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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039674 10/26/20 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Johnny English
I would think a digital piano for yourself would work out the best and actually the cheapest. Getting one with a really nice action won' be cheap, but it would be cheaper than effective soundproofing.
I would not even consider soundproofing, but since I have had beautiful Mason & Hamlin BB for the last 15 years I don't want to give it up playing it completely for even the best hybrid.


It should not even be a consideration to switch to a digital. You are playing within the approved hours, but are still willing to find something that will appease your neighbor. If he can’t agree to noise cancelling headphones, he might just need to listen to two hours of practice —- with a smile. Part of having neighbors is also recognizing that if they are following the covenant, that you will need to live with non-perfect communal conditions. There could be worse instruments than a piano. 🥁🥁🥁🎷🎷


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039682 10/26/20 08:06 PM
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Sorry to hear about that PL. Though you just got the note he may have been upset about your playing for some time. While I would do my best to work things out with him I would tend to agree with dogperson that if you are playing with the approved hours I would not give up playing the BB. Good luck.

Rich

P.S. I think I would skip offering him noise canceling headphones. I really doubt that would solve the problem.


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
Rich D. #3039685 10/26/20 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich D.
I think I would skip offering him noise canceling headphones. I really doubt that would solve the problem.
Why do think the headphones wouldn't work? Because they wouldn't effectively block the sound or he wouldn't like wearing them or some other reason?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/26/20 08:18 PM.
Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039687 10/26/20 08:22 PM
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That stinks. I had a similar issue when I lived in a condo building in Baltimore for a year. The neighbors seemed so nice until the complained about the noise and suddenly we avoided each other the rest of the time we lived there. Since you are retired, maybe it is worth considering a move out of the city into a house? I am joking, of course . . . kinda.

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
Rich D. #3039689 10/26/20 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich D.
Sorry to hear about that PL. Though you just got the note he may have been upset about your playing for some time. While I would do my best to work things out with him I would tend to agree with dogperson that if you are playing with the approved hours I would not give up playing the BB. Good luck.
Yes, I'm not worried about Rule #2 on the notice I posted earlier in the thread, but I am a little concerned about the very vague Rule #1:
1. The tenant/resident shall be entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of their apartment. No tenant or their family or guests shall make or permit any disturbing noises in the building or permit anything to be done therein which shall interfere with the rights, comfort, or convenience of other tenants.

OTOH maybe it could be argued that if rule #2 says one can't play from 11pm to 8am, that means one CAN play at other hours. Does that make sense?

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039705 10/26/20 09:21 PM
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Having piano music pop up at random times of the day might be part of the problem. Do you think it would help if you told him that you will commit to practicing at a certain time each day, so at least he will know when to expect it. That way he could (at best) plan around it by doing something noisy himself, by going out, etc. It would mean some sacrifice on your part to commit to practicing at a certain time each day.


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039707 10/26/20 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
A few years ago all the tenants got this notice.

"It has been brought to the attention of management that there have been an increasing number of noise complaints.

This is just a friendly reminder of the House Rules:

1. The tenant/resident shall be entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of their apartment. No tenant or their family or guests shall make or permit any disturbing noises in the building or permit anything to be done therein which shall interfere with the rights, comfort, or convenience of other tenants.

2. No tenant shall play upon any musical instrument in an apartment between the hours of 11pm and 8am the following morning if this annoys or disturbs any other occupant of the building."

I'm curious if those reading this thread think the above would allow me to play between 10am and 6pm for around 1.5 hours.


Rule #1 is a little vague. But I think you could reasonably interpret #2 to mean that you can play between 8am and 11pm whether it annoys your neighbor(s) or not.

It only forbids playing between 11pm and 8am "if this annoys or disturbs any other occupant of the building." So you can play all night long if no one minds, and it seems that you can play all day even if they do.

#1 is vague, but #2 seems to suggest that playing a musical instrument during the day would not be considered an annoyance, or that you can reasonably do so whether it is or not.


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
Stubbie #3039797 10/27/20 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Having piano music pop up at random times of the day might be part of the problem. Do you think it would help if you told him that you will commit to practicing at a certain time each day, so at least he will know when to expect it. That way he could (at best) plan around it by doing something noisy himself, by going out, etc. It would mean some sacrifice on your part to commit to practicing at a certain time each day.
Yes, I understand about the random times issue which he mentioned in his lengthy letter to me. I may ask him if he would agree to something like a maximum of 45 minutes between 10am and noon and 45 minutes between 4pm and 6pm although that would be quite inconvenient for me since I am retired and very used to practicing when I'm in the mood. Sometimes I only practice for 15 minutes if I find it mentally exhausting and sometimes I might practice for an hour.

With Covid and since he is elderly he can't go out of his apartment on a regular basis especially since the cold weather is coming. Since his apartment is a studio, if he tried doing something really noisy to try to cover my playing it would end up coming through the wall into my apartment. But thanks for those suggestions.

