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Arizona Al's Earplugs


jbr7t

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I've seen several posts about how great these Arizona Al's Earplugs are. I have done several searches and can't seem to find a place to purchase them or get more info? A little help please!?!? Thanks. confused.gif

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I've got a set in the mail on the way to me now. I just had some ear impressions made locally (hearing aid store, or audiologist will do them), and sent those down. Can hardly wait to give them a whirl on my west coast ride with my wife.

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Al's Ear Plugs are better than sex.

Best money I ever spent on rider comfort and function.

I only put it off for 10 years watching him build set after set for other folks.

Then I couldn't take it anymore.

Last Spring Torrey he made me a set for myself.

Oh My Gawd.....

Now my Glen Cambell tunes really make me wanna party.

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I'll fall on the other side of the fence on this one, though I like Al personally. To me, they are overpriced compared to other options that do the same thing. And the leads break off too easily. I don't think they are a good value.

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Have you spoken with Al about that?

 

There is no need to speak to him about the price--my mistake was not shopping around ahead of time, so that's my fault.

 

There's no need to speak to him about the broken leads, either, as I've seen dozens of people have the same issue.

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I'll fall on the other side of the fence on this one, though I like Al personally. To me, they are overpriced compared to other options that do the same thing. And the leads break off too easily. I don't think they are a good value.
and they taste good to mice too grin.gif
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Les is more
There's no need to speak to him about the broken leads, either, as I've seen dozens of people have the same issue.

 

 

I believe that the broken leads are a thing of the past with Al's new plugs. The transducers used to be in the plugs themselves and there were problems with the leads. Now the transducer is at the bottom of the Y where the two hollow tubes from the plugs meet. It tucks inside your jacket. The sound is air conducted through the small hollow tubes. This corrected the lead problem and provides better sound fidelity. According to the ads I get in my mail all the time Al's prices, while certainly not the lowest, are also far from the highest. The sound quality combined with the noise attenuation from the custom molded plugs and now, the lead fix, make these a very worthwhile purchase in my opinion. I have tended to ride a lot of miles for long stretches and my music and clear bike to bike communication with Jamie make them very valuable to me.

 

I would caution that the sound coming through your sound system can be very loud depending on your system and sensitivity of your ears. I bought a cheap in line volume control from Radio Shack to adjust the level.

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Thanks. I'm still not sold on the price/quality ratio, but I didn't know he'd fixed the broken lead issue. That's great.

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Al's Ear Plugs are better than sex.

 

"Hope the lady in this picture doesn't see that.."

 

After 33 years of wedded bliss sex is usually every other payday now.

Al's Ear Plugs make me smile everyday tongue.gif

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Al's Ear Plugs are better than sex.

 

"Hope the lady in this picture doesn't see that.."

 

After 33 years of wedded bliss sex is usually every other payday now.

Al's Ear Plugs make me smile everyday tongue.gif

 

That's not so bad if you have one of those jobs that pay at the end of each day.. thumbsup.gif

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Les is more
Al's Ear Plugs are better than sex.

 

"Hope the lady in this picture doesn't see that.."

 

After 33 years of wedded bliss sex is usually every other payday now.

Al's Ear Plugs make me smile everyday tongue.gif

 

That's not so bad if you have one of those jobs that pay at the end of each day.. thumbsup.gif

 

 

I was even more optimistic about the state of things at Wurty's place. My State Park Ranger job paid by the hour. cool.gif

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Dave McReynolds

I bought a set of Arizona Al's earplugs without the ear speakers at the 49er rally, for a couple of reasons. One being that they seem to have the maximum sound reduction of any earplugs I've ever tried, which is important for me since I've lost about all the hearing I can afford to lose, and am apparently not a good candidate for hearing aids (big surprise to me, fearing that I would get ripped off and instead being told they didn't think the hearing aids would do me much good!). And, my understanding is that it's now okay to have earplugs in both ears when riding a motorcycle in CA, but not okay to have ear speakers in both ears. Which is ironic, if true, since I hear less with Al's earplugs in both ears than I do with my alternate ear speakers in both ears. I wonder what the law would be on having one of Al's (speakerless) earplugs in one ear and an ear speaker in the other?

