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Things to consider before getting your custom IEM impressions done. The perfect fit. - Page 3

post #31 of 61

One more thing - if you have a choice between blue or green ear impression material, I recommend going for green - I've found it to be much more resilient than the blue stuff.

post #32 of 61

I went to get mine done, and they used a pinkish goo from Westone. They did use the bite block method. At one point, I felt the left one loosen up a bit. I hope they turn out ok. 

post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tremolo View Post

I went to get mine done, and they used a pinkish goo from Westone. They did use the bite block method. At one point, I felt the left one loosen up a bit. I hope they turn out ok. 

 

Do you mean it loosened after 3 or 4 minutes, as it was curing? If you do mean that, then there's absolutely nothing to worry about, because the silicone does naturally shrink/contract as it cures. That's entirely 'par-for-the-course' and won't be problematic at all. I've experienced it myself.

 

...or do you mean something else?

post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

I appreciate I'm resurrecting a dormant thread, here, but I consider this thread to be permanently relevant (at least until such time as the Lantos 3D digital ear scanner, or variations thereof, become widespread, but it will take quite some time for such devices to achieve widespread market penetration).

 

Therefore, I'm just adding a few thoughts...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generally-speaking, the rule of thumb is that if you're ordering silicone CIEMs (like Kozee, Spiral Ear etc.) then those manufacturers generally ask that you have impressions done with NO bite block.

 

On the other hand, most makers of acrylic  CIEMs ask customers to have impressions done WITH a bite block.

 

A big piece of advice to get a good fit is absolutely 100% do *NOT* speak while your impressions are curing in your ears - don't even smile, or even tense your facial muscles. I'm serious, this makes a big difference. Sit there with your facial muscles as relaxed as you can manage (even with a bite block, it is actually possible to relax the facial muscles - I highly recommend that you practice this before you go for your appointment). I recommend that you deliberately 'zone-out' while your impressions are curing in your ears - if you turn your head to look around, you risk tensing facial muscles, and if you keep your eyes open, you may smile out of embarrassment, at the audiologist (I speak from experience!! frown.gif). Just relax, both muscularly and mentally, zone-out, and ignore everything for the 5 minutes it takes the silicone to cure.

 

On a personal note, I have often seen people saying that silicone CIEMs are more comfortable than acrylic CIEMs, but I disagree - I've had both types and I've experienced discomfort with both types - and when I had refits done for each type, they both were very comfortable. So don't choose silicone or acrylic on the basis of thinking that one or the other will be more comfortable - the thing that decides if a CIEM will be comfortable is not what it is made from but how accurate your impressions were, and, of course, how skilled the technician is at the manufacturer's workshop, when creating the moulds from your sent impressions.
 



Please chime in, anyone, if you have details additional to what has so far been discussed in this thread; it's a useful reference, IMHO.

Minerva (also uk based, silicone) ask for impressions to be taken without bite block.  In my experience (which has been a pita quite  honestly!) I could tell no difference closed or open.

 

Now this is said not so much for a vent (though there will be an element of that),I just want to try and pinpoint why customs for me has been such a git to get done.

 

Basically my story is that I originally got interested in customs as I can wear iems all day if I want at work. Isolation is important to me as I work in a noisy environment.  However my right ear never got as good a fit as my left.  My left for some reason would take almost any tip and get a good seal from it, my right not so much.

 

So I got in touch with fisher in the states and get some impressions done as per instructions.  Let's just say that things didn't go well.  Right ear would always be too short.  For some reason it would always be cut too short.  Went back for refit, same issue.  3-4 (I lose count but it would be about that)refits (at least two sets of new impressions)as well and still didn't get anywhere.  So gave up in frustration. 

 

After awhile I decided to give customs another shot.  This time I figured it would be better if I went with Minerva in the uk.   Got the impressions done (by this time I'm pretty much on first name terms with my audiologist :) )  Wait the 15 days and get them back.  To my dismay I now had fit issues on my LEFT ear (and the right whilst better wasn't great).  So got in touch and had them back for a refit.  Got a little better but still not great.  Left ear could really tell that they were in there and was tired after about 20 minutes or so of wearing them.  Had another refit but that didn't solve it.  Was almost a relief when the left monitor died as it meant I could get a refund.  So there we go.  I am now on my third and last Custom manufacturer.  Will see how Cosmic Ears (and I'm only going with them as they have really good prices) get on but one way or another this is my last attempt.

