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Can it be done?

Robert Matylewicz bp293 at FreeNet.Carleton.CA
Tue Jan 21 13:33:49 EST 1997


Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this. I do appreciate it.

I'm a musician and I mix sound for live performances in a church.

My hearing is rather normal up to 2k Hz. Then it drops off
dramaticly. In addition, I have tinnitus (a constant bi-lateral
high pitch) at about 4k Hz.

What I am hoping to find is a hearing aid that can boost the 2k+
frequencies to help me understand conversation (I don't hear the
sibilance). One ITE pair I tried (around $900) did help in this
way BUT the compression circuit took away the dynamics (change in
voulme) of the music. I asked the audiologist if a 'defeat' switch
could be incorporated so I could either use the compression to
protect my ears from unwanted loud sounds (squeel of bus brakes)
OR turn off that circuit so that the *dynamics* of the music
wouldn't be altered.

After checking with the manufacture, the audiologist sent the
aids back for this operation. What came back was nothing like we'd
hoped for. Turning the switch off (eliminating the compression
circuit) dropped the volume to almost nothing. And the frequency
curve (the high end boost) was nothing like it had been before the

Another phone call to the manufacture and the reports is that
it's *because* of the compression circuit that the high end boost
can be achieved. The high end boost comes from the compression
circuit. At least this is what I understand the situation to be.

I assume my wish for a 'simple' bypass switch isn't possible
because all these circuits are inside a chip and you just can't
get into those chips to do any rewiring.

Has anyone come across this kind of request before? Can it be
done in a pair of hearing aids costing under $1000 (Canadain).
I'd just like to know what's posible and for what cost before I
make this rather major purchase.

Thanks in advance for any help, ideas, or solutions you might be
able to offer me.

Bob Matylewicz, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada    email: bp293 at freenet.carleton.ca

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