 

He gave me a couple of good tips for using them. For ease of insertion, put a small drop of olive oil or hand oil on the earplug. For pain-free use over a long period of time, he removed a little of the padding from my helmet around my ears so it wasn't pressing in on the ear plugs. Now I can use them all day without any problem.

 

If it costs a little extra, it was worth it for me to have the personal service and to know the person who was doing the work. At least I hope it was, since that's why I hope people are willing to pay me a little more for what I do!

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I am on the other side of the fence to. I got way to much noise from the hollow tubes, to much fussing with them in the jacket, tucked in, blah. The others are just plug and play.

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I'm not only a satsified customers, but I've been rooming with Al for the past 4 years at Torrey and I see the amount of work he puts into his earplugs. Honestly, I think the guy probably makes a few bucks doing it, but it's probably more about the satisfaction than the money. He really takes his time. The pair I have I can wear for two straight tanks of gas (about 450 miles, or 6 hours) without removing them and they are still comfortable.

 

Coming back from the Gunnison UnRally last year, I overnighted in Torrey. I got up the next day, and rode from there to L.A., about 660 miles, and never took them off, even to lunch on a fast-food burger. I listened to XM radio, heard the radar detector go off a few times, and even spoke to a few riders who were on the same FRS frequency. They were in for 7.5 hours non-stop, and they were still perfectly comfortable when I finally got home and removed them.

 

I also have a pair of Al's "older style" ear plugs with the speakers actually in the plug. And while I did hear of a few loose wires, I had no problems with mine for three years and still use them when I take music with me on my evening constitutionals.

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I have considered some of Al's earplugs. I currently use er6i's and love them so much that I havn't gone ahead and pulled the trigger. Has anyone used both and can offer a comparo?

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I have Al's older style with the speakers "in" the earplug. They work great. I did have one problem with a wire breaking in the plug at first and sent it back to the factory in Denver and they fixed it and I've had no problems since (2 years). My only issue is with the helmet interface. I leave my speakers in the helmet also because that's what I use on short rides and around town so I don't have to hassle with the earplugs. The problem is that for speakers to work well, they need to be "up against" your ear and that is a problem with if you have the earplug speakers on. It causes some pain after a little while. My solution is that I keep a 1/4" foam pad in back of my speakers and when I take a long trip and want to use the earplug speakers, I remove the pad which gives plenty of clearence for the earplug speakers. I just keep the pads in my tank bag. It's a 30 second operations.

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Another satisfied Arizona Al customer here.

I have the following molded plugs:

1) Plain

2) Plain "sleeping"

3) Wired speaker & mic

4) Air tube speaker.

 

All have worked extremely well for me with no problems encountered with any.

 

Plain were purchased to test the concept of molded plugs vs. the foam plugs I had worn before. Concept proved!

 

I bought a set of "sleeping" plugs. These do not extend as far out of the ear canal as the normal ones do and allow one to sleep while laying on the ear. A great help when sharing a room with a snorer!

 

I next bought the wired speaker / mic plugs (molds by Al, Custom factory job) as an experiment working with my ham radio. Plugs worked great with the exception that the mic was not noise cancelling.

 

I converted from wired to airtubes when I made the decision to go with an Autocom unit and use their noise cancelling mic. Airtube units sound better and are much easier to keep clean than the wired units.

 

All plugs fit very well and are comfortable for extended multi-day use.

 

Al does a great job!

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Jerry_75_Guy
I have considered some of Al's earplugs. I currently use er6i's and love them so much that I havn't gone ahead and pulled the trigger. Has anyone used both and can offer a comparo?

 

Ditto; I love my ER6i's, but I keep reading about AA's products.

 

Does anyone know the db reduction they provide?

 

Does anyone have pics of the new 'tube' setup?

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I find this thread very interesting. How do you get info on these plugs, pictures, etc?

 

I sent an email to customearplugs@cox.net Al called me about 20 minutes later, but I missed his call. I will be trying to get in touch soon.

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Yet another satisfied Arizona Al customer here. thumbsup.gif

 

I did the same thing at Paonia in 2002: saw Al making plugs and molds for monitors and thought, "Dang, that's too much coin for something I don't really know that I need." A few days later we're all at the first UnRally in Gunnison and I see a line of folks around Al all day and watch him modify about a dozen helmets to helps folks with fit and comfort (all no charge, his desire is that you are happy and comfortable all day). So I buy a set of regular plugs--I'm sold on the comfort right away and I had no idea how much wind noise adds to fatigue after a long day!

