Apartment sound system the neighbors won't hear

R G B

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I'm not going to use my fancy 5.1 system in my new apartment since the neighbors would hear/feel the subwoofer even at low volume. I'm looking for a solution that will provide decent bass for music, but not enough to where the neighbors will hear it. I'd like something that would be compatible with a buttkicker, since I could put one of those in my couch to somewhat replicate the effect of a subwoofer.

Any advice on what I should be looking for?
Thanks.
 

thee_prisoner

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Really your only answer to not disturb the neighbors it to get a good set of headphones.

They may still feel the bass even though they can't hear it. When the Buttkicker bottoms out like it has a tendency to do, it makes some NOISE.

I prefer the Clark System products. I have three under the three chairs of my home theater set up. Here is a link: http://www.parts-express.com/clark-synthesis-tst429-platinum-tactile-transducer-bass-shaker--300-864

Both of these products work better with an actual sub woofer accompanying them .

be seeing you, the Prisoner..
 

swifty_morgan

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I tried to ask about bass shakers on another forum. got opinions by people who don't own them.

what are they really like?

how do different models differ?

what made you buy the one you did?

sorry for messing your thread OP.

by the way OP................. 549 is a nut price for a $40 item so don't let it scare you.
 

thee_prisoner

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what are they really like? Not sure of the question but they give you a feel of bass without noise since they use a sound frequency below human hearing. Although if you look at the specs they go from 5hz to 17kHz. Which allows configuration with your other speakers and sub(s).

how do different models differ? For the Clark and Buttkicker products, the models differ on how low do you want to go.
Buttkicker needs much more amp power then the Clark's. I find the Clark are products more refined and since they don't require the amount of amp power compared to the Buttkicker, a better product. Both work fine but the Clark's cost more.

I don't own the Buttkicker but have had experience listening to it for awhile. I'm more impressed by the Clark's because they perform better with less amp power, easier to integrate into a HT setup, and I liked the feel better. Although installation is harder due the fact these are put in your chair/couch and etc. The Buttkicker is more of an outside attachment to like a leg of a chair. Maybe that is why they require more amp power.

I will stress again both of these products work better with an actual sub and/or depending on your front main speakers.

Be seeing you, The Prisoner...




 

JUICEhunter

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You best bet is a nice two speaker computer sound system with no sub, I love my Bose computer speakers although more expensive they have good bass, amazing clarity, sound great at low volume, can get very loud if needed.

When I lived with my folks in a backroom that was still far away from the house they could still hear my sound system that had a 12in sub at night but when I used my Bose computer speakers I could crank it up. it would sound great and you could barely hear them outside of my door, bass/tumps travel through walls/distance, plus you shouldn't worry about noise until past 10:00pm in most places so this would only be for the night time.

Also if possible put your sub behind your couch or where you sit the most and you won't have to have it as loud because you will really feel it.
 
The bass is what travels most from room to room so using a Clark transducer attached to your couch will work fine. You can isolate the couch from the floor by putting isolation cones like these:
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-iso-4c-black-chrome-isolation-cone-set-4-pcs--240-721
under the sofa. If you use a sub put it as close to you as you can so you can get a reasonable amount of bass with the least amount of output. You can use the same cones under the sub. This will minimize floor vibration. If the sub has a port then you can plug the port so that lower frequencies which travel most are reduced.
I would also ask your neighbors if you can hear how loud it sounds in their apartment when you play the system at different volumes. Your town and building has rules about how much noise you can make and at what time.
 

musical marv

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Decent headphones that is your answer. Grado and Seinheiser excellent ones.
 

R G B

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Thanks for the discussion everyone. I'll be using headphones a lot, but when I have people over or just don't feel like wearing them I'd like to have something better than TV speakers.

JUICEhunter's advice about using subwoofer-less computer speakers might be a good option for me. Using my 5.1 system with the subwoofer off or very low will sound terrible since the speakers aren't meant to handle any bass. I need something that can do an average amount of bass, but not as much as a subwoofer.

