DIY subwoofer isolation pads? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-09-2020, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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DIY subwoofer isolation pads?

On the verge of moving things around in my place, and there's a chance that I might need to put my subwoofer onto an isolation pad. Right now, it's currently sitting on an area rug that is shared with my couch, but that won't be the case in the new location.

The subwoofer is an HSU ULS-15 MK2, so it's pretty sizable (basically an 18" cube). The floor is engineered hardwood, and it's a floating floor on concrete. There is some kind of barrier between the hardwood and the concrete, but how much that that actually dampens things is unknown. I think the concrete itself does a rather good job with that because I don't even hear the neighbours above us at all (and I know there's hardwood flooring above us, too). I don't particularly care for my downstairs neighbour, but I also don't want to solicit any unnecessary passive aggressive notes left at our door. Most commercially available pads in Canada (that I've come across in my searching) aren't big enough or it's excessively too long in one direction. I'm pretty crafty, so I have no problems making my own, so I'm looking for any tips on potential low-cost materials I could use to achieve that.

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 18 Old 01-09-2020, 04:20 PM
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[URL="https://www.svsound.com/products/soundpath-subwoofer-isolation-system"]https://www.svsound.com/products/soundpath-subwoofer-isolation-system[/URL

Alternatively, get the Auralex SubDude II (15x15) and remove the feet on your current sub.

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post #3 of 18 Old 01-09-2020, 06:17 PM
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It's not the mechanical coupling of the sub to the floor that's going to be an issue but the acoustic transmission of sound waves. Nothing you can do about that at bass frequencies.
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-10-2020, 05:26 AM
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The isolators linked below are used on DIY BOSS platforms, and I was thinking of using the leftovers on my Family Room subwoofer on hardwood floor:


2.5" Platinum Silicone Hemisphere Bumper, Non-Skid Isolation Feet with Adhesive | 20 Duro | 4 Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079SV39KW..._3YggEbWQK5DVG



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post #5 of 18 Old 01-11-2020, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
https://www.svsound.com/products/sou...olation-system

Alternatively, get the Auralex SubDude II (15x15) and remove the feet on your current sub.
Hmm... the feet on the ULS-15 MK2 look very similar to that already, so perhaps I won't need to do that? The only thing that would hold me back on that subdude is the dimensions - the cabinet of my sub is an 18" cube. If having it overhang is fine or even better than the platform being larger, then I have no problems with that. I just hadn't kept that option on my list because the sub is larger than that platform.

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It's not the mechanical coupling of the sub to the floor that's going to be an issue but the acoustic transmission of sound waves. Nothing you can do about that at bass frequencies.
I suppose - however if there's any chance that this will dampen things (even if just a little bit), at least I can say that I've done everything I can in order to prevent any unwanted noise should my neighbour below take it upon herself to complain.

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Originally Posted by giomania View Post
The isolators linked below are used on DIY BOSS platforms, and I was thinking of using the leftovers on my Family Room subwoofer on hardwood floor:


2.5" Platinum Silicone Hemisphere Bumper, Non-Skid Isolation Feet with Adhesive | 20 Duro | 4 Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079SV39KW..._3YggEbWQK5DVG



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If I can get this on Canadian Amazon, I'll keep this in mind, too!

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post #6 of 18 Old 01-11-2020, 11:57 AM
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Don't think 1.5" of overhang is going to be any issue. As long as the weight rating is compatible, you should be fine.
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It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-11-2020, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't think 1.5" of overhang is going to be any issue. As long as the weight rating is compatible, you should be fine.
Thanks - I would prefer that option over anything else, I just wasn't sure because of the overhang. If it's not too cost-prohibitive for me at the moment, it's the way I'd go. The subdude will run ~$75-80 CDN - there's also Pyle, which runs around $50 CDN. Both are weight rated above the ULS-15 MK2.

Alternatively, if I was pointed in the direction of the raw materials that are ideal to make my own, I'd consider that as well because I could probably do it that way at a far lower cost.

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post #8 of 18 Old 01-11-2020, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
It's not the mechanical coupling of the sub to the floor that's going to be an issue but the acoustic transmission of sound waves. Nothing you can do about that at bass frequencies.
Yup. The analogy I tell people is I ask them if they think they'd stop hearing their neighbors having an argument if their neighbors were to jump off the floor before they shout.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-11-2020, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Yup. The analogy I tell people is I ask them if they think they'd stop hearing their neighbors having an argument if their neighbors were to jump off the floor before they shout.
I get that, but if they stomp their feet on a foam pad rather than directly on the floor, you're going to hear the stomp directly on the floor more than the one on the foam pad.

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post #10 of 18 Old 01-11-2020, 10:48 PM
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Neighbors hear your sub for the same reason you do: it excites the room's air, not because the sub's feet touch the floor.

Bass waves migrate through membranes like walls, floors, and ceilings more easily than high frequencies do so the neighbors hear the "thump thump thump" of the bass even if they can't quite make out what the music is.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-11-2020, 11:12 PM
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Get some bass shakers and “feel” the bass without all the noise!

As far as isolation, I use thick rubber door mats and they keep the subs in place and rattling down but does nothing to stop noise transfer. Watching most things with the shakers off is just a disappointment for me now. These things adds so much to the experience without making much “noise”.

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post #12 of 18 Old 01-13-2020, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Neighbors hear your sub for the same reason you do: it excites the room's air, not because the sub's feet touch the floor.

Bass waves migrate through membranes like walls, floors, and ceilings more easily than high frequencies do so the neighbors hear the "thump thump thump" of the bass even if they can't quite make out what the music is.
At the very least, it'd eliminate any potential vibrations that I am unaware of in the new space I'm setting this up. And at least I can tell the neighbour below that I've tried to do something if she complains so that I'm at least covered there.

The floor is concrete, so I'm not even sure how much of the sound is actually getting through to the neighbour below. I couldn't tell you if any of my neighbours have sound equipment because I don't ever hear anything (not even footsteps above us, and they could be thunder feet for all we know). I've heard nothing from this person since I drastically increased my sub size, but it's a larger space, so it will involve a slightly higher volume setting on the actual sub a bit.

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post #13 of 18 Old 01-13-2020, 12:17 PM
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Move in... set up... and see what happens.



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post #14 of 18 Old 01-13-2020, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Move in... set up... and see what happens.
Yeah, I know... I'm trying to be at least a little courteous

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post #15 of 18 Old 01-13-2020, 07:05 PM
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And at least I can tell the neighbour below that I've tried to do something if she complains so that I'm at least covered there.
I doubt you'll be covered regardless of how hard you "try" if the noise still bothers your neighbour(s). Have you checked out the complex's rules related to noise? Some complexes have a general rule stating that if you can hear any noise (such as a TV, instrument or stereo) from outside of your apartment, it is too loud.

I doubt that simply "trying" to eliminate the sound from reaching your neighbor's apartment would make you exempt from the noise rules. You might get a "Thank you for trying, I really appreciate it, but it's not working." followed by a "Fix it or turn it off."

"Hey, your dog barks all night. I never get any sleep."

"Uh...yeah...sorry. I tried to make him stop."

"Oh, OK, that's fine then. At least you tried. Never mind." (Said no one ever. )
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-13-2020, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I doubt you'll be covered regardless of how hard you "try" if the noise still bothers your neighbour(s). Have you checked out the complex's rules related to noise? Some complexes have a general rule stating that if you can hear any noise (such as a TV, instrument or stereo) from outside of your apartment, it is too loud.

I doubt that simply "trying" to eliminate the sound from reaching your neighbor's apartment would make you exempt from the noise rules. You might get a "Thank you for trying, I really appreciate it, but it's not working." followed by a "Fix it or turn it off."

"Hey, your dog barks all night. I never get any sleep."

"Uh...yeah...sorry. I tried to make him stop."

"Oh, OK, that's fine then. At least you tried. Never mind." (Said no one ever. )
I never said anything about any sound bothering anyone. If it was a problem there would have been something said a long, long time ago.

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post #17 of 18 Old 01-14-2020, 12:30 PM
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I never said anything about any sound bothering anyone. If it was a problem there would have been something said a long, long time ago.
Color me confused.

What is it that you think the neighbour might complain about once you move the subwoofer?
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-15-2020, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Color me confused.

What is it that you think the neighbour might complain about once you move the subwoofer?
The neighbour below has complained about a variety of different things that we were never responsible for, so it honestly could be anything.

I have a far more capable sub than what I previously had when things were previously in the room we're moving things back into. It's been sitting on an area rug where it is now, and moving it to the other room where it would no longer be sitting on the area rug made me think that being directly on the floor would cause more vibration, hence why I was asking about isolation pads (either a commercial source or pointed in the direction of the commonly-used materials to build my own). It's a much larger space, too, so the volume on the sub will likely have to go up. Because I'm at least trying to be a courteous neighbour, I thought an isolation pad would help in dampening some of that.

My listening levels aren't that loud to being with, so I think that will at least keep the thumping down to a minimum. I think it also helps that the floors, and shared walls are also concrete - it's my understanding that that helps dampen noise? I never hear a single thing coming from any of the adjacent units, including the one above.

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