I finally got around to deep-cleaning my metal detecting gear, an annual task that I’ve been putting off because of the mild winter weather us Ohioans have been experiencing. While doing it, I realized just how badly deep-woods bug repellent can damage headphones.
If you didn’t already know, the more concentrated repellent will eat plastic and rubber. Kinda makes you wonder how it keeps from doing the same to your skin, doesn’t it?
The AT Pro that I use is nearing three years old and, believe me, it’s been used a lot. I’d been very satisfied with its performance until a point last year where I began having problems with the internal electronics of the control unit; a couple of e-mails to Garrett’s customer service department resulted in the unit’s replacement, though the same thing happened about a month after they’d sent me a brand new one. Both times the control head was replaced during smooth interaction with the company and I was very satisfied with the outcome each time; though my machine was less than one month out of warranty that first incident they still covered it. That, folks, is great customer service.
A couple of months ago I visited several online metal detecting websites in search of replacement ear pads for my headphones because the ones I had had started to crack badly. I couldn’t find them anywhere. I emailed Hilda at Garrett once again, explaininig what I needed; she reponded that the ear pads aren’t sold individually, but that she would send me new ones, free of charge, as soon as they were back in stock, even though I offered to pay for them. A few weeks later a package arrived in the mail…containing exactly one new pad.
I had to chuckle, imagining myself as a one-eared detectorist.
I broke down and bought a brand-new Garrett head set; in addition to the ear and head pads being in bad shape, the sound wire connecting the left ‘phone to the right one was cracked, causing me to intermittently lose sound in my left ear. I’d field-fixed it with the roll of black electrical tape I carry in my metal detecting knapsack, repeating the repair several times throughout the season, but it was just time to buy new ones.
…and I’ll be extremely careful the next time I apply bug juice to my head and ears before a hunt in the woods or a creek.