What is a considerate dB level for playing in an apartment?

Golem

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,623
Depends on your walls. Most places don't have brick/cement walls. But I have lived in places that did. You couldn't hear anything except in the stairwell.
 

Tony Done

Member
Messages
8,882
I just did a quick check, and acoustic guitar is apparently in the order 60-80 dB, which is the sort of volume at which I play electric, so I would be aiming at about 70 dB as a first approximation. Apart from the thin walls, another possibility is that she simply doesn't like the kind of music you play, so she might find it more aggravating than, say, a washing machine at a higher volume.
 

Dashface

Member
Messages
7,185
I came to say this. I live in a townhouse and can play in the high 60's dB range all day and night without bothering anyone. I'll push it to mid 70's dB during the day without a problem. The 60's dB range is TV loud noise. You hit the mid 80's dB - this is too loud.

60db is me talking quietly - that seems reallllll quiet.


…That being said I totally agree with you. 80db is too loud for an apartment, full stop. I mean, I live in a house and I never go over 75db or so because I don’t want to bother my neighbours :D


Also to be fair maybe nobody wants to hear it. It would drive me nuts listening to someone play.
 
Messages
56
Couple funny things to update...

My neighbor on the other side (let's call her neighbor B) didn't even know I played guitar. And it turns out neighbor A actually complained to management about the noise. But get this--management called neighbor B about it! So I ran into neighbor B (who's lived in this building for like 25 years and is always friendly to me) and she was asking me about noise and why the management called her. She's Sri Lankan with a heavy accent so I can't always make out what she's saying. It took me a second to realize what she was talking about, but then it hit me and I told her, "no, that was me making the noise. I play guitar a lot. The other neighbor was banging on my wall so she must have called about it" She was like, "oh, you play guitar?"

I thought that was pretty funny. Maybe she thought I was playing music on my stereo, or maybe she can't hear anything....

Also....

My wife's pregnant and our baby is due in 4 months. So pretty soon there's gonna be an infant crying at all times of the day and night. Neighbor A will probably wish that she only had some funky guitar licks to deal with.
 

mtb

Member
Messages
331
Anything louder than typical speech will get the cops called on you here in my apartment. One time my girlfriend and I were laughing really loud watching Dave Chapelle and the cops showed up because the neighbors thought were were in a domestic dispute.
Between laughs and arguments, we would need a subscription agreement with the cops…:)
Let alone guitar and electric piano.
 

Senor Forum

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,750
Couple funny things to update...

My neighbor on the other side (let's call her neighbor B) didn't even know I played guitar. And it turns out neighbor A actually complained to management about the noise. But get this--management called neighbor B about it! So I ran into neighbor B (who's lived in this building for like 25 years and is always friendly to me) and she was asking me about noise and why the management called her. She's Sri Lankan with a heavy accent so I can't always make out what she's saying. It took me a second to realize what she was talking about, but then it hit me and I told her, "no, that was me making the noise. I play guitar a lot. The other neighbor was banging on my wall so she must have called about it" She was like, "oh, you play guitar?"

I thought that was pretty funny. Maybe she thought I was playing music on my stereo, or maybe she can't hear anything....

Also....

My wife's pregnant and our baby is due in 4 months. So pretty soon there's gonna be an infant crying at all times of the day and night. Neighbor A will probably wish that she only had some funky guitar licks to deal with.

Dude, your name paired with your avatar - just marvelous.

KILLER BOOTS, MAN!
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
4,715
4 meters away 90 dB is going to be pretty loud. Distance matters when measuring and people should state it. I recommend just using the somewhat standard 1m distance so it’s easy to compare.

I'm measuring at my listening position, hence somewhere between 3 and 4 meters...
literally nothing is at 1 meter...just air
I have 4 cabs blaring in a triangle, essentially.

I have no loudness restrictions

I can, however, measure at 1 meter for comparison purposes;

I won't move my cabs, tho, so 1 meter doesn't really work as the cabs are around 4 meters apart.
I think the only location which makes sense to measure loudness is at the listening position.
OK, so I did a little test this morning
using 2 ipads running SPLnFFT
one ipad inside a Griffin Survivor; the with no cover at all
I "calibrated" the mic on the ipad with no case;
mic would not calibrate for the ipad with the Griffin case;

good news, I can compare calibrated and uncalibrated side-by-side

I confirmed the calibrated and uncalibrated ipads were within 1dB of each other;
and most of the time showing the same reading;
ok- so nothing in it

then I placed one ipad at 1 meter and the other in the optimum cab throw at the top of the 3 meter triangle on the same plane about 0.7 meters from the floor (I was incorrect about 4 meters; it is 3 meters)

The ipad at 3meters was reading about 2dB higher than the ipad at 1 meter; so it's louder where 4 cabs are optimally pointed at 3 meters than 2 cabs at 1 meter; which I expected

the actual numbers tho have me doubting the accuracy of the readings

I never broke 88dB and that was very loud;
threshold of pain for me;
83dB sounding great and still pretty loud

I will also say for certain that my threshold of pain is frequency dependent (as is everyone's)
between 2KHz and 6KHz; if I was to cut those freqs, obviously I could crank up louder....but then which freqs are tipping the dB meter?

I'll have to test that later :)
 

tktk

Member
Messages
997
Couple funny things to update...

