Moving into an apartment with wood joist floors - worried about neighbors hearing

Hey all,

So during the pandemic I bought a pair of very Manhattan-unfriendly Egglestonworks Kivas. They sound amazing! 

However I recently decided to move and found an amazing old loft. While signing the lease I saw a bunch of language about noise and playing music loud - and now I’m starting to wonder if I’ve made a huge mistake.

I’ve lived in places with concrete floors the last 15 years, so i didn’t even think about it when taking the place, but this old building has wood joist floors. 

While I don’t listen loud - I’ve always been a low- to medium-volume listener - I’m worried that even then the Kiva’s will have too much bass energy.

The opposite pressure is that the room is huge with high ceilings. So in a vacuum, the Kiva’s would be the perfect speaker for the space.

The way I see it I have two options:

1) Try to move in with the Kiva’s and do everything I can to contain their energy (bass traps / panels / thick rugs / Isoacoustics Gaia pucks - some of which I already have). If there are complaints, then get different speakers or use equalization to lower the bass on my digital sources (not an option for vinyl though)


2) Get different speakers proactively. If I do this, I could consider a pair of bookshelf speakers with limited LF (SF Amati’s or those WIlson bookshelves?)

Anyone have any experience with this? If I go route #2, what about planar ribbon speakers like Maggie 3.7? Seems like the dispersion on them might solve a lot of the problem here, but not sure if they’ll still resonate the floor.


Now I can ask you:  how did you come up with your moniker?  I hope it is not because you really liked the Bruce Willis movie by that name.

@larryi It absolutely is. That movie is a misunderstood classic that's aged like fine wine.

For those suggesting the OP put down carpet. Would you be willing to afford such an expense for a dwelling you don't own?




I faced your situation before.  There are extremely dense rubber mats (about an inch thick) called "stall mats", each about 3' x 4' that are used in horse trailers -- cost a total of $34 at Tractor Supply (yes, I get that's not going to be in Manhattan, which is yet another reason I don't live in a big city.  Awesome store.) that work extremely well for soundproofing.  They cut easily.  Very dense, same rubber as a car tire.

I've seen them in use in CrossFit places in Manhattan, so I presume someone ships them, even to Manhattan.  Extremely heavy, so be warned.

You lay one layer on the floor, then a layer of plywood, and then another layer of the mats on top.  This is extremely effective at stopping sound transfer.

Put an area rug on top so you don't look like a CrossFit gym

You could do a big room for $200.

As a bonus, you also now have a place to do dead lifts and drop your weights.

Your house will also smell like a tire store for a week.

There is some solid advise given, and some a bit drastic or too much too soon.
I had a loft studio space in an old textile building in MA years ago, so I have some experience. Keep your speakers, do all the normal furnishings you are thinking: rugs, plants, things to break up the directed sound waves, and a couple ACTUAL bass traps to start. Like other mentioned, go introduce yourself to your neighbors, take some cookies or something from a great local place. DO NOT MENTION YOUR SPEAKERS AT FIRST VISIT. I had issues with one neighbor that I realized all started because I began my introductions with them by saying "let me know if you can hear my system": within a week, I was getting constant calls and door bangs for just the TV being on LOW volume in the background. SO -say hi, maybe see how they have their spaces set up, maybe one of them has a great sound system too! You can likely tell their personalities and possible issues from that first visit.

The amount of cash that the avg audiophile spent on equipment... i am pretty sure he could have afforded the downpayment on a standalone house, end his subservience to the landlord and neighbors.

Two houses ago, i had a stand alone house and a rig in the basement. It never was a problem with one neighbor, buy, my other neighbor kept complaining whenever my music played. I would stand outside my house pause/play the music and see no difference on my meter. The sheer noise floor outside, i.e., dogs barking, the wind howling etc would easily drown the slightest hint of any music playing. But, somehow, it went through my basement, got through his walls and was heard above the noise floor of his fridge, ac, etc. Some neighbors are just full of sht....His lousy dogs barked all day long like cracked mofos and that never bothered him (it wasn’t loud at all for him!) was the faintest hint of music that got to that psychotic individual somehow. I can only imagine how it is for guys living in apartments.

Fast forward 15 years and i have a 8 acre lot. I had to endure additional wallet abuse and buy the land around my primary residence just to keep the psychotic pests and their noise complaints away. If my music bothered you 8 acres away, i ’ll just keep calling the nut house on ya! 😁

Though I am a Townshend fan, I think putting speakers on springs defeats the way they work. Instead, using a solid granite plinth would be my recommendation.

It will give the speaker a solid foundation to output sound. The lower notes will be directed toward you not downward.

You can find machine plates on Amazon for a reasonable price. I use them.