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How Do I Keep My Apartment Neighbor From Hearing My Subwoofer?


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16 hours ago, Allan F said:

 

The slabs on the thin carpet were very stable. With the considerable weight of the speakers, the slabs (9" x 18") sunk into the carpet and there was absolutely no wobble or other movement. I assume that the granite absorbed or dissipated the vibration that would otherwise have been transferred to the concrete slab. I really don't know how this approach would work on a laminated hardwood floor. You might want to put some material between the slab and the floor.

 

Slab.jpg

Do you place the speaker over the slab with the spikes? 

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15 hours ago, jiminlogansquare said:

Now that I know that you, like I, have a wooden floor, I'm going to double down on recommending you try an IsoAcoustics product. To reduce risk to your wallet, you could try to purchase from a vendor that will let you return them if they don't work out.

 

As the name "IsoAcoustics" implies, they isolate - or decouple - the speaker from the floor. Why this doesn't ruin the tightness of the bass is documented pretty effectively  at the manufacturer's website and in numerous product reviews around the internet; they have a novel internal structure/engineering solution and are not simply rubber stops or feet.

 

Their value for me and possibly you is that they greatly reduce how much speaker vibration is transmitted into the floorboards of a wooden floor, which in my case was creating annoying resonance in my listening room.

 

Of more direct value to you, I found the IsoAcoustics product also reduced the amount of bass disturbance in the rooms directly below my listening room (which is in an attic).

 

I don't have any experience with heavy absorption materials like the stone and concrete slabs discussed above; they might work as well or better. Experimentation can be fun, though!

yes, my first thought was indeed the Isoacoustics Gaia series. But the price of the pack for 2 speakers is almost the price of one of my speakers, so I'm really trying to find a cheaper solution before needing to start all that family novel about spending 700 euros in speakers isolators. But yes, thank you 

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13 hours ago, GregWormald said:

I'd be starting with some concrete pavers from the sand and gravel/gardening shop on top of some carpet from the scraps bin of a carpet place. Get some tightly woven thick wool carpet.

 

If that works then you can go for the granite or just paint the pavers.

in this case of concrete or granite, do you place the speakers over it with the spikes or rubber feet? 

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2 hours ago, MarkusBarkus said:

Sorry I didn't chime in sooner, but I use the EVP "footers" under one of my REL subs, to good effect:

https://avroomservice.com/evp-2/
 

I don't use them for neighborly relations, but to help with sound/vibration within the room. 

 

There is a white paper and other info (link above), if you're interested.
 

I used the "Morph the Cat" (Donald Fagan) and the "Xanny" (Billy Eilish) test for base handling. Prior to the EVPs, my subs would "walk" with these tracks and a little volume! It's not the music I typically listen to, but it has poop-your-pants bass for testing "gross" output.

 

One other thing, which many may/will disagree with, but has been successful for me. I have two subs: one on the floor, on the EVPs, and the other on a platform I built. The platform mimics a couple of things in the marketplace already. 
 

In my room (well treated), in my listening evals, mixing up the bass works wonders. No subs equals terrible bass response. Subs in re-enforcing corners, is too much pressure and causes standing wave effects (to me).

 

Here: One sub is on a wall perpendicular to the front/speaker plane, the other sub is on a platform adjacent to the left speaker. 
 

I find the bass is more coherent and even with this placement...and I tried all manner of placements, volumes and cross-over settings.

 

The platform footprint is 16x16 inches, and it is 22 inches tall. I wanted the height well away from the midpoint of the total height of the room, and not too tall. 


This platform has a frame made of 2x2 inch lumber (not critical dimension). The top and bottom "plates" are 1/2 inch MDF (not critical). Inside the frame structure, I have a piece of Sono-tube, vertically oriented, with six 1 inch (size "probably" not critical) holes drilled into the sides. Loose-bat fiberglass (un-faced) is inserted inside the tube.

 

Note: Sono-tube is available from home stores. It is widely used as a form for pouring concrete footers. Light, bit rigid.

 

Everything is glued, screwed where appropriate, and calked. The concept is to avoid any rattling type of vibration from the platform itself. 


I then placed 2 inch rigid fiberglass board between the vertical frame legs, and wrapped the assembly with "acoustically transparent" polyester material.

 

Note: polyester fabric is of the type used for the backs and bottoms of furniture. I paid about one dollar per yard. It is widely available/commonly used.

 

I have and have used industry standard acoustic fabrics on other builds, but that is much more expensive and the shipping is expensive due to "dimensional weight." 
 

The concept is to use something that easily allows air to pass. Sorry I did not take pics of the build. I intended this platform as a proof of concept, and intended to rebuild with better finish detail, but...

 

Note: maybe better to use the larger EVP platforms, but these are fine and cheaper. 

 

A1DDD741-D9A4-4B1F-972A-E10AC9E9232B.jpeg

1219666D-1C3F-4F1A-85CD-58724D17529D.jpeg

thank you very much for the explanation. In my case the sub I was mentioning is the Subwoofer from my floor standing speakers, not a dedicated subwoofer. But I hope I'll find something with all the links people sent me here. My last option is the overpriced Gaia series from IsoAcoustics. Let's see

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1 hour ago, intothedragon said:

My last option is the overpriced Gaia series from IsoAcoustics.

