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National Gypsum - SoundBreak XP vs GG?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Has anyone tried or looked at using National Gypsum's SoundBreak XP drywall versus DD+GG? Here is the product URL:


It looks to be a pre-made version of DD+GG. I may be able to get this at a really good price. If the price turns out to be the same, or even better, then a DD+GG solution, should I go for it?

post #2 of 20
It is a 5/8" product. DD+GG is two layers of 5/8". Regardless of the "stuff" between the layers, you won't get the performance from a single 5/8" layer as you would from two layers of 5/8
post #3 of 20
also, it's not GG at all in there.
post #4 of 20
A claim was recently made that Soundbreak was 500% denser than regular drywall and therefore it's sound management performance superior. Looking into this I found that Regular 5/8 drywall is 2.2 lbs per sq ft. Soundbreak is denser at 2.7 lbs per sq ft. So it is 22.7 % denser not 500%. However when we use two layers of 5/8 and Green Glue we are putting up 4.4 lbs per sq ft or 63% more mass. More mass = more control of the sub-woofer rumble.
Edited by BIGmouthinDC - 7/16/12 at 1:06pm
post #5 of 20
But when you subtract 2.2 from 2.7 you get .500 and that equals 500%, right? I'm glad I paid attention in math class. I know I thought I would never need to know this math stuff. I'm mean, that's how Congress works right? If the budget committee builds in an automatic 3% increase every year and then one year only raises it 2.5%, they've CUT TAXES by 1/2%, right? If I have two buy-one-get-one coupons and I buy two, then I get all four for FREE, right? I LOVE math!
Edited by tlogan6797 - 7/17/12 at 7:53am
post #6 of 20
(Did this thread erupt last night or something?)

Pretty much any exotic product is going to have the same problem - the more massive it gets, the harder it will be to work with. DD+GG has an advantage that its put up in layers and is therefore manageable.
post #7 of 20
Actually, "Green Glue" is just a brand name. It, and other specialized damping glues are "viscoelastic" and are used as "constrained damping" materials. These material's damping performance results from their being constrained/compressed between two rigid surfaces. This is quite different from, and should not be confused with "limp mass" type products such as compressed vinyl sheet block sound barrier or high density rigid insulation materials.

All of these products regardless of type are part of a wall construction "system". In other words, how the wall is constructed is of primary importance in how much sound transmission loss is achieved and at what frequencies. In building construction this is referred to as "Sound Transmission Class" or STC rating.

While adding more mass is generally considered a good idea for reducing sound transmission, there's more to it than that, especially with the newly developed materials we have available today.

National Gypsum's SoundBreak XP drywall is not just a single layer higher density (higher mass) drywall. It, like CertainTeed's SilentFX are both double layer high density gypsum board with a layer of viscoelastic constrained damping material sandwiched between.

The performance of either of these products will largely depend on the construction of the wall itself. The best results are achieved when either manufacture's products are used with a resilient channel which decouples the drywall from the structure (studs, joists). The Green Glue product line also has their own specialized version of this which they call a noise proofing clip. Care must be taken not to have the wall/ceiling SoundBreakXP/SilentFX panels come in contact with surrounding surfaces and the gaps must be sealed with a noise-proofing sealant, not just regular caulk. Both products are most effective when used in multiple layers with a viscoelastic constrained damping glue sandwiched between each layer, about 3 tubes per 4'x8' drywall sheet for maximum performance.

In order to achieve a high STC rating you must follow the manufacturer's specification.

I am currently in the process of implementing these products into my existing purposed built listening room which was built in the early 1980's. I wish these products were available back then.

Because of the convenience of ordering, I'll probably use National Gypsum SoundBreakXP because I can order it from Menard's in smaller quantities (so I can tackle this in several smaller projects) and they have more sheet sizes, Green Glue and Green Glue Noise Proofing Clips (attached to the inside wall of the existing room walls).

Just for the record, I'm an architect by education although I've left the profession in search of "greener pastures".




Edited by artto - 8/3/13 at 2:29pm
post #8 of 20
Bearing in mind that in a decoupled system, more mass = better isolation, you can't beat the mass of double standard 5/8" drywall. Field apply a damping compound and you've not only cut your cost (even after labor) but you've dramatically increased your low frequency isolation.

Hard to justify the cost of a pre-damped panel, regardless of the manufacturer in my opinion.
post #9 of 20
Ted, actually that's not true. That's the way I did it the first time around (30+ years ago), 5/8" laminated sheet rock triple wall construction. It doesn't do the job if the whole wall is flexing in the middle acting like a passive radiator (and at high SPL low frequency output levels it will and does ~ I can measure it).

It depends on your situation. In my case there's only about 20'-25' between single family homes and I'm using four Epik Empire subs (that's 8x15 @ 2.4KW, 6KW peak), and I'm about 7 miles away from runways of one of the world's busiest airports.

These new materials are a god-send. And the newer decoupling products are superior to those of previous decades. Whether or not anyone can justify the additional cost and time or not is another matter. It depends on your needs, objectives and goals (airport or railroad nearby? Are you offending neighbors or family listening to Tool @ 110+dB? at 10pm or later because that's the only time you have available?). For someone who listens only to Chamber music on a ranch 25 miles from nowhere with no one else around, at 70dB-80dB max certainly this would be waste of time and money.
post #10 of 20
Take a peek at a TL plot of a decoupled wall. Added mass is proportional to the re-establishment of the LF Mass Air Mass resonance point. The lower this frequency, the lower the LF you can attenuate. Once you're at and below ~1.5X the partition's MAM resonance point (frequency), LF TL starts dropping.

