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Old 09-11-2012, 11:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
raamaudio
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Sound Deadening 101

Preface: I have been into car audio and performance for 44 years, have been a competitor, beaten a world champion, been a judge, been published, and know many of the top all time audio installers and competitors. I have been deadening my vehicles for as long as I can remember and over time worked out methods that do the job for the least cost and effort possible.

I was also in charge of rebuilding a major operations center for the USN and worked with engineers from various companies to work out the proper products, carpet, wall coverings, acoustic panels, equipment behind the panels, etc....not only was the center so quiet you could not take to somebody 10 ft away without yelling for them to hear you, I bought all materials directly from the manfs and saved hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars in the process, outside the bounds of the normal supply chain, because I decided to do so.

I have a bit of experience in this and just want to share it with you.

-------------------------

Intended use of the vehicle:

For the daily driver, updated stereo or stock this is what I do, for all out competition vehicles that is a different subject.

1) Use the right materials.

A) Mass loading, panel stiffening, sealing off noisy areas as possible, just where needed, the shotgun approach is a waste of materials and effort.

Doors, I like to add the mass loading/stiffening material behind speakers, two layers, then add more to the outer door skin in the middle of the most flexible areas.

Rear walls, notoriously loud due to the resonances caused by the road noise, tires, exhaust bouncing between the bed and cab and coming into the vents, resonating the back wall, etc.... I add the mass loader/stiffener to at least 75% of the area depending on design. If exceptionally flexible I add a second layer, as much as 50% in the middle of it.

Kick panels, seal off any access holes.

What about higher frequency noise, ambient, panels resonating, wind, etc.....?

B) Foam, not just any foam though and it does not need to be thick but should be engineered for sound deadening and the right one will also be a great thermal barrier.

I use a product that was originally engineered for the space program as a thermal and acoustical barrier and is being used right now on the International Space Station Training Simulator for the air handling and duct work. It is called Ensolite, I use a particular one due to flexibility, availability, etc. IOU.

Basically 100% coverage over anything you can stick it to, the more the better, it is relatively low in cost, low in weight, easy to work with and exceptionally effective. It helps reduce panel resonance by decoupling and diffusing, breaks up ambient noise due to an open surface(but does not absorb water) and again, a great thermal barrier.

I use it to line what I can reach under the dash, under seats, everywhere I used the mass loader and areas not covered by it. I even add a layer to the front of the bed wall that is opposite the cabin exhaust vents.

---------------

Those areas will give the absolute best results for the time and effort, if you need more than that done then the floor is next followed by the roof, pretty much the same methods.

---------------

C) HEAT, if you have a really hot spot on the floor you can double up with the loader/foam/loader/foam and get exceptional results without spending a ton of money on harder to use, costly, products to cover the whole floor, just not needed It works great on those few areas that are very flexible as well.

I would use the regular methods on the whole floor and go back and add more material on specific areas as needed which is not going to be a significant portion.

----------------------------

Extra tips and tricks:

I like to stuff, lightly with air space around it, a few sheets of this inside the dash and under the seats, it helps more than it might seem.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=260-516

---

Silcone sealer, tie wraps, some foam scraps, etc, if a part can move it can resonate and make noise. I use silicone on the trim mounts, just a little, they can still come off later if needed, and I use it on overlapping trim panels. Tie wraps, foam, etc on wires, cables, etc to keep it from moving, not moving, no noise.

---

Dash mat. Though not a fan of the look they can reduce noise quite a bit and I always use one on a comp level audio install or use fabric, etc, anything non reflective, on all surface areas possible. Try a couple of towels on the dash, listen to a great quality recording while parked and driving, take the towels off, I have never heard a system that was not improved with something on the dash.

---

Under the hood: I sometimes use the products above, mass loader, foam, in key areas under the hood, away from high heat of course, even lining the inside of intake boxes. I used the 1.5" foam inside the intake on my LBZ and v8 4runner just recently.

Under body, etc: I am looking for the best material to use, I have tried many over the years, to spray the rear wheel wells and inside the huge rear fenders on my new dually. I will also coat some of the bottom of the cab, back wall as I can reach it, etc...

-------------------------------------------

Summary:

Products, pick wisely.

Nearly all the really low cost materials being sold as sound deadening mat are nothing but asphalt based roofing products and, if you buy them from somebody selling as sound deadening you are being ripped off, period. If you are paying for a big name brand in a pretty package you are just paying to much. There are only a few quality products at good prices available, everybody else is just after your money.