Yes, a good option, but can be a little pricey option. My note was getting too long, so I ended before noting I use the IsoAcoustics Gaia footers on my Revel speakers, and they work very well. Good Luck! 

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Something tells me that in most cases putting loudspeakers on something less stable than their spikes resting on stable floor surface, if connected with the described above increased bass control works like this': the lowest bass gets lost to some degree due to the increased instability of a speaker (instead of emitting the lowest frequencies into the room a driver slightly 'shakes' the whole loudspeaker enclosure) hence the problems connected with those frequencies disappear and therefore one can have an impression of increased bass control.

Just my 2p.

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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36 minutes ago, sphinxsix said:

Something tells me that in most cases putting loudspeakers on something less stable than their spikes resting on stable floor surface, if connected with the described above increased bass control works like this': the lowest bass gets lost to some degree due to the increased instability of a speaker (instead of emitting the lowest frequencies into the room a driver slightly 'shakes' the whole loudspeaker enclosure) hence the problems connected with those frequencies disappear and therefore one can have an impression of increased bass control.

Just my 2p.

The folks at IsoAcoustics would disagree with respect to their products. I am not qualified to comment, but quoted below is their summary position on the matter.  
 

There is a common misconception that isolation can result in a loss in output in the lower frequencies. Testing completed in the Anechoic Chamber at the NRC measured the decibel level output at various frequencies when using IsoAcoustics products and using spikes. The results using both IsoAcoustics isolation and spikes are compared on figure 4. The testing concludes that there was no colorization when using the GAIA isolators. The decibel output is consistent between spikes and the GAIA’s through the tested frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.”


Citation.

 

The “Citation” link below the quote will take you to an article written by IsoAcoustics (including the figure noted in the quote) making their case based on some very scientific-looking testing and analysis. See what you think after reading it.

 

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I had for a short while TOWNSHEND SEISMIC ISOLATION BARS under my speakers.

 

I lived in an apartment dwelling and had a wooden floors. The bars seemed to help decouple a lot of the bass going through the wooden floor.

 

http://www.townshendaudio.com/hi-fi-home-cinema-equipment-vibration-isolation/seismic-isolation-bars-for-speakers-subwoofers/

 

The bars were expensive and I eventually moved and sold them as my stereo went into storage. 

 

Anyway wanted to add my 2 pennies worth.  Really interesting reading all the suggested remedies, glad the OP brought the topic up.

NUC 7i3 (ROCK) > Ghent Audio Lan cable > SOtM sMS-200 (+Uptone LPS-1) >  0.2m Curious USB cable > Singxer F1 (usb to spdif) > 0.5m XLO digital cable > Audiolab 8000 Dac (25 years old) > Trends Audio 10.1 Integrated Amp > Kef 103/4 speakers

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The concept that I work with, as ideal, is to imagine using one of those free standing bank safes in the customer area as the speaker cabinet - cut a couple of circles in one, with an oxy torch 😁, and bung the drivers in ... that's a speaker !!

 

That is, enormous mass, which is going nowhere, nor vibrating, when you add some energy to it - for once, the visual analogy works: solid stability gives 'solid' sound ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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25 minutes ago, jiminlogansquare said:

You might want to audition some cast iron speakers.

"JERN cabinets are made as a one-piece composite metal structure of proprietary material called ‘’ Vibrakill ‘’.
This material ensures massive stability and density, providing unsurpassed resistance to vibrations and resonance."

 

Ok, everything seems just wonderful, now let's have a look at their stands.. (from their site)

trpiod_middle_resamp-300x150.pngstand_complete_resamp-106x300.pngtripod_high-200x300.jpg

How about their "massive stability and density providing unsurpassed resistance to vibrations and resonance"..?

 

:D :D :D 

 

32 minutes ago, fas42 said:

The concept that I work with, as ideal, is to imagine using one of those free standing bank safes in the customer area as the speaker cabinet - cut a couple of circles in one, with an oxy torch 😁, and bung the drivers in ... that's a speaker !!

 

That is, enormous mass, which is going nowhere, nor vibrating, when you add some energy to it - for once, the visual analogy works: solid stability gives 'solid' sound ...

Don't forget that by putting the money in/taking it out you could possibly perfectly fine tune the enclosures!  ;)

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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1 hour ago, sphinxsix said:

Edit: As for the FR of speakers on spikes vs on their products the differences are small indeed, however they don't say (or I haven't noticed) what speakers were used for measurements - the ones on the photo seem to be quite big floorstanders. In this case it's simple physics - the smaller (lighter) the speaker the differences I wrote about will be bigger.