 

Now to the point of that long winded post (I just wanted to establish whats happened).  I have had my ears cleaned out of wax before each time if it's needed it, I've followed the instructions of each company (open for fisher and Cosmic, closed for minerva) and not had any real luck with any of them (cosmic excepted who I'm in the process of atm).  Any ideas?  Any one else had this amount of hassle (I understand that at least one refit is likely but what I've posted doesn't seem normal).  Audiologist even said that my ears didn't look "that" different to any others she'd seen.

 

Oh and to add insult to injury my westone 3s that I'd got to tide me over till customs are ready have just gone through the wash!

 

Cheers


Edited by davidcotton - 11/18/12 at 11:21am
post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcotton View Post

Minerva (also uk based, silicone) ask for impressions to be taken without bite block.  In my experience (which has been a pita quite  honestly!) I could tell no difference closed or open.

 

Now this is said not so much for a vent (though there will be an element of that),I just want to try and pinpoint why customs for me has been such a git to get done.

 

Basically my story is that I originally got interested in customs as I can wear iems all day if I want at work. Isolation is important to me as I work in a noisy environment.  However my right ear never got as good a fit as my left.  My left for some reason would take almost any tip and get a good seal from it, my right not so much.

 

So I got in touch with fisher in the states and get some impressions done as per instructions.  Let's just say that things didn't go well.  Right ear would always be too short.  For some reason it would always be cut too short.  Went back for refit, same issue.  3-4 (I lose count but it would be about that)refits (at least two sets of new impressions)as well and still didn't get anywhere.  So gave up in frustration. 

 

After awhile I decided to give customs another shot.  This time I figured it would be better if I went with Minerva in the uk.   Got the impressions done (by this time I'm pretty much on first name terms with my audiologist :) )  Wait the 15 days and get them back.  To my dismay I now had fit issues on my LEFT ear (and the right whilst better wasn't great).  So got in touch and had them back for a refit.  Got a little better but still not great.  Left ear could really tell that they were in there and was tired after about 20 minutes or so of wearing them.  Had another refit but that didn't solve it.  Was almost a relief when the left monitor died as it meant I could get a refund.  So there we go.  I am now on my third and last Custom manufacturer.  Will see how Cosmic Ears (and I'm only going with them as they have really good prices) get on but one way or another this is my last attempt.

 

Now to the point of that long winded post (I just wanted to establish whats happened).  I have had my ears cleaned out of wax before each time if it's needed it, I've followed the instructions of each company (open for fisher and Cosmic, closed for minerva) and not had any real luck with any of them (cosmic excepted who I'm in the process of atm).  Any ideas?  Any one else had this amount of hassle (I understand that at least one refit is likely but what I've posted doesn't seem normal).  Audiologist even said that my ears didn't look "that" different to any others she'd seen.

 

Oh and to add insult to injury my westone 3s that I'd got to tide me over till customs are ready have just gone through the wash!

 

Cheers

 

 

Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? You may now be expecting the fit to be substandard and therefore getting exactly what you're expecting...

 

LOL.

 

That aside, have you considered the possibility that you may, perhaps, be tensing (or moving) your facial muscles whilst the impressions are curing?

 

Alternatively I did read somewhere (sorry, I honestly don't recall where) that some people have ear canal anatomy that varies much more from one facial expression / jaw position to another, and this would obviously pose potential problems for a CIEM. If, perhaps, you are one of these relatively rare individuals, then perhaps it might be worth having some acrylic CIEMs made from a set of impressions done without a bite block...

 

 

I have experience of silicone CIEMs too (SE-5). I did as instructed and had those particular impressions done without a bite block. I got a good fit but my ears do feel rather 'stuffed' with silicone CIEMs. I speculate (it's purely speculation on my part) that silicone CIEMs may be 'wax-dipped' in a different manner than that of acrylic CIEMs. With acrylic CIEMs, the impression is modeled and then literally dipped in wax, an investment mould then made, and an acrylic shell taken from that investment, and this acrylic shell then sanded and buffed.

 

I do not know the exact method of making silicone CIEMs, but I suspect it may be that an investment mould is made, as per the acrylic method, but then diverging in the sense that the investment mould be stuffed with components and silicone added, the resultant CIEM then, itself being dipped in silicone, with, of course, no buffing ever taking place. I could be completely wrong about this. If I'm right, though, I speculate that the silicone, in its fluid state, might be more viscous than the wax used in the acrylic CIEM process. Perhaps this (along with the lack of buffing) might go some way to explaining why silicone CIEMs seem, at least in my limited experience, to be a slightly more bulky fit than acrylic CIEMs.

