"Responsible SubWoofing"

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by papamaui, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. papamaui

    papamaui
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    I would appreciate the help of the subwoofing community! I've been asked by a member of my state's House of Representatives for my views on how best to address the concerns of the community in regards to certain "noise nuisance" issues relating to to the use of powerful subwoofers.

    Here in Hawaii, we enjoy a relaxed, "laid back" lifestyle. We live and let live. Recently however, subwoofers have become popular, both in "Boom Cars" as well as in home systems. It's becoming more and more common to hear the "booming". At the source, the subwoofers definitely enhance the bass, no doubt about that! But regretfully, the nature of low frequency sounds is such that they travel far and wide with little volume loss compared to high frequency sounds. In heavy traffic, some subwoofer owners seem to enjoy sharing their low sounds with as many people as possible.
    The result isn't all that pleasing ... not everyone enjoys the unrelenting "booming"!!!.

    I would appreciate the comments, suggestions and recommendations of the sub-woofing community. Thank you for your help!
     
  2. Arcam_boy

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    not much you can do really if its a large number of people. lots and lots of sound proofing is the key but even still it won't be 100%. its the same here in the uk with young lads packing their cars full of subwoofers nearly shaking every panel off the car :rotfl:

    unless there's a law set in place you'll have to kick back and become a bass head :devil:
     
  3. Member 96948

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    As someone who enjoys high volume home cinema entertainment, I have no trouble with the idea that there's a time and a place and that not everybody in the community shares my enthusiasm.

    I do not run high volumes late at night and certainly never with my windows open.

    For those who's sense of personal responsibility is less well developed, or apparently absent when in a car, there's always education as to the rights of others regarding noise intrusion.

    Taking money off the offenders in the first instance and then the offending equipment with repeat offences, would probably accelerate their progress up the learning curve. In other words, being hit in the pocket repeatedly will drive the message home in a way that appealing to their common sense wouldn't.

    It just requires the will to police it.

    Russell
     
  4. papamaui

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    Thank you Arcam Boy for your reply. Wish there were some way to do this without another law on the books! If it comes to that. what would you suggest an equitable law might be?
     
  5. papamaui

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    Thank you russ.will for your reply. I wish everyone's sense of personal responsibility were as well developed! Hawaii has two laws on the books already but no apparent will to enforce by the police department. I can understand why ... plenty work to do without adding non-emergencys to the mix!
     
  6. kansashick

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    Here in the States, many cities and towns have ordinances governing sound levels from automobiles, motorcyles or others' homes. The laws basicallly state that it is unlawful to produce a sound that is over x db at a distance of y feet.

    Such a law tames both morons with rolling boom boxes and deaf home theatre owners.
     
  7. papamaui

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    Thank you kansashick ... Hawaii has a similar law ... you should not hear any sound coming from a home speaker when standing 30' away but apparently the Police Dept doesn't respond to "non-Emergency" requests involving sound nuisance. Maybe that's Hawaii's major challenge: non-enforced laws on the books!!! (Commercial activities require a license with stated hours).

    Ideally, shouldn't the subwoofing community police itself ... or is that unrealistic? O.K., I'm beginning to think that's unrealistic except for everyone who's responded to my original post!
     
  8. lowmans100

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    I believe here in the UK the noise laws are enforced by the local council. They have the power to confiscate equipment, following a complaint the council investigate the complaint and if the complaint is valid they warn the persons making the noise if this warning is not heeded they have the power to take the sound equipment away. I think this is usually done with the police in attendance but the police are only there to 'up hold the peace' not to carry out the removal of equipment.
     
  9. Peter Galbavy

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    It's the same here in the UK. Not to get too political, but in most countries it appears that the legislators, who are normally "legal professionals", love drafting new laws when existing ones would more than cover the current tabloid-bugbear-of-the-day. We have hundreds on the books that are obviously too unfashionable and not spin-friendly enough to be used.

