Does a subwoofer make sense for me? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-19-2019, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Does a subwoofer make sense for me?

Current setup:
- KEF Q150 front L/R
- Yamaha RX-V385

Room
- 9 ft x 20 ft
- I sit about 7ft away from the speakers (opposite ends of the 9ft room width)

I'm hoping to buy a 3rd Q150 in the near future to use as a centre channel, and I'm considering a sub as well. Sub would be to benefit my music listening; for tv/movies I'd be satisfied with adding the centre channel and having a 3.0 setup.

I live in a small condo <600 sq ft and there seems to be a never-ending argument as to whether subs are appropriate in apartment/condo buildings.

Building is concrete with drywall and I'm in the middle of the building (vertically and horizontally). Wood floors throughout.

I've done my research but I just keep seeing both sides of the arguments and it's leaving me in an indecisive state.

The only place that I'd have room for a sub would either be on top of my tv stand in between the front L/R, or directly beside the couch on the opposite side of the room. The tv stand is against a wall that is shared with other parts of my unit (bathroom/laundry), but the couch is against a wall that is shared with my neighbours bedroom.

I understand that it's the low frequencies that 'shake' the walls, but how much of an impact does overall volume have?

If I listen as reasonable volumes, will those low frequencies still be heard/felt by my neighbours?

Will setting the sub low still provide the 'full' sound that I'm missing with my 2.0, or does 'full sound' and 'wall rattles' inevitably go hand-in-hand?

Is the top of a tv stand in between front L/R a terrible place for a sub?

Is it possible to get that full sound without being a terrible neighbour? Any solutions like smaller subs, lower volumes, isolating pads, etc.?

Any other thoughts or advice?
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-19-2019, 03:19 PM
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I think a sub would definitely benefit most systems and they don't have to be monstrous and booming. Just think of one as an extension for your speakers. You can turn the levels low enough that you feel the bass more than you hear it. You probably do need to place the sub on the floor for it to be most effective. I would check out a smaller sub like the 8" yamaha or an RSL Speedwoofer 10S. There are a lot of options in between. When I lived in a apartment none of my neighbors ever complained about my sub which was a 7" Boston acoustic sub but they don't make it anymore. The 10" version looks pretty good. Maybe also look primarily at sealed subs as they don't boom as much as their ported counterparts.
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post #3 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rgarc View Post
I think a sub would definitely benefit most systems and they don't have to be monstrous and booming. Just think of one as an extension for your speakers. You can turn the levels low enough that you feel the bass more than you hear it. You probably do need to place the sub on the floor for it to be most effective. I would check out a smaller sub like the 8" yamaha or an RSL Speedwoofer 10S. There are a lot of options in between. When I lived in a apartment none of my neighbors ever complained about my sub which was a 7" Boston acoustic sub but they don't make it anymore. The 10" version looks pretty good. Maybe also look primarily at sealed subs and they boom as much as their ported counterparts.


What do you mean by "feel the bass more than you hear it"? Wouldn't that be the opposite of what I'm trying to do?

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into those. I could always get a sub from somewhere with a good return window and if neighbours complain then just return it.
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post #4 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 12:07 PM
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+1 to the Speedwoofer 10S. It's reasonably powerful, well-rated, compact and well-priced ($400, which includes shipping and free return shipping).
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 12:11 PM
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Yes. A sub would almost be necessary with bookshelf speakers if you want good, solid bass.

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post #6 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
+1 to the Speedwoofer 10S. It's reasonably powerful, well-rated, compact and well-priced ($400, which includes shipping and free return shipping).
Is this available in Canada? Not seeing anything on Google or Amazon.ca



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Yes. A sub would almost be necessary with bookshelf speakers if you want good, solid bass.

I'm aware of the benefits of a sub, but that doesn't really answer any of the questions that I had.
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 12:32 PM
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You might want to consider a pair of bass shakers. They add the tactical feel of bass without the worries of knocking pictures off the wall. I have a punch sub, a deep sub and bass shakers. They all add to the experience and I am ok twith headphones and some good bass shakers for when noise is an issue.

I use these and love them!

https://www.parts-express.com/aura-a...ducer--299-028
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post #8 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstein91
Is this available in Canada? Not seeing anything on Google or Amazon.ca …
I don't think it's available up here. If you live relatively close to the border, you can have it shipped for free to a US mailbox for pick-up.

But after currency conversion (xe.com) and 13% HST you're looking at roughly $600 CAD.

An alternative is the SVS SB-1000 for $679 + tax, shipped, from electronicsforless.ca, an SVS-authorized Canadian reseller.
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post #9 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 12:37 PM
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How much do you hear of your neighbors? Footsteps from above? Music from the sides? Screaming from shared bedroom walls?

If you can hear them, they can hear you.

That said, a sub would be a good addition, but you may have to attenuate it's performance if the sound leaks to your neighbors. There are two possible means of the sound leaking. The first is through physical coupling of the sub to the floor. As the sub moves in response to the produced bass, it transfers that vibration to the subflooring and structure. This can be cured by investing in a SubDude or isolation feet, such as the ones provided by SVS. The other mechanism is via the sound waves produced by the sub. Can't do anything about that, except to turn it down. Also, lower bass frequencies tend to travel better than the higher frequencies, so you may consider a sub with less extension instead of more extension, as heretical as that sounds. The Q Acoustics 3070 would be a good example of this sort of sub, and it's unique shape would lend itself to additional positioning options.

The best scenario would be to try to have the sub placed near your seating, so the lowest gain produces the most perceived output (has to be louder if further away). Of course, this may lead to localization issues if the crossover is any higher than 80Hz (should be fine for the KEF). With bass, positioning is everything, so have multiple placement options available.

So, all you can do is try it. Perhaps you could visit your downstairs/next door neighbors and hear for yourself?

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #10 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rontalley View Post
You might want to consider a pair of bass shakers. They add the tactical feel of bass without the worries of knocking pictures off the wall. I have a punch sub, a deep sub and bass shakers. They all add to the experience and I am ok twith headphones and some good bass shakers for when noise is an issue.

I use these and love them!

https://www.parts-express.com/aura-a...ducer--299-028

Thanks, I didn't even know bass shakers were a thing, so I'll definitely look into it more! Seems like they provide the 'feeling' of bass without the actual frequencies/sound?







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How much do you hear of your neighbors? Footsteps from above? Music from the sides? Screaming from shared bedroom walls?

If you can hear them, they can hear you.

That said, a sub would be a good addition, but you may have to attenuate it's performance if the sound leaks to your neighbors. There are two possible means of the sound leaking. The first is through physical coupling of the sub to the floor. As the sub moves in response to the produced bass, it transfers that vibration to the subflooring and structure. This can be cured by investing in a SubDude or isolation feet, such as the ones provided by SVS. The other mechanism is via the sound waves produced by the sub. Can't do anything about that, except to turn it down. Also, lower bass frequencies tend to travel better than the higher frequencies, so you may consider a sub with less extension instead of more extension, as heretical as that sounds. The Q Acoustics 3070 would be a good example of this sort of sub, and it's unique shape would lend itself to additional positioning options.

The best scenario would be to try to have the sub placed near your seating, so the lowest gain produces the most perceived output (has to be louder if further away). Of course, this may lead to localization issues if the crossover is any higher than 80Hz (should be fine for the KEF). With bass, positioning is everything, so have multiple placement options available.

So, all you can do is try it. Perhaps you could visit your downstairs/next door neighbors and hear for yourself?

Thanks, this was a really helpful comment.

Surprisingly, I hear very little from my neighbours. I hear the occasional alarm clock, something dropped on the floor, etc., but otherwise things are surprisingly quiet... I don't really hear any day-to-day living noise; no footsteps, screaming, music, etc.

I'm definitely more concerned about the second example of sound leaking that you gave since I know there are fixable solutions to the first type (like you mentioned). When you say "can't do anything about that, except to turn it down", that's kind of what I'm most curious about... if I keep it at a low enough volume that it doesn't transfer through walls, can it still provide the benefit I'd be looking for of filling out my sound system?