 

 

If anyone can concur or correct me, I welcome any clarification on this. I'd love to learn how silicone CIEMs are made.

post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

 

Do you mean it loosened after 3 or 4 minutes, as it was curing? If you do mean that, then there's absolutely nothing to worry about, because the silicone does naturally shrink/contract as it cures. That's entirely 'par-for-the-course' and won't be problematic at all. I've experienced it myself.

 

...or do you mean something else?


Thanks Mython. It happened towards the end. I think I swallowed and as I did I felt the left side loosen a bit. You are probably right that it was already dry. Maybe it just came out of the ear a bit. Anyways, I sent them to JH, so I will know in a month or two! 

post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tremolo View Post


Thanks Mython. It happened towards the end. I think I swallowed and as I did I felt the left side loosen a bit. You are probably right that it was already dry. Maybe it just came out of the ear a bit. Anyways, I sent them to JH, so I will know in a month or two! 

 

Sounds like all is OK, then, and there is good reason to be optimistic.

 

 

 

JH, eh?    Freqphase, perchance..?

post #38 of 61

Yup, I ordered the JH3A. It is supposed to have the new freqphase.

post #39 of 61

Hey guys,

 

I have had my JH-3A for close to a month. One thing that has bother me about the fit, is that my left ear feels good on the position of the IEM, however, I feel something in my throat every time I put it on. I am concerned that may be is too deep in the ear canal. I do not get that feeling with the right one. I am close to the 30 days for getting them modified, so I wanted to get your opinions. I might have to go to an audiologist just to make sure.

post #40 of 61

My audiologist told me DO NOT keep your jaw/mouth in a fixed position.  Very mildly and slightly.... open and close your mouth just a little bit.  Move jaw left to right just a little bit while impressions are hardening.  Worked great both times he did impressions for me and has been doing it over 25 years.

 

To me the bite block would only seem to assure a perfect seal while your mouth is fixed in that very position.

post #41 of 61

I went to an audiology school recommended by Sensaphonics to get the moulds for my custom aviation headset made, and a student did the work. Once the material was moulded to my ears, the student tried to pull it out, but it wouldn't budge. The professor had to come in and do it, and when it finally came out my ears bled a little. That was a horrible experience, but the headset fits like a glove now! So I would recommend not going to an audiology school, even if recommended by sensaphonics. Or, if you do, make sure you don't let a student do it!

post #42 of 61

Different audiologist has different thoughts on how to do things, but you probably want to take the manufacturers recommendations.  Most manufacturers of acrylic shells say to use a bite block while the silicone shelled CIEMs use a closed mouth, and that works very well for me.  

 

And ouch on the student impressions, do you know what went wrong?  Did the impression go too deep (block wasn't in place properly), or was it something else?

 

Moving your mouth while taking the impression obviously works fine as well, the key IMO is making sure the impression is deep enough.

post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Different audiologist has different thoughts on how to do things, but you probably want to take the manufacturers recommendations.  Most manufacturers of acrylic shells say to use a bite block while the silicone shelled CIEMs use a closed mouth, and that works very well for me.  

 

And ouch on the student impressions, do you know what went wrong?  Did the impression go too deep (block wasn't in place properly), or was it something else?

 

Moving your mouth while taking the impression obviously works fine as well, the key IMO is making sure the impression is deep enough.

 

I think they just shoved it in too deep and the student waited too long to pull it back out. The block was in place properly, they just needed a ton of force to pull it back out. I remember them telling me to move my mouth while they were doing it. 

post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by CirrusPilot View Post

I think they just shoved it in too deep and the student waited too long to pull it back out. The block was in place properly, they just needed a ton of force to pull it back out. I remember them telling me to move my mouth while they were doing it. 


They were trying to pull it straight out?  Ouch.  They shouldn't stick and should come out fairly easily if they are twisted out the same way a CIEM would be removed.  Sorry to hear about your experience, but good to know not to go to a student.  Talking with a guy that makes impression material, he said there are a few cases per year of pro's doing impressions that break the ear drum.  While deep is good, getting the block in the right place is paramount!

post #45 of 61

A grand thread from those who are afraid of audiologists and hence want to read 'ahead'. biggrin.gif The truth is that all of this crucial basic info should be told to you by your specialist. If they didn't advice your properly, choose another one.

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