Foam, only one I know of after testing many over many years, Ensolite, does the job like it does.

MLV (mass loaded vinyl, MLV sound so catchy I firmly believe it is simply not needed except possibly an all out audio competition install, which I have built and not needed it. I know of many world championships won without using it as well

---------------

The methods above were developed over many years, many installs, feedback from top notch installers and DIY like me, it simply works.

___________________________________

LOUD TIRES AND OR EXHAUST:

There is a huge amount of acoustical energy involved that will penetrate the cab through everything including the glass. If the basic methods listed, doors, back wall, kick panels, etc does not do enough reduction you can attack the floor, roof, etc...but in the end, you might want to fix the problem at the source first, just the way it is.

With a bit of research you can find tires that are not as loud, unless you just have to run mud bog tires on the street because you just want to, and make an exhaust, intake, etc quieter.

I recommend doing this first before adding more deadening but it can be tried though the law of diminishing returns certainly applies.

___________________________________


I just typed this up, first draft, I will go back and edit it out a bit, more to the point, fix any errors, etc but I have written a great deal about this over the years so I know most if not all is right on the money.

------------------------------------------

Have a great day!
Rick
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2012 LTZ dually, custom leather, massive deadening and audio. 2012 43' Voltage 3905 with upgraded audio. 95 M3 race car with built LS1.

FOR SALE: v8 4runner, 18' aluminum open deck trailer, 53 Studebaker body Pro Tour one of a kind Studevette PROJECT car (going to live on the road soon

Last edited by raamaudio; 09-11-2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
heymccall
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Thanks for the info. I have always known not to cover full panels with just Dynamat or equivalent, as it is a waste of money. And, the proper foam goes a long ways.

I hadn't thought about silicone on trim clips and overlaps, though. I simply use butyl rubber sealer, that comes in a long rope and is intended for use in installing windows in older cars. And, I had never considered the effects of a hard dashboard surface, either. Gotta try the towel test

To sum up, I still still see many, many sound deadening projects on here that are installed overkill or used improperly, or in the proper amount. Therefore, I shall thank you once again for the tips and tricks.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
raamaudio
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As in all things, it is about a proper balance. The most expensive or cheapest is seldom the best choice, mid level, all the quality you need without the marketing hype is the place to spend your money. Install, same thing, using a ton of product almost always ends up being overkill, often even less effective than less material properly installed.

Audio systems, I might do a writeup on that as well, you can have a killer system for a very reasonable price. For now, the basics for the simplest great sounding system anybody can install.

1) put in the best for the money front speakers you can afford, two way is more than adequate, put the tweeters in the A pillars, mids in doors. Wire the tweeters out phase, neg to pos, pos to neg.

2) rear speakers, none at all, music is not supposed to come from there, a proper front stage if far better. If you must have rears then stock much lower cost than fronts, run them on the HU if you can.

3) sub, space considerations apply but get a quality sounding unit and one of the biggest names in the aftermarket, is not the brand I would ever use, to much money and not musically accurate so be wary. A single 10 done right will give plenty of output and sound right when phased properly(a bit to long winded for this post) Dual tens if you want more, triple 8's do about what dual tens do, single 12 can work fine. Low profile subs, not my cup of tea, lower output, spend more for for the results as have to double up usually, etc.....

3) amp, Class AB or H, I have never heard a D class I like yet, the best ones cost nearly as much as a good AB or H. 50 watts can do a good job up front but I like 75-100 for a more dynamic sound (I ran a quad setup in my comp truck with 900 per side 150 can run a sub, 250 is better, more dynamic. Lots of crap on the market, lots of big name overpriced as well,

4) HU, only a couple of DD NAV units sound worth using, I picked the JVC NT500HDT ( $549 shipped!) for features, not the NAV as I like using hand held better. It has the the sound quality and I wanted a screen. I prefer a volume knob over other methods so picked it over the NT700 with bigger screen. Many more single din units with good sound. (the new Alpine 8" was on the list, I might try one out later when they produce the custom dash mount for it, I no longer have time to do my own custom dashes)

5) SOURCE MATERIAL: If you must use an Ipod, etc...use high quality files, rip your own from high quality recordings, buy them, whatever, bigger files is a clue, software used, speed used, etc, all adds up and this is a HUGE issue. I had a vette here the other day I setup a system in, he messed it up so I retuned it, stuck in an audiophile grade disk and blew him away as to how good it was on the same track he had downloaded. Even before and after retuning it was incredibly different.