 

That’s an interesting observation, because I don’t think the OP has identified what speakers they are using and how large or heavy they are. For what it is worth, there is at least some evidence lurking in the IsoAcoustics document to indicate they tried a range of speaker sizes, but it’s just a surmise on my part. Specifically, the graph in Fig. 4 shows results for Gaia I, II, and III footers. These are designed for speakers of different weight ranges (Gaia I for the heaviest), and I believe they have stated here or elsewhere that using a Gaia for a speaker too heavy OR too light for its design would be suboptimal. So, I would guess that they might have used different size/weight speakers for the tests. The Focal shown in the photo you pulled is indeed a big speaker, and those look like the largest (Gaia I) footer size. 

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The poor OP! We have thoroughly hijacked his thread. I just want to add that regardless of the reasonable doubts expressed above about the impact of Gaia footers (or other similar products) on SQ, the Gaia’s really do help with the problem of bass vibrations going through a floor that brought the OP here to post his query. And in my experience with Gaia’s under both my floor standing full range speakers and a pair of smaller REL subwoofers, they didn’t affect the SQ at all, either for the good or the bad, other than eliminating most of the vibrating floorboard annoyance inside my listening room that I mentioned above. After reading this thread, however, I think I need to start shopping around for an abandoned bank building with a pair of safes bolted to the concrete floor of its basement.

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7 hours ago, intothedragon said:

Do you place the speaker over the slab with the spikes?

 

Yes, the spikes are still attached to the speakers and they  rest on the granite slabs.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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47 minutes ago, jiminlogansquare said:

The poor OP! We have thoroughly hijacked his thread.

We have, indeed! B|

 

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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The way I think about damping vs spikes:

Spiking speakers to a stable support stops (mainly) the whole speaker box from moving due to the movement of the speaker cones and Newton's Third Law. Spikes also couple the supporting structure to the mass of the vibrating cabinet and will reduce whole cabinet vibrations somewhat.

Isolating speakers stops (mainly) the transfer of the vibration of the bottom of the speaker box against the supporting surface.

So... for the OP's issue this implies:  speaker box-->spikes-->concrete/granite platform-->carpet or other vibration absorber-->floor.

 

As regards the anechoic chamber testing, the linked article does not appear to show the position of the microphone nor the measuring procedure, so IMO the conclusions are moot. It would be possible that the IsoAcoustics could function both as spikes and damping, and that might explain the cost.

 

My new speakers (still being made) are dual marine ply cabinets separated by a proprietary acoustic constraining layer, and the outside is a corian box that is 'welded' together and then painted in automotive paint (I chose Jet Black Metallic from Porsche :D). The cabinets are extremely inert, and expensive! The mid/tweeter cabinets are completely separate from the bass cabinets to further reduce the effects of vibration. All cabinets come with spikes.

 

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16 hours ago, jiminlogansquare said:

The poor OP! We have thoroughly hijacked his thread. I just want to add that regardless of the reasonable doubts expressed above about the impact of Gaia footers (or other similar products) on SQ, the Gaia’s really do help with the problem of bass vibrations going through a floor that brought the OP here to post his query. And in my experience with Gaia’s under both my floor standing full range speakers and a pair of smaller REL subwoofers, they didn’t affect the SQ at all, either for the good or the bad, other than eliminating most of the vibrating floorboard annoyance inside my listening room that I mentioned above. After reading this thread, however, I think I need to start shopping around for an abandoned bank building with a pair of safes bolted to the concrete floor of its basement.

LOL!! no man, it's alright, I'm reading everything and learning a lot, I'm really trying an alternative method before succumbing to the overproved Gaias from Isoacoustics. 

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14 hours ago, GregWormald said:

If you are looking for a turn-key solution the various isolation options from Herbiesaudiolab are MUCH less expensive than almost all other options, and get great reviews. Herbies turntable mat is by far my favourite.

Nice, it looks good and very affordable. I hope they ship to the Netherlands.  I tested the Gaias last two days and they completely numb all the bass from my speakers, very disappointing results, I'm returning it for sure.  thank you 

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On 4/5/2021 at 8:53 PM, intothedragon said:

I just bought a new pair of speakers and today was the second time I got the downstairs neighbor on my door complaining from the bass shaking his apartment.

I swear it wasn’t too loud ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° ) but I mean,

What can I do to try to isolate the bass from the floor? Is there any DIY solution? Bass traps?

Do isolators pads as these ones work??

Please advice

I'm going to guess that your new setup isn't linear in bass response and that all your neighbor hears is "ghetto blaster". You might want to make your new speakers

really happy by driving them with an Anthem integrated to flatten out bass response. Heard this at CAF in 2019, did a terrific job for built in bass room equalization...

but its not cheap ($4500)

 

https://www.anthemav.com/products-current/model=str-integrated-amplifier/page=overview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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20 minutes ago, hltf said:

Get the Townshend Speaker Podiums.  Perhaps the bars as someone else suggested above.  The Podiums are great for sound and should completely solve your problem.

Just curious: you know from experience that these prevent sound from going through the floor? 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Any of the 'decoupling' feet, podiums, etc. will reduce or often prevent the vibrations of the speaker cabinet from reaching the floor. None of them will isolate the floor from the bass vibrations generated in the air.

 

Did you check with the neighbour below about the effects of the Gaias on his apartment? You certainly describe that they lessened the bass (too much for you).

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