 

The crowds at the campground in both Paonia and Gunnison were loud and there were quite a few snorers (Big Mak can peel paint from 50 yards! eek.gif ), so a few months later at Torrey, I buy a set of sleeping plugs--awesome! I can leave them in all night and I sleep like a baby.

 

A few months later at the next Torrey, I finally buck up and throw down for the earplug monitors as Leslie and I have since gotten hooked on the bike-to-bike thing and we're heading out with a group riding from the next Torrey to the UnRally-II in Eureka Springs, AR. They are the original ones with the wires to the ear plug and they arrive in the mail after what seems like too many weeks--about 10 minutes later I'm just kicking myself for having done without for over a year. dopeslap.gif

 

I wear them for over a year and 30,000 miles and I've had them in for over 20 hours at a time doing Iron Butt stuff. Leslie and I both had them in for 18+ hours a day for almost a week doing our Coast-to-Coast in 50 hours and combined with the B2B they made the trip almost like cheating! smile.gif

 

In the next few years (about 30k miles/year) I went through a few sets as the transducers would be subject to softened earwax and/or ear lube (eventually damaging the transducers), or the leads would catch on things and pull against the plug eventually breaking the wires in the plugs. I had mine repaired a few times (in over 100,000 miles, but still not free) and after Leslie's set broke the second time, we were on our way to another Torrey and so she bought a set of the new ones with the air tubes from Al. She loved them and went on about how much better the sound was. I was afraid of the tubes being microphonic (I use a stethoscope at work and I didn't see how it could not be a problem), but Leslie tucked them into her jacket and said it was a non-issue. So, the next gathering I bought my own set and I'm stoked! clap.gif

 

I can hear the bass frequencies I had been missing with the other plugs and the volume was also louder so I could turn down the gain on some of my inputs saving distortion. I don't think they are as high quality frequency as the Etymotics, but I couldn't say for sure. I don't use them around the house and on a bike going down the road at . . . certain speeds . . . I don't think I could appreciate the more subtle differences. Since they are custom molded to my ears (and my narrower than average ear canals, which makes wearing "foamies" very uncomfortable and a total PITA to even get in all the way) I would have to believe I'm getting about as much road/wind noise attenuation as can be had on a bike. Every once in awhile Leslie will still jump on the back of my bike if we're doing something local and with Al's plugs, the XM radio and the Autocom--it's almost eerie!! It's like we're sitting on the couch listening to music and having a quiet conversation! eek.gif

 

Al also told me to just tuck them in the front of my jacket to eliminate microphonic wind noise from the tubes, but he rides a K-bike and I ride an R1150RT with a CeeBailey's +3 shield. I have my extra lead length coiled up tightly with one of those spiral cable gatherers and it just hangs in front of me. I hardly ever notice any extra noise unless there's a really strong side-wind--in which case my whole head and helmet are getting buffeted, so it's hard to isolate the tubes.

 

I now have the following molded plugs:

 

1) Plain

2) Plain "sleeping"

3) Wired earplug monitors (I still carry them as a spare set on trips)

4) Plain with "tabs" and a keeper strap for working with power tools (sanders, saws, compressors, etc. thumbsup.gif )

5) Air tube earplug monitors (by far the ones I use the most).

 

Al even came by the Fire Station to make sets for some of the Fire guys (Engineers for pumping operations--much more comfortable and you can still hear the radio), my Captain got some "flesh" colored plain plugs for his 40 mile commute on his straight-piped Harley since they would show beneath his beanie helmet and he didn't want any grief from the other poseurs. lmao.gif

 

A few of our LEO's also got sets to take to the shooting range--so much more comfortable than muffs or for a bit of added protection underneath the muffs.

 

No other affiliation (or commission, dang it! tongue.gif ), other than knowing him for over five years now and respecting him and his skills. cool.gif

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<mild hijack here>

 

Leslie:

 

The radio shack volume control...works or not? How much?

