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Subwoofers hard on house structure?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Probably a silly concern, but I'm going to go ahead and ask anyway.... I've seen a couple youtube videos now where some mean subwoofers (rythmik FV15HP for example) are playing loud enough to really rattle some windows. I'm wondering as a new homeowner who just finished building a fairly expensive home, do I need to be concerned with subwoofer output potentially damaging the home? Windows being rattled, projector mounted to ceiling rattling, drywall popping screws etc? My media area is not a basement cave, but rather a 2nd floor bonus room (~3000 cubic ft with an open back to the rest of the house). I dont have a subwoofer yet, and was actually looking hard at the aforementioned FV15HP, but man, seeing video of it really rattling windows and such has me a little concerned...

Tell me I'm being silly and there's absolutely nothing to worry about please... ;-)
post #2 of 16
You have nothing to be concerned about. I am a retired
structural engineer and a current home theater fan.
post #3 of 16
The only thing you need to be worried about is the LFE causing natural gas pipe fittings to work themselves loose... eek.gif

Kidding! biggrin.gif

Although, sometimes I do wonder about it... smile.gif
post #4 of 16
Damaging the home - quite unlikely.

Windows or miscellaneous objects rattling quite possible, along with things poorly secured on the wall falling.

It is possible to get wall flex with very low frequency output at high volume but that is only possible with very unusual systems. Plus you don't have to run your subs any louder than you want to....
post #5 of 16
Maybe if you invited Motorhead over to rock out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxU4ef2o7h0
post #6 of 16
it would be an issue if yor had some of the gear that these bassheads have on here. ie:members mktheatre,archrea,counsil and a few others. if you're talking about 1 or 2 fv15hp...no problem.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonForwick View Post

do I need to be concerned with subwoofer output potentially damaging the home?
It can happen, and this is not an isolated incident:
http://billfitzmaurice.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=18948&p=203128&hilit=drywall#p203128

IMO this was probably caused by improper framing, with the drywall not supported at the corner joint as it should have been. But this was one of my Table Tuba subs, and that's not The Big One. A few years ago someone with a Tuba HT cracked the foundation concrete in his basement; another guy put one in his SUV and blew out the windshield. eek.gif
post #8 of 16
I'm a general contractor and I would think the only thing I would worry about is if your room had really old lathe and plaster walls, and even then you would have to have a few submersives playing at 130db constantly. New construction with glued drywall is fine.
post #9 of 16
It'll probably damage your marriage before it damages the house. rolleyes.gif
post #10 of 16
With DIY and an older house, sure. A commecrial or ID sub in a fairly well built home? Nope.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by leninGHOLA View Post

With DIY and an older house, sure. A commecrial or ID sub in a fairly well built home? Nope.
Not when it's this commercial sub:
http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/products/subwoofers/specialty-subs/dts-10/
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Not when it's this commercial sub:
http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/products/subwoofers/specialty-subs/dts-10/

Good point. A DTS-10 can put out some pretty serious SPL.
post #13 of 16
Reminds me of the 3 Little Pigs.
post #14 of 16
yes you can...

A pair of JTR Orbit shifters in my house (when cut loose) broke the grout in the kitchen (immediately above my home theater room on a wooden subfloor.
The same pair broke a Blu-Ray drive in my computer, broke a HD-DVD drive on my Xbox 360, broken focus alignment and discolored my Epson 8350 projector (I returned it under warranty - it was clearly the sub volume that did this. We loosed some drywall in my room too. All these things happened in the 2012 KC Blind sub meet during some playtime at EXTREME EXTREME EXTREME volume levels. Volume levels that some said controlled their breathing and while I didn't feel that I felt my hair all standing on end (all over my body) and every single last square inch of my clothing vibrating. It was a psycho feeling. SPL levels I've only felt in competition type car audio before. I think structural damage likely begins occurring around the 125 to 130dB range and ramps up quickly from there.






Here are more pictures from that meet
http://photobucket.com/2012KCBlindSubMeet

I know my walls will flex pretty hard (audibly) and projector screen bounce pretty good from anything about 105dB and up in the lowest frequencies.

You can hear that here as the frequency drops you hear the room start activating! (even at a conservative 106dB)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YpXIFfScAU


My room is only about 2 years old. I redid the drywall and a lot of it is loosened up at this point so that extremely loud music now sounds like crap cause the walls are all buzzing. That's been a slow deterioration based on short spirited 125dB listening sessions, and a quick bulldozer of those JTR Orbit Shifter subs which are just flat out amazing subs --- more capable than any other sub I've ever heard. I have a hard time thinking a single sub like the Rythmik FV15HP would do much damage except in a small room. Let's put it this way - you won't accidentally damage your home without knowing it. You have to really crank on the volume to do damage.

My pair of captivator subs have unstacked cans in the pantry, knocked multiple dishes out of the cupboards, knocked things down, unfocused my projector dozens of times, and loosed drywall as well. Gorilla83's captivator subs unscrewed a lightbulb in his bathroom while we were listening loud in preparation for his recent submeet.

Anyone who has had a pair of subs in a car will surely tell you that subwoofer vibration will loosen up door panels and make everything rattle --- same situation applies. You make things vibrate with enough SPL --- damage will occur.
Edited by Archaea - 12/4/12 at 9:58pm
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses. Feel better as really I'm not looking for ear bleeding loud, just want to be sure I can turn the volume up enough for a movie to be play 'loudly' without risking dmg (like those crazy pictures above! eek.gif)
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by smudge981 View Post

It'll probably damage your marriage before it damages the house. rolleyes.gif
This is definitely true. Your family life might be damaged before anything happen to the house.
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