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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000073.txt from 2001/07

From: "Benjamin Maas" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Hearing loss in kids
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 02:14:45 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: William Wright []
> When I faced a similar problem [loud DJ at a school dance], I made
> some actual measurements. You can buy an inexpensive sound meter for
> as little as $40. I'm sure that a $40 meter isn't as accurate as a
> true laboratory instrument, but administrators and managers are more
> likely to actually do something if you offer hard numbers in writing ---
> such as "79 db on the A-scale in 1/5-second samples when standing in
> front of your display counter" --- as opposed to saying only that "my
> ears hurt while I was in your store."
> Cheers,
> Bill

Those $40 meters from Radio Shack are actually really good. I use them all
the time to judge levels when I am mixing a show and I have maximum loudness

80-85 dB is actually a pretty comfortable listening level... It is when
things start getting louder than that, that you start having issues.

I have jumped on the hearing protection soap-box several times on this list.
I may as well do it again. There are options these days for hearing
protection. If you work anywhere that loud sounds are present, get plugs.

The maximum exposure time for unprotected ears per day is 8 hours at 90 dB
according to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
guidelines. For every 5 dB increase in volume, the maximum exposure time is
cut in half.

95 dB - 4 hours

100 dB - 2 hours

110 dB - 30 min

120 dB- 7.5 min

Most Rock shows that I deal with will be around 110dB SPL or louder
C-weight. I wear ear plugs with a 25 dB pad in them to make it managable
(and actually quite enjoyable).

For some ideas on general levels (in dB) of sounds, check out this link.

HEAR is an organization that everybody should know about. Check our There is tons of great information about hearing protection

Etymotic Labs makes musician earplugs that have almost completely flat
frequency response. They make things softer, but they don't change the
sound. They are available in 15 and 25 decibel cuts for roughly $200/pair.
A audiologist has to take an ear-mold and they custom make them for your
ear. I will say that they are the best $200 I've ever spent.


Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Los Angeles, CA

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