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Ricky Rioli

Insulating / isolating hifi speakers

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I've a pair of ancient but still delightfully noisy Castle Durham speakers, bought when I cared less about neighbours' opinion of how much noise I was making.

I've also a pair of metal speaker stands which I'm sure are doing an excessively good job of transmitting every last beat of Gar Samuelson's drumming to my poor neighbour's ceiling.

I recently got a Gramma pad for my amp and can tell it's doing a good job of stopping my playing from being transmitted to the whole building.

Would the similar foam isolation pads for studio monitors be suitable for sitting between my hifi speakers and the speaker stands? I've never seen such things in the flesh, only online.

Not sure I've ever taken any notice of the speakers in studios either. Are they more compact than hifi speakers? I'm a bit confused by the pads putting the speakers at an angle, which I guess expresses how clueless I am on this subject.

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25 minutes ago, taunton-hobbit said:

Have a look at these - no need to have stuff on the tilt !

😎

Has a link or photo been lost in the post? :/

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The various isolation pads that are available would certainly work, but you may find the bass end softens if you decouple your speakers from the stands (and consequently the floor) by adding something like a foam pad between them. You'll have to decide how you strike the compromise between preventing the neighbours from being disturbed and enjoying listening to your music.

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2 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

The various isolation pads that are available would certainly work, but you may find the bass end softens if you decouple your speakers from the stands (and consequently the floor) by adding something like a foam pad between them. You'll have to decide how you strike the compromise between preventing the neighbours from being disturbed and enjoying listening to your music.

Thing is, this is a terribly built building - the floors transmit so much sound. At the moment I'm listening to everything so quietly, scared that I've driving my very nice downstairs neighbour berserk. I can feel the drums in my feet coming through the floor as much as I'm hearing them. So the sound is pretty pathetic as it is. Pathetic in a different way, minus the guilt will be good. A few months ago I was listening mostly to Mozart string quartets and that was one thing. Last month its been nothing but Metallica and Megadeth and I can hear the fabric of the building singing along.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, WinterMute said:

These boys know a thing or two about isolating kit, I use their pro stands in the studio:

 

https://isoacoustics.com/isoacoustics-products/home-audio-products/

 

Don't much agree that isolating amps and the like has much benefit, but speakers definitely, and not just for reducing the nuisance value of double kick drums...

Here is a link to a detailed thread on isoacoustics isolation 

https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/isoacoustics-isolators.251563/

Edited by leroydiamond

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Use blu-tac between the speaker and the top of the stand and see how you get on with that, way cheaper than isolation bases. Alternatively use a set of sorbothane feet which are readily available and fairly cheap on Ebay, or even squash balls cut in half.

You could also put a granite/marble plinth (use a couple of suitably sized kitchen choping boards) and spike or 'squash ball' them to decouple the base of the stand from the floor.

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are your stands hollow? if so it might be worth filling them with something to prevent resonances, I used a pair of the Castle Durham 2's until quite recently (bought some Castle Severn 2's) and had them on Atacama stands filled with the Atabites filler, (my friend has an identical pair on the same stands but sand filled) I always used bluetac to couple the stands to the speakers.

 

Matt

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the helpful suggestions, but for alleviation of the sense of guilt, throwing more money at something similar to that which is already doing a good job on the amp will achieve more than homemade solutions, even if sonically there's not much in it. 

Which is to say that I've got a pair for £26 in the post already :)

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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19 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

Thing is, this is a terribly built building - the floors transmit so much sound. At the moment I'm listening to everything so quietly, scared that I've driving my very nice downstairs neighbour berserk. I can feel the drums in my feet coming through the floor as much as I'm hearing them. So the sound is pretty pathetic as it is. Pathetic in a different way, minus the guilt will be good. A few months ago I was listening mostly to Mozart string quartets and that was one thing. Last month its been nothing but Metallica and Megadeth and I can hear the fabric of the building singing along.

It won't be just the sound from stands going into your downstairs neighbours ceiling, but the whole floor resonating to the air moving from your speakers as well.

However in terms of isolating stands from resonanat floors adding mass is very useful: concrete paving slabs under the speaker stands is a first step, a sandwich of carpet between two slabs is better.

 

In terms of stopping the whole floor transmitting sound Your best bet, and not cheap alas, will be to put a layer of deadening rubber mat across the whole floor, ideally a layer of MDF over this and then your normal flooring.

Of course then your doors won't travel over this so you'll need to rehang them with half an inch shaved off the bottom etc etc.

 

I've had to do this in various flats I've lived in as well as helping friends with piano isolation for their flats and it works.

As an aside I'm not far off building a new isolating ceiling above my room as well to allow me to practice more than I currently do.

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In this block we all (well, all but one) accept that hearing plenty of each other's noise is inevitable, but nonetheless interrupting the solid link between the speakers and my downstairs neighbours ceiling seems like a nice thing to do. Just because mitigation isn't eradication doesn't mean I shouldn't do it. I can feel with my feet the difference that the Gramma pad made in reducing rumble through the floor. As for my chips, they're quite soggy enough now, cheers ;)

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Some idiot bought not two pads, but two *pairs* of pads..... One pair is now happily in place, and I guess I'm taking the other pair to the Post Office on Monday.

I've decided I can feel a difference, and if that's self-delusion, I'm happy with that ;)

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Posted (edited)

This is a tough one.

In my previous life as a hifi geek, I spent many a happy hour trying (often succesfully) to rigidly couple whatever speakers I was using to stands or plinths (dependent on their being stand-mounts or floor standers)

The aim was to hold the cabinets as rigidly as possible in position such that only the drivers were moving and to "mechanically earth" the enclosures- trying to stop them storing energy. 

You need to do the opposite!

@Woodwind is barking up the right tree, methinks; deadening the room surfaces- particularly the floor if you've people beneath you will help. 

Heavy rugs?

Wall hangings?

Something absorbent under the speakers and stands as others have suggested.

And, just maybe, swap the Early Megadeth for Pachelbel's canon in D major? 😉

 

 

Edited by Lfalex v1.1

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3 hours ago, StickyDBRmf said:

You could hang them. Like in a disco. I'm not kidding I've done it.

This building is so flimsy, I'm surprised the lightbulb hasn't ripped the fitting from the ceiling

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The building is total rubbish, we can all hear so much noise - but the thing that is unpleasant is the noise that is not just passing through walls and floors, but which seems to be coming from the building itself, because then it feels like its all around you. The isolation pads are, it seems, getting in the way of the fabric of the building amplifying and transmitting the rumble. It was something I could do to be neighbourly and now I've done it. The small ones under the speakers are firm enough to hold the heavy Castles safely, they don't seem precariously perched on them. So I'm happy and am going to stop thinking about it.

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