Unfortunately I'm very limited with placement options, but one option would be 1-2ft to the left of where I sit, underneath my desk (which is adjacent to my couch).
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post #11 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cstein91 View Post
I'm aware of the benefits of a sub, but that doesn't really answer any of the questions that I had.
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If I listen as reasonable volumes, will those low frequencies still be heard/felt by my neighbours?
I live in a concrete-construction apartment building from the 70's that was converted to condos in the 90's. At reasonable volume levels, I can't see it really being a problem, but you might have to clearly define for us what you consider to be "reasonable." My Master Volume level never really goes higher than -32dB. My subwoofer, which is a HSU ULS-15 MK2 (a beast of a sub for the 8' x 16' room it's in) is kept at the 9 o'clock area on the volume knob, and still pumps out a really good amount of bass.

My neighbour below is particularly difficult, and has accused us of running exercise equipment at 4am when we don't even have that kind of equipment in our place (nor were we even awake at that time) - it was the building's pipes knocking periodically anytime someone flushed the toilet or ran their water. At any rate, I've had the volume up on the sub while I was figuring out what volume level worked the best without being annoying to the neighbour below, and she hasn't left any passive aggressive notes at our door.

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Will setting the sub low still provide the 'full' sound that I'm missing with my 2.0, or does 'full sound' and 'wall rattles' inevitably go hand-in-hand?
The impact of any bass won't be felt at low volume levels. You also don't need to shake the walls in order to have solid bass.

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Is the top of a tv stand in between front L/R a terrible place for a sub?
Yes. You will probably experience a lot of vibration/rattling with the sub on top of a TV stand. You can look into isolation pads for subwoofers that will effectually decouple the sub from the floor, and eliminate (if not greatly reduce) any vibrations your neighbour below experiences if you're concerned.

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Is it possible to get that full sound without being a terrible neighbour?
Yes. Things like area rugs or isolation pads will help in achieving that.

Edit: as an added note - I don't hear my neighbours at all, really. If I hear them, it's more sound in the hallway outside of the units coming from their door.

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post #12 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 01:45 PM
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Thanks, this was a really helpful comment.

Surprisingly, I hear very little from my neighbours. I hear the occasional alarm clock, something dropped on the floor, etc., but otherwise things are surprisingly quiet... I don't really hear any day-to-day living noise; no footsteps, screaming, music, etc.

I'm definitely more concerned about the second example of sound leaking that you gave since I know there are fixable solutions to the first type (like you mentioned). When you say "can't do anything about that, except to turn it down", that's kind of what I'm most curious about... if I keep it at a low enough volume that it doesn't transfer through walls, can it still provide the benefit I'd be looking for of filling out my sound system?

Unfortunately I'm very limited with placement options, but one option would be 1-2ft to the left of where I sit, underneath my desk (which is adjacent to my couch).
"The benefit I'm looking for" is a completely subjective criterion. No way anybody can tell you that, you will have to try it for yourself.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #13 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 01:54 PM
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Thanks, I didn't even know bass shakers were a thing, so I'll definitely look into it more! Seems like they provide the 'feeling' of bass without the actual frequencies/sound?
You can actually “feel” the frequencies as well! The “sound” is minimal, the impact is huge! I get just as much, if not more, tactical feel from 1 shaker than an 18” sub.

I can leave the 18” sub off and not miss it much but need those shakers on when watching or listening to anything.

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post #14 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in a concrete-construction apartment building from the 70's that was converted to condos in the 90's. At reasonable volume levels, I can't see it really being a problem, but you might have to clearly define for us what you consider to be "reasonable." My Master Volume level never really goes higher than -32dB. My subwoofer, which is a HSU ULS-15 MK2 (a beast of a sub for the 8' x 16' room it's in) is kept at the 9 o'clock area on the volume knob, and still pumps out a really good amount of bass.
Is it normal that my master volume level changes a lot based on the source? For example when I watch movies on Netflix, it's usually between -17dB and -27dB (I'm constantly increasing/decreasing during loud scenes like car chases and explosions; hoping that adding a centre channel will help eliminate this though), but when I'm listening to music I find -30dB to -35dB to be 'reasonable'.

Either way, reasonable to me is basically loud enough to hear everything clearly without it being aggressively loud. I'm definitely the type to enjoy very loud music, but I save that for headphones and my car.


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My neighbour below is particularly difficult, and has accused us of running exercise equipment at 4am when we don't even have that kind of equipment in our place (nor were we even awake at that time) - it was the building's pipes knocking periodically anytime someone flushed the toilet or ran their water. At any rate, I've had the volume up on the sub while I was figuring out what volume level worked the best without being annoying to the neighbour below, and she hasn't left any passive aggressive notes at our door.
Oh crap should I not be using my stairmaster at 4am?


