time I'm getting them through the musician's hearing scheme as already mentioned, you also get a further price reduction of a tenner if you are an MU member too, so well worth it!

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I’ve got 17’s and they are great when onstage performing , however , when I go to see a band I find that they sterilise the atmosphere to much , I can often feel the low end thumping but the volume just isn’t putting me in the same room. 

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1 minute ago, lurksalot said:

I’ve got 17’s and they are great when onstage performing , however , when I go to see a band I find that they sterilise the atmosphere to much , I can often feel the low end thumping but the volume just isn’t putting me in the same room. 

But with proper protection you can still go to that gig. I have 27 ones and am uncomfortable going to a gig. 

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1 hour ago, owen said:

But with proper protection you can still go to that gig. I have 27 ones and am uncomfortable going to a gig. 

That is a shame dude , 27’s for me would kill a gig .

i had etymotic 7’s I think , they just seemed to knock the excess off the volume when I needed them, but they looked a bit odd :D

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It sucks deeply. What is better is that it is avoidable for all now. Not so much when I was growing up. 

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On 14/03/2019 at 10:45, wateroftyne said:

I used my PRO17's for the first time atlast weekend's gigs.

They were incredible - I'm used to the usual basic earplugs, and these are a different league. Amazing flat response. You can hear people talking quietly in the room, but they seem to kick in at volume. I have no idea how they do it.

And.. singing doesn't feel weird and boomy. That occlusion reduction really works.

I completely recommend getting them via the musicians' hearing scheme I mentioned above. £40 is a complete bargain.

I don't think i'm eligible to the musicians hearing promotion as i'm Portuguese and in Portugal. But i'll look in to it.

Another question, i've read on the comments about the mould, do you know if i can do it even in a different country? Any non-UK residents here would care to chip in? How was the process and how long did it take?

Thanks guys, it's been very helpful. I've settled for the 17 ones, i do love to hear a flat response and i can't sing, i just need to be able to hear the singer calling out the songs.

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