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hag01 Offline OP
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I get it that pianos are attached to the floor via their castors, but the strings and hammers not touching the floor, so I don't understand what is the exact reason that structure borne sound transmits to the neighbor downstairs. How doesn't it works? What is the exact mechanism?

Anyway, I'm moving pretty soon to another place and I don't want to disturb there any of my to be new neighbors, so I already got Tecsound and UltraSeal rubbers ready to be installed with parquets above them. As far as I know, UltraSeal is effective for structure borne sound while Tecsound is for airborne sound.

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Sound is a vibration and vibrations can transfer themselves from one object to another.

If you put your hand on a board and drive a nail into the board, you will feel the board vibrating even though it's the nail that you're hitting with a hammer.

The legs of your piano vibrate when you play and that motion transfers itself to the floor in the same way.


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Thanks for the short and to the point fast answer, now I understand.
And what do you and other people here think about the rubbers I'm going to install, are they going to help in preventing the piano sound to be transmitted downstairs? Particularly the structure borne sound.

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Maybe...

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Forgot to mention: The UltraSeal I have is one Millimeter thick, and the Tecsound I have is three Millimeter thick.

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As well as the general sound insulation on the floor don't forget to stand the piano itself directly on some sound absorbing blocks.

To answer your original question more widely it is not only the direct sound transmissions from the piano legs going into the structure. The sound vibrations in the air itself will transfer into the structure by causing not just the floor but also the walls and ceiling to vibrate, and these vibrations will then transmit through the structure. If your existing work doesn't prove effective enough you might need to look at the walls as well, hopefully you won't need to go that far.

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I have seen a few good reviews on these, but have no first hand knowledge: Sound proof castor cups

Last edited by Dave in Denver; 01/12/21 03:23 PM.

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Shocks will reduce the vibration transmission to the floor, and therefore, reduce discomfort for your neighbours, especially downstairs, and are highly desired to use.
But they can't completely eliminate the sound your nighbours would hear, because:
- they don't absorb 100% of vibration;
- the (airbourne) sound of your piano will still be transferred through building structure vibrations.

Last edited by VladK; 01/12/21 04:35 PM.

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I'm aware to airborne sound and, I'm treating this Element as well in order to get workable isolation, with acoustic isolation door and window, and closing parts of the wall with massive concrete.

Originally Posted by gwing
As well as the general sound insulation on the floor don't forget to stand the piano itself directly on some sound absorbing blocks.

To answer your original question more widely it is not only the direct sound transmissions from the piano legs going into the structure. The sound vibrations in the air itself will transfer into the structure by causing not just the floor but also the walls and ceiling to vibrate, and these vibrations will then transmit through the structure. If your existing work doesn't prove effective enough you might need to look at the walls as well, hopefully you won't need to go that far.

In this specific room I don't have shared wall with other neighbor on the same floor, that's why I chose this room to be isolated, but I do whether if my walls will absorb air borne sound and then transmit it to neighbors in other floors, is that how it works?

And if so, wouldn't acoustic foam behind my acoustic vertical piano could help with that, but also will make my piano sound a bit dead and with lack of resonance\echo?

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Originally Posted by hag01
I'm aware to airborne sound and, I'm treating this Element as well in order to get workable isolation, with acoustic isolation door and window, and closing parts of the wall with massive concrete.

In this specific room I don't have shared wall with other neighbor on the same floor, that's why I chose this room to be isolated, but I do whether if my walls will absorb air borne sound and then transmit it to neighbors in other floors, is that how it works?

And if so, wouldn't acoustic foam behind my acoustic vertical piano could help with that, but also will make my piano sound a bit dead and with lack of resonance\echo?

Yes, exactly so for both questions. *If* transmission through the walls proves to be a problem foam insulation on them should help a lot, if putting it behind the piano deadens the sound too much you might use a thin layer of acoustic foam with a more reflective outer surface which should reduce transmission to the wall but have less effect on overall volume and character inside the room, some experimentation would be needed to find a good compromise.

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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by hag01
I'm aware to airborne sound and, I'm treating this Element as well in order to get workable isolation, with acoustic isolation door and window, and closing parts of the wall with massive concrete.

In this specific room I don't have shared wall with other neighbor on the same floor, that's why I chose this room to be isolated, but I do whether if my walls will absorb air borne sound and then transmit it to neighbors in other floors, is that how it works?

And if so, wouldn't acoustic foam behind my acoustic vertical piano could help with that, but also will make my piano sound a bit dead and with lack of resonance\echo?

Yes, exactly so for both questions. *If* transmission through the walls proves to be a problem foam insulation on them should help a lot, if putting it behind the piano deadens the sound too much you might use a thin layer of acoustic foam with a more reflective outer surface which should reduce transmission to the wall but have less effect on overall volume and character inside the room, some experimentation would be needed to find a good compromise.

Sounds like a good idea, but I never heard about acoustic foam that reflects soundwaves.

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gwing, when you say "reflecting foam", do you refer to diffuser maybe?

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Originally Posted by hag01
gwing, when you say "reflecting foam", do you refer to diffuser maybe?


This now starts to push the limits of my experience - you might need in the end to talk to a professional given the lengths you are going to on sound insulation.

That said, I was amazed at how effective a simple 1/4" foam acoustic insulation intended for floors was when used on a wall but it would be expected to alter the music by deadening the sound as any large area of soft furnishings will do. However if I had picked the version of this insulation that had an additional outer heat reflective foil surface I would expect that to reflect sound even more than the wallpaper behind it so it would I think actually brighten the sound as well as reducing sound transmission to the wall - so you might try either (or a mix of the two) depending on how your room sounds and what changes you are looking for.

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OK I read and researched about soundproofing and acoustic treatment, the vast majority of experts says that any acoustic foam is not good at all for soundproofing, it is good only for acoustic treatment.
Also, I paid for an acoustics expert(or at least that's how he presenting himself) to do acoustic measurements in this room and he told me that walls are only relevant to for apartments at the same level of the building while for other levels the ceiling and floor is what matters, but I doubt that everything he says is correct.
Willing to see whether someone here has something to say about this.

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IMHO acoustic foam is not good for anything. For acoustic treatment you would better go with, say, mineral wool or fiberglass panels.
Regarding walls and floor/ceiling he is somewhat right except that:
- the sound that leaked through your wall will leak to other floors though your neighbor's untreated floor/ceiling, and vice versa;
- while treatment of mid/high frequencies is relatively easy, it is practically impossible to block low frequencies in regular apartment completely because of their huge wavelength. Low frequency isolation require very heavy (concrete, stone, etc.) sound barriers. MLV, few layers of drywall, or similar materials may help;
- you should not expect the complete sound isolation to be achieved - it is impossible to achieve in regular household buildings unless you invest heavily into reconstruction (which may not be even possible if your dwelling is not strong enough to carry the solution weight), which includes electrical and duct work, and will require architect, acoustical designer/engineer, and inspector approval.

Don't worry about making your room too dry by covering the wall behind your upright; there will be enough reflections from other walls, furniture, ceiling and floor (if it is hard surface, not carpet).
You will just get more muted sound with less pronounced highs IMO.


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