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 Post subject: Help! Noise complaints.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:52 am
Posts: 50
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I live in a condo. Long story short, my condo management sent me the final notice letter that a legal action will be taken on the next complaints. I am like WTF!

I surely don't want to cause any pain to my neighbours but at the same time, to be fair, they all play music and make noise. I unsure who is complaining, what they hear from their unit, and what's tolerable or not. My condo management just told me to turn bass down, so I did that by plugging rear vent of my speakers. But that did not help as I still got complaints after. The mgmt is not really helpful with managing this issue with me.. I have a stressful job and music is like a drug for me to cure my stress. By no mean I need to play music loud, but now I am fearful to just even turn on my stereo!

As I am posting this, I am listening to headphones, but I much prefer speakers over these phones (and they are pretty decent one at that). I cannot move, nor sell my gears as a lot of time, money, and effort have been spent.

I appreciate any advise you can give me.

Thx.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:37 am 
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
If your neighbors also play music then maybe it just not you who is the problem.
Legal action is probably only a bylaw ticket.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:34 am 
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Location: Kelowna, BC, CA
I also live in a wood framed building and feel your pain but City and Strata noise bylaws are there for a reason - to protect people from noisy neighbours. Some people get upset when they hear any noise at all or like to play their music loud and shouldn't live in attached wood framed buildings. Do you have large full range speakers that only sound good at fairly loud levels? Even worse, do you have a subwoofer? There are speakers such as the Quad Esl or apparently the Tekton Pendragon and lots of the dual concentric style that can play satisfyingly detailed music at low levels whereas some only produce good details at levels that might be too loud for the neighbour. When you are playing it is key. Is it late at night?

Get yourself some sort of sound pressure meter and measure how loud you are playing it. There are apps available on Google Play or the Apple Store that will do it that you can download to your cell phone. If possible ask the manager to arrange to visit the complaintants unit when you're playing music to try to understand how loud it is.

If nothing works then headphones are your friend here. The new Monoprice 1060C magnetic planars at about $400 are supposed to be very good.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:48 am 
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Location: Ontario, ON, CA
I would suggest making a dedicated soundroom in your basement. That would take care of the problem or put soundproof drywall on the a joining wall to the condo beside you and use green glue when attaching the drywall. You could also use resilient channeling instead of the green glue to attach the soundproof drywall.

I built a dedicated room about 7 year's ago, fully soundproofed. You can either have music or a movie cranked up with people sleeping right above on the next level no problem. Best thing I ever did.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:31 am 
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MOON wrote:
I would suggest making a dedicated soundroom in your basement. That would take care of the problem or put soundproof drywall on the a joining wall to the condo beside you and use green glue when attaching the drywall. You could also use resilient channeling instead of the green glue to attach the soundproof drywall.

I built a dedicated room about 7 year's ago, fully soundproofed. You can either have music or a movie cranked up with people sleeping right above on the next level no problem. Best thing I ever did.


OP is in a condo so no basement & if there's noise complaints most likely wood frame. Tough to fix w/tearing up all the sheetrock and flooring and soundproofing it. Very expensive fix.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:00 am 
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while the OP does not indicate if the structure is a condo townhouse style building, or an MDU concrete tower type, the gist of this complaint remains the same.
The majority of condominium corporations have in their building declaration/rules a "quiet enjoyment" clause that indicates everyone is entitled to just that, "quiet enjoyment" of their living space, and while perhaps this is a bit vague, it does give management/boards some ability to reign in those who choose not to respect the fact that there is shared walls with others who might not enjoy your music/piano playing/stomping around at 1am/children screaming/etc... etc.. etc.
I can tell you that from sitting on a condo board for 15+ years that managing noise complaints and other lifestyle related matters consumes a MASSIVE amount of time on the part of property managers/Boards of Directors. So much so, that the update to the condominium act late last year now provides methods for mediation and resolution amongst residents.

You can read about some of those changes here:
https://www.ontario.ca/page/condominium-law-changes

Personally, from my own experience, I had a pair of Mirage M3si's that I adored, however, just when they were at the point where they sounded awesome.. they did need a bit of power to get them going.. :lol: they also triggered sympathetic resonances in my neighbours kitchen cupboards... and made her dishes rattle ! (yes,.. this is in a concrete building) we tried sorting this out together,.. but the end point was that the m3's had to go. I realized it was just the wrong speaker for my situation.