Most soundbars I've looked at either have external or built-in subwoofers, but I've found a few that don't. The Vizio S5430W-C2 is 3.0, but the product page says it "features an integrated Deep Bass Module, which ... without the need for an external subwoofer." If it has not too much and not too little bass, it could be just what I'm looking for.
 

thee_prisoner

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The Vizio gets some decent reviews but usually the cons are on it's bass reproduction. 300.00 dollars seems like a stretch for the product if you already have a fancy 5.1 setup. Btw can you give us the specs of your system?

I have an option. It isn't a sub woofer but they put out some decent bass and I have heard them in in action. Without the specs of your system, I'm not sure if you have an amp/integrated amp or receiver to power them so I will suggest a cheap amp also:

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-b652-6-1-2-2-way-bookshelf-speaker-pair--300-652 and an amp http://www.parts-express.com/lepai-lp-2020a-tripath-class-t-hi-fi-audio-mini-amplifier-with-power-supply--310-300

be seeing you, the Prisoner...




 

R G B

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I used the word fancy lightly, it's an old Logitech Z-5500 system I had laying around. The dependence on the big sub for lows makes it pretty useless for what I'm going for. Price isn't too big of an issue, but I don't mind the idea of that $60 setup if it does what I want. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

A review for the Vizio bar suggested that the Bose SoundLink 3 would be a better option for music. It seems like a weird choice since it's selling point is portability, but if it performs well then it might be a good option. Music quality is my top priority, but I'd also use it for TV/movies.

Any idea how the SoundLink would compare to those small bookshelf speakers? My intuition would be that even inexpensive bookshelf speakers would blow the portable speaker away, but the reviews make me think otherwise.
 

thee_prisoner

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They would probably blow away the Bose. My thinking if anything the Dayton's are a good buy because regular speakers just perform better than most if not all computer speakers. And you could get a splitter to the amp the drive both speakers. As you upgrade your system you can use the speakers down the road for sides or rear speakers. The T-amp is a little weak in terms of power but since you don't need volume it should work ok. You can even disconnect the tweeters since you won't need them(for sub use) but you might want to try them first as the front mains. They might sound better then the Logitech's.

IF price is no object I can recommend other speakers that will give more of a good quality bass sound. IT won't be necessarily louder but give you a less sloppy bass sound that ported and slot based subs have, in other words sealed/acoustic suspension speakers. The downside to sealed/acoustic suspension speakers require a more powerful amp but give you that clean bass sound. Then again most people don't know what that sounds like so they prefer the booming/puffy sound from slot loaded or ported speakers.

Be seeing you, the Prisoner...
 

R G B

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Thanks for the help so far thee_prisoner. I think the regular speakers would be a good option. I'd like to see your higher quality recommendations if you don't mind.

I originally planned to use a buttkicker on my couch to supplement the bass, but it looks like they are out of stock everywhere. I'll be getting 2 Aura bass shakers, which from what I've read can operate well on 35 Watts each (and probably work well with lower). I'll probably start with 2 bass shakers and 2.0 sound, maybe upgrading to 3.0-5.0 if needed.

Since I'd like a remote and I'll be switching between console, PC, and maybe a Blu-ray player, I'm thinking something like http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-HTR-3066-R-5-1-Channel-Refurbished-Receiver/dp/B00IWURW6U/ref=zg_bs_3213035011_4 would be the way to go. I've been trying to figure out if I can hook the shakers to it instead of getting a separate amp for them. I think if I connect them as rear l/r large speakers and had it in 5-ch stereo mode it would work.
 

thee_prisoner

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RGB here are some recommendations for good quality subs manufacturers that don't break the bank too much. I haven't heard any of these new specific models but heard quite a few of some of their older models.

SVS: free shipping, 45 day review policy and free shipping back if you don't like them. http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers And built in the USA.

HSU: http://www.hsuresearch.com/subwoofers.html Only designed in the USA.

Be seeing you, the Prisoner...




