Audiophiles and apartments: Oil and water?

I live in an apartment, and am thus constrained when it comes to the volume at which I listen. However, I tend to view this as a glass-is-half-full kind of situation, because when I do have the opportunity for serious listening (when the downstairs neighbor is gone) I appreciate it that much more. How do you handle your situation in an apartment or other close-living quarters?

I respect the space and play my stereos at low to moderate volumes within the generally accepted hours (8AM to 10PM). I also would not use a subwoofer of any kind as it transmits vibrations, which are more annoying than sound. I am also the Coop president, so I really do need to watch my behavior, as well. Now, if only the other residents were as considerate with their televisions, which seem to be blasted at all hours.

Regards, Rich
I'm pretty inconsiderate, I just blast away. And when the downstairs kids start bumpin' hip hop, I crank up Spinosaurus versus T-Rex from JP3 on the HT. Never got a complaint. I must be a well shaken vinaigrette.
See my thread "the wicked witch is dead". Quid pro quo is one way to go. Invite them over. Send them to a movie on you. Find out what music they like.
My apartment complex is designed where the living rooms are on opposite sides. Last complex I was in they were wall to wall. It also helps to have bipolar speakers for when they are home. I have Martin Logan's. Definitive Technology's before that. Im always at home during the day when I am home when everbody else is at work. Thats when I give mine a workout. I dont mind hearing a little of my nieghbors music just as long as they are not at it all night long. Some people think they are the only ones living there and like to party 24/7. They can't stand it when you turn your's up. Thats kids for ya though. I could go on and on.
I'll be facing the apartment scenario within 6 months. We currently rent a house (with a separate listening room) but just purchased a condo that will be completed by the end of the year (Can't afford an average $500,000 house in lovely Vancouver, BC). I quite enjoy listening at significant volume levels so I've been looking into soundproofing. I came across a product called "Quiet Rock" that is supposed to very effective and reducing sound transmission across walls or floors. It's quite expensive at about $160 Canadian for a 4x8 sheet, but it might be worth it.

Has anyone tried Quiet Rock?
Given the cost, it would be nice to hear if it has worked for other Audiogon members.


Derek Stewart
Vancouver, BC
I gave my very cute neighbor my phone number and asked her to call me before she called the cops. Win/win situation.

I have had some recent experience here. I lived in an apartment (3 flat) where everyone blasted away and the agreement was simple. You can blast away. I can blast away. End of story. Very nice. Then I bought a condo and the downstairs neighbor called the cops the day I moved in. I was playing folk music at about 70 db. Not a good situation. I turned it down and bided my time. He eventually moved, and I can play louder now. I still don't blast like I did before, but that's ok. I found out 2 important things during this experience: renters are generally young and flexible. Owners are generally older and uptight. You can't change that, so you have to deal with it, or buy a single family home. Not easy if you live in Manhattan, though. :) I live in Chicago, and I may upgrade to a single family home someday, although I'd prefer to make it work in the condo.

Don't be the bad guy. That's my advice. If you want to crank it up, do it at reasonable hours. Then, if they complain, turn it down and ask what hours work best for them. And mention that you ARE being considerate by not cranking it up at 2 AM, even though you'd like to...

I have almost killed a previous upstairs neighbors over the noise issue,(They loved to play some sort of machine drum music with a constant even fast bass beat that drove me totally crazy) but after THAT confrontation they decided to move out.
I have speakers I bought SPECIFICALLY to have less bottom end. (B&W 805s)
I play at 65 to 72 Db and do not play loud ever.
When I was MUCH younger I did blast at max vol. whenever I felt like it... That was in a college area apt with all young 20 somethings and we all did it. But now I am older.... and expect my non college age fellow apt dwellers (all ave age 35 to 65) to respect my desire for quiet.
I've had very little experience with apartments, except for a short period during grad school. I've often wondered if those very large and expensive apartments with a view of the park are sound proofed. You often see photos of grand pianos in them.

Practical advice would be to develop a love of baroque music -- I especially enjoy Corelli, and develop a preference for Mozart over Mahler. That is, avoid music with large dynamic range and lots of low frequencies.

I was lucky enough to find an apartment that was of steel and concrete construction and they advertised it as such. I still didn't go absolutely nuts but I never received a call in the three years I lived there.
I was fortunate to visit Mitch4t's downtown LA artist's loft last Sunday. Artists are a very forgiving group of people. They'd have to be with Mitch's FOUR Pass Labs X600 monoblocks and Velodyne DD18.
I solved my Audiophile apartment problem, by moving into an apt complex for the deaf.
one solution is to find a pair of speakers which sound good at low volume levels.

as it happens i don't play music loud and live in a one
family house.
I've found it helpful to get to know my neighbors. That way, if there are any volume issues, things are more likely to be settable amicably. Also, common sense--no loud music past 10, generally play at a moderate level, avoid boomy systems (e.g. even if your speakers are high quality, get them on the proper stands). I've been in dorms and then apartments for almost 20 years now. I've never had a complaint (except in the dorms, when my neighbor decided to try to blast me out of my room--being a man with a big stereo, well, one must retaliate).

I think that as more people get "home theater" systems with horrible, boomy subwoofers, people are getting more used to hearing their neighbor's music.

I've lived in college towns the whole time, so most of the people around me have been younger.
I had a neighbor from the downstairs apt say to me while we were riding in the elevator "you listen to the same kind of music we listen to....but just LOUDER"
he's a cool guy though....made couple of jazz compilations for him and I haven't heard the complaints since.

I have a pianist living next door. The guy plays amazing piano, but after about 2 hours he starts getting on my nerve. So I usually play a record of something he's rehearsing and he quiets down.

I usually listen loud, but never past 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends. I do enjoy late night listening but fortunately everything quets down by then and I don't need the system to play loud. Low level resolution of my current components is pretty good.