In another situation, we had a resident who was being driven mad by a intermittent mechanical hum that would kick in and vibrate along her bedroom wall... making it annoying to try and sleep. The culprit ?? turns out that someone had their fridge pushed right up against an adjoining wall one floor down and a unit over.. it happened when they had moved it to clean around their fridge.
My point here is don't assume noise travels linearly and not everyone has the same tolerance for acceptability or irritation level as you might. It is one of the big drawbacks of living in a shared wallspace situation, and something that we do have to stop and think about.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:49 am 
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Location: stirling, ON, CA
So, what db are you listening at?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:53 am 
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Location: Sleepy Hollow, NS, CA
I don't know if placing your speakers on stands would help or not.

You also don't specify what hours you listen to your music, since sometimes that could trigger complaints if it interferes with somebodies sleeping hours.

I don't think plugging the port is going to help the speakers soundwise, but dialing down the bass and volume a bit is probably a good idea.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:07 am 
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Double D – given shared wallspace is becoming more and more popular, that post should be stickied. Well said.

Hawkeye – What are your neighbours like…can you talk to them? I can’t find the post but someone had a similar situation to yours where the only solution was communication with the neighbours. I also recall the user tried different speakers and positioning which helped a bit but did not solve the issue. Hopefully the user reads this post and chimes in. Good friend of mine was also in similar situation. But through communication he has now built a friendship with his neighbours (to the point where they are walking each others dogs!). If he is too loud (he loves to entertain), his neighbour simply sends him a txt message and the volume is turned down or off.

I’d speak with your neighbours. Perhaps it’s only 1 of them who works off hours and is trying to rest while you are playing your music. Who knows - but opening communication will at least tell you which neighbours are upset and which ones are not. It may also expose what the problem is that may lead to a solution. And if you have an irate neighbour who is unwilling to talk, now you know and can plan accordingly. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:14 am 
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Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
:lol: return the favor
complain about the neighbors
some people don't realize or want to tolerate others and they have to learn that living in such arrangements requires some compromise and that usually doesn't hit home till they are faced with what your facing

I think when your living arrangements are so tightly packed with others you can't help being exposed to all kinds of intrusions, then there is the venting or heat and air circulation between units which conducts sound into adjoining units quite nicely depending on your building size and layout you could be sharing your entertainment to some degree with half the building, I once heard a couple arguing coming through the one vent I knew the couple they lived 6 floors below me. Maybe try finding and blocking the vents when listening might help


for me I found that bass loads a room if you take the woofers off the floor and away from walls and isolate them on a platform or table with spikes then this lessen that impact substantially. But if your complainant lives directly below you and likes and expects total peace and quiet there is not much you can do accept learn to love headphones

Then again if you unwind to death metal at ungodly volume then there is no help for you :lol: :twisted:


Last edited by chow on Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:15 am 
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Switch over to Planar, Electrostatic or an open baffle speaker. I can listen at 90dB levels with the wife sleeping upstairs and she never hears a thing when using Magneplanars. Other than that suggestion, use headphones as others have suggested. Here in Edmonton bylaw states quiet times are 2200 to 0700 and I can't imaging it's much different in other cities. Just don't buy Cerwin Vega or Klipsch speakers or you might as well start packing! :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:26 am 
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natalie wrote:
If your neighbors also play music then maybe it just not you who is the problem.
Legal action is probably only a bylaw ticket.


Condo boards or councils have the power to levy fines...and they will...basically...if people are hearing the "goings on" in your unit...you're fecked...do the advised soundproofing (approved by the board :) )...turn down the volume...get headphones...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:43 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Get headphones or move.No one should have to listen to your noise if they do not want to.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:51 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
You can't stop Bass. You can try to put up sound proofing drywall - there are various options available.....but it will cost money, disruption and still won't completely eliminate the issue....especially if your neighbors have low tolerance.

Look into yourself....talk to your neighbors. Pick your spots to play loud. Move! Heh....I know that's impossible to do if you want to stay in TO.

All other paths lead to escalation. Take advice from people in your similar situation....may people on these forums live in detached homes.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:52 am
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Thank you all for your feedback. Double D, your experience as condo board member was insightful. Really appreciate.

My speakers are full range floor standing speakers and it does require moderate power to come alive, but i can live with at a lower volume. I just remind myself not to turn it up. My condo unit is a corner unit and speakers are placed by wall away from all adjescent units. But as some of you pointed out, low frequency may not travel horizontally. Also, talking to people who complained is out of question as the management wants to protect their identity.

I guess I can look into sound proofing my unit, but won't the construction make noise as well :) Also in terms of listening hours, I normally like to listen early morning and late at night... But looking at previous complaints, at almost sounds like (no pun intended) when I turn up at certain level where I could feel slight vibration on the floor and my leather couch then that triggers complaint. I also used sound pressure meter on my phone, but max db was like 60 dbs, which I thought was not loud - i know that's relative.

For now, I am sticking with NightHawk and Hugo 2. I actually was very happy to hear them this morning. Again, not as great as music coming out from my amp and speakers however.


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