Looking for 'Flat Friendly' speakers!
Jul 22, 2010 at 5:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

BigTony

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Having just moved into a 2nd floor flat/apartment I thought better of taking my floorspeakers and subwoofer with me - they were great in a detached house, but now I have to have a care for my neighbours. ATM I have been using a pair of Celestian Bookshelf speakers that I found - can't remember when I bought these but they look pretty old and beaten up, but they work ok.
So what I'm after is some thoughts of a decent set of speakers, my lounge is quite large (7x4x3 meters) so I want to fill the space, but need to not send too much noise to the flat below (I'm on the top floor). Any suggestions?
 
Cheers
 
BT
 
Jul 22, 2010 at 5:55 AM Post #2 of 8

Omega17TheTrue

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Keep your floorstanders and acoustically treat your room with the money saved, for example a thick and soft carpet is excellent at absorbing vibrations.
 
The sub can be a big problem though but it depend of the volume and acoustic.
 
Jul 22, 2010 at 9:35 AM Post #4 of 8

golgi

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Just keep your current setup and buy one of these to put under the subwoofer- http://www.auralex.com/sound_isolation_subdude/subdude.asp
 
Also, they have a smaller model to go under your tower speakers. 
 
Jul 23, 2010 at 8:32 AM Post #5 of 8

RonaldDumsfeld

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I commend you for your good sense. Falling out with your neighbors is rarely a good idea. crap i really am getting old :frowning2:
 
I faced a similar dilemna. My double woofer, reverse transmission line TDL RTL 3  floorstanders and 120w a side amp are perfect. For the life I lived nearly twenty years ago. When I first bought them. Now I'm afraid to say that on 90% of occasions it's all a bit too much. So I know where you are coming from.
 
I first solved it almost by accident. I bought a pair of the ubiquitous M-Audio AV40 for use on my desktop. Brilliant. They don't even try to go down below 85hz but in so doing avoid a whole host of problems. To compensate they have a nice little bass boost of what is available and they bump along very nicely thank you. I think they take a little bite out of the potentially troublesome high mids as well. Not strictly clinical but warm and forgiving. Plus I still have the floorstanders for when I want to make a noise or even to use as a makeshift sub.
 
They didn't last very long though. The AV40s that is. Mmmh. what to do?  I'd been so delighted with the concept of desktop monitors that instead of arsing about repairing the AV40 I upgraded to a pair of ADAM A3X. Figured since the ADAMs have a 5 year guarantee but only cost 4x as much as the M-Audio they are effectively 20% cheaper in the long run.
 
Not all plain sailing at first as it happens. The ADAMs are real momitors. They are designed to draw your attention vividly to likely troublespots in the audio spectrum. If you can make something sound good on them it will sound absolutely bleeding stunning on almost anything else. Once I got my head round the idea that untreated poor recordings where going to sound poor. because they really are poor, i have been very happy.
 
The tweeter is the same as the one used on $20,000 speakers. Beat that? Also they go down to 60hz vs the AV40 85Hz which makes a difference. The weight isn't really there yet but you get a good guide as to where it would be if it was there. So I am now very rarely tempted to bring in the RTLs at all. The bumpy AV40 now sound like toys in comparison. 
 
In fact the A3X are so good and go so loud (4x 25W amps with an active crossover - state of the art not so long ago) I am seriously considering buying a sub for parties and the like and binning the floorstanders altogether. Save space, better sound, more flexible, other people friendly. What's not to like?
 
So there you have it mate. You can have all the quality you like for very little money really - except in the lower 2 Octaves! Since in your case you don't want that foundation shaking quaking going on the solution is obvious. Buy some quality speakers that don't go much below 60Hz. Supplement them with a sub for when you want to have it large.
 
Trying to soundproof a flat is never going to work - not from the point of view of your neighbours, family, cat etc. Trust me. My grandad was a builder.
 
 
 
  gb
 
Jul 24, 2010 at 6:25 PM Post #6 of 8

Stoin

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Living in Edinburgh flats and using stand-mount speakers I never got any complaints from neighbours below (those flats are massively over-built and I did check for insulation issues with the folks below when we were moving in). I did however get problems with my rear ported Quad 11L speakers. I had one of them positioned in front of a chimney that was in the wall between my flat and one on the same level in a joined building. The chimney was on their side and so I couldn't see it. It turned out that my neighbours were being treated to all the bass notes from my music for a couple of months before they found the source. Moving the speakers fixed it, although it took a few bottles of wine to smooth it out with the neighbours.
 
I don't know how many walls/floors/ceilings you are sharing with your neighbours, but if you do get issues then front ported stand mounts are the easiest to control in terms of noise escaping. You should be fine with floorstanders though, unless you have a floating wooden floor (in which case nothing will help and you should just move).
 
As for flat friendly speakers I'd try something like the Linn Majik 109 or a larger BBC style monitor from Harbeth or Spendor. An LS3/5a will not fill the room, but the larger models will.
 
Jul 26, 2010 at 5:29 AM Post #7 of 8

BigTony

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Thanks for all the input - I want to get this right as I listen to music alot and I'd rather plan and buy well than rush in and end up regretting it.
I share 1 wall between myself and a neighbour - basically right behind speakers! And its just 'bonded brick' so no cavity, I guess front ported speakers would be a smart move, my floorstanders are rear ported. There is also the flat below me - I'm sure they already hate my laminate floor.
 
I will look at monitors, they might be the key...
 
Cheers
 
Tony
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 8:55 AM Post #8 of 8

dura

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Hi, I live in an appartment too, and my 8x5x2.6 meters has roughly the same size as your lounge, and a laminate floor.
I used to have carpet, but when I switched to laminate my very big DIY speakers (flat down to 20hz) gave a horrible slow bass that made enjoying music impossible. A testdisk showed the problem to be slightly below 35 hz.
On top of that, low bass easily travels through walls.
So I switched to speakers that went down to about 40hz, bass sounds great now and the neighbours have their peace.
My speakers (see sign) are still floorstanders, with larger rooms (I mean floor > 25m2) monitors have a hard time filling the room.
There are lots of nice looking slender floorstanders that would suit your needs. 
I did try monitors for a short while, but because of the lack of bass I had the tendency to turn the volume up and I got complaints. The right size of speakers sound balnced by acceptable volumes.
 

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