Floorstanding speakers and apartment, bass worries? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-20-2012, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi!

I'm totally new to all this and might ask rather silly questions but here goes:

I'm thinking of buying some entry-level floorstanding speakers rather than a 2.1 setup cos I figured a subwoofer would be overkill for an apartment. What's the use if I can't crank it up to decent levels, right? So I thought that would be wasted money and thus I'd rather spend all of it on some floorstanding ones so I have a nice range of everything. Stop me here if my reasoning is completely flawed wink.gif

Then my real question: How not to annoy the neighbors?
The speakers would only have 10cm (3.9 inch) of space behind them, and one of them would stand almost side-to-side to a wall (corner setup, not ideal I know!). How does this all affect the sound and more specifically the bass? I'm worried about angry neighbors...
Gonna roll with a Denon 1612 so I suppose I can tone down the bass with the EQ if needed.

On the other side of the walls they're bordering to is my kitchen, and the outdoors, so none are directly connected to any neighbor. Not sure if that's relevant at all, I don't really know how far those vibrations travel.

Will I need some sort of padding for my floor so I don't drive the neighbor below crazy? If so could someone point me to some website where I can order these? Thanks for the advice! smile.gif
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-20-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimeray View Post

Hi!
I'm totally new to all this and might ask rather silly questions but here goes:
I'm thinking of buying some entry-level floorstanding speakers rather than a 2.1 setup cos I figured a subwoofer would be overkill for an apartment. What's the use if I can't crank it up to decent levels, right? So I thought that would be wasted money and thus I'd rather spend all of it on some floorstanding ones so I have a nice range of everything. Stop me here if my reasoning is completely flawed wink.gif
The speakers would only have 10cm (3.9 inch) of space behind them, and one of them would stand almost side-to-side to a wall (corner setup, not ideal I know!). How does this all affect the sound and more specifically the bass? I'm worried about angry neighbors...
Gonna roll with a Denon 1612 so I suppose I can tone down the bass with the EQ if needed.
On the other side of the walls they're bordering to is my kitchen, and the outdoors, so none are directly connected to any neighbor. Not sure if that's relevant at all, I don't really know how far those vibrations travel.
Will I need some sort of padding for my floor so I don't drive the one below crazy? If so could someone point me to some website where I can order these? Thanks for the advice! smile.gif

The main means by which bass sounds get transmitted out of a room and into other rooms is naturally via the walls, floor, and ceiling. It may not be obvious but the main way that bass gets to those surfaces is through the air.

I've seen this done - speakers suspended on minimum thickness fishing line from the ceiling. Bass was still clearly heard in the next room, the room above, etc.

There is a whole science for building floors, walls, and ceilings that don't transmit sound, and its based on isolating the opposite sides of the walls from each other by such means as independent studs for each wall, spaced and offset so that they don't touch.

If you have sensitive neighbors and like bass - try headphones or better yet, earphones!
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-20-2012, 04:19 PM
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I think you have the right idea, and a pair of floorstanding speakers is the best bet.

If you have carpeting and a pad under it, that helps a lot; just don't use spikes under the speakers which will transmit the sound to the floor underneath. Just put the speakers right on the carpet with no feet.

If you don't have carpeting, put some closed-cell foam pads between the speaker and floor. Closed-cell foam pads about 1/2" thick are sold as sleeping pads for backpackers and you can get it at sporting goods stores that sell backpacker's gear and cut pieces to fit the speaker bottom.

What is your budget for speakers? Are you looking for recommendations?
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-20-2012, 04:21 PM
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It is interesting. I was asking a similar question in another thread.

Arny: does carpet help in absorbing LFE if you don't have neighboring walls beside the floor?
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-21-2012, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

It is interesting. I was asking a similar question in another thread.
Arny: does carpet help in absorbing LFE if you don't have neighboring walls beside the floor?

If you look at the tables and curves of sound absorption versus frequency for carpets, you find that they have very low effectiveness at LFE frequencies. Their absorption starts rolling off as high as 1 KHz.
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-21-2012, 05:53 AM
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I'm not sure how flexible your setup is, but you won't have to play things as loud if you calibrate your system for nearfield use (without getting so close that the multiple drivers in each speaker can be heard separately). You'll have much less room sound that way (which might be beneficial since I don't see evidence that your room has optimal acoustic properties). You could try it and move back to farfield if nearfield doesn't work.

...
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-22-2012, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess I should've given some measurements... I'm sitting fairly close to my TV (8 feet), and thus the speakers would be 8-10 feet away. The distance between both would be the same distance.

I looked around for info regarding nearfield setups, perhaps in the wrong places, and couldn't find much info between the difference. Nearfield is forming a triangle with your speakers and yourself, the distance between each should be equal, plus turning your speakers a bit so they point in your direction. Do I have that right?

I have another question I forgot to mention earlier... I have a big tube amp for my electric guitar and it sounds way better cranked up to decent levels, playing quietly doesn't do the amp much justice.
Do speakers have the same flaw? Meaning that if you turn down the volume you'll not be able to get the best out of them?

Thanks for all the info btw, much appreciated! smile.gif I feel like I got a better grasp now and gonna start asking for some recommendations soon, but in another thread cos this is the wrong section.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-22-2012, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimeray View Post

I guess I should've given some measurements... I'm sitting fairly close to my TV (8 feet), and thus the speakers would be 8-10 feet away. The distance between both would be the same distance.
I looked around for info regarding nearfield setups, perhaps in the wrong places, and couldn't find much info between the difference. Nearfield is forming a triangle with your speakers and yourself, the distance between each should be equal, plus turning your speakers a bit so they point in your direction. Do I have that right?
I have another question I forgot to mention earlier... I have a big tube amp for my electric guitar and it sounds way better cranked up to decent levels, playing quietly doesn't do the amp much justice.
Do speakers have the same flaw? Meaning that if you turn down the volume you'll not be able to get the best out of them?

The need for cranking 'em up to hear the bass best is not a flaw of speakers, its how our ears work.

Check out this graph:

[258

This graph is about how people hear sounds at various frequencies and levels if they are average and don't have damaged hearing.

The lowest line labelled "0" shows the SPLs required for a sound to be heard at all.

Notice that the SPLs have to be a lot higher to even just hear low frequencies?

The fact that the lines aren't parallel at low frequencies means that as you crank the loudness, bass gets easier to hear.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-22-2012, 08:17 AM
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Nearfield means being close enough to the speakers that the room reflections are the minority of the sound you hear. Midfield is where they're about equal, and farfield is self-explanatory at this point. Being closer to your speakers means less power for the same level at your seat, less total energy being radiated that could leak out. It sounds like you're already as close to your TV as you can get, though, so couldn't really move closer.

Instrument amplifiers are intended to add distortion to the sound (depending on the amp). Specifically, the drivers in the cab add non-linearities that show up at higher volumes intentionally. With speakers, there shouldn't be distortion, different story. However, the loudness curves do have an effect. It might be good to dial in a house curve that slightly increases perceived loudness (more bass, treble). I don't know your setup flexibility, so that may not work.

Edit: Arny added more detailed info on the loudness curves before I posted. wink.gif

...
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