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Share tips for "Custom Mold IEM" first timers here!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am about to get my first pair of custom molded IEM's.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been a little nervous about making sure they are done right.. the first time... and since so many people seem to have to get their Custom IEM's refit, or adjusted, I thought it might be helpful to start a thread dedicated to helping people get the best custom ear molds - done right the first time.  


All those coulda woulda shoulda's .. or if i only would have known to...  here's your chance to help out the next lucky contestant


Please keep it simple..this is not a thread for endorsing your favorite brand of IEM.. share your tips or suggestions relevant to Custom IEM's done right!









Edited by Br777 - 9/9/10 at 4:43pm
post #2 of 19

Put a 1" bite block between your front teeth, and relax your jaw completely while the material sets.


And Jerry told me at CanJam this year that impressions shot by his audiologist can be as much as 30% bigger than impressions shot by others because of the tip pressure. So if I was getting my impressions shot myself, I'd suggest to the audiologist to use good tip pressure (while dispensing the material) ... and give it a few presses right after it's shot, before it sets.


Doing these things, you should get a nice fit that will last a long time.

post #3 of 19

Bring tissues to wipe the drool that inevitably forms when you leave your mouth open for 10mins.

post #4 of 19

Get the impressions done by a proper audiologist. Most of the manufacturers have a list of preferred audiologists. 

post #5 of 19


Originally Posted by thread View Post
because of the ......tip pressure. So if I was getting my impressions shot myself, I'd suggest to the audiologist to use good tip pressure (while dispensing the material) ...

hey thread~this is inspiring~could you explain what is tip pressure while dispensing? how do i tell whether it is good tip pressure or not?

post #6 of 19

That's a good question oneallen. Does it mean that we should ask the audiologist to dispense more material than usual at the tip?

post #7 of 19

Here was my wordy but hopefully comprehensible explanation I PM'd oneallen. Sorry I didn't notice the question being asked here sooner...



Imagine dispensing toothpaste onto your toothbrush. You typically move the nozzle along the bristles as you dispense so you get a nice even strip. This would be an example of basically no tip pressure. Now imagine you don't move the nozzle but instead stay put. As soon as a bit of toothpaste builds up, most of it will end up on the floor. BUT if it was an ear we're talking about, that material won't be going anywhere but building up inside the ear.


Basically, by tip pressure, I mean the audiologist should not be "eager" to pull the tip out while dispensing. By keeping pressure on it and withdrawing slowly while dispensing. This is the opposite of the original toothpaste analogy where you get a nice even strip. We're trying to cram the material into the ear best we can. Don't worry about too tight of a fit; the ear will keep it in the right shape.


Then immediately after it's dispensed, Jerry's audiologist also gave the material a few presses with a few fingers just to make sure it was well "crammed" into my ear. But I think the most important part of the tip I tried to impart is the actual technique used when dispensing the material.


Without anything to compare it with, you probably won't have much to indicate to you that it's done right, except perhaps nice, firm pressure from the impression material, especially as it's just being dispensed into your ears.

post #8 of 19

I am gonna take your advise along with others to audiologist. thank you so much for your input thread.

post #9 of 19

I got my ear impressions reshot, because when I was allowed to talk while getting my impressions, my T3s came out as pretty small and shallow, meaning that I definitely needed them adjusted.  This time, the audiologist went with open-jaw impressions (something which I intended on getting anyway, and she seemed impressed that I'd done my research on the subject).  She also told me to waggle my jaw a lot, since as a stage trombonist I move my mouth and entire head so much.


Basically, does the waggling make much of a difference, and if it does then is it to my detriment?

post #10 of 19

I guess "waggling" would mean you just sort of went side to side a bit with the jaw? ... you did not close the jaw, but kept it ~1 inch open the whole time.


I'm no expert, but I would guess that wouldn't make a huge difference... you should be fine.

post #11 of 19

Yeah, she said side to side and move my mandible in a half-chewing motion--kind of like an open brass embouchure.  I do feel a lot better about these impressions.  The closed impressions felt like they were actually being forced out slightly, and those were extremely weedy.  Open-mouth impressions seemed to stay in my ear more readily until they were removed, and when they were they were much, much wider.  They were also taken as deep as possible, much to my delight.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

ive seen this 1" bite block advice, but on the JH site it says mouth "wide open"   


for me wide open is more like 2"... so which is it.. 1" or wide open?


getting my impressions tomorrow.. wish me luck ;-)



post #13 of 19

Best of luck!


And this is good advice.  I'm planning on doing a home (read: poor man's) job with those Radians custom molds.  Just need to figure out how to use that "tip pressure" principle without a syringe. 

post #14 of 19

It's a little tricky, when you're not close to a recommended audiologist. Try checking out custom IEM thread for people who live in your area, and PM them to ask where they had their molds done.


Make sure you take the instructions from the IEM manafacturer, and if the audiologist doesn't want to follow them, just go somewhere else.

I reckon that as ear impressions are fairly cheap, it could be worth going to two seperate audiologists, and getting two sets made. That way, you can try them both by putting them in and out a few times and choosing the pair that feel best to you.


I've got another week or so wait for my 1964's, I'm really hoping they fit first time . . . 

post #15 of 19

Make sure your ears are as clean as possible from wax.  As luck would have it, I had mine cleaned out about a day before I had my impressions done.  It was a good job too.  My left ear was fairly blocked which would of resulted in poor impressions.



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