Need Advice From All HTF Townhouse Owners

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael A N, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Michael A N

    Michael A N Auditioning

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    I know there are a few threads here regarding noise problems in apartment buildings. Unfortunately, I have a first floor apartment where I am disturbing my one neighbor above my living room with my home theater, while at the same time, I am bothered by the home theater noise by from my other neighbor above my bedroom. Talk about poetic justice.

    In light of many considerations, including this noise issue, I have decided to purchase a townhouse in the next several months. For reasons I won't bore you all with, I'd prefer a condominium situation to a regular single-family home. Since I don't want to disturb my neighbors, I am trying to decide between purchasing an end-unit townhouse that shares one side-wall with another unit (and presumably has a good spot for my home theater on the opposite wall) OR purchasing a detached free-standing townhouse (which would be bigger than I need and will be fairly more expensive).

    Because I certainly don't want to end up buying something -- and later finding out that I still have a problem -- I would greatly appreciate comments from all of you who now live in townhomes, or have in the past.

    Please let me know: the basic layout of your townhouse, when it was built, and where, in relationship to your neighbors, you put your home theater, what type of equipment do you have (e.g. do you have an SVS sub), how loud do you play it, and most importantly -- have your neighbors complained! I'd especially be interested in hearing from anyone from North Central New Jersey -- since that's the general area where I plan on buying.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    Michael
     
  2. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Michael,

    I currently live in a townhouse in suburban Baltimore that is the 3rd unit in an 8-unit configuration (i.e. we're in the middle of the group). I don't have an SVS sub yet, and am using the finished basement as my HT. The narrow ends of the rectangular room share walls with my neighbors on either side. I consider these homes to be fairly well insulated for day-to-day type of applications and this is purely an anecdotal statement based on the fact that I don't ever hear my neighbors doing normal, everday type things.

    I watch my movies usually -10db to -7db under reference and currently have a DefTech PF15TL+ that I'll soon sell to get SVS. My neighbor on one side has commented that she can hear the bass in her bedroom, which is on the third floor. I don't believe the midrange and high frequencies are heard anywhere, but it's just so hard to contain those bass notes!

    Having said all this, and given the fact that I'm a HT nut, I would have bought a detached townhouse in a heartbeat if that was an option for me at the time I purchased this house (approx. 1.5 years ago). I think the fact that a detached unit would have more space between it and other homes would help with ensuring your neighbors aren't disturbed too much by the HT.

    I lived in an apartment prior to buying the townhome, and while the townhome is a step up from the apartment in terms of soundproofing, it's not a large step. I still wish for more!

    One other thing: the fact that I know my neighbors can hear my HT always weighs on my mind in some small way when I'm in the HT...and psychologically, that is a real pain in the A**. I want to be able to completely escape into the movie and not worry about disturbing others. But, these are the sacrifices I make until I have a single family home and a dedicated HT.

    Well, these are my thoughts...and again, I'd go for the detached unit in a heartbeat, all other things being equal.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in a middle unit in Morristown. This is kind of hard to describe, but my living room is in the back of the unit, and has two outside walls (the back and one of the sides). I have my SVS in the corner that joins those two walls. The wall opposite that corner adjoins my other neighbor, who has not yet complained.

    I generally watch movies at -10dB (occasionally higher, TV lower). I'm lucky in that I was able to arrange to put the sub in about as isolated a spot as possible, relative to adjoining units. I do try to be considerate and not crank it up very late at night, especially on weeknights. So far so good!

    My unit was built around 1980, generally pretty well insulated. Oh, and I bought it before I was into home theater, so at the time it wasn't a consideration.
     
  4. Kishu

    Kishu Stunt Coordinator

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    Timely thread [​IMG]...I had few nasty experiences in my townhome in SFBay where neighbhor to my side complained and I had a Hsu VTF-2 sub!
    Now that I have moved to Dallas, I am searching ONLY for townhome or apts where no one is above or below me or directly on side of living room wall. Its tough to get such an apt with wide living room space but I hope I will close on one soon [​IMG]
    Cheers,
    Kishore
     
  5. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    Michael,

    I live in your town - actually Montville (which Pine Brook is a part of) - and I live in one of the Townhouse complexes in town, and I have had the one neighbor complain that shares the wall where my HT set-up is positioned. I moved my family there a little over one year ago (from another small condo in Montville), and 2 months after moving in, the neighbor rang the bell to complain. She actually thought that maybe the builder put in a defective wall - since the prior owner (of 5 years - the unit is only 6 years old now) never made noise - and all of a sudden I move in and she and her family hear bass coming from my unit.

    Now you should know Montville - even townhouses are somewhat expensive - and I paid more than what I would have paid if I moved to a single family home in a more modest town, but we love Montville. So I don't think there is any real escape from this problem unless you have a single family home.

    But on the bright side, I told the neighbor I would be watchful of the volume, of which I am at times (I still play it loud) - and they haven't complained since. So either they have basically accepted that I will play music and movies and they will hear some bass, or it doesn't really bother them that much - since I do hear their home theater through my wall. I hear distinct bass sounds, but nothing that I would complain about.

    Which brings up this issue:

     
  6. John B. Holbrook

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    I live in a Ranch style condo (3 bdr, 2 bath) that has one unit attached to mine. I've never heard one complaint from the little old lady in the condo next door. I'm convinced she's either EXTRMELY tollerant, or simply deaf. [​IMG]
    I only have a Klipsch KSW-12 so that may be a factor - I doubt I'd have the guts to push it with an SVS... [​IMG]
    -John
     
  7. Dan Mercier

    Dan Mercier Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing I'd recommend if they have them in your area is a place with a basement. The concrete walls in the basement dramatically decrease sound transmission. By framing in a room within a room in the basement your neighbors might not even know you exist.
     
  8. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Some townhomes are built with the living quarters seperated by a garage. This would be enough of a barrier, I believe.

    Pete
     
  9. Michael A N

    Michael A N Auditioning

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    Thanks for everyone's feedback so far.

    Michael_T: Nice to hear from a neighbor. Yes, Montville and many of the surrounding neighborhoods are very expensive, which is why I'm thinking about moving west to perhaps Rockaway, or maybe even south to Somerset, County. I work in Roseland, so I'll miss the 10-minute commute.

    It seems as though a home theater near a common wall at least risks neighbor complaints about the bass.

    Pete, I think a garage or two between the units would be ideal. I wonder if anyone here has that situation and can report having no noise problems.

    Has anyone had a problem where their home theater is away from the common wall, or where there is another room in between as a buffer?

    Michael
     
  10. Pete K

    Pete K Agent

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    John H,

    I too live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath--an upstairs apt and have a Klipsch.

    The Infinity died sometime ago and I just couldn't wait for the pennies to get the SVS.

    The very first nite the neighbors downstairs complained wondering what the h was going on. It was 130 AM and was the pod scene at near reference level--but it was a Sat nite---

    Think apts are a losing prop.
     
  11. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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