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Legal Sound Pressure Levels

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by musicmansf, Aug 29, 2008.


  1. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    Ok, I've looked through some San Francisco city ordinances that of course, don't make much sense, but does anyone know of what the legal limits of sound levels are in SF or a general CA one? The french #%#&#$&$*# upstairs from me thinks my bass is a drumset and is $@%#&# pounding on my ceiling with my amp on 1 out of 10. Yes, thats right, an Ampeg B2-R running at 8 ohms on $@^#& 1! This is in the middle of the day! I've been as courtesy as possible, but it feels like my creativity balls are in a vicegrip here!
     
  2. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I hate to break it to you, but if your neighbor is complaining, she wins.

    SFPD isn't going to stand in her apartment with an SPL level and say "deal with it". They'll come over and tell you to quiet down, or give you a citation for disturbing the peace. Even in the middle of the day.

    I'm not saying it's right, but it's life.

    Have you considered investing in either a small practice amp and a set of head phones?
     
  3. Visirale

    Visirale

    Mar 23, 2003
    Orlando
    I just recently moved into my apartment. My rule of thumb is to keep it no louder than I would have my TV (and that can be hard with a 1200 watt amp... haha).

    It helps to cut your lows a lot. You'll still be able to hear everything but walls won't shake... also point the amp towards a wall that doesn't have anyone/anything disturbable behind it. It won't sound as good or be as fun as having the deep bass in your sound, but you'll be able to hear it well. You can always crank it live at a venue :).
     
  4. UncleBalsamic

    UncleBalsamic

    Jul 8, 2007
    UK
    +1

    I used to have annoying neighbors who considered anything (not even bass) too loud. They then had parties in their garden all night, but we were too polte to complain at the time. :(
     
  5. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    Yeah, I have a good set of headphones and garageband and all the digital stuff, but I got the Demeter and Boogie for a reason, I'm going to use them. I'm gonna try to be a salesman with these people, but they've been so passive aggressive about it, its like their children.
     
  6. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    Yeah, I've tried the lows cut, I think the walls are just sheetrock so its carrying through them no matter what. I'm going to ask if there's any hours I can play inbetween where it doesn't matter, but I haven't played the damn thing near past 7 p.m. ever, it's just kind of dumb honestly. If I was a drummer they'd hate me a lot more...
     
  7. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    I don't doubt it either. SFPD would love to make money in any way possible...
     
  8. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Another option would be to get a headphone amp (Rhodes makes an inexpensive one that works quite nicely) and take the signal from the line-out of the amp, after all of your equpment. You get your sound, they get their peace.
     
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    One would hope that reason was for using them on stage, not in your livingroom.
    If you want to crank it buy a house in San Jose. Part and parcel of the privilege of living in the greatest city on earth is having respect for your neighbors. When at home use the phones.
     
  10. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    Yeah, I know. Its not being cranked though, in fact its running at 200 watts and they were pounding on the ceiling at 1. If there was any gain ratio that was a level grade, that'd be 20 watts, but there isn't. I'm getting a practice space soon with my buddies who are looking to ditch their lovely Tenderloin abode, its just the meantime thats killing me (drummer and wait lists), because they sound like they speedwalk around in ski boots up there and I know they have carpeting too...I mean, we've paced them out and its like a marathon up there! I could see a hardwood floor being a lot worse in sound traveling like most other places in SF, thats for sure...
     
  11. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    Thats cool to know, I'll check it out!
     
  12. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    I run thru a BP200 into a wireless headset and the only thing my wife hears is the clacking of the strings.:D
     
  13. I will sit on the couch playing all the time and eveyone gets pissed at me for the strings while they are watching tv.

    Most of the time I don't notice them... I'm off in bassland...
     
  14. funkometer

    funkometer Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Birmingham AL
    I thought disturbing the peace was only after 10pm? If so id like to call the cops on all the noisy children playing in the streets around here day and night.
     
  15. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    Damn, I thought I had it bad...lol
     
  16. Crockettnj

    Crockettnj

    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    :eyebrow:
     
  17. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    There's some BS about being 5 DbA louder than surrounding noises that could be considered "a nuisance." (Of course, those jackhammers are perfectly legal at 7:45 a.m....and I'm sure BART has some law regarding its shriek.) You know, F this, my bass is nothing compared to those horrible, horrible things! The Boss OD pedal, well, thats a different story...
     
  18. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Bass will carry through all residential and most commercial construction. It gets conducted through walls and floors. Floor coverings will make no difference.

    If you were in a high-rise with thick concrete walls and floors you'd have a chance.

    You can say whatever you want comparing your bass to outside noises, but if the neighbors call the police you will be the one cited. And, since you don't own the building, they can probably get the landlord to terminate your lease.
     
  19. musicmansf

    musicmansf

    Jul 23, 2007
    San Francisco
    ha, I believe this is against the law. That, I'd sue for.
     
  20. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Your lease may have a way to be terminated for a nuisance or similar trouble. If so, then you can't sue.

    Remember, a lease is a contract. Both parties signed and agreed to it. If either you or the landlord breaches the terms, the contract can be usually be cancelled.
     

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