    Strange that you ask this question at this time though - there was an identical sounding "concern" on the UK news in the last week. "Ban subwoofers sales" came the irrational call that the BBC happily just rebroadcast. I can't find a link sadly.

    Back to the original question; It's all about responsibility and being "grown up" and obviously having some empathy for others. OTOH most kids with a big sound system in their cars do it because they crave the attention, good or bad, that that brings. Of course, this usually involves catching the attention of the opposite/appropriate sex and also trying to improve their ratings in the Alpha-male rankings.

    Now, try to legislate against evolution. The Evalgalist yanks are trying it, but in reality it isn't going to happen.
     
  10. papamaui

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    Thank you lowmans100 and Peter Gaalbavy for your responses. Well, it could be we're all "preaching to the choir!

    Sorry, I need some help with the term "Evalgalist yanks" Can't find the term anywhere and Google doesn't recognize it either.
     
  11. Peter Galbavy

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    I was taking a swipe about the loud pseudo-Christians in the USA who are trying to legislate local schools into not teaching evolution vs force "intelligent design" on children (and adults). This is not the right place for that discusiion however...

    You can just as well refer to the tale of King Canut/Cnut demanding that the tide stops coming in.
     
  12. Nimby

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    I love bass. I am a fan of home theater bass but ensure my windows are always closed and live in a detached rural property to further avoid noise nuisance. Despite very high bass levels indoors my large subwoofer cannot be heard clearly outside the house.

    Those who leave their windows open are selfish in the extreme. They should be fined or have their equipment confiscated after a given number of complaints.

    I hate car subwoofers. The noise levels are so high that it carries a very long way. If the vehicle exhaust was making the same noise level the car would be considered illegal and the owner fined.

    All you need to cure car audio nuisance is to provide a certified SPL meter to those responsible for controlling noise nuisance. A good quality Sound Pressure Level meter reads the noise levels of the car audio directly.

    If the SPLs exceed the prescribed limits in dB(C) then the owner should be fined on a sliding scale depending on the severity of the offense.

    It is important to obtain good quality SPL meters or they will not register the bass levels. Poor quality meters are very insensitive to bass.

    If my understanding of Hawaii is accurate then it is usually delightfully warm. Any young car audio fan with his vehicle windows open is liable to be exceeding comfortable sound levels for those near and far. If the allowable noise limits are set low enough you will force the audio fan to keep his windows shut. That will be very uncomfortable for the occupants unless the vehicle has air conditioning/climate control. Even worse: The occupants of the car simply cannot show off with the windows closed. Cruising with their arm on the window sill would quickly become a thing of the past if they want to attract attention with their subwoofer.

    A local law forbidding the vehicle windows to be open when a subwoofer is in use might curtail the nuisance quite quickly for very little effort.

    A curfew on car subwoofer use between certain hours would be useful. We have a local moron who regularly plays his subwoofer loudly at 3am as he passes along the nearby main road. Imagine the number of people being affected by his selfishness.

    You really need to set examples to break the vicious circle of ever more powerful subwoofers. Young men with the funds to compete on bass output will do so. Their place in the local youth hierarchy is determined by the loudness of their subwoofer and the number of watts being pumped into the subwoofer.

    Confiscation would be very expensive for the culprits. Not only for the permanent loss of the costly equipment but also its original fitting to the vehicle. (Even DIY installation is very expensive in man hours consumed)

    Add the high hourly charges by a skilled workshop for the removal of all the offending equipment from the vehicle. Not just the subwoofer. A double burden on those deliberately making seriously unsociable noise levels. The vehicle would also be much less attractive when full of large unsightly holes where the audio equipment had previously been installed. I seriously doubt more than one or two confiscations would be necessary to put a permanent lid on noise nuisance.

    You would probably have to provide a remote space for them to compete for bass prestige. There is an international interest in competing for loudest bass and there is a fast growing global industry offering ever more powerful subwoofers and amplifiers. You-Tube is stuffed with videos of proud owners showing off their subwoofers. It's great fun for those involved but not usually for the general public. Pimp My Ride is internationally popular. This noise nuisance is not going to go away unless you limit its impact.
     
