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Old 09-11-2009, 12:31 PM   #1
Jon
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INT: Sound deadening

Let me start off by saying that this is a quick tutorial and informative guide to sound deadening. This can be used for any vehicle, not just CB7s.
Included is information about the types of products available, some do's and don'ts, as well as some good general knowledge. This is by no way the say all and end all to sound deadening, just my observations, knowledge, and insight.

I have been sound deadening and insulating vehicles for several years now and believe I have a very good grasp of what it takes to achieve a quiet ride, either for a luxury car sound and feel or to kill those irritating rattles and vibrations that come with a thumping audio system.

What you do and how you do it is all up to you. I am not responsible for any damage caused to you, your vehicle, family, friends, dog, the cute little girl next door, or anyone or anything else.
Proceed at your own risk.


___________________________________________
Q. What is sound deadening?
A. Sound deadening is a vague term that refers to a variety of materials and techniques used to make a vehicle quieter. This is typically achieved by applying "vibration mats" throughout the vehicle. Other means are liquid coatings, foams, and heavy vinyl sheets (all of which I will go into detail about).


___________________________________________
Q. Is sound deadening something I should do?
A. It depends. Some people do it to reduce or stop rattles associated with big booming systems. Others do it to achieve a better listening environment for their music, a quieter interior equals better sounding music. Others do it to achieve a luxury car sound and feel. Others do it to reduce engine, exhaust, and tire noise. So there are many reasons as to why people do it and if see yourself falling into one of the above categories, then you might consider doing it.


___________________________________________
Q. Ok, I think I want to tackle my car, what materials should I look for?
A. There are a lot of different companies and materials to consider when it comes to sound deadening. Let's break this down into four major categories. CLDs (constrained layer damper), liquid coatings, MLVs (mass loaded vinyls) and foam products.

CLDs consist of an adhesive/damping layer (like rubber) and a constraining layer (typically aluminum). These can range from thick to thin and from light to heavy. However just because one is thicker or heavier then another, doesn't necessarily mean it's a better product. Some companies use a bitumen or asphalt and rubber blend as their adhesive/damping layer, these are the ones you should avoid. They are cheaply made and are poor performers.

After CLDs, you'll find liquid sound deadening products or noise and vibration coatings. These products work practically in the same way as CLDs do, just that they are sprayed, brushed, or rolled on instead of peel and stuck on like CLDs. There are actually few of these liquid products on the market that don't work as advertised. If the same company produces a CLD that is top notch, their liquid product(s) will more then likely be top notch.

MLVs, these products typically come in two forms, with and without foam attached to them. MLVs work by actually blocking and reflecting the noise. MLVs should be combined with some form of vibration damping to be effective, so the use of CLDs or liquid coatings is recommended before using MLV products. As mentioned above, there are typically two types of MLVs, with and without foam attached. The foam that comes preatached to some of the vinyl products acts as a decoupler to "float" the vinyl above the surface, thus giving the vinyl a buffer zone and NOT to transfer the vibrations directly to the vinyl. The foam also acts as somewhat of a noise/sound filter, but that is not what it's intended purpose is for.

And then you have foams, most common being CCF (closed cell foam). These products range from 1/8" thick to 1/2", some are closed cell foams, others are open celled foam. Foams, just like MLVs, should be used in conjunction with some form of vibration damping to seen as useful or effective for blocking/absorbing noise. However the best and most common use for these products is to prevent and stop panel vibrations/rattles/buzzing, basically they act as a cushion between panels.

So there are your most common types of sound deadening materials.


___________________________________________
Q. About how much material should I expect to use when doing my vehicle?
A. This is probably the hardest and most common question I get asked, unfortunately there isn't a one size fits all answer.

There is a science behind how much it will take to make the vehicle quieter. As little as 25% of any panel needs to be covered with a CLD to achieve noticeable results. Most people opt for 100% coverage of all panels... that is not recommended unless you are some sort of noise Nazi or a serious SPL competitor.

So the best answer I can give is measure your own vehicle with a tape measure. It's not hard and will give you a very good estimate as to how much material you will need.


___________________________________________
Q. Ok... I understand the different products and how the work, I even have a good idea on how much to buy... now where do I purchase it?
A. There are a good handful of reputable companies that make and sell sound deadening products and unfortunately there are about the same amount of companies that aren't reputable and are just out to make a buck. Below you will find names of companies that I've dealt with personally and what I've seen from their products and companies as a whole.

Dynamic Control, aka, Dynamat. This is probably the most well known sound deadening company/product out there. Their products work as advertised, just that they are a bit costly. Customer support is lacking.

Second Skin Audio. My personal favorite. Their products work as advertised. Customer support is better then most any other company. And their products are priced lower then most of the companies.

RAMaudio. I've had slight issues with their CLD mat (comes on a roll), still one of the better companies to deal with. Great price point on their products. Customer support top notch.

Elemental Designs. Not my favorite company to deal with. I've had several issues with their rolled CLD products as well as their customer service. Price, not bad, but like I said their product quality is suspect.

FatMat. You'll see this on eBay 99% of the time. It's cheap, doesn't work, and customer service is nonexistent.

There are a couple of other companies and brands, just that those are the most commonly known and used.


___________________________________________
Q. Is there a right or wrong way to apply these products?
A. Oddly enough you can use these products incorrectly, in other terms you can waste them.


For this part I will break this down into areas, starting with the trunk.

The trunk is probably the second most deadened area of a car (doors being the first). Average square footage needed is around 40 sq. ft. of mat, some more, some less. This is what you would call 100% coverage:



Every last inch covered with Damplifier. Unfortunately the results gained from covering every last inch isn't noticeable to the naked ear. For example I used 36 sq. ft. to cover what you see in the picture, however the same results can be produced by covering as little as 50% instead of 100%. This would mean you'd actually use less then 20 sq. ft. instead of 36 sq. ft., less product used, less money wasted, and you would see similar results, at least results that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between just by listening. An example of an area that I could have left uncovered is 1-3 inches around the welded area of the trunk and the wheel wells.



These areas are reenforced and don't resonate all that much (if any), so applying sound deadening to these areas is unwarranted and unnecessary. Something that doesn't resonate doesn't need to be deadened.

Now 1-3 inches around a reenforced/weld area doesn't seem like much, but while you are doing an entire car it all adds up, saving your material to use in more important areas.

While we are still in the trunk lets take a look at the package shelf, aka the rear deck. I think this area is still somewhat debatable in terms of what sound deadening will do for it. If you are applying sound deadening to help quiet your ride, there is pretty much zero reason for you to even consider addressing it. Now if you have some speakers installed in it OR have a sub in the trunk, then you might want to consider tackling it. And even then you might even want to consider using a foam product instead to see if that fixes the problem. I for one applied 6 sq. ft. to the underside of the deck.



Did it help? Well I don't/didn't have a sub in the trunk and the rear deck wasn't resonating, so applying the sound deadening to the rear deck didn't do a whole lot