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The impact of any bass won't be felt at low volume levels. You also don't need to shake the walls in order to have solid bass.

....

Yes. Things like area rugs or isolation pads will help in achieving that.
Thanks, that's what I'm trying to figure out. Buy a sub, keep it low, enjoy a more full sound without shaking my neighbours.




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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
Yes. You will probably experience a lot of vibration/rattling with the sub on top of a TV stand. You can look into isolation pads for subwoofers that will effectually decouple the sub from the floor, and eliminate (if not greatly reduce) any vibrations your neighbour below experiences if you're concerned.
.

The tv stand idea is actually because of very limited floor space, not as an attempt to isolate sound. My only other option is to put it right beside the couch under my desk which seems like the better choice if I end up getting one.



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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post

Edit: as an added note - I don't hear my neighbours at all, really. If I hear them, it's more sound in the hallway outside of the units coming from their door.

Yeah pretty much the same for me. I hear very little day-to-day living noise, but when I have my music playing and I go down the hallway to the garbage chute, I can definitely hear my music out there... door have much more sound leakage than the walls.
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post #15 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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"The benefit I'm looking for" is a completely subjective criterion. No way anybody can tell you that, you will have to try it for yourself.


Very true. When I watch movies I find the 2.0 with the Q150's to be plenty for me, but when I listen to my music there are times where I just don't 'feel' the music the way I would with a sub. It definitely feels like it's lacking but I know what you mean that 'the benefit I'm looking for' is subjective to my own preferences.
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post #16 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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You can actually “feel” the frequencies as well! The “sound” is minimal, the impact is huge! I get just as much, if not more, tactical feel from 1 shaker than an 18” sub.

I can leave the 18” sub off and not miss it much but need those shakers on when watching or listening to anything.

The part that I find I'm missing most is the 'feeling' of the low end, that encompassing feeling, if that makes sense. So maybe you're right and it might be worth trying the shakers to see if that's what I've been looking for.
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post #17 of 27 Old 11-20-2019, 02:42 PM
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What do you mean by "feel the bass more than you hear it"? Wouldn't that be the opposite of what I'm trying to do?

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into those. I could always get a sub from somewhere with a good return window and if neighbours complain then just return it.
That does sound contradictory so let me clarify what i mean. I don't mean the chest thumping bass that will get you evicted. I mean set the volume of the the sub low enough that it sounds like an extension of the bookshelf speakers. it's like being able to hear a pedal tone on an organ or a subtle walking bass line on a jazz album supporting the rest of the orchestra without commanding too much attention to itself. it just hits you in the spine but doesn't shake you by the shoulders. You may not even notice its there until you remove it by cutting out the sub completely. I hoe that better describes what I mean.

Basically I would try to make your Kef's sound like floorstanding speakers, but with better bass extension.
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The part that I find I'm missing most is the 'feeling' of the low end, that encompassing feeling, if that makes sense. So maybe you're right and it might be worth trying the shakers to see if that's what I've been looking for.
If you do decide to go with the bass shakers then you will need an Amp. I used this plate Amp and it has plenty of power for two shakers in parallel.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...ifier--300-784

I use regular 16 gauge speaker wire and some dc connectors so I can easily disconnect my chairs when needed.

The plate Amp just sits in a corner which is on a smart plug. You will definitely "feel" the bass. It's like sitting in a car with speaker boxes in the trunk but you just get the vibrations throughout your body without the inevitable hearing loss.

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Last edited by rontalley; 11-20-2019 at 04:05 PM.
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post #19 of 27 Old 11-21-2019, 11:14 AM
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All good suggestions here, just want to add that for pretty much zero added SPL, The BOSS is a great solution for very natural tactile response (much better than any "shaker", and on par with the much more expensive Crowson MAs) if you are willing to do a little DIY.
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post #20 of 27 Old 11-21-2019, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstein91 View Post
Is it normal that my master volume level changes a lot based on the source? For example when I watch movies on Netflix, it's usually between -17dB and -27dB (I'm constantly increasing/decreasing during loud scenes like car chases and explosions; hoping that adding a centre channel will help eliminate this though), but when I'm listening to music I find -30dB to -35dB to be 'reasonable'.