My neighbor on the other side (let's call her neighbor B) didn't even know I played guitar. And it turns out neighbor A actually complained to management about the noise. But get this--management called neighbor B about it! So I ran into neighbor B (who's lived in this building for like 25 years and is always friendly to me) and she was asking me about noise and why the management called her. She's Sri Lankan with a heavy accent so I can't always make out what she's saying. It took me a second to realize what she was talking about, but then it hit me and I told her, "no, that was me making the noise. I play guitar a lot. The other neighbor was banging on my wall so she must have called about it" She was like, "oh, you play guitar?"

I thought that was pretty funny. Maybe she thought I was playing music on my stereo, or maybe she can't hear anything....

Also....

My wife's pregnant and our baby is due in 4 months. So pretty soon there's gonna be an infant crying at all times of the day and night. Neighbor A will probably wish that she only had some funky guitar licks to deal with.
Now, we know how this story ends. There's actually no neighbor A... :eek:
 

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
4,715
60db is me talking quietly - that seems reallllll quiet.


…That being said I totally agree with you. 80db is too loud for an apartment, full stop. I mean, I live in a house and I never go over 75db or so because I don’t want to bother my neighbours :D


Also to be fair maybe nobody wants to hear it. It would drive me nuts listening to someone play.
I just measured me talking normally while setting up the above scenario; hitting 75dB A-Weighted with SPLnFFT just out of reach
 

dirtyguitar

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
701
Knock, knock…

“Hi, I’m Salmon, I’m in unit A. I’m getting the sense that my practice is keeping you awake, do you work nights? I really don’t mean to be a nuisance but I only get an hour a day that I can use for practice. 4 is really my best time. I assumed people would be at work then. Can we come to an understanding so we both happy?”

If successful in achieving a truce, add “who is your favorite artist?”

Kiss a little ass, make peace, live happy.

If that doesn’t work…get a DR100, 2 Fane-loaded 4x12s and a really ornery fuzz and go to the plan mentioned above. Let it rip for 5 mins, cover with blanket, put on Maury, lay on couch with cheetohs, wait for cops. “What guitar? How could I play guitar with Orange fingers???” Repeat until she moves.
 

Atdi2000

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
999
Can someone message me when the op grows up and talks to their neighbor?

They obviously know what they are doing is wrong and are hoping people here back up their sad justifications for being selfish and scared.

As someone who plays guitar, but also delt with terrible coward neighbors for years, this hits close to home.

Buy either

1. A house

2. Headphones

And learn that looking for confirmation bias on the internet isn't helping you with anything.
 

Viscerok

Member
Messages
459
Generally speaking, the only thing separating you from your neighbors is some insulation sandwiched between drywall and 2x4’s.
I would suggest EQ to lower 400 and below a bit. Compromise a little and everyone is happy.
 

ctgblue

Member
Messages
23
Aim away from wall, if open back, cover it with cardboard, or move to a room away from common wall
I was lucky to have a move out in my apt, below me, I turned mine up until I could barely hear it in the other apt (no a/c), then dropped it a hair, then marked it. I had a 120 watt 1/2 stack

Think of it this way, what if this neighbor was playing the music you hate the most, and was forcing you to listen to it
 

sbford313

Member
Messages
24
I use an attenuator for my tube amp when I play at home (in an apartment). One of my new-ish neighbors keeps pounding on the walls when I’m playing. Since she doesn’t have the decency to actually come over and talk to me, I’m just assuming she’s killing spiders on the wall. A lot of them.

Anyway, I have a dB meter on my phone and it generally shows about 80-85 dB when I’m playing. Sometimes a lil louder when I kick on the fuzzes.

I’m usually playing in the afternoon around 4 when I have a free hour before I have to pick the kid up, so it’s not like I’m keeping her up at night.

Just curious what everyone thinks is an acceptable level for playing with neighbors. I feel like I can’t tell because with the band it’s generally really loud and so 85 dB feels pretty mellow to me.

I’m thinking the neighbor is just a bit neurotic but I don’t want to be the a-hole that’s playing too loud.
Shes probably a b. But heres a new idea: approach her kindly and respectfully, and work out a time in the day when you can play that she can live with. She probably hates your music. Have you tried switching to Garth Brooks?
 

doner designs

Member
Messages
177
Shouldn't be audible to neighbors at all. They are entitled to quiet use of their space and will be within their rights to keep a log and complain to management.

Even in a house, I would say it shouldn't be audible across the property line, otherwise neighbors can't enjoy their outdoor areas.

I have had issues where even in a nice neighborhood with large properties I can hear neighbor's music INSIDE my house with the windows shut and AC running. In that case I pay them a visit and don't mind escalating to the local sheriff.
 

Bob Zod

The Land of Entrapment
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,580
I don't miss it for sure. I remember when I lived on the 2nd floor in a garden style condo and the downstairs people would bang on their ceiling when I played. One time I got so fed up that I put my cowboy boots on, got up on the bed, and jumped down as hard as I could slamming all my power and weight, and (I weighed about 275 at the time). Something in their apartment came crashing down because I heard it. No neighbor showed up but the building manager did and confirmed the thing that came crashing down was a large metal and glass picture frame. I told him I have no idea what he was talking about and he just smirked and left. From that day til I moved though I switched over to headphone jamming with my RP1000? or whatever it was..
 
Last edited:

Daytona57

Member
Messages
3,244
Run your rig through a Roland Micro Cube, JC clean channel at 70 db. They are cheap used, $100.00.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom