It may sound funny but I’m sometimes more inspired by a vintage tube amplifier from Gibson, Fender, Marshall, Silvertone, Danelectro or ??? than I am the guitars. Every one of them sound different and even some from the same model have their own unique characteristics. One thing that seems to be the same across all models of vintage tube amplifiers: I crank them up loud and end up with a headache and I get worried about the future of my ears. I decided it was time to buy ear protection but wasn’t sure if I could find ear protection that wouldn’t change the sound and character of the amplifier. Here’s what I found.

hearing protection vintage guitar amplifiers
Hearing protection for vintage guitar amplifiers

I bought a pair of Etymotic Research ETY-Plugs High Fidelity Earplugs ( They are a little under $14 shipped for Prime members and came in quickly too. They came with a little rubbery plastic case and have an attachable cord to hold them around your neck if you take them out.

They have definitely been helpful for allowing me to play an amplifier throughout its range of gain and not come away with headache for the rest of the day. They’re not the only brand out there though. I want to hear from you. What brand do you use and what did you think of them?

Etymotic ear plugs hearing protection vintage guitar amplifiers

This article has 2 comments

  1. Bradley S Reply

    I don’t see the 74/75 ES 345 you picked up on Safari or is the 72 on your site that guitar?

    • John Shults Reply

      Thanks for leaving a comment Bradley! I responded via e-mail. I’m looking forward to chatting about that 1975 Gibson ES-345! –John

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