Either way, reasonable to me is basically loud enough to hear everything clearly without it being aggressively loud. I'm definitely the type to enjoy very loud music, but I save that for headphones and my car.
I would say that it's not unusual for people to set volume levels differently depending on the content. I would personally feel a little uneasy with a Master Volume level set to -17dB (I think I have gone up to -27dB just as a brief test), but I also only sit about 5-6 feet away, so it would be quite loud for me, and I'm sure the neighbour below would hear something.

The other thing to consider if you're concerned about being a good neighbour is your municipality's bylaws, or even the rules of the building. You can probably listen to louder/loud-ish volume levels up to a certain time of day, and no one can really legally say anything other than gripe at you.

You also mentioned that "feeling" of the bass - you can achieve that encompassing feeling with a good sub even at a -30 to -35dB Master Volume setting on the AVR. The 15" sub I have for my small 8 x 16 foot room easily achieves this and it's barely turned up. 9 o'clock for the sub I have is only one notch past the minimum notch setting on the volume knob.

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post #21 of 27 Old 11-21-2019, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rontalley View Post

I use regular 16 gauge speaker wire and some dc connectors so I can easily disconnect my chairs when needed. .


So the dc connectors basically act as an on/off remote control since the shakers/amp don't have an actual remote?




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Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
All good suggestions here, just want to add that for pretty much zero added SPL, The BOSS is a great solution for very natural tactile response (much better than any "shaker", and on par with the much more expensive Crowson MAs) if you are willing to do a little DIY.


Not much of a DYI person when it comes to electronics, I usually just choose to pay a bit more $$$ for the hassle free option lol. But I'll take a look into it, thanks.





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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
I would say that it's not unusual for people to set volume levels differently depending on the content. I would personally feel a little uneasy with a Master Volume level set to -17dB (I think I have gone up to -27dB just as a brief test), but I also only sit about 5-6 feet away, so it would be quite loud for me, and I'm sure the neighbour below would hear something.

The other thing to consider if you're concerned about being a good neighbour is your municipality's bylaws, or even the rules of the building. You can probably listen to louder/loud-ish volume levels up to a certain time of day, and no one can really legally say anything other than gripe at you.

You also mentioned that "feeling" of the bass - you can achieve that encompassing feeling with a good sub even at a -30 to -35dB Master Volume setting on the AVR. The 15" sub I have for my small 8 x 16 foot room easily achieves this and it's barely turned up. 9 o'clock for the sub I have is only one notch past the minimum notch setting on the volume knob.


The -17dB for movie watching sounds the same loudness as the -34dB music listening. I need to check when I'm home later but maybe with the movie watching my TV remote volume is only halfway up so I'm turning the master volume louder to compensate, whereas the music listening isn't going through the TV at all so the remote being halfway up isn't a factor and the -34dB is 'real' volume level... just a thought. But yeah the -17dB is only appropriate for dialogue, once any action starts I'm putting it to -25dB to -30dB

Building rules is basically be considerate and no excessive noise at night. Normal laws are after 11pm but I'm sure anything after 9pm or so would warrant a complaint. I'd rather be considerate and avoid any complaints all together though, I know how much it would annoy me if I was on the opposite side of things.

And the last part of your post is really good to know because that's basically the situation I'm in. I'd be keeping the music volume around -30dB and I'd keep the sub low, I just want to feel that extra oomph that I'm missing out on now.
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post #22 of 27 Old 11-21-2019, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cstein91 View Post
The -17dB for movie watching sounds the same loudness as the -34dB music listening. I need to check when I'm home later but maybe with the movie watching my TV remote volume is only halfway up so I'm turning the master volume louder to compensate, whereas the music listening isn't going through the TV at all so the remote being halfway up isn't a factor and the -34dB is 'real' volume level... just a thought. But yeah the -17dB is only appropriate for dialogue, once any action starts I'm putting it to -25dB to -30dB

Building rules is basically be considerate and no excessive noise at night. Normal laws are after 11pm but I'm sure anything after 9pm or so would warrant a complaint. I'd rather be considerate and avoid any complaints all together though, I know how much it would annoy me if I was on the opposite side of things.

