Sound Tap from Ultimate Ears - anyone tried one yet?

Discussion in 'General' started by jashoup, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. jashoup

    jashoup DFO Veteran

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    I'm intrigued by this product and thinking about ordering one up.

    http://pro.ultimateears.com/uesoundtap

    Essentially it allows you to run your in-ears from any monitor line, be it speaker-level or line-level, XLR, 1/4", or SpeakOn.

    Does anybody have experience with this thing?

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. xsabers

    xsabers World's Second Most Okayest Drummer

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    I use a product called the HeadTap by ART which is a headphone level attenuator. It only works with a powered post-amp signal. I use a small mixer if I need a pre-amp to take a line level signal up to headphone level. This product does both at 2-3 times the cost! I would buy a little Rolls personal monitor amp and a HeadTap and spend around $100.
     
  3. jashoup

    jashoup DFO Veteran

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    No disrespect intended but I'm really only interested in knowing if anyone has used this product yet. I have a Rolls, I've used other similar products, I don't need product recommendations. Just want to know about this product. Don't want to turn this into another IEM thread. Besides, the cool thing about this puppy is that you can run a speaker-level signal into it (and right back out of it). You can't do that with a headphone amp or a mixer.
     
  4. xsabers

    xsabers World's Second Most Okayest Drummer

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    Sorry, didn't mean to derail. I'm sure that's a great product. but no way in hell I'd pay this much for this product even if it does everything it says it does. I already have all those applications. Sorry if you don't desire discussion, but many others will read this thread and should know about reasonable alternatives. Pretty much the way things go on a forum. Oh and the cool thing about the HeadTap is you can run a speaker-level signal into it (and right back out of it).
     
  5. jashoup

    jashoup DFO Veteran

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    Can't find any pictures of the speaker connections on the HeadTap, but from the specs it doesn't appear that it can connect to SpeakOn cables. Which is a big part of why I'm interested in the UE product. You can walk on to any stage with any floor monitor system and plug in your IEM's.

    And seriously, who pays retail prices for anything these days? ;)
     
  6. xsabers

    xsabers World's Second Most Okayest Drummer

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    I keep a speak-on to 1/4" cable in my gig bag. Most of the time, the monitor speaker I am tapping off of has a 1/4" connection anyway.
     
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  7. musiqman

    musiqman Well-Known Member

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    The idea is great.

    But (if I read the info correct) it lacks the most important thing, a limiter.

    For a company that works with ears mostly, that is a big miss (as in essential). Especially for that price.

    Then I rather have a small mixer or body pack and be in control my self.

    The main advantage is that it can be tapped in between exisiting monitor channels.

    But for that price, people are going other routes or play how they played before, with floor wedges.

    I don't think this will be a big hit. But it can open up posibilities for later, new gear.
     
  8. Buffalo_drummer

    Buffalo_drummer Well-Known Member

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    It does have a limiter I believe.
     
  9. musiqman

    musiqman Well-Known Member

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    I only see the spike protection agains power spikes. I also just saw that it only works on 9v (no adapter option) and two of those buggers too.

     
  10. jashoup

    jashoup DFO Veteran

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    I corresponded with a rep from Ultimate Ears and asked him the limiter question:
    • Me: "I see in the specs for the Sound Tap that it has "spike protection." Is this feature protecting my hearing? Or is this just protecting the electronics?"
    • UE: "Hi Jeff - It protects both as when it shuts off, you don't get the spike."
    Which, when I thought about it, was kind of a "duh" moment.

    So I guess not a limiter, per se, but it does at least mute the output when it senses a surge.
     
  11. aparker2005

    aparker2005 DFO Master

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    Anyone used this yet? I have a rolls pm50s and this seems much better, and not at full price.

    Playing at my church and many other venues, this thing seems perfect Anyone?
     
  12. Cauldronics

    Cauldronics DFO Master

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    Shuts off, and then what? Does it turn back on immediately like a temporary mute?

    The rep's reply actually opens more questions that it answers. Normally, spike protection in any electronic equipment means that an excessive voltage will overload components in the device unless there are surge (or spike) protection components built into the device that trip a circuit, causing the device to shut off before damage can be done to it (not your hearing).

    So "spike protection" could mean the entire unit shuts off, rendering it useless until the circuit is either reset or replaced. Or it could mean there is actually some built-in audio limiter in place to protect your hearing before the level reaches a critical point. If that's the case, how did UE determine the critical level? Are there any user-adjustable controls for setting this level? Without user controls you're at the mercy of some pre-defined level which could be way louder than you'd like, or possibly not loud enough before it shuts off.

    Or is it actually a surge (voltage) protector?
     
  13. jashoup

    jashoup DFO Veteran

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    I've owned one of the Ultimate Ears units for about a year now and I've used it many times. I really like it and I think it's worth every penny.

    To answer your questions about the "protection circuit," here's how it works. There is a Gain knob that attenuates the incoming signal, and then a Volume knob that lets you adjust to a comfortable listening level. If you get a signal or a spike coming in that's too hot, the unit cuts out, maybe for less than a second or so. (There's even an overload light that flashes when this happens.) When you hear that happening, you just reach over and adjust the Gain down a little bit. Problem solved. It is really quite elegant in it's design.

    Add that to the fact that with 1/4", XLR, and SpeakOn input jacks, and the fact that you can switch from line level to speaker level, you can walk onto any stage, anywhere, and adapt their existing monitor setup to work with your in-ear rig, and I think you've got a real winner. Yes, there are other ways to do this that would give you more control of EQ, compression, etc. etc. etc., but it's the simplicity of this that really makes it shine. One small box to haul around, minimal cabling to deal with, sets up quick, and it sounds great.

    The device has a 1/4"-20 threaded mount on the back. I made a trip to a camera store and bought a heavy duty right angle mount for about $25. With this it mounts easily right under my hi hat, where it is perfectly accessible for easy adjustments but is out of the way enough that it doesn't get in the way while I'm playing.

    I'm really surprised this product hasn't made more of a splash. Maybe the price point is a little too high. But I think if you're using it regularly the benefits that it offers really make it worth the price. And I'm sure most of us here are wily enough to find a way to buy gear at a discount. :)
     
  14. dboomer

    dboomer Very well Known Member

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    Please don’t make the mistake by believing that just because you have a limiter you are getting ear protection.

    First, how will the limiter be set. You have to consider the signal input level, the sensitivity of your ear monitors and the length of time you intend to wear the ear monitors. Very complicated to get correct for meaningful protection. That said, there is a limiter in every piece of electronics ... it's called clipping. Yes it will sound like crap but it may well be within the safe limit (again depending on the list above).
     
  15. aparker2005

    aparker2005 DFO Master

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    I ended up getting one of these for $115 and can't be more excited.

    From what ultimate ears told me, this device doesn't have an actual limiter. They apparently sell one separately called the Sound Guard. I may check that out just for added protection.

    Seems this will be a solution for most of my gigs.
     
  16. aparker2005

    aparker2005 DFO Master

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    Just got done talking with Ultimate Ears. If you have a sound tap, there is no need for the sound guard. The sound tap DOES have a limiter built in. They didn't give further information but I'll try to find out.
     

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