Help with my Condo - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-15-2012, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,

So long as no monkey wrenches are thrown in during escrow, it looks like I will soon be the owner of a condo. Having lived in apartments for most of my adult life, I am fully aware of the issues playing music loudly can cause with neighbors. With this in mind, I need some advice on what I can do minimize disturbing my neighbors while maximizing volume in my own unit.

My condo is on the second floor, with no one above me, wood floors and someone else living below me. My AV set up will be in the living room, and although the wall of the living room is not shared with a neighbor (the wall where the TV would be hung), the opposite wall (in the dinning area) is. Also, a sliver of then entry (adjacent to the living room wall) is also shared. Here's the url of the floor plan (click on the 2D floor plan):

http://www.homestyler.com/designprofile/f47e942e-0e57-47f5-b478-d5344254a875

If you see where the blue rug is, you can make out a TV and stereo system, thats the living room wall. So just to the left of that wall is the entry way, and that wall is shared, and so is the wall at the bottom of the picture, near the dinning room table. To the right of the blue carpet you will see two gaps that represent sliding glass doors.

I've read the room treatment master thread, and it seems like the thread deals more with how to enhance the sound of the HT room, rather dealing with the issue of not disturbing neighbors. So I need tips on how to not annoy my neighbors, while still being able to crank up my music.

Most of the stuff I see online is essentially made for purpose built rooms, my room is still supposed to be a living room and my wife will not be happy if the living room looks like an AV room. So things like hanging acoustic sheets all over the walls is a no go. I need a solution that will allow the room to look normal. I understand that this means I will never achieve perfect results, but I do want to do whatever I can to help my situation.

I considering, for now, something simple like:

- Audimute's Peacemaker 3.2mm Sound Insulation Roll. I am not going to uproot my floors and place this under the wood, but would instead place the insulation below the rug, right underneath the speakers and sub.
- Audimute's Bass Trap placed in the corner behind the sub.
- Audimute's Sonipad Vibration Isolation Platform to place my sub on.

Will this make any kind of impact on how much sound leaves my unit and bleeds into adjacent units? Another question is: are these products just hype? By hype I mean two things: do they actually do what they designed to do? Can I achieve the same results, using much less money and building my own stuff (or finding other, more commonly used stuff)?

Thanks in advance for reading!
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 11:33 AM
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You would benefit from reading the articles at soundproofingcompany.com.

Any kind of pad under the sub should help marginally. Don't over spend on a pad.

http://www.zorotools.com/g/00057243/k-G2996384?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Google_Shopping_Feed&kw={keyword}&gclid=CJyQw_DvnrECFUpeTAoduw9YXA
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 02:10 PM
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I agree with Big. This stuff is only marginally helpful. Best solution is to learn to love lower volume levels, buy headsets or move. Very difficult to make a shared building neighbor friendly.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Read the website that Big referred me to, and it has a ton of great info, but just about every solution they discuss involves some sort of real contruction work (removing dry wall, removing flooring, etc), none of which I can afford to do right now. Already have a nice set of cans, but I also have a nice set of speakers that Ive never properly been able to use at my current location (my apt and not condo). Seeing as how I just bought the condo, dont think Id be able to move anytime soon (my first purchase, getting a house was just not a realistic option in this area).

I figured that some of the stuff was only marginally helpful, but marginally helpful is better than no help at all. Was mainly curious is the $$$ that some of these places are charging is worth it/warranted. I know it will all be marginally helpful, but, for example, would the Audimute Sonipad (or some other comparable product) be more effective than say the kneeling mat Big linked, if so, is it 2x as effective (since it is twice the price) or is it only a tiny bit more effective? I'm assuming that since Big linked me to that pad, the idea is that the $20 kneeling mat is probably as effective as the $45 Sonipad.

Does that also apply to Audimute's Peacemaker 3.2mm Sound Insulation roll (or sound proofing company's Serenity mat)? Are these effective all (especially if they are not installed below the flooring, but rather over it)? If so, is there some cheap analogous product available at the local home improvement store that can do the same job (like the kneeling pad does)?

I completely understand that I will never get good sound isolation, and any serious isolation would require construction, but what else can I do to help the situation, other than get cans or listen to lower volume (which I have already done and am doing, havent learned to love it yet and dont feel like doing it anymore, or doing it less often than now)?
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-17-2012, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruinAnteater View Post

my room is still supposed to be a living room and my wife will not be happy if the living room looks like an AV room. So things like hanging acoustic sheets all over the walls is a no go. I need a solution that will allow the room to look normal. I understand that this means I will never achieve perfect results, but I do want to do whatever I can to help my situation.

I considering, for now, something simple like:

- Audimute's Peacemaker 3.2mm Sound Insulation Roll. I am not going to uproot my floors and place this under the wood, but would instead place the insulation below the rug, right underneath the speakers and sub.
- Audimute's Bass Trap placed in the corner behind the sub.
- Audimute's Sonipad Vibration Isolation Platform to place my sub on.

Will this make any kind of impact on how much sound leaves my unit and bleeds into adjacent units? Can I achieve the same results, using much less money and building my own stuff (or finding other, more commonly used stuff)?

If the products work, putting pads under the speakers and an Isolation Platform under the sub would only prevent vibrations from the speaker/sub cabinets from transmitting to the floor. They would do nothing to prevent airborne energy from transmitting into the floor, walls and ceiling. If your goal is to listen at high volume -- which puts a lot of energy into the air -- I would expect the isolation pads and platforms to have a very modest effect on your neighbors' experience.

If you want to go down the path of trying to keep cabinet vibrations out of the floor, I would probably build some sand-filled platforms for the speakers and sub to sit on. Screw together a frame made out of 2x4's, screw & glue on a plywood bottom, fill it with dry play sand, and screw & glue on a plywood top. I would think that 50 pounds or so of dry sand ought to do a much better job of absorbing vibrations than any rubber pad.

The bass traps might smooth out your in-room bass response but I would not expect them to have any significant effect on the amount of bass energy transmitted into your neighbors' units.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-17-2012, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. Its been my apartment experience that people generally do not complain about highs, and usually complain about the bass. Hopefully the pads/isolation that I would put under the sub helps diffuse a bit of the energy that is sent to my downstairs neighbor. Hopefully I am far enough away from my other two neighbors (on either side of my unit) that my loudness might not matter much. Thanks for the insight guys smile.gif
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