 

thanks, MB>

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Leslie:

 

The radio shack volume control...works or not? How much?

I'll answer for her. The radio shack volume control is just a roller rheostat in the middle of a very thin 10-12" long wire with male and female 1/8" stereo mini jacks on either end. It costs less than $10.00 usually and is often available at most RS shops. It works well, when it works. The little rolling rheostat is very cheaply made and the wire won't take much abuse before it stretches enough to ground out on the other wire inside. The roller is a clamshell design that is glued with little tabs that invariably break when you pry it open to try to fix it, DAMHIK! tongue.gif

 

But it's cheap and plentiful enough not to have to worry about it. If she's not carrying a spare, I just punch up the nearest Radio Shack en route to our next destination and it's a 10 minute detour. She can't turn her XM down enough and she can't even use the radio setup without being able to turn it down more with the rheostat. I don't know how much if any fidelity is lost, but it does add two more joints that need attention with contact cleaner and dielectric grease every so often to avoid the dreaded "cracklies". I just put it inside the spiral cable gatherer with the roller sticking out so she can adjust it easily on the fly with her gloved hand and it removes any strain on the wire and plugs (and keeps the whole thing from blowing around too much in the wind).

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Our experience has been about 50/50. Donna and I both had them made about 3 yrs. ago. These were the older style with the wire all the way to the ear part, not the current tube type.

 

She never could get used to hers, they always hurt her. Mine I wore a lot more and in 6 months one side quit. Sent them in $35 later they were fixed. 6 months later the other side quit. Sent them in and $45 later they were fixed. 6 months later... This time I salvaged parts from hers as she never wore them. 3 months later one of them quite too.

 

Next I tired several off the shelve including the infamous ER6i. Couldn't get any of them to stay in.

 

Bit the checkbook and again ordered a set of the new tube style ones from Al. This about 9 months ago. They have been reliable BUT the wind blowing on the tubes creates noise in them and kind of defeats part of the whole noise isolation point of why we wear these things in the first place.

 

So for me at least 100s and 100s of dollars later I'm still searching for the perfect answer...

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They have been reliable BUT the wind blowing on the tubes creates noise in them and kind of defeats part of the whole noise isolation point of why we wear these things in the first place.

 

I was just about to order a pair until I read your comment about wind noise on the tubes. I sure hope somebody has a fix for it because it's a deal breaker for me. I'm also looking for the ultimate earplug/speaker set up. I've bought Etymotics because of all the hype I read. I can't wear them because they are uncomfortable or they fall out. I bought an Autocom because of what I read and ended up selling it because I didn't like their speakers.

 

I guess what I really want is a blue-tooth rig with optimal sound and a battery that can last a few days. If the battery can't last that long at least make it easily removable and rechargeable.

 

.02

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texasaggie97

All depends on what you are looking for. I have tried all kinds of ear plugs. I have use cheep oned and the ones that are wallet breaking. I have had other custom ear plugs and I have to say that for one they did not come with a free beer and they did not fit as well as Al's. I can wear them all day long and never feel them. So I just wanted to let all the readers out there know that if you are looking for personal treatment and quality Al is your guy. If you are wanting to just buy some ear phones then Als not your guy. Remember we are here on this website to build community and Al is a member so it good to keep the love in the family. Help one another and this site will go far for you.

Just my 2 cents.

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What are some alternatives to this kind of product?

 

Here are a couple of places to look:

 

Etymotic Research, makers of the popular ER6 and ER6i.

 

Other options available at Aerostich

 

My $0.02: I had ER6is before I met Al, and I like them so well that I'll keep using them for the forseeable future. They reduce noise very well, and have very good fidelity. I use the 3-flange rubber ear tips, and they are all-day comfortable for me. They've held up well for ~3 years. I've had to replace the tips and filters occasionally. That's "regular maintenance" for this product.

 

Soon after I met Al, he made me a pair of custom plugs without audio, and modified the foam in my helmet so they fit comfortably. They are comfortable, and they reduce the wind noise well. Most of the time, I like having audio when I ride, so I'm wearing the ER6is, but I carry my Al's plugs with me for when I'd rather ride without audio.

 

Al also made a pair without audio for my wife. She uses them almost daily, for purposes other than riding, and obviously likes them a lot.

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