Author Topic: Subwoofer Blasts Upstairs Unit While Nothing Is Heard Downstairs  (Read 3590 times)

MartyS

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Every since my neighbor above me installed a floating wood laminate floor to replace a wall-to-wall carpet, he has complained  that my subwoofer is blasting him out of his unit.  (Yes, I now hear every footstep whereas for 18 years I never heard anything above me.) He says that some sequences, such as the opening surf sequence in "Die Another Day" rattle his windows and items on his shelves.  All this while my neighbor downstairs says she doesn't hear anything.  My subwoofer sits on my floor, which is wall-to-wall carpet.  The problem is getting worse because more and more TV shows are being broadcast with Dolby Digital Surround sound and, for examples, the sequences just before a commercial break in any of the three CSI shows heavily use the very low frequencies to set the mood.

The building was constructed in 1974 and, according to the building plan on file with the city, the floor ceiling assembly consists of 1 1/2 inch lightweight concrete over 3/8 inch plywood. 

My own suspicion is that the wood floor above me is not adequately de-coupled from the building structure and the very low frequency sounds from my subwoofer are being transmitted through the building structure and causing his floor to vibrate.  Much like an acoustic guitar, this could even cause his floor to amplify the sound.

Would a failure to properly de-couple the floating wood floor from the walls account for such a problem?  Had my neighbor downstairs been hearing my subwoofer, that would make the cause of the problem obvious.  But, for 18 years neither my downstairs nor upstairs neighbor heard my subwoofer.  It was only after the wood floor was installed that this problem cropped up. 

Other than my not using my subwoofer, are there any solutions available? I've seen one document from the Building Performance Centre of Napier University in Scotland which says the underlay should be wrapped around the edges of the wood so that it acts as a barrier between the wood and the wall to de-couple the floor from the structure.  Will this mitigate the problem?

Marty

PS.  If anyone is interested in the study by Napier University, the pdf (about 2 MB, 142 pages) can be download from http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/noise/research/hardfloors/index.htm

johnbergstromslc

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Re: Subwoofer Blasts Upstairs Unit While Nothing Is Heard Downstairs
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 08:25:55 PM »
You might wanna try turning the volume down.....That might work.

joel

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Re: Subwoofer Blasts Upstairs Unit While Nothing Is Heard Downstairs
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2008, 05:11:19 PM »
"My own suspicion is that the wood floor above me is not adequately de-coupled from the building structure and the very low frequency sounds from my subwoofer are being transmitted through the building structure and causing his floor to vibrate.  Much like an acoustic guitar, this could even cause his floor to amplify the sound." -- You're absolutely correct.
"Other than my not using my subwoofer, are there any solutions available? I've seen one document from the Building Performance Centre of Napier University in Scotland which says the underlay should be wrapped around the edges of the wood so that it acts as a barrier between the wood and the wall to de-couple the floor from the structure.  Will this mitigate the problem?"  Good study, and the suggestion is also correct.  However, the actual underlay material may be the wrong 'stuff'.  Good results require good materials.  Check what's available at  http://www.customaudiodesigns.co.uk/products.htm  They are also really helpful by phone.

 

anything