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Need a "cheap" attenuator/sound proofing advice

After almost two years of playing loud where I live I get a new amp & I finally get my first cop knocking on my door @ 9pm telling me he had recieved a noise complaint. Funny because I wasn't really cranking my volume THAT loud IMO, but **** happens & I gotta work with it.

I would like to maybe get a "cheap"($20-50) attenuator if that would help, but what I would really like to do is sound proof the room a bit so less sound escapes outside if it won't cost too awful much money. It can cost more than $50, I just don't want to spend a shitload of money because I like to play somewhat loud & I have new V30 speakers so I want to break them in. I live in a manufactured home & the other houses are about 30 feet away from the front of my house where my jam room is. The room is very small, maybe something like 9x8 & it has one 3x2 window. If there was some way I could cut the bass by 50% or somewhere around there that would be great.
 

gulliver

Supporting Member
I can tell you that I recently bought an isolation cabinet as I'm in the city, but I really didn't like how processed the tone was when going through the board and using headphones.

Here's what I do now when I need to be quiet...

The cab is the Roland which faces the speaker up with a batting filled lid on top. I stand next to the cab with the lid open half way. I can still hear the speaker very well, but most of the sound gets muffled in the lid.

I'm not saying you should buy the same cab, but if you contain a speaker at the souce and allow enough of an opening so you can hear, it is an easy way to keep the volume down.

There are no cheap attenuators, but you can use a single low efficiency speaker like a greenback to keep things more on the quiet.
 

daddyo

Guest
I'd go the attenuator route. You should be able to find a used Weber MASS 50 for around $75. Soundproofing will cost a heck of a lot more ($thousands) plus the skilled labour to install. Iso cabs a good idea too but for $75? Maybe make your own out of plywood and insulation?
 
I'd go the attenuator route. You should be able to find a used Weber MASS 50 for around $75. Soundproofing will cost a heck of a lot more ($thousands) plus the skilled labour to install. Iso cabs a good idea too but for $75? Maybe make your own out of plywood and insulation?
Well I was thinking of putting carpet/foam on the walls. I don't think I will need to cover all 4 walls & it doesn't need to be completely sound proof, I just need to cut out some of those bass frequency's from leaving the room. I think if I can cut some of that sound out of the equation I would be fine.

About the Mass 50, I thought I would need a 100 watt attenuator?? I found a couple on E-Bay that looked decent, but I take it nothing will keep the tone there like an ultimate attenuator.
 

cram

Member
no sheilding or room dampening will help you with your neighbor. the frequencies that make it through the walls for others to hear will still make it out for the most part. Sure the sound inside your room may be more controlled, but you are not isolating frequencies in this room by doing it.

read this forum for hours - johnlsayers.com

It's very good info if you would like to see examples for how people have approached your very problem.

Things that may help you -
There are isolation mats you can put under your amp's cab so the vibrations that transmit from the cabinet touching the floor/surface will be reduced. To simulate this, (when neighbor is not home) put your cab on a couch or a bed, throw sound through it (looper or play music through it). Turn it up. walk outside and hear the difference from when you don't have it buffered from contacting the floor.

I believe that would be your best path to follow unless you want to invest some time and money in beefing up the walls and floor, which is a long and tedious sort of construction.
 

cram

Member
Well I was thinking of putting carpet/foam on the walls. I don't think I will need to cover all 4 walls & it doesn't need to be completely sound proof, I just need to cut out some of those bass frequency's from leaving the room. I think if I can cut some of that sound out of the equation I would be fine.
Again - this will not work at all to isolate the sound and meet your goal of cutting down transmitted soudn outside of your walls. Period.

It's sound "dampening" (inside a room)
vs
sound isolation - keeping the sound within a room.

good luck.

- if you search google for acoustical myths you'll get commentary like on this page: http://www.rbdg.com/newsroom/expose/

absorbtion vs isolation...
 
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What if I get an Ernie Ball volume pedal & stick that in the effects loop?? Won't that work just as good as an attenuator??
The signal chain of you amp is this:

Input>>>preamp tubes>>>effects loop>>>phase inverter>>>power tubes>>>speakers

A volume pedal will only take down the preamp volume. Your best solution is probably an attenuator.
 

daddyo

Guest
No. A volume control in the FX loop is just a master volume like used on many amps. It will work but not the tone you may want.
 

ThugLife

Member
Well I was thinking of putting carpet/foam on the walls.
There are different types of foam. And carpet foam is not what you want to use for this application. Carpet foam is sealed, which will reflect sound, not absorb it like you'd want. Studio foam, used for dampening, is porous. The sound gets trapped in the pores. But again, the correct foam will sound proof, just dampen. Go with an attenuator or an isolation box.

It's weird. I live in an apt and have neighbors above and below me. I play through a 2ch. Dual Rectifier and a 2x12 Marshall cab. If i think I'm playing too loud. . . . . I just turn the amp down.
 
I'm in a weird situation. I always played at this volume with my old amp, but it was much more dull souning, with not as much lows or highs... The last thing I "want" to do is play my new monster tubed amp at lower volume than my old solid state PoS.

My friend suggested if I get the corect foam I can enough of the frequencies where I should be OK. I don't live in an apartment building. Actually, I found out that it wasn't a cop who knocked on my door, it was a Security Guard.
 


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