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HiFi in an upstairs flat/apartment


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My two boys are soon moving into an upstairs flat/apartment. They intend to put a little hifi system in the living room which has a wooden floor. Thie system will consist of a Marantz SR6008 AV reciever and a pair of Ninkas. Their regular source will be an iphone over bluetooth. Also, they want to add a cheap turntable.

I am worried for their neighbours below, who are used to the quiet current occupiers, a hospital Doctor and Policeman. A couple of ideas to mitigate this come to mind.

Firstly, would putting Isoacoustic Gaias under the floor standing Ninkas reduce the amount of bass transmitted into the wooden floor and stop it being a nuscience for the people downstairs? Secondly, would upgrading the Ninkas with heavy composite Kustone bases that I happen to already own have a similar effect? 

Would these measure be effective in reducing the sound reaching the flat below or just a waste of money? Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

Edited by Newton John
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Super Wammer

Is the floor carpeted?   These things seem very location specific in my experience, as the exact position of boards, beams, joists etc., and the general structure and design all affect things. 

Much as I like Gaia products I’d not be certain they’d help either, though they might make the sound better in the room.  Sometimes, simply putting on some music with a beat, and popping downstairs or next door for a sound check is the only way.   Some thrifty alternatives includes various combinations of slate worktop protectors and squash balls cut in half might do the trick, and if not nothing is really lost.   Your bases are definitely worth a try. 

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Sadly much of the sound will just transfer from the sound waves in the air in the room through the floor. Realistically I suspect spending money on the things you've suggested will likely make little to zero practical difference. 

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1 hour ago, Nopiano said:

Is the floor carpeted?   These things seem very location specific in my experience, as the exact position of boards, beams, joists etc., and the general structure and design all affect things. 

Much as I like Gaia products I’d not be certain they’d help either, though they might make the sound better in the room.  Sometimes, simply putting on some music with a beat, and popping downstairs or next door for a sound check is the only way.   Some thrifty alternatives includes various combinations of slate worktop protectors and squash balls cut in half might do the trick, and if not nothing is really lost.   Your bases are definitely worth a try. 

6 minutes ago, MartinC said:

Sadly much of the sound will just transfer from the sound waves in the air in the room through the floor. Realistically I suspect spending money on the things you've suggested will likely make little to zero practical difference. 

Many thanks.

The floor isn't carpeted..

Maybe the best idea is just to tell them to keep it quiet. The lease has pretty strict rules about noise. My youngest is going to have to learn not to shout at his PC when he's playing games late at night, too.

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Super Wammer
10 minutes ago, Newton John said:

Many thanks.

The floor isn't carpeted..

Maybe the best idea is just to tell them to keep it quiet. The lease has pretty strict rules about noise. My youngest is going to have to learn not to shout at his PC when he's playing games late at night, too.

It takes me back, as I’ve had two flats over the years, the first when I left home with big floorstanders!  But that was a modern purpose built apartment with thick underlay and carpet. My neighbours never seemed too bothered but I kept the sound pretty moderate except for the odd Friday night blast.  I do recall a woman upstairs having very loud conjugal rights, which I imagine  she didn’t think would be audible!!

Best tip - invite the neighbours to the parties!

Edited by Nopiano
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I've lived in many different flats over the years and as above I generally found more modern builds to be better in terms of sound insulation. I experimented with both bike tyre inner-tubes and Platfoam in platforms for speakers to sit on but ultimately only playing music at decent volume at times when my neighbours were out was the best 'solution'.

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1 hour ago, Nopiano said:

 I do recall a woman upstairs having very loud conjugal rights, which I imagine  she didn’t think would be audible!!

:)

Similar thing happened while my wife and I were eating breakfast in an outside balcony restaurant at a holiday complex in Turkey with a lady having an exceptionally good time in a room directly opposite with her patio doors wide open. Everybody in the restaurant was laughing their socks off. The people in the neighbouring rooms came out and were craning their necks round the partitions trying to see what was going on. Best part of it was she went quiet for a few minutes then started over again for a second round.

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Living in a high rise building, I am always aware of the issues created when playing music, and it’s effect on the neighbours.

‘I have taken many steps to decouple the speakers from the floor, to mitigate the bass from traveling through the floor or ceiling. I have concrete floors both above and below me, but that does not help as much as I hoped it would. My floors have a thick latex foam underlay, with wall to wall carpet on top.

To decouple the speakers from the floor, I have a very thick rubber pad on top of the carpet, with an Aurelex SubDude on top of the rubber pads, placed under each Akubarik. My Akubariks do sit on Isoacoustic Gaia’s, on top of the Aurelex SubDudes.

‘I have found that as I have improved my system over the years, that the bass has become tighter and deeper, with less bass that penetrates through walls and floors. Compared to the bass quality I used to have, the bass is far less boomy when I go to other rooms in my home

I think the saving grace here is that your sons are using their iPhone as their source of music, which is probably mp3. Generally, mp3 is highly compressed, and does not provide deep bass. So IMHO, as long as the volume is not too high, the music may not penetrate the floor as much to disturb the neighbours, because mp3 probably does not provide the lower frequencies that would be found with an uncompressed music file.

‘It might be worthwhile to work with the neighbours, to see what it sounds like in their flat, and then you would know what the maximum volume setting would be, that they could tolerate. 

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14 minutes ago, Newton John said:

:)

Similar thing happened while my wife and I were eating breakfast in an outside balcony restaurant at a holiday complex in Turkey with a lady having an exceptionally good time in a room directly opposite with her patio doors wide open. Everybody in the restaurant was laughing their socks off. The people in the neighbouring rooms came out and were craning their necks round the partitions trying to see what was going on. Best part of it was she went quiet for a few minutes then started over again for a second round.

Who needs a stereo, when you could have live entertainment 😂

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, MartinC said:

ultimately only playing music at decent volume at times when my neighbours were out was the best 'solution'.

I'm afraid the boys are going to find this to be the only real solution.

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If they are intending to listen in audiophile quality, their best bet is a probably a decent set of headphones rather than floor-standing speakers.

If it's just for general listening, then a set of bookshelf speakers will be fine.
 



 

Edited by PaulH
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Super Wammer
15 minutes ago, PaulH said:

If it's just for general listening, then a set of bookshelf speakers will be fine.

Bookshelf speakers (stand mount) can be just as musical, if not more so, than floor standers. However, within a dwelling, I don't think it would make a big difference concerning domestic peace and quiet. Headphones when the landlords are home, and crank it up when they are out.

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17 minutes ago, akamatsu said:

Bookshelf speakers (stand mount) can be just as musical, if not more so, than floor standers. However, within a dwelling, I don't think it would make a big difference concerning domestic peace and quiet. Headphones when the landlords are home, and crank it up when they are out.

I agree - My LS3/5As were definitely 'Bookshelf' and and plenty of audiophiles bought them! Mine would certainly go loud enough to annoy the parents (and seldom at a level below which they didn't)!! Most audiophile bookshelf speakers will not like an iPhone as a source though.

The problem with cranking it up when they are out is being unable to detect their return!

The least bass transmitting solution is likely some small active studio monitors on wall mounts. In fact, thinking about it, I have my active Katans on Linn wall mounts and they transmit very little bass out of the room. They would be a good solution (passive) - not as fussy over the source as some more esoteric small speakers.

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Super Wammer
4 minutes ago, Dasher said:

The problem with cranking it up when they are out is being unable to detect their return!

I thought about a warning system using a broken light beam to set off a strobe light in the listening room.

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36 minutes ago, akamatsu said:

Bookshelf speakers (stand mount) can be just as musical, if not more so, than floor standers. However, within a dwelling, I don't think it would make a big difference concerning domestic peace and quiet. Headphones when the landlords are home, and crank it up when they are out.

I was using a pair of AVI Pro Nine standmount speakers when a new neighbour complained that she knew I was playing music loud as she could clearly hear every word. It was arguably a compliment to my hifi but sadly I wasn't playing music at what I'd consider remotely loud at the time and it rather summed up the poor soundproofing. I forget the figures but the bass extension of those speakers is nothing too impressive.

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