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Directing low frequencys away from neighbors residence 150 feet away?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey there everyone, I have a neighbor who has issued noise complaints because of my subwoofer (18" JBL PRX618XLF). His house is about 120 feet away, at an elevation about +10 feet...so there is a bit of a slope towards his residence. I believe the low frequencys are bouding up the hill and concrete drive between my house and his. It's frustrating because even when I keep the volume down the bass waves seem to propagate hundreds of feet in all directions from my house. If only there is a way to direct some of those waves away from his house (the other neighbors don't complain, or are too far away).

Would subwoofer placement within my house have any effect? Would adding mass outside of my house have an effect? I was thinking about getting a whole bunch of sand bags and making a massive wall of sand outside my house (i have access to lots of sand). Any suggestions? My house doesn't have drywall or fiberglass insulation, just plywood walls. But the neighbor only complains about the bass...so the high frequencies aren't a problem, hence no need for insulation.....it's just the bass I need to control.
post #2 of 16
A single 18“ at 120 ft? First thing I would do is try to obtain representative measurements from his property during typical loud listening. I'd also want to know if those citations require certain dB spl during certain hours and whether your noise levels meet that.

Its honorable that you want to try and reduce your sound levels. Containing or reducing low frequency sound is difficult. A sandbag wall might have some effect... or it may be a complete waste of money.

My knee jerk response would be to issue a notification that his lawnmower is too loud.
post #3 of 16
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post

My knee jerk response would be to issue a notification that his lawnmower is too loud.

...or that his dogs (assuming he has some) bark too loud.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm about the only young guy in the neighborhood, most of my neighbors are quiet retirees who don't make much noise at all....so because it is generally so quiet where I live, my music and parties during the later hours often pisses this guy off. Another problem is that one of his buddies is a cop, so he sometimes just calls him personally to come over and scare us. Ideally I would love to have a space where I could talk/laugh play moderate sound levels at later hours without people knowing. I'm a bit of a night owl, so maybe insulation might be a good idea after all? The only thing i'm worried about is that adding say double dry wall and green glue would kill the nice live sound I got going on...but traps and stuff would help surely. Is it possible to only insulate the wall facing his property, but leave only plywood on the opposing wall? I take it that by causing sound resistance on one wall...it will direct the energy towards the other (uninsulated walls) causing the sound to harmlessly escape into the jungle/wilderness behind the house?
post #5 of 16
The majority of what your neighbor is hearing is bass, mostly in the 40hz-100hz range. The bottom line is that there is no easy way to deal with frequencies this low. Another 3/4" layer of drywall isnt going to help that much.
post #6 of 16
Become more sensitive to your elderly neighbors and don't crank it up late at night.....?


post #7 of 16
Get a house built out of bricks and mortar: I have neighbours much closer than this (one is only about 8' away at the closest point) yet I can listen at reference level after midnight and go outside where there is no noticeable noise let alone inside their house. Is it typical to have a house built of plywood where you live? confused.gif Good double glazing helps too, but I think it's mostly the solid walls we have that helps. I can feel the bass if I put my hand on the front porch uprights though. biggrin.gif
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Out here in Hawaii most of the buildings are constructed out of plywood and light materials. My place is about 500 square feet with high celings (which are not insulated at all, just the plywood) and I haven't put drywall on the interior wall, just some fiberglass and that fake wood paneling covering the walls. I'm going to have to replace the interior wall anyways soon...theres already mold growing because of the high humidity. Thinking about adding some drywall, but that's not going to do much for the low frequencies...maybe absorb a bit of bass.
Ventilation is really an issue around here, it gets hot but there's a lot of breeze...so I have these louvered windows which let out a lot of sound. In a way they make great absorbers and the place sounds pretty good as far as I can tell...so I don't wanna close it up too much , maybe some magna seal windows to place over the lover windows when I need to isolate the sound more.
Ideally what I need here is some suggestions of how to optimize my rooms low frequency response...so I get a little bit of extra gain on the low end inside? Then I wouldn't need to turn the sub up so loud...because right now my room seems to be cancelling out a lot of the bass and sending it off into unwanted places. Right now I have the sub right behind my couch near the side wall. It shakes the couch nicely and I'm thinking of adding more couches and thick vinyl padding around the subwoofer and couch. Would this absorb even a noticeable amount of low frequency, by transforming the energy into vibration? Could I add some kind of stage to place the couch and sub onto?
post #9 of 16
I can't imagine what the humidity in Hawaii (was there in '95) would do to electronics in an "open" house. Can't be good......
post #10 of 16
Once you have such gaping holes such as louvered windows, all bets are off as far as containing the bass. You need to get an AC and seal all the hole, windows, door jams, etc. shut smile.gif. And no, optimizing the bass response will do nothing to help with this problem.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah AC would be nice, but electricity is so expensive out here...for a 500 square foot place i'd need a pretty big one huh. See I want have a space that I can still open up when I want to to let the nice natural breeze come in. That's why i'm looking at those magna seal clips for the window. All you need to do is buy a clear acrylic sheet to fit the existing window, you line it with magnetic tape and then it snaps onto your window. The rest of the house is pretty tightly sealed (with acoustic caulk and some foam), Right now i'm just trying to figure out a way to amplify the bass a bit within the room...room gain, i know its possible to create the perception of bass without turning the volume up so high. Maybe drywall will help with that a bit. What do you think?
post #12 of 16
I've ben out that way a few times and know the basic structure. The problem is, your house is acting like it's own subwoofer. The windows are the ports, the four walls are the sides, and you & your equipment is just stuffing.

Stuffing the port on a sub muffles the 'chugging' but increases the db's. By closing all openings, you are doing the same thing.

Get a db meter and measure from his drive way, without rebuilding our home, your gonna half to defend your levels, with facts,'cause it's gonna go to court.

post #13 of 16
Only thing that comes to mind is nearfield subwoofer placement. That means as close to you as possible. Sound levels drop quickly with distance, and the nearer the sub is to you the louder it will be for a given gain/volume setting. Put another way, halving the distance between you and the sub has the same effect as your neighbors house being twice as far away. One quarter distance... four times the distance.

But you mention the sub is already against the couch... may be as close as possible already?
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah I already have it pretty close to the couch near the corner...i've uploaded a diagram of the house, thinking about moving the couch and sub into the center left lengthwise...check it out and let me know what you think. But I think those all the open cavities and large barn door will let out absorb a lot of sound or let it out into the jungle behind the house. Cottage Layout.jpg 63k .jpg file
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Also, there is an exposed loft area cover the left part of the building above the plywood divider walls shown in the diagram. How might that be affecting the rooms acoustics? 2/3 of the house is wide open, the other third incorporates 3 small rooms and one larger upper loft. Hope my diagram makes some sense. Thanks
post #16 of 16
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