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post #1 of 19 Old 07-07-2017, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Buying A House & Dealing With Audio System Bass Leakage

Hi all,

I'm going to be buying a house for the first time.

I have a JTR Speakers Orbit Shifter LFU, and a couple JTR Noesis 212HTs in a 2.1 configuration. I might change and/or expand this setup in the future.

One of my main considerations when choosing the right house (and land) is to be able to crank my audio system up, ideally as loud as I want, and at any time.

Therefore, I'm trying to figure out what to look for when searching for the right area and house, and what I'd need to keep in mind if I have to compromise on the house or location, and think about doing something like decoupling the media center room, etc.

I plan to be in a somewhat rural area, but I also don't want to be too far from the city. And there are probably a lot of things I'll need to consider, so I may have to compromise on some things. But I'll just have to see what's out there, and go for what makes the best sense overall.

So what kinds of things should I keep in mind and look for, since I have a monster audio system, and need to prevent bass frequencies from reaching nearby residents? Should I try to find a place with a basement, and use that as the media room? Ideally how far away from neighbors would I have to be, since I have an Orbit Shifter, and "may" even want to expand in the future?

I used to live in a cottage in the mountains, and my landlord in the main house a ways away would need me to turn things down, since objects in his house could shake.

If I have to do some construction on the media room, what method should be used? And about how much would it cost to keep the bass leakage down to the necessary level?

Also, I'm single, so I don't need to keep a WAF in mind, or something like that...at least for now.

I'd appreciate some input. Thanks.
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-07-2017, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David H. View Post
Hi all,

I'm going to be buying a house for the first time.

I have a JTR Speakers Orbit Shifter LFU, and a couple JTR Noesis 212HTs in a 2.1 configuration. I might change and/or expand this setup in the future.

One of my main considerations when choosing the right house (and land) is to be able to crank my audio system up, ideally as loud as I want, and at any time.

Therefore, I'm trying to figure out what to look for when searching for the right area and house, and what I'd need to keep in mind if I have to compromise on the house or location, and think about doing something like decoupling the media center room, etc.

I plan to be in a somewhat rural area, but I also don't want to be too far from the city. And there are probably a lot of things I'll need to consider, so I may have to compromise on some things. But I'll just have to see what's out there, and go for what makes the best sense overall.

So what kinds of things should I keep in mind and look for, since I have a monster audio system, and need to prevent bass frequencies from reaching nearby residents? Should I try to find a place with a basement, and use that as the media room? Ideally how far away from neighbors would I have to be, since I have an Orbit Shifter, and "may" even want to expand in the future?

I used to live in a cottage in the mountains, and my landlord in the main house a ways away would need me to turn things down, since objects in his house could shake.

If I have to do some construction on the media room, what method should be used? And about how much would it cost to keep the bass leakage down to the necessary level?

Also, I'm single, so I don't need to keep a WAF in mind, or something like that...at least for now.

I'd appreciate some input. Thanks.
you really need to include a bit more information. Like where do you live. I assume as you talked about basements your in the north or midwest somewhere. Budget and scope of work is also important. if your moving into a new house how much do you have to "make ready" your space. First and foremost basements are best for controlling low frequency sounds, to the detriment of controlling it "in house" Low frequencies travel a long way. Easy thing to do is turn on your music to your normal listening volume and walk outside. then walk away from your house from the wall closest to your stereo until you can't hear/feel the bass.

the SHORT answer is find a place with a basement that is suitable to you as a listening location and find a place as far away from your nearest neighbor possible. If your neighbor/landlord is more than say 150 feet AND you still need to turn it down, first YOU NEED MORE BASS lol, then you need to be looking at very rural property 1 acre MINIMUM.
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-07-2017, 10:05 PM
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You can isolate the media room using Kinetics Noise Control IsoMax clips or similar. Also add a minisplit to to keep sound from traveling throughout the house via the ducts. That is what I did and it worked very well. I was not able to float the ceiling completely so there is some transmission to the floor above (and vice versa) but very limited and basically nothing gets outside.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-11-2017, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
You can isolate the media room using Kinetics Noise Control IsoMax clips or similar. Also add a minisplit to to keep sound from traveling throughout the house via the ducts. That is what I did and it worked very well. I was not able to float the ceiling completely so there is some transmission to the floor above (and vice versa) but very limited and basically nothing gets outside.
You've had better luck than I have. I've struggled with a couple of clients who wanted total isolation from basement-level music rooms. The HVAC transmission was a particular issue, even though there was no direct connection from lower level to main. We even isolated the ceiling in one job. All of this helped, but the guy (who had guitar-hero fantasies) wanted to play at 2am while his wife slept two levels above.

To the OP, we're on acre-plus lots where I live just outside of town, and if I play it loud you can definitely hear it at the property line. But if my neighbors are in their houses no one can hear anything, I don't think. Besides, they're happy to make noise in their yards during the day! Solid-masonry construction might help a bit, particularly if there are storm windows and/or insulating glass. Some people even install triple-pane glass for this purpose. If a single window is cracked open all else is for nought!

It helps that I'm usually listening to relatively quiet music. However I'd hate to give up the freedom to crank Led Zeppelin at whatever level my ears (and my dog) can stand, at any hour of the night. Funny story: a friend of mine lived in Missouri and was preparing for a party with a friend and had the music cranking incredibly loud. They didn't hear the tornado warning siren

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post #5 of 19 Old 07-11-2017, 01:31 PM
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The walls and ceiling are floating and there are no house HVAC ducts into the room. The main plenums do intrude but we built a sub-frame around them, stuffed it full of mineral wool, and then used the clips to float the wrap-around section that became part of the floating wall. The extra work to keep the walls floating around the window wells was more expensive but undoubtedly helped with isolation. I would've had to give up a little more ceiling height and use a different scheme to better isolate the ceiling. In hindsight, I wish I had, but it's awfully good right now. My wife in the family room above can hear when the bass is loud, but upstairs in the bedroom (two floors up) there is virtually nothing, and essentially nothing into the house HVAC. I posted a document with my build instructions earlier in this thread (I think). I did use 6"-10" of mineral wool in all the walls and ceiling plus the clips to float the walls and ceiling. There is actually more sound outside the room through the required external vent and two large (5-0/4-0) double-pane windows than inside the house. Fortunately, it is still low, and our neighbors are comfortably far away (2.5-acre lot).

I've been through a few tornadoes (in MO, KS, and OK) and would not want to miss that particular siren...
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-11-2017, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I had a whole response typed up the other day and lost it due to the time limit. This site should cache the data. I even used a hexeditor to look in the RAM, but couldn't find my post.

Anyway, I currently live in Bellingham, Washington. I'm considering areas like the outskirts of Bellingham, the areas surrounding Ferndale and the county, and places like Sudden Valley. But I'm open to anything in the surrounding area provided it would be the best option.

Seems like I should look for a place with a good basement, or something that would be comparable. A realtor I talked to mentioned something about a split-level rambler with a section built into the earth, if I remember what he said correctly.

Don, are using the Kinetics Isomax clips and what you did the best option for controlling huge amounts of bass? Like I said, I live alone, so right now I'm concerned about neighbors, but there may be a possibility I'd want to rent some rooms out, or that I wouldn't be living alone in the future. I suppose I may have to compromise if I end up having others in the house. What kind of subwoofer(s) do you have? And how loud do you crank it max? I may even want to switch to 2 Captivator 4000ULFs, or something like that, at some point. Approximately how much would the project cost? And how much would I have to worry about leakage through the external basement vent?

Archguy, did you isolate your own media room as well? And what methods do you use for your clients? What kind of sound system do you have? And how loud do you crank it?

I forgot to mention that I want to get a really big projector screen as well. At my previous residence I put the Noesis 212HTs in a horizontal configuration under the projector screen. I may have to do the same here, so I might need a good deal of ceiling height.

Thanks for the help!

By the way, somebody in a thread I created at Gearslutz mentioned having the media room in the middle of the house. I'm wondering if that would be preferable to a basement, assuming I lived alone, or if that wouldn't be enough to prevent bass from reaching the neighbors without decoupling the room. Maybe it would depend on the house in question.

Any thoughts on that thread, which is here? https://www.gearslutz.com/board/stud...s-leakage.html

Last edited by David H.; 07-11-2017 at 09:59 PM.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-12-2017, 08:08 AM
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Disclaimer: Acoustics is not my day job. There are undoubtedly better qualified engineers on AVS to help you but I used to do a bunch of this and have tried to keep up a little over the decades.

The only practical way I know to isolate bass is to use the clips or something like them and lots of mass. My inner walls are comprised of two glued-together layers of 5/8" drywall. The usual brute-force'ish approach is to use as much mass as practical to keep things from vibrating, then decouple using clips or other schemes to keep any other parts of the house from vibrating.

A central room would require you to float the floor as well as ceiling, something frequently done in recording studios, but does add expense. And you have to consider HVAC; a minisplit will provide hot and cold air by by itself has no connection to the outside air (that's the point) so generally you still need some duct to an outer wall.. That is a noise source for sound into and out of the room, natch.

I do not listen all that loudly. I have four Rythmik F12 subs and rarely listen near reference level, probably more like 80 dB peaks, maybe 90 dB. My media room build including all the material and labor was around $7k about ten years ago. You could do some of the labor yourself, like sealing the joints and cracks (a friend saved several hundred dollars by getting the acoustic caulk and sealing his studio himself during construction), and note my cost was driven up by all the extra work to create floating walls/ceiling that "wrapped around" ducts and windows.

The Kinetics site has a number of helpful articles: http://www.kineticsnoise.com/
Another popular commercial source is Mason Industries: http://www.imbertcorp.com/manufactur...on-industries/

There are others but those are the two I remember from using them over the years.

There are also a bunch of audio sites but many focus on in-room treatments rather than isolation. Books by Everest on Acoustics and building your own studio have a lot of very good info at a layman's'ish level. Everest's Master Handbook of Acoustics is a good read.

HTH - Don

p.s. Don't forget the door. While true studio doors are very expensive, a heavy (thick, solid-core wooden) exterior door with full weather sealing works well (at least for me). Do not use a normal hollow-core interior door with a gap at the bottom and no seals around it. They also make "in-between" doors that have sound-deadening material, but when I checked them out the additional isolation was minimal for 2x the cost of a heavy exterior door.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley

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post #8 of 19 Old 07-12-2017, 06:00 PM
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Archguy, did you isolate your own media room as well? And what methods do you use for your clients? What kind of sound system do you have? And how loud do you crank it?
In my own house, I don't have a dedicated media room. I even try to talk clients out of them (without much success I might add) because people ultimately want to hang out near their kitchen. I always make sure there are major living spaces near the kitchen. It's simply a fact that we make food and drink and take them to media zones. Most of us anyway. Where I live now the multi-media zone is in the Den ("Family Room") and I'm currently creating a serious listening zone in my 'proper' Living Room. I'm also setting up Chromecast Audio zones throughout the house.

In the guitar hero's house, we double-layered all walls and ceiling, suspended the ceiling on isolation clips (which permit the ceiling to vibrate without those vibrations being transmitted to the floor structure above), insulated around all switches and outlets, carpeted the floor with special acoustical padding, and used solid-core doors with insulating (double-layer) glass and weatherstripping. (I only use solid-core doors anyway.)

On top of that, the mechanical contractor made sure to isolate the HVAC ductwork serving that space, which wasn't too hard since the space was on the same level as the HVAC equipment. There was doubtless more but I'd have to pull out the plans to jog my memory. What I do know is that it didn't work particularly well. The guy must have played really loud. There's only so much you can do. I think his wife hates me now.

There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey. --John Ruskin
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-18-2017, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys.

I think I get at least a sense of my options now, but I also think I'm going to need some professional input.

Another thing is that I'm thinking I should go for a rural area. Having space may be the easiest option, provided the cost of the land doesn't get too expensive. However, I may also be able to rent some of the land out, or there may be other benefits to owning a larger parcel of land.
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-18-2017, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys.

I think I get at least a sense of my options now, but I also think I'm going to need some professional input.

Another thing is that I'm thinking I should go for a rural area. Having space may be the easiest option, provided the cost of the land doesn't get too expensive. However, I may also be able to rent some of the land out, or there may be other benefits to owning a larger parcel of land.
That is what I would suggest getting something with no other houses around for a 1/4-1/2 mile. I started finishing my basement with double walls, double drywall with green glue, clips, solid core doors etc. I worked with Ted from http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/ You are looking at a good chunk of change even if you do the work yourself. I would estimate $10-15,000+ depending on the size of the the room (if it is unfinished or if already finished and you have to tear it apart and start fresh) and what you would all plan on doing. Then if you ever do resell the house look at getting none of that back because only a tiny percentage of people want a bomb shelter

You will probably get more replies in theater section https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...-construction/

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post #11 of 19 Old 07-22-2017, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, it's looking like the best and easiest thing to do is find something with distance between myself and any neighbors. I'm feeling like I don't want to deal with the hassle and cost of decoupling a room if I can avoid it.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-22-2017, 01:54 PM
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Thanks, it's looking like the best and easiest thing to do is find something with distance between myself and any neighbors. I'm feeling like I don't want to deal with the hassle and cost of decoupling a room if I can avoid it.
I live in the middle of NYC and I've had only 2 complaints in 30years. My theory is that my neighbors think it's coming in from the street and not from me.

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post #13 of 19 Old 07-22-2017, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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That's funny, and yeah, you're in the city that never sleeps (but takes a lot of weed naps according to Dave Chappelle), so we're in different situations.

Out of curiosity, what kind of audio system do you have?
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-22-2017, 02:05 PM
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That's funny, and yeah, you're in the city that never sleeps (but takes a lot of weed naps according to Dave Chappelle), so we're in different situations.

Out of curiosity, what kind of audio system do you have?
Superficially:
3 B&W 802D3 driven by Classe Sigma Monoblocks
3 B&W 804D3 driven by a McCormack DNA1, Rev A+
2 jlAudio f113 subs
Audio Research MP1 preamp
Baetis XR3 Multichannel Music Server
Lots of files on my NAS

Steel-reinforced concrete building and triple-glazed windows.

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Seems like a great system, and it also seems like you're fortunate to live where you do.
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DIY concrete bunker or as far as possible from anyone........

Link to Stereo Integrity SI HT 18 sub build......https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...-pedestal.html
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Seems like a great system, and it also seems like you're fortunate to live where you do.
I consider myself very fortunate.

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post #18 of 19 Old 07-22-2017, 03:22 PM
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Hi all,

I'm going to be buying a house for the first time.

I have a JTR Speakers Orbit Shifter LFU, and a couple JTR Noesis 212HTs in a 2.1 configuration. I might change and/or expand this setup in the future.

One of my main considerations when choosing the right house (and land) is to be able to crank my audio system up, ideally as loud as I want, and at any time.

Therefore, I'm trying to figure out what to look for when searching for the right area and house, and what I'd need to keep in mind if I have to compromise on the house or location, and think about doing something like decoupling the media center room, etc.

I plan to be in a somewhat rural area, but I also don't want to be too far from the city. And there are probably a lot of things I'll need to consider, so I may have to compromise on some things. But I'll just have to see what's out there, and go for what makes the best sense overall.

So what kinds of things should I keep in mind and look for, since I have a monster audio system, and need to prevent bass frequencies from reaching nearby residents? Should I try to find a place with a basement, and use that as the media room? Ideally how far away from neighbors would I have to be, since I have an Orbit Shifter, and "may" even want to expand in the future?

I used to live in a cottage in the mountains, and my landlord in the main house a ways away would need me to turn things down, since objects in his house could shake.

If I have to do some construction on the media room, what method should be used? And about how much would it cost to keep the bass leakage down to the necessary level?

Also, I'm single, so I don't need to keep a WAF in mind, or something like that...at least for now.

I'd appreciate some input. Thanks.
Country house. No neighbors
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-22-2017, 04:05 PM
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Country house. No neighbors
Yup. That works, too.

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