And the last part of your post is really good to know because that's basically the situation I'm in. I'd be keeping the music volume around -30dB and I'd keep the sub low, I just want to feel that extra oomph that I'm missing out on now.
Huh... I just turn the TV speakers off. Does it sound echo-y at all when you watch TV/movies?

Then you should be fine up to 11pm if that's what the municipal bylaws state. If -34dB is the real volume level, then that should be completely fine - I have listened slightly louder than that in my place right up until midnight with no complaints (though I have to say that my room is about as far away from the adjacent units as it can possibly be, but we also haven't heard anything from neighbour below). I personally wouldn't call -34dB on the AVR's MV knob excessive at all.

And really... "excessive" can be a pretty subjective term.

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post #23 of 27 Old 11-21-2019, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
Huh... I just turn the TV speakers off. Does it sound echo-y at all when you watch TV/movies?

Then you should be fine up to 11pm if that's what the municipal bylaws state. If -34dB is the real volume level, then that should be completely fine - I have listened slightly louder than that in my place right up until midnight with no complaints (though I have to say that my room is about as far away from the adjacent units as it can possibly be, but we also haven't heard anything from neighbour below). I personally wouldn't call -34dB on the AVR's MV knob excessive at all.

And really... "excessive" can be a pretty subjective term.



The TV speakers are turned off, doesn't sound echo-y. The KEF's are definitely the sole output, but I can control the volume with both my TV remote as well as my receiver remote. I need to check when I get home if they both change the volume directly on the receiver (in which case I have no idea why -17dB to -27dB sounds normal for TV/movies).

In terms of 'excessive', the way building management explained it to me when I moved in was "We don't tolerate noise late at night, if any of your neighbours are being too loud you can call the front desk and they will go up and check and give them a warning. And if it's a repeated issue we'll take action. But if they're loud and it's before 9pm or so there's nothing we can really do".

So they pretty much acknowledge that I'm "allowed" to be loud during the day/early evening. Then it's just a matter of what I'm "allowed" to do versus what I feel comfortable doing for the sake of my neighbours

With or without a sub, I'll never listen at 'party level' loudness out of respect for my neighbours. I just want to listen at a comfortable level (I know, subjective). At the volumes I listen at, I'm sure the neighbours might hear it but if the front desk came up to my unit they probably wouldn't consider it 'excessive' (by their own subjective measure)
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post #24 of 27 Old 11-21-2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cstein91 View Post
So the dc connectors basically act as an on/off remote control since the shakers/amp don't have an actual remote?
No the dc connectors are so I can easily disconnect the chairs from the Amp. I have a small multipurpose room where it's a PC workstation, music work station, virtual reality station, flight sim station, home theater and gaming station. I have to play musical chairs sometimes and have to disconnect the recliners to move them around depending on what I am using the room for.



I use a smart plug connected to SmartThings to turn the Amp on and off mostly through a home automation routine or just ask Alexa to turn on/off the Chair Amp. I also have a Harmony Hub, a little Z-Wave Mini Remote and a 10" Tablet that I can turn on/off various things in my Man Cave!



I am really into tech! Here's a video showing off various things in my Man Cave. Old video and a lot of upgrades since but you get the point.


A current picture is in my signature.

Wow, I really got off topic! Yeah, back to the subject. The bass shakers made a bigger difference than the 18" UM18-22 4 cu.ft. build.
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post #25 of 27 Old 11-21-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cstein91 View Post
The TV speakers are turned off, doesn't sound echo-y. The KEF's are definitely the sole output, but I can control the volume with both my TV remote as well as my receiver remote. I need to check when I get home if they both change the volume directly on the receiver (in which case I have no idea why -17dB to -27dB sounds normal for TV/movies).

In terms of 'excessive', the way building management explained it to me when I moved in was "We don't tolerate noise late at night, if any of your neighbours are being too loud you can call the front desk and they will go up and check and give them a warning. And if it's a repeated issue we'll take action. But if they're loud and it's before 9pm or so there's nothing we can really do".

So they pretty much acknowledge that I'm "allowed" to be loud during the day/early evening. Then it's just a matter of what I'm "allowed" to do versus what I feel comfortable doing for the sake of my neighbours

With or without a sub, I'll never listen at 'party level' loudness out of respect for my neighbours. I just want to listen at a comfortable level (I know, subjective). At the volumes I listen at, I'm sure the neighbours might hear it but if the front desk came up to my unit they probably wouldn't consider it 'excessive' (by their own subjective measure)
Ahh, I misunderstood. I often just control the AVR volume with my cable box remote since it has the function. I believe my TV remote can also do that if I have it enabled. No idea what the discrepancy in the numbers means, though.

In that case, if any of your neighbours are home during the day, listen at your normal levels, and ask them if they hear anything. If they say no, then enjoy as late as you want! If they say yes, you can follow up by asking how loud it is on their end, and just turn the volume down a bit from there once 9pm strikes if they say it'd be a nuisance for them.

I think I'm in a very similar situation as you as far as building construction goes, so I cannot foresee anyone saying anything at the levels you've indicated. Concrete does tend to dampen things a fair, and if your media room is far enough away from any of the other units, that will help as well.

Home Theatre: Onkyo TX-NR747 | Polk Audio RTi A3 Front L/R | Polk Audio CSi A6 Centre | Polk Audio RTi A1 Surround L/R | HSU ULS-15 MK2 Subwoofer | Sony XBR55X900E | PlayStation 4 Pro | Xbox One S

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post #26 of 27 Old 11-21-2019, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rontalley View Post
No the dc connectors are so I can easily disconnect the chairs from the Amp. I have a small multipurpose room where it's a PC workstation, music work station, virtual reality station, flight sim station, home theater and gaming station. I have to play musical chairs sometimes and have to disconnect the recliners to move them around depending on what I am using the room for.

I use a smart plug connected to SmartThings to turn the Amp on and off mostly through a home automation routine or just ask Alexa to turn on/off the Chair Amp. I also have a Harmony Hub, a little Z-Wave Mini Remote and a 10" Tablet that I can turn on/off various things in my Man Cave!

I am really into tech! Here's a video showing off various things in my Man Cave. Old video and a lot of upgrades since but you get the point.

A current picture is in my signature.

Wow, I really got off topic! Yeah, back to the subject. The bass shakers made a bigger difference than the 18" UM18-22 4 cu.ft. build.


Well damn.. I have the same Ikea Lack wall shelf, so I'm halfway there right?
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post #27 of 27 Old 11-22-2019, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by cstein91 View Post
Current setup:
- KEF Q150 front L/R
- Yamaha RX-V385

Room
- 9 ft x 20 ft
- I sit about 7ft away from the speakers (opposite ends of the 9ft room width)

I'm hoping to buy a 3rd Q150 in the near future to use as a centre channel, and I'm considering a sub as well. Sub would be to benefit my music listening; for tv/movies I'd be satisfied with adding the centre channel and having a 3.0 setup.

I live in a small condo <600 sq ft and there seems to be a never-ending argument as to whether subs are appropriate in apartment/condo buildings.

Building is concrete with drywall and I'm in the middle of the building (vertically and horizontally). Wood floors throughout.

I've done my research but I just keep seeing both sides of the arguments and it's leaving me in an indecisive state.

The only place that I'd have room for a sub would either be on top of my tv stand in between the front L/R, or directly beside the couch on the opposite side of the room. The tv stand is against a wall that is shared with other parts of my unit (bathroom/laundry), but the couch is against a wall that is shared with my neighbours bedroom.

I understand that it's the low frequencies that 'shake' the walls, but how much of an impact does overall volume have?

If I listen as reasonable volumes, will those low frequencies still be heard/felt by my neighbours?

Will setting the sub low still provide the 'full' sound that I'm missing with my 2.0, or does 'full sound' and 'wall rattles' inevitably go hand-in-hand?

Is the top of a tv stand in between front L/R a terrible place for a sub?

Is it possible to get that full sound without being a terrible neighbour? Any solutions like smaller subs, lower volumes, isolating pads, etc.?

Any other thoughts or advice?

Your neighbors will most definitely hear a sub. You would have to have concrete walls/floors not wood and drywall. If alarm clock sound travels through the walls/floor there is absolutely nothing there to stop bass wavelengths. You read some people saying I had a sub in my apt and no one complained. They heard it, they just didn't complain. Many people prefer to avoid confrontation, even if it's as simple as asking a neighbor to turn down their music.

That being said you could try one out and ask your neighbors if they hear it or if it bothers them. Music would be better than the deeper bass from a movie lfe track.

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