30+ years ago you also weren't appreciably damping the bending waves of those panels. Coincidence frequencies would be a real STC killer.
post #11 of 20

A couple of issues with your statement:

1. You are implying that all viscoelastic CLD compounds have equivalent performance...they don't. To imply "Green Glue", "Quiet Glue", and whatever National Gypsum is using are exactly equal is incorrect and misleading. Note...just because a compound is viscoelastic doesn't make it well suited for CLD applications.
2. STC is not a valid metric for sound reproduction spaces and should not be used in the context of such spaces. Equally to the point, STC was never intended to be used for such a purpose. Indeed, many high STC materials advertised for sound reproduction spaces (where the actual TL measurements are not also provided) deliberately design the material such that the resonance frequency will be below the frequency range contributing to STC ratings...effectively lessening their <100Hz values to boost STC value.
post #12 of 20
For someone who listens only to Chamber music on a ranch 25 miles from nowhere with no one else around, at 70dB-80dB max certainly this would be waste of time and money.

Chamber music perhaps. Orchestral music, not so much.

Also need to note that ranch house 25 miles away will typically have an ambient noise floor of 30dB which is on the order of six times louder than the softest sound on a music or movie sound track. It is therefore the first order of business to isolate the space from external noise. The second order of business, and the more expensive, is to isolate adjacent spaces from sound created in the room. At the same time, if the in room ambient noise floor is not reduced to less than 22dB, the process of protecting adjacent spaces is exacerbated (which is a big word which means "much more expensive").
Edited by Dennis Erskine - 8/6/13 at 1:44pm
post #13 of 20
How about Soudbreak XP + GG + Soundbreak XP?

post #14 of 20
djkest, that would be largely a very expensive exercise in redundancy. Any way you slice it, you are not going to improve on a field damped panel. Higher mass, lower cost.
post #15 of 20

I am new, obviously, but I have been reading up on the soundbreak XP drywall, as well as other soundproofing techniques.

I am a musician and am building a studio behind my house, it's a large detached workshop with a slab foundation, corrugated metal walls, and a new insulated roof that I just had put on. My plan is to build a monstrous wall inside the structure to accomplish two goals: for one so as to not annoy the neighbors with drums or loud guitar amplifiers, and also to provide a soundproof environment for recording. I can't have any bleed from outside that could find its way onto a track! My budget for soundproofing is about $5000 total. The space measures 900 ft.² I live in a fairly quiet neighborhood, but in order to record loud guitars or sensitive vocals, I am thinking that I will need an STC of at least 60.

I thought about using the soundbreak drywall all around, including the ceiling, on a wall that is double sheet rocked, using metal studs (offset on a 2 x 6 base), soundbreak drywall on the inside, plain drywall on the outside, with some sort of insulation in the cavity. I haven't decided what kind of insulation yet.

Anyways, just wondering if any of you have experience with this and any suggestions.
Is there a better drywall for sound insulation than sound break?
Has anyone used spray foam insulation?
any other crucial steps for creating a very soundproofed environment?
also, how do you insulate doors?

Appreciate your expertise…


post #16 of 20
Chris, several of your questions have simple answers, but your better move is to read the articles at soundproofingcompany.com

The man who posted above you runs that website and has prepared articles that answer pretty much all of your concerns. That said - the most practical approach to building a wall with high STC is to assemble it from multiple layers of the heaviest drywall you can find, using damping compound in between the layers. If you use the damping compound correctly, you will have better performance and less cost than buying specially formulated drywall. If you need more isolation, add more layers of drywall.

Do not use spray foam insulation inside the walls. The air cavity within a wall is useful in maximizing isolation - if you fill it with expanding foam, you have no more air cavity. Instead, fill it loosely with common fiberglass insulation.

The other important construction technique is decoupling the wall boards inside the isolated room from the components outside. There are a few ways to skin this cat - and like all these issues, they are outlined at soundproofingcompany.com.

Zero international makes door seals that improve STC of doors remarkably. You can improve on their effectiveness by utilizing communicating doors or an "air-lock" setup, with multiple doors.

If you find that you have specific questions about your design and construction, I think you should start a thread and post some plans and pictures, or give Ted (and John) a call - they have the answers.

post #17 of 20
Great, thank you so much for this advice, I will check out that site and be in touch!


post #18 of 20
Hi Chris--I had a similar need re a quiet recording space and general sound containment. I worked with Ted to design a soundproofing plan. While there are things I could have done better
(mainly around the HVAC return and door), the room does a very nice job of sound isolation (in and out). Nothing fancy at all--just decoupling and three layers of drywall and GG.

If you are interested, you can see the construction herehttp://www.avsforum.com/t/1264923/dixons-jam-room-theater

I am sure there are plenty of options to achieve isolation, but for me this was relatively inexpensive (compared to alternatives like Quietrock THX etc) and met my needs.

Good luck.
Edited by Dixon - 9/5/13 at 2:50pm
post #19 of 20
Wow, that is quite impressive! The room I am working on will be dedicated to Recording and rehearsal. It's actually a detached building on my property in the backyard, and it has a slab foundation. While I initially looked into acoustically treated drywall, I think for cost purposes I could probably accomplish the same goal by building an interior room (within a room), doubling up on 5/8 inch drywall with green glue in between, building a floor that doesn't actually rest on the slab, and staggering the studs offset so that the interior wall is not actually touching the exterior wall.

It looks like you used just regular Owens Corning fiberglass insulation for your walls, is that correct?

That's a beautiful room, and guitars!
post #20 of 20
Thanks for the comment.

Re the insulation, correct. Most of the "pros" around here (Dennis, Ted, etc) will tell you that the regular pink stuff is fine for that purpose.

Ted is a great source of info, whether you source product from him or not. I agree that building a decoupled room within your building would make sense.

Good luck. My room gets more use as a recording/playing space than as a theater, but it is nice having both.
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