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15+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2000
sodom, south georgia
i know, generic question. over the years i've heard lots of talk about the littman tunable diaphram, both good and bad. i have a littman cardio III and it serves me well, though during an actual exam i can't recall switching between the bell/diaphram mode. i can't recall being unable to hear something an attending heard and i have picked up some subtle stuff (though i've undoubtable missed some, too).

anyway, i'm bored and looking at stethoscopes on the internet. not that i'm unhappy with the littman, i'm just curious about some other scopes that might be worth listening too.



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Oct 9, 2004
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Try out the Tycos Harvey models by Welch Allyn. I like it a little better than my cardio III that i lost earlier. I've also tried my friend's Rappaport-Sprague that her dad gave her. It's truly the ideal stethoscope, but its discontinued. I'm told that if you're willing to shell out a few hundred bucks for a used one, you can find them on Ebay.


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Mar 19, 2005
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If you can hear two heart sounds, and discern any obvious murmurs, then the stethoscope is good enough. Seriously, listening for S3s, S4s, opening snaps, etc. is beyond the scope of Emergency Medicine. Sure it's nice to sound really smart and be able to identify them, but it's not necessary when it comes to the critical admit-discharge decision.
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my stethoscope is still in the moving box. granted, i'm only doing a prelim year now though.

po' boy

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Jan 13, 2001
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I'm an emergency medicine R2 at Vandy, and my fiance, a 3rd year med student, just bought a stethoscope on ebay made by a company called GRX Medical, advertised as being modeled on the Littmann Cardiology III. I was skeptical when she bought it, but man it is awesome -- feels more solid and sounds as good or better than my Littmann III, and also comes with extra parts so you don't have to buy them separate should you ever need them (diaphragm, rim, earpieces of different sizes). She bought it for about $25 using Buy It Now with $8 shipping. Best deal I've seen by far...
Jan 21, 2006
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po' boy said:
my fiance, a 3rd year med student, just bought a stethoscope on ebay made by a company called GRX Medical

The GRx CD-25 Advanced Cardiology ( is a clone of the old Littmann Cardiology II, which is a far better-performing stethoscope than the Cardiology III. I haven't held one in my hands or put one in my ears, but it appears to offer good value for the dollar. If it doesn't measure up, at least you haven't lost much money (it's around $40).

I tend to recommend the Welch-Allyn Harvey Elite (available NIB on eBay for far less than MSRP), or an older Littmann Cardiology or Cardiology II, which can be refurbished by 3M to look like new. The HP/Philips Rappaport-Sprague is another excellent choice, but it's getting increasingly hard to find since it was discontinued.


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Feb 18, 2006
Grand Blanc, MI
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I have both the littman cardiology III and the grx model and don't notice a singal difference between the two. I thought getting the littman would be better, but was disappointed it wasan't any better than my grx. Now I carry around my grx model becuase if I lose it I won't feel as if I lost as much money as if I would lose my littman.
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