Bottom line, less than $2k, great sound system, deadening and proper power, installed right, will blow away most anything you have ever heard and unfortunately, most shops are pretty clueless on doing this right(sad but true though there are some dang fine ones, just not enough) DIY is the key!

Rick
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2012 LTZ dually, custom leather, massive deadening and audio. 2012 43' Voltage 3905 with upgraded audio. 95 M3 race car with built LS1.

FOR SALE: v8 4runner, 18' aluminum open deck trailer, 53 Studebaker body Pro Tour one of a kind Studevette PROJECT car (going to live on the road soon
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
heymccall
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Tweeters out of phase...Never tried or thought of that.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
raamaudio
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The reason for out of phase is it helps to align the arrival time at our ears, better stage height and center imaging are the result.

When installing the tweeters in the pillars it is best to aim them directly at each other, 2" above the highest point of the dash. If that is not possible, using some stock locations, etc....they can be pointed 10 degrees forward and up at the very most.

I have not done mine yet so not sure where I will aim them until I do the install and testing, I will make it known though for certain

I have a very low cost, practically nothing, way of doing this for vehicles without factory A pillars. Stock locations like my truck has will certainly be aimed differently than they are now.

Rick
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FOR SALE: v8 4runner, 18' aluminum open deck trailer, 53 Studebaker body Pro Tour one of a kind Studevette PROJECT car (going to live on the road soon
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
raamaudio
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Talking about what to look out for in deadening, those Google ads on many forums promoting things you may not be well advised to buy
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FOR SALE: v8 4runner, 18' aluminum open deck trailer, 53 Studebaker body Pro Tour one of a kind Studevette PROJECT car (going to live on the road soon
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Very good stuff Rick. You have covered what applies to the majority of readers here. Raamaudio sells very well made products that work! No melting and falling off panels or staining interior panels. I've used his products in multiple installs (mine and customers) and have always been pleased with the results. Rick has alwys stood behind his product and resolved any issue or answered any question that I've had about his products.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
raamaudio
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Thanks

I did my best to not sound like a business because I am just a member and prefer to be one and help my fellow Duramax owners, and all enthusiasts, achieve the best results for their hard earned money.

I will help with any advice I can give no matter what products are being used, of course, but if it is crap I am going to say so because they need to know.

I do not like being a vendor, only been a paying one once but that was for Vette audio systems I developed to help the owners get good systems the vettes deserved. No longer a vette owner or vendor, anywhere. It sets me free to say the truth about whatever product that is being fostered onto my fellow enthusiasts when it is not a good product! (or a good product but over hyped, not really needed, overpriced, etc.....which happens a great deal)

Like the stuff on the Google ads I saw here yesterday!

I have been made an honorary vendor on two sites due to my helping others but I hardly ever used it, just used my personal membership nearly always

I am a lifelong DIY guy that likes to help other DIY guys, and gals, and those shops that like to do things right. Low cost, highly effective, sound deadening and audio systems are what I like to help others achieve, fun stuff!

Most have never heard what a really good system can sound like, most shops do not pump out good systems, most forum members that are good people, well meaning, offering advice well intended, do not really know what it takes as it is not common knowledge, I just want to make it more known as the difference is quite staggering.

Some of the most fun I have ever had was at audio comps or shows, or both, doing demos for hours on end. Everybody grabbing their buddies to stand in line and listen to a system that simply blew them away. It is about making them excited, happy, surprised, a little fun in these crazy times is good for the soul.

Sharing the fun, that is what I am here for

And to learn more about my truck, mods, etc, of course!

Thanks,
Rick
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2012 LTZ dually, custom leather, massive deadening and audio. 2012 43' Voltage 3905 with upgraded audio. 95 M3 race car with built LS1.

FOR SALE: v8 4runner, 18' aluminum open deck trailer, 53 Studebaker body Pro Tour one of a kind Studevette PROJECT car (going to live on the road soon

Last edited by raamaudio; 09-12-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
TheBac
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Thank you for that tutorial and the advice.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
raamaudio
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You are most welcome
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2012 LTZ dually, custom leather, massive deadening and audio. 2012 43' Voltage 3905 with upgraded audio. 95 M3 race car with built LS1.

FOR SALE: v8 4runner, 18' aluminum open deck trailer, 53 Studebaker body Pro Tour one of a kind Studevette PROJECT car (going to live on the road soon
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