 

R G B

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I was actually wondering about bookshelf speakers. Since I'm trying to avoid using a sub, I'm looking for speakers that sound decent on their own.
 

ssddx

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bookshelf speakers are always a good choice, paired up with an amplifier.

if you dont want to bother the neighbors though you need to keep the volumes within reasonable levels as some bookshelf speakers can have pretty hearty bass output.

if you wanted to do multi-source inputs or digital inputs.... a stereo receiver is perfect.

bookshelf speakers (depending on model... but speaking generally here) are capable of low enough bass to not absolutely require a subwoofer. while this seems to fill your requirement for something with some bass... it intrudes on your other requirement which is to not bother the neighbors.

 

JUICEhunter

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Bookshelf speakers are great but will produce same bass as your computer 5.1 sub, especially if you choose good 3 way speakers with 8in woofers. I used to have 4way pioneers that had two 6.5 inch woofers which had great mids but not a lot of low end, you could get a home audio sub with a pair like that and could turn the sub on and off depending on the time.
 

thee_prisoner

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If you go the bookshelf speaker route, almost all aren't really designed to be in or on a bookshelf. To get the best sound, most will need to put on stands or something that is away from walls and corners. But that is true with most speakers anyways in terms of placement whether they are tower speakers or smaller speakers.

Unless I missed it, I didn't see a budget for speakers. Used is also a great option especially if you have a stereo store that sells new and used. Most stores that sell used usually have a trade in value. For example if buy some used speakers for 500.00 from the store, they will give you the 500.00 back to upgrade or buy something else, within a certain time frame, usually 1-2 years.

Be seeing you, the Prisoner...

 

ssddx

Glorious
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this is the kind of stuff people typically do with the smaller bookshelf speakers



here is one with some larger bookshelves.


as far as budget.... its possible to do it on $100 although $300-400 would give you more options and access to better quality speakers.
 

R G B

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My original plan was to get bookshelf/tower speakers that were capable of bass, and then reduce the bass with the equalizer settings and/or a high-pass filter. I was hoping if I reduced everything under something like 75 it would remove the bass heard through the walls/floor.

I experimented with a high-pass filter on a song in Audacity, and you could still hear the beat in the room below me until the filter was around 170 Hz. The crossover for my 5.1 system is fixed at 150 Hz, so really I can't do much better than using my current 5.1 system and turning the sub low/off.

However, since the sub functions as the amp, I'm not sure how I could hook up the bass shakers. If I get a Dayton SA100 sub amplifier, I think it would let me pass the front l/r speaker wires through it. So the front speakers would still function the same, but the bass would also get sent to the shakers. I'd have to configure the front l/r speakers as "Large" so they get bass. Am I understanding that correctly?

P.S. Those bookshelf speakers do look tempting, especially since with my 5.1 I'd have this giant sub that I'm not using. If I were to get bookshelves, I assume I could set my receiver to have a 150 Hz crossover and hook the shakers to the sub output to get the same effect?

Also, some room information I probably should have mentioned: This will be in a 12' x 16' living room with the TV and couch ~10' apart. Should that have any influence on my choice of tower/bookshelf/satellite speakers?
 

ssddx

Glorious
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if you wanted to use bass shakers with your 5.1......

you could split off the signal on the center/sub line so that the center goes to the sub (and then to the center) but the sub signal goes to an amp connected to your shakers.

there was a thread on this i posted in. perhaps try searching for it.

--

it seems that the trouble is bass. if you used home theater speakers you would need to either reduce with EQ or eliminate the low level sub-bass which resonates through walls.

generally for rooms that size i would say you could go with satelites however bookshelves are also good. floorstanders are a bit too big. keep in mind how "open" the room can change this. if the room doesnt have many walls (its mostly open) you might want something a tad bigger instead of smaller.

i'm using some satelites in a 12x14 and they fit it about right

--

satelite speakers dont generate much bass output so they would likely fit your need better than bookshelves. for instance my klipsch quintet iv set has some nice sound but really no low end kick. for that they rely on a subwoofer (i use a 450w sub which does this great). instead of a sub you could hook the receiver sub pre-out to an amplifier and use bass shakers on your couch (isolate it from the floor with rubber)
 
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