5.1 HT setup in an apartment

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by AlanZ, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Well, with my divorce having been final in May, I am probably going to end up selling my home and finding an apartment. Everyone else looks at me like I'm crazy when I say this, but I know that many of you will understand [​IMG] I love my house....I really do. But when I think about the one thing that bothers me most about finding an apartment, it's the fact that I HATE the idea of not being able to watch movies or listen to music the way I want to. I have spent a good bit of time and money building a system I'm very, very happy with, and the thought of having to either get rid of some items or play it at a "more reasonable" level just makes me ill. I think I know the answer to this question already, but (to those of you in apartments) do you find that it's possible to enjoy your system without pissing off neighbors or management? Or am I just going to have to get over it, bite the bullet, and just pretend like Russell Crowe is firing his cannons at me during Master and Commander instead of actually experiencing it? [​IMG]
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Bass shakers and/or some nice headphones. [​IMG]

    Screw the neighbors [​IMG] I don't complain about that awful smell when they cook, and they don't complain about me watching movies or listening to music at elevated levels. I do keep my sub at an acceptable level and I turn it down after 10pm out of common courtesy. When it's really late, I turn the sub off and set all my speakers to large. Basically, I try to get my loud movie watching and music listening done before 10, except on Fri and Sat., and it hasn't been a problem. Look for a place where you are sharing as few walls as possible with neighbors to minimize the issue.
     
  3. Michael X

    Michael X Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to live in an apartment a few years ago, moved in right after the place was built, one of the real "high-end" places right down the road from the golf course. I brought my HT with me, tower speakers, monster sub. I was able to make use of it, watching movies at moderate volume. However, I had a smaller TV and wasn't ten feet away on a sofa or something. I almost never was able to really crank it up, even being on the ground floor, turning the sub up past the minimum level shook the walls during action scenes. I demo'ed it a few times for people, and when I saw my neighbors cars were gone during the evening I could watch a movie without worrying about it, but for the most part I played it safe. The place I was in had a pretty strict "no big stereo systems" policy, but maybe they were letting people slide since the place was new. I think if I was ever to move into an apartment again, I'd stick with a small/medium satellite speaker setup with a sub to match. It kind of depends where you move into though, and who your neighbors are. If you move into a place where a few other people like their music or HT, everybody just cranks it when they wanna. If you move into a place where everyone wants peace and quiet, you won't get to turn it up without hearing a complaint or banging on the wall every time.
     
  4. Michael Cawcutt

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    Just finishing college I've had my fair share of apartments. I really like to shake the walls when it comes to movies, and music [​IMG] But it really comes down to your neighbors and apartment itself. My last apartment it was alright to listen and watch movies at a reasonable (loud) comfortable level as long as it wasn't past 11pm or so. The neighbors upstairs were cool. They understand, and so did the people living next to me.

    Your going to have the most trouble with people living below or above you. For some reason with my experience sound will travel but it's worse for some reason below and above you.

    It all comes down to your apartment. I now live in an apartment downtown Minneapolis with my wife, and we don't have problems at all. It's really cool because the people down the hall like to have their music loud as well. Or maybe the other people just don't have enough courage to tell me to turn it down. I won't watch movies at loud levels in the wee hours of the morning. You have to be respectable and turn it down if somebody ever asks you to though.

    Scope out apartments, and straight up ask the landlord if they have issues with sound etc..

    Michael-
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    You might try renting a two-story condominium instead. That would eliminate the upstairs people. If you could find one at the end of the building, and if the living room was also at the end (i.e., with internal rooms between you and the neighbors) you might be able to get away with it.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Just do the following and you should be fine:

    1. Be reasonable. Playing Titan A.E. at reference levels past 10pm on a schoolnight isn't reasonable.

    2. Let the neighbors know they can either knock or call if it is too loud and you'll be happy to turn it down. Those who are chronic complainers or have sensetive ears should see #3.

    3. Keep your SPL meter readily available with good batteries. Some people have unrealistic expectations. The meter keeps you in line and will help if police ever become involved.

    I enjoy a HT/music system as much as the next guy but there comes a point in time where even I had to complain. Midnight on a Thursday evening where the neighbors had the music far too loud. Complained to them twice that night about it. Both times they turned it down then, after a few minutes, cranked it right back up. Rather than complain another time I called the police. Needless to say I never had another problem with them.

    Another time some neighbors had a party going on and it was past midnight on a weeknight. I could hear the music from 50 yards away. Went over and talked to them and they kindly turned it down and left it that way. I didn't need to say another word.

    As long as your reasonable they should be too. But your expectations of them should be to be reasonable with you. Give you a chance to adjust the volume when needed. Be polite and courteous and do the right thing. Invite them over for a movie night and feel free to crank it up. [​IMG]
     
  7. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I have a friend that has a 5.1 setup in an apartment, and shares one wall with a neighbor.

    He set-up a remote controlled light that the neighbor flashed when the noise level was bothersome. It was RF controlled so it worked through the wall. Worked out great for him.
     
  8. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    There are plenty of apartment and townhouse situations where there is good sound insulation between units and you won't have an issue. Just be careful and where you choose to live and you should be fine. Townhomes with good think walls or firewalls between units are ideal. Apartments with poored concrete floors and cealings are good too.
     
  9. EugeneR

    EugeneR Second Unit

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    If it's important to you, try looking for a place where you have few connecting walls with the neighbors. The first time I walked into the place I live now, my first thought was "I can get a sub!!" because there are no connecting walls with the neighbors, except for my ceiling. Got my sub, and four and a half years later, not a single complaint. Of course, the fact that I like to walk around the apartment building naked from the waist down and carrying a bloody axe may also have something to do with the lack of complaints.
     
  10. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Use a good quality headphone system that will do 5.1 at night... Your neighbors will always be cool to you then.
     
  11. Juan_T

    Juan_T Stunt Coordinator

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    "Of course, the fact that I like to walk around the apartment building naked from the waist down and carrying a bloody axe may also have something to do with the lack of complaints. "


    HAHAHA nice one [​IMG]
     
  12. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Just a quick note of thanks to all who responded.....I really appreciate all the advice [​IMG]
     

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