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039802 10/27/20 07:18 AM
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Sorry to hear about this. It must be a common problem. If the note was angry I would first invest in de-escalating things. Having problems with neighbors can very detrimental to health and happiness. From the above it is clear that you have a right to play during day time (the same is true in my country), but acknowledging his problem and trying to find a solution first is the best way to go. I am skeptical about the noise cancelling headphone solution. You could start by asking him which hours would be least problematic to him. And you could perhaps dampen the sound a bit by adding some sound absorbing material in the room (e.g. rug or panels against the wall). This won't be a perfect solution acoustically, but it will work somewhat and it shows that you take him seriously and that you are doing you best. Perhaps that is sufficient. Sometimes people just want to receive recognition for their perceived problems. Think of a traffic jam that is not mentioned on the radio while you are in it. Truly infuriating.


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039809 10/27/20 07:41 AM
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Have you applied any dampening to the actual piano? I did it for my upright and I get about -6db. I would assume something similar works for a grand... For me, it didn't change the tone in an unpleasant way.

Does he mind the volume of you playing or just the fact that you're playing at all? Because if it's the latter, then it will be hard to satisfy him. If it's just too loud, maybe try putting a couple of mattresses on the wall you're sharing and see if it helps.

Get the legal stuff sorted out first, then start negotiating. Try to find out what bugs him and what he wants BUT before you change ANYTHING about your behavior, work with him to define what will be an acceptable solution for him so that you can hold him to it. When suggesting something, give him at least an illusion of choice, that always helps with any negotiation: if you give him 3 options, even if only one makes sense, he'll have a hard time outright rejecting ALL of them.

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039811 10/27/20 07:49 AM
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Hi Pianoloverus, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I expect that the sound of your piano will now act as a trigger to your neighbour, however delicately you try to play. Each note will set off waves of annoyance and frustration, and I think your headphone gesture will be curtly rejected with little regard to its effectiveness.

Perhaps it would be wiser to spend that money on sound absorption panels. Mass loaded vinyl and bass traps in the corners of your apartment, heavy curtains, double glazed windows, and even a piano cover. You can suspend sound absorbent panels from your ceiling and try repositioning your piano to avoid standing waves.

I had similar issues to you but my neighbours really enjoy piano music. Wait until I start violin lessons!

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039813 10/27/20 08:00 AM
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I didn’t answer your question about headphones. I suggest looking at Shure passive earphones such as the SE-215, or a pair of closed cans if your neighbour’s ears are sensitive to pressure. The best value for money active cans would be the Sony WH-1000XM4.

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039861 10/27/20 10:05 AM
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Sony WH-1000XM4. $348. However how will your neighbour hear the door bell and his phone?
Ian


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039881 10/27/20 10:31 AM
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Headphones are not the answer.

If the rules allow musical instruments between specific hours, work out an acceptable timetable for your neighbour.

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039889 10/27/20 10:43 AM
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I truly feel for you. I hope and pray this works out for you. Please keep us posted. I am surprised that after all this time your neighbor would complain - and be angry about it.


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3039955 10/27/20 01:45 PM
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As a proof of concept, I put on my Bose Quiet Comfort 35 active noise cancelling headphones and went to one end of the house while my wife banged on my piano with the door to my piano room closed. At best I would say they reduced the noise level by about 50%, and if I found piano playing annoying I would still be annoyed. So it probably won't be an effective technical solution, but it's a pretty expensive gesture to make, so it might win hearts and minds.


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3040021 10/27/20 05:32 PM
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So, I was thinking about this again. I'm pretty sure I've posted before that my dad had a small rental empire in my hometown, and I helped out in the family business a lot over the years, and also had some rental property of my own for a time in Atlanta. So I have a little insight into these sorts of things.

Tenants rarely want to be perceived by their neighbors as a complainer, or confrontational. They'd rather complain to the landlord or property managers and let them take care of it. They also tend to imply that "everyone" is upset by whatever is irritating them.

My point is that your neighbor has very likely already been complaining to the landlord/super/manager, and gotten no satisfaction (because I assume that you're permitted to play your piano during the day).

If you haven't done so, you may want to reach out to whomever to see if he's complained. FWIW, they've set a long precedent by letting you play the piano in that apartment for 40 years, and 15 with the current model, so I'd think it would be difficult to say it's an issue now.

Also, depending on how hostile his note is, he may be in violation to some rule or other himself.


I think people all over are freaked out about the whole covid pandemic. And it's got them acting up in ways they might not ever have before. Maybe try to find a way to help this guy ratchet back down (if that's the issue). Befriend him. It's hard to be mad at someone you like. Learn some show tunes or pop songs he might like, and put on a little concert for him.

Maybe show interest in another way, like have a friend play your piano while you go stand in his apartment and see how loud it really is (or isn't). Offer to practice when he's working, or out shopping, etc. Explain to him how important the piano is to you ("I'd go crazy without it..."). Again, it's hard to be angry at someone you sympathize with, so help him understand your need for this outlet.


Anyway, just some thoughts.


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Re: Best noise cancelling headphones
pianoloverus #3040121 10/28/20 12:30 AM
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I certainly can’t blame you for that. I wish you had a better neighbor. I have to count my blessings because my neighbors love it when I play. They come out and sit on their porches when I practice.

For passive noise blocking, there beyerdynamic 770 are hard to beat. Very nice sounding set of cans too. Other than that, there are the ones made for drummers but I can’t remember the name and Etymotic makes killer in ear noise blockers.... they also play music well.

Last edited by Johnny English; 10/28/20 12:32 AM.
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