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Considering a Condo: Soundproofing?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know, "sound-PROOFING" is all-but impossible.

Well then, just how much could I REDUCE it?

I'm currently considering a 3 BR 3 BATH newer-construction condo in my area as I'd have to spend about 100K more to get a 2500 sq ft home that even approaches what it offers.

ANYWAY: it has a great 21X23 finished area in the basement that I'd love to throw my HT into of course.

Nice aspect is my 11 channels worth of speakers would be on the far side. 10 to 22 feet away from the dividing wall. The drawback is of course my speakers would be 10-22 feet away from the dividing wall, lol.

What's the best way to attack this? I'd be more than willing to simply build out an (insulated) "wall-on-a-wall" 4". Is there a superior (cheaper, easier, less space consuming) methodology?

And am I sol on the BASS? I've read a lot of conflicting information, but many seem to indicate I'll only be marginally successful containing it. We're talking about some reference level playback: 85/115dbs.

I wish I could plunk down my Captivator and speakers and see where I'm at right from the start, but that's unfortunately not an option. I also do not know my neighbors situation and how/if they use their basement, but I'm assuming the worst (for me) right off the bat.

Again, I've found a lot of information, but I'd like some here with experience to perhaps give me something with a bit more detail if possible.

thanks a ton in advance,

James
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

I know, "sound-PROOFING" is all-but impossible.

Well then, just how much could I REDUCE it?

I'm currently considering a 3 BR 3 BATH newer-construction condo in my area as I'd have to spend about 100K more to get a 2500 sq ft home that even approaches what it offers.

ANYWAY: it has a great 21X23 finished area in the basement that I'd love to throw my HT into of course.

Nice aspect is my 11 channels worth of speakers would be on the far side side. 10 to 22 feet away from the dividing wall. The drawback is of course my speakers would be 10-22 feet away from the dividing wall, lol.

What's the best way to attack this? I'd be more than willing to simply build out an (insulated) "wall-on-a-wall" 4". Is there a superior (cheaper, easier, less space consuming) methodology?

And am I sol on the BASS? I've read a lot of conflicting information, but many seem to indicate I'll only be marginally successful containing it. We're talking about some reference level playback: 85/115dbs.

I wish I could plunk down my Captivator and speakers and see where I'm at right from the start, but that's unfortunately not an option. I also do not know my neighbors situation and how/if they use their basement, but I'm assuming the worst (for me) right off the bat.

Again, I've found a lot of information, but I'd like some here with experience to perhaps give me something with a bit more detail if possible.

thanks a ton in advance,

James

James:

Two years ago I bought a similar unit. I am in the process of building my home theater in my basement now. My neighbor lady and I did a few tests and she absolutely can not here my sound system in her unit and/or basement. I have done no sound proofing/deadening or installed any installation as of yet. The only thing between us in the basement is a double poured concrete wall. My suggestion is that before you go off the deep end about soundproofing, purchase the unit if you like it, then go knock on your new neighbors door. Say that in the interest of being a good neighbor you would like to conduct a few tests with their cooperation. I am guessing the situation is not as bad as you might imagination. I know their is a guy on the forums that would be more than glad to do a sound evaluation for you at a thousand dollars or two a pop, but why pay him for what you can do yourself? If the condo you are looking at is a recent build they have improved sound deadening between units substantially.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
^ thanks and I hear you. My worst nightmare however would be to purchase the property and THEN find out it's an issue.

How I wish I could drag my Captivator over and spend ten minutes setting it up and find out for sure.

I'm guessing I'd likely be ok, but that's a rather expensive guess. I suppose if it's even close another insulated wall would probably really hammer it down very well.

What levels do you listen at, btw?

I currently hit 120+ db peaks in the bass dept!

thanks again for the input.

James
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
And you have a double poured concrete wall whereas I may be just block and drywall.


James
post #5 of 6
The essence of bass isolation:

Decouple the framing

Add simple absorption in the air cavities

Add a great deal of mass

Damp the mass
post #6 of 6
It's important enough to me that were I in your shoes, I'd demand a chance to test the soundproofing or else I'd skip it. The irony is that the more upscale the building, the less tolerant your neighbors are likely to be. When I moved to Philly I got a gorgeous penthouse loft, the ceiling was 30' high at the peak, unrestricted view to the horizon. Nicest place I ever lived, and for a year it really was awesome until a new neighbor moved in. She was a radio news broadcaster, worked in a sound booth all day. Her hearing was crazy sensitive and her hours directly conflicted with evening entertainment. It was a total, complete nightmare that resulted in me moving after she falsely accused me of threatening to kill her... on Christmas Eve! She would even bang on the walls just because we'd have a couple of guests over, chatting in the kitchen with NO music on. So, it's a concern and in any multi-unit dwelling the first thing I would want to know is: How good is the soundproofing. It's the #1 most important thing. When another neighbor complained about noise in the Loft building, I informed him what I heard him and his girlfriend doing that night, just so he knew... the sound leaks through the walls both ways. Personally, I will never ever live in a multi-unit building again.

On another note, even Madonna gets noise complaints in her building, and I'm sure she can afford the finest sound insulation money can buy.
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