  13. IronGiant

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    Do a search on "evangelist" that should get you somewhere.

    HTH

    Dave
     
  14. megabit

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    Lots of us love bass - I'm "sorry" to say that I do have a subwoofer in my car. However it only gets a good workout when I'm out on open roads. The stereo is turned down when I'm in any built up area. The equipment isn't silly and it does increase my enjoyment of music considerably. I agree with the whole "attracting girls" or "alpha male" comments - the fact is that most of the time I don't like to own up to having the sub in the car at all due to the image that the media has put into peoples heads.

    As for the home cinema aspect, I find it very difficult to gauge how loud I can play things. No subwoofer yet (won't be long now!) but even without I get a little concerned about noise levels in the small terrace that I live in. I haven't had any complaints from the neighbours (and I get on with both of them) so can only assume that I'm being sensible enough. Thankfully my house is a little older so the walls are fairly solid. I'd hate to live in some of these very new properties in the UK where the dividing walls are just not up to the job......
     
  15. tobydickenson

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    What is it about car subwoofers that means the sound travels so far, even with windows closed? Sometimes I can easily hear bass from music in passing cars from inside the house, but I can barely hear my xls200 from the road. Is it as simple as SPL levels and the relatively thin skin of a vehicle compared to a house? Or are car subs introducing some distortion that we dont see in a hifi sub?

    puzzled,
     
  16. Member 96948

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    It's a bit of all of those reasons.

    Russell
     
  17. kansashick

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    The removal should be done with a crow bar and pick axe -- that will teach them a lesson that they will not soon forget.
     
  18. westcoastman

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    I think you can make all the laws you want but without adequate enforcement it's just another bylaw. When people know there is no enforcement they just continue on oblivious to the people around them.
     
  19. insomniak123

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    It is indeed the council. I am in a band, and last year we rehearsed in my front room, and as it was quite a hot summer day, we had been in the garden enjoying some beers, as you do. The only problem was, someone forgot to shut the back door before we commenced playing again (!). Narrowing the problem down to a piece of equipment might've been hard though; an amp, a bass drum, a bass guitar, a PC sampling - the list goes on :rotfl:

    Thought nothing of it, however two weeks later got a letter from the Environmental Health. Someone had complained about excessive bass on the date in question (I know who...) and that if they had another complaint, they were to carry out some dB tests of their own. This never happened, but I'm told its very much the same as no greater than x dB at y ft. Luckily I borrowed a sound meter from work, and the levels at the end of the garden were nothing more than a whisper.

    Seems the best way to deal is to be a prude and complain to someone. If enough people find it is affecting their lives, then someone will do something about it :smashin:
     
  20. micb3rd

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    Cars are thinner the, bass travels though panels very easy.

    Also a single 10 in a 0.6 cubic foot enclsure and 500 WRMS can hit 125db+ which is louder than large multi sub ported inhome affairs, this is due to much larger cabin gain available in a car.

    Also yes a lot of Car Audio owners do run there system well past clean level which does introdce clipping and hard distortion which sounds louder to the ear.

    I run a powerfull car stereo and have spent many hours adding sound deadening so sound does not escape, I have over 32 square feet of deadening in there! I play responsibly i.e. not loud near any towns, houses or queues etc.

    I only turn it up on the motorways and main roads where I will not be causing a problem.

    Have been plaiged by noisy neighbours so I fully know that people should be responsible for there sound whether it is in a car, in home, or in their garden!
     
  21. Nimby

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    My post was a bit heavy but I really do not like the whole concept car subwoofers.

    They take unnaturally loud audio out into the public space for no other reason than to compete on insane and completely artificial bass output levels.

    Anything which sensitizes Joe public to our hobby and associates it with antisocial behaviour is bad news for all of us.

    Noise nuisance is a growing area of public complaint. Many homes are sold due to noisy neighbours.

    Woof responsibly please. :)
     

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