Are Sprague-Rappaport Scopes REALLY that Bad?

  1. I know that most Spragues out there are cheaper, Chinese-made knock offs of the HP model, but I've got an ADC Sprague that I hear great out of. I literally hear minimal difference between it and my Littmann Classic II SE. Because of this I take the Sprague to clinical sites because it cost me $12 on eBay whereas the Littmann cost quite a bit more. Do ALL nursing pros dislike the Spragues? Is it a comfort thing? Lack of quality?

    I only ask out of curiosity; many of the reviews on Amazon are pretty negative concerning this style, regardless of manufacturer.
  2. Visit j_tay1981 profile page

    About j_tay1981

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 219; Likes: 66
    RN, Neuro/Med-surg; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Neuro, Med-surg.


  3. by   Winkler
    I agree with you. I have a double barrel and I hear just fine out of it. Actually my friend gave me her littmann and I gave it back to her because I hear better out of mine that cost around $20 and I have had to for 3 years. Now, the only reason I am looking for another is that it is getting heavy around my neck. I only had 1 respiratory therapist agree on the clinical site that double barrell are better sound quality. To each his own I suppose.
  4. by   Rmedin19
    I have the McKesson sprague rappaport but is says ADC on the bottom of it (maybe they use ADC parts). I could hear pretty well out of it but I would have trouble with the respirations (which may be because my ear is not as trained as others). I went to a store and tried various littmann and ADC scopes I was much more impressed with the ADC 615 even over the littmann cardiology series. When I went home that night I realized my scope has acoustics just as good as the ADC 615 because of the short thick tubing and precision feel of the head but the weight would pull the earpieces out of their seal in my ears which was throwing off my hearing.

    My solution? Buy $5 littmann earpieces from that store and put away the plastics. Also to help with that I now place my free hand with my watch under the tube to help keep the earpieces in place. I now have a scope that works just as well as an ADC 615 ($80 at the store) for $27 total.

    Also, sometimes people say the tubing rubs together but how often are you moving around when you are listening? If you are an EMT or paramedic they are not for you but otherwise if you can handle the weight (you are in good muscular shape) they are an attractive economic alternative.

    If you don't like it then you have only wasted ~$30 instead of the hundred or so. Best of luck.
  5. by   j_tay1981
    That's an interesting thought about swapping ear tips for the Littmann ones. I tried this, though, and the ADC Sprague binaurals were too wide in diameter to get the Littmann tips on. Any tips/tricks to making it work without tearing up the ear tips?
  6. by   Rmedin19
    I tried the ADC versions and they were too small but the littmanns were just right. the UPC for them (if it helps) is 786511783570. The model number for the same (for the ones that fit mine) is DET-122-L-BLK. At least I was told they were littmann. They were black and in a small little zip lock. They have metal threads inside and soft rubber on the outside. I would just keep trying different versions if I were you. You may have to go up to a more expensive scope. Best of luck.

    I wonder if hardware stores have adapters for that sort of thing.

    Just found this. Firm Replacement Snap-Tight Eartips for Littmann Stethoscopes.

    It says that the threaded versions are no longer being made by littmann so you may have to try another company if you can't find someone who still has them. I think I got the last pair today at my store.
    Last edit by Rmedin19 on Jun 24, '10
  7. by   Ellekat
    I like the Sprague; I hear well out of them and I can buy four for the price of a well-price Littman. I've always felt that people like the high-dollar scope to prove that they are dedicated professionals...and some probably really to hear better with them. I have a number of scopes and hear best with the Sprague.
  8. by   bodhisattvya
    The reviewer at forusdocs didn't think that Spragues were that bad. In fact the Omron model won the "Best Buy" award. I don't know what allnurses forum's rules are about "hot links" so I posted a link of this review below without the www. P.S. I have no financial interest in the website or Omron.
    Bested only by the Littmann Cardiology III. The authors of this review were very complementary of the Omron Sprague-Rappaport. Truth of the matter is that the Sprague-Rappaport by Hewlett Packard was the Littmann Master Cardiology of its' time. If you are using one, you're just kickin' it old school.

    Use what works best for you. It's a pet peeve of mine that healthcare professionals feel that they need to spend $160-170 to get a top of the line Master Cardiology when a stethoscope that costs less than $20.00 will do.

    P.S.- If you prefer the Sprague-Rappaport style. MDF Instruments has a deal where they will give you free replacement parts to your stethoscope for life. They are a little more spendy ($25.00-35.00 range) however the cost of replacement eartips can add up.

    Helpful & inexpensive stethoscope modifications:

    P.P.S. - If the eartips on your stethoscope are not staying on, wrap Teflon Plumbers Tape around the threads once or twice prior to putting the eartips on the binaurals. This will keep them snugly on the binaurals & help prevent them from falling off.

    P.P.P.S - If the diaphragm ring on your Sprague Rappaport keeps coming loose & is falling off. Use a little moderate-strength (blue) thread-lock,(e.g. Loctite) on the threads of the diaphragm ring. This will keep the diaphragm ring firmly on the stethoscope & if you need to remove it, you can with a wrench or vise-grips.
    Last edit by bodhisattvya on Aug 2, '10 : Reason: Added new information.