• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Reducing sub noise through the floor

j98

Active Member
Hi everyone this is my first post on AV Forums...

Just bought a Gale 3070 sub to go with my Yamaha RX-V350. My front speakers are only Tannoy Mercury M1s so the difference is quite apparent. Still experimenting with the sub but it sounds ok so far. Only problem is that I live in an upstairs flat and I don't want to **** the neighbours off too much.

It currently sits on the provided spikes on a carpet over wooden floorboards.

I've read here that putting it on a concrete slab may improve the sound but would it help minimise vibrations through the floor? Is there a better solution?

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks x x
 

Stellavision

Well-known Member
I've just ordered an Auralex Gramma platform to sit my DD15 on.
I've never had any problems with the bass in my room, but they are supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread for forward firing subs on suspended wooden floorboards.
We shall see.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
My sub is sat on an Auralex Gramma isolation platform. It is very good at stopping the vibrations directly affecting the surrounding area and has the added advantage of reducing boom from the sub, giving cleaner bass in the listening position.
At under £60 it is money well spent IMO!

Mark.
 

Stew

Standard Member
I also have a gramma, Hard to admit but I fell for the hype.
I bought it because I have a forward firing sub on a suspended wooden floor.
You'll get people claiming it does ridiculous things for what is essentially a piece of MDF with some foam on the bottom. My advice would be to use the concrete slab or maybe granite blocks and spend the rest of the £60 on dvds.

This is my honest opinion, hope it helps
 

j98

Active Member
Thanks for the suggestions! Might attempt to make a Gramma type platform... I'd rather spend the £60 on other stuff!
 

GFS AV

Banned
I was thinking of just using some thick painted MDF (sounds quick and easy).

Would this do the job?
 

Stellavision

Well-known Member
GFS AV said:
I was thinking of just using some thick painted MDF (sounds quick and easy).

Would this do the job?
MDF on it's own would'nt do anything.
You would need some kind of acoustic/thermal insulation material as well, as suggested in the link given by Ian.
 
M

mike_cummi

Guest
get a pavng slab from b&Q and some sorbothane feet from Hifi Bitz - about £25 all in. stick slab on feet, sub on slab - off you go.
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
While a slab and flexible supports will reduce transmitted noise, it won't reduce airborne sounds. As is obvious from car subs passing you in the street. Or 200 yards away on the main road!

Bass has the unique ability to travel long distances. It isn't easily absorbed even by trees in a forest. Which is why many large forest-living animals have deep voices to call to each other. Go low enough in frequency and sounds will travel right round the world. At more commmon subwoofer frequencies it will easily vibrate walls and floors by the airborne sound alone.


Placing your sub as far as possible from your neighbours helps. As does avoiding having your main speakers against the party wall. The higher the sound level the more likely it is to irritate. Never have windows open when listening to music or films. Closing intervening doors will help to contain noise.

If you are really serious about AV/HT and have neighbours then you can try insulating the party wall. Though you really ought to be considering a detached property. Some semi-detacheded houses have the halls between the properties. Others have the halls (and front doors) as far apart as possible and thus place the party wall in exactly the wrong place between the living rooms. Worth considering if you are in the market for a semi to house your HT. A flat is obviously the worst possible scenario for a home theatre from your neighbour's point of view.

Do your best to isolate your sub (and speakers) from your neighbours. But you must use common sense as to how loud and how late and how often.

Be thoughtful out there.

Nimby
 

theo cupier

Active Member
Thanks for that ray of sunshine, Nimby. We're just moving from a detached house to a semi where the lounges share a party wall! On the plus side, we're moving from a modern house where everything is made from plasterboard (although it feels more like papier mache) to a solidly built 1930s place. Hopefully this will make some difference.

Regarding your point about not putting speakers against the party wall, I had assumed / guessed / understood that it would be better to have the speakers (we're talking front l/r here) with their backs to the party wall since the sound would be directed away from the neighbours. I read your post above as being the opposite...

Either way, looks like I'd better start investigating things I can put on the party wall to absorb some of the noise. Can anyone point me in the right direction for some suggestions, bearing in mind that the baseline for WAF is going to be very high in terms of aesthetics (she will be doing the decorating and design after I finish the layout of chairs and AV)?
 

PJTX100

Distinguished Member
Stew said:
I also have a gramma, Hard to admit but I fell for the hype.
I bought it because I have a forward firing sub on a suspended wooden floor.
You'll get people claiming it does ridiculous things for what is essentially a piece of MDF with some foam on the bottom. My advice would be to use the concrete slab or maybe granite blocks and spend the rest of the £60 on dvds.

This is my honest opinion, hope it helps

This sounds good advice Stew, the sorbathane feet / paving slab option as suggested later sounds the way to go on a suspended wooden floor.

It's honest opinions like yours which makes this forum an invaluable source of information and guidance...PJ
 

PJTX100

Distinguished Member
Nimby said:
While a slab and flexible supports will reduce transmitted noise, it won't reduce airborne sounds. As is obvious from car subs passing you in the street. Or 200 yards away on the main road!

Bass has the unique ability to travel long distances. It isn't easily absorbed even by trees in a forest. Which is why many large forest-living animals have deep voices to call to each other. Go low enough in frequency and sounds will travel right round the world. At more commmon subwoofer frequencies it will easily vibrate walls and floors by the airborne sound alone.


Placing your sub as far as possible from your neighbours helps. As does avoiding having your main speakers against the party wall. The higher the sound level the more likely it is to irritate. Never have windows open when listening to music or films. Closing intervening doors will help to contain noise.

If you are really serious about AV/HT and have neighbours then you can try insulating the party wall. Though you really ought to be considering a detached property. Some semi-detacheded houses have the halls between the properties. Others have the halls (and front doors) as far apart as possible and thus place the party wall in exactly the wrong place between the living rooms. Worth considering if you are in the market for a semi to house your HT. A flat is obviously the worst possible scenario for a home theatre from your neighbour's point of view.

Do your best to isolate your sub (and speakers) from your neighbours. But you must use common sense as to how loud and how late and how often.

Be thoughtful out there.

Nimby

One of the best posts I've read for a while Nimby.. :smashin:
 

j98

Active Member
Yes flats are crappy for HC! Although I'd obviously like to, I don't usually have it all that loud. The neighbours to the side make loads of noise anyway, but there is a family downstairs. I know the kids' bedroom is at the back of the building (my room's at the front) so that's ok - I just want to minimise the vibration / noise as much as possible cos I know it would annoy me.

My plan is to make a sandwich of suitable materials as far as possible from the floor without sacrificing stability. Pretty obvious I suppose! Maybe I'll post pics if it turns out ok...
 

GFS AV

Banned
Mine is a carpeted floor, what are the best materials I can use under my sub to reduce the sound elsewhere in the house (particularly the room below).
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
An enclosed room is an artificial situatation. But placing speakers near the party wall will bring the sound source to the worst possible position. The sound level reduces as the square of the distance out of doors. In a room the sound is more evenly spread. But still louder nearest the speakers. Try standing next to them and then walking away when they are playing. Even more useful is to measure with your SPL meter.

One way to reduce transmitted noise would be a free hanging rockwool blanket not in contact with the the party wall. With a double layer plasterboard wall isolated from the blanket and the party wall. The plasterboard would need to be fixed to a self-supporting stud wall and well sealed all round. The slightest gap will allow noise through. You are going to lose about a foot from the room dimensions with this method.

Hopefully your older property will have at least 9" solid brick party walls Theo. Though some older properties had plaster-and-lath walls or thinner brick walls, in the attics where the servants used to sleep, to save on building costs.

Regards
Nimby
 

theo cupier

Active Member
Nimby said:
Though some older properties had plaster-and-lath walls or thinner brick walls, in the attics where the servants used to sleep, to save on building costs.
Frankly the servants are paid enough to put up with this sort of thing! :rotfl:

I think the rockwool and plasterboard option is far too low on WAF, I may need to look for some more, er, pragmatic solutions. I was reading on the flexi-rack web pages that there is such a thing as noise reducing paint. What's that about? Is it genuine? Are there other things I could try which might meet with a little less resistance from Mrs Cupier?
 

Ian J

Banned
theo cupier said:
I was reading that there is such a thing as noise reducing paint. What's that about? Is it genuine? Are there other things I could try which might meet with a little less resistance from Mrs Cupier?

I think that covering Mrs Cupier in noise reducing paint is a little drastic for even the most ardent enthusiast.
 

PJTX100

Distinguished Member
Ian J said:
I think that covering Mrs Cupier in noise reducing paint is a little drastic for even the most ardent enthusiast.

:rotfl:

Agree, much better to wrap her in the rockwool blanket... ;)

...PJ
 

PJTX100

Distinguished Member
theo cupier said:
Frankly the servants are paid enough to put up with this sort of thing! :rotfl:

I think the rockwool and plasterboard option is far too low on WAF, I may need to look for some more, er, pragmatic solutions. I was reading on the flexi-rack web pages that there is such a thing as noise reducing paint. What's that about? Is it genuine? Are there other things I could try which might meet with a little less resistance from Mrs Cupier?

TC, if I were you I'd work with the neighbours on this. Once you've got your AV setup running, turn it up to your normal listening level and go next door (with their agreement!) to see how it sounds. This approach may...
1. reveal it's not an issue
2. reveal it is an issue but you're being so nice about it the neighbours may not mind
3. save you some money on unnecessary sound proofing
4. reveal that they have a bigger sub than you ;)

...PJ
 

Flimber

Distinguished Member
One other thing: tightening up some floorboards might help, as would putting the sub near where the floor is stiffest (usually a corner). And try putting the thing on halved squashballs before you spend on anything more extravagant :)

Mike.
 

theo cupier

Active Member
Squashballs currently on order via Ebay - opinions seem to be split as to whether they should be halved or kept whole but held in place with a curtain ring or something similar...

AS regards the noise reducing paint on Mrs cupier, I could pretend it was body chocolate or something and then just leave her in the bedroom while I watch the movies... :D
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
I like the body paint! :devil:

I've seen rockwool-backed plasterboard in half-sheet size in the DIY superstores. Probably intended for thermal insulation.

Glue it on the wall and then get Mrs TC to skim over with plaster.

Nimby
 

The latest video from AVForums

Fidelity in Motion's David Mackenzie talks about his work on disc encoding & the future of Blu-ray
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom