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Old 19th March 2008, 10:56 AM   #1
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Default Good sound without bothering neighbours?

I'm looking into some kind of hi-fi / home cinema system that can play films and music without our irritating neighbours complaining. I'm currently using standmount speakers either side of the TV in a room corner that adjoins the party wall.

Thinking of possibly a 2.1 system where the sub is located in a room corner away from the party wall and then floorstander or standmount speakers deal with ~100Hz upwards. Am wondering about the viability of open baffle speakers close to the rear wall - maybe some kind hybrid open baffle / transmission line design which damps the midrange off the back of the driver but allows the bass through to cancel out lows behind the box.

Any thoughts inside or outside the box appreciated!

Alex
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Old 19th March 2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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It's a problem, for sure.

How about headphones?

Or speakers with a very narrow beam, so that you get a good spl at your listening position, but there isn't much "spray" around the room.
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Old 19th March 2008, 11:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac
Or speakers with a very narrow beam, so that you get a good spl at your listening position, but there isn't much "spray" around the room.
I did wonder about horn speakers or large open baffles but the WAF is pretty poor for most of them...

Alex
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Old 19th March 2008, 12:06 PM   #4
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True enough!

But I run horns on top of open baffle bass. The trick is to get your wife involved in the design and the building. Then she will have to like them.

Worked for me.
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Old 19th March 2008, 02:37 PM   #5
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How about a variant on this for the main speakers, maybe with a passive highpass filter on the woofer to reduce the lows:

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/USB.html

And then a subwoofer using the Peerless XLS10.

How high can one cross over to a mono subwoofer when the mains and sub are about 8' apart?

?

Alex
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Old 19th March 2008, 03:07 PM   #6
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When faced with this problem in my dorm-dwelling days at college, I used open baffle speakers on my desktop. They ran full range (extremis for woofers) and I had a subwoofer that I turned on during non-quiet hours. These were only about 16" from the rear wall and they sounded good to me, but I was listening in the nearfield. I was good friends with my roommates and they helped me judge the effectiveness of my experiments. The dipole configuration definitely coupled less into adjacent rooms than the monopole configuration which preceded it.

My observation (from hearing other neighbor's noise) is that bass frequencies are the most obtrusive. This is particularly true for frequencies which are room mode or system tuning resonant. I always knew what type of alignment and tuning frequency each neighbor had by the resonance of their bass. Most had the cheap computer surround systems with a huge hump at a too high resonance frequency.

My hypothesis is that dipole bass is preferable in communal dwellings, because of the minimal excitation of room modes. Following that, a monopole configuration with low qtc is the next preferred alignment.

I wonder if a dipole subwoofer would work for you? You could easily reuse the drivers for a monopole if it didn't work out. Something like the XLS 10 you mentioned (2 of them) in a phoenix like configuration: http://www.linkwitzlab.com/builtown.htm (on the side wall away from your neighbors).

Regards,
David
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Old 19th March 2008, 03:34 PM   #7
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I use dipole subwoofer in basement, and bass is still very well heard on the floor above. I think room walls amplify bass even if you are using dipoles. But still, it doesn't shake house as sealed subwoofer.
I'd suggest nearfield dipole sub, maybe placed on one side of couch or behind it, with woofer at ear level (it can be masked as funiture and you can let your wife design it ) With this setup you'll need a receiver with time delay adjustment.
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Old 19th March 2008, 04:17 PM   #8
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Is it conceivable that some genius will eventually engineer a version of noise cancellation device/circuit for this? I remember daydreaming about just such a thing one summer in college when they were jackhammering a parking structure across the street from my apartment. They'd get started at about 7:30 am. Problem was that my bar/restaurant job wrapped around 2:30 am every night. I tried to get out of my lease. No go.

I recall laying in bed desperately imagining some small diesel powered rig on a small trailer kind of like those mobile compressers they rent. It would have disco sized transducers arrayed and would manage to basically absorb any noise created within a 40 foot perimeter of it and null it for any distance beyond that.

Someone here needs to develop this into a small amplifier sized chassis as a system component. A simple knob on the front to cancel sound propagation beyond an adjustable range. Patent it, win praise, and retire to some tropical island so that I'll have just one more thing to regret bitterly for the rest of my life.


Actually, even a rudimentary overview of this ..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_noise_control
..suggests that this will remain a dream for quite a while.
But anything's possible, eh?
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Old 19th March 2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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Duuh

Or buy an active noise control headphone set (Panasonic) and spend plenty hours in the gym.
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Old 19th March 2008, 05:40 PM   #10
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Seal up any holes.
Electrical outlets in the wall, etc.
Block the hole as best you can.
Glue on sheetrock if possible, 1' x 1' or so. 3/4" thick.

It'll have to be totally fixed when you move out, but it's worth it if you can.
Even doubling up on sheetrock for the entire wall if you can.
2 or 3 layers, even better.
Mass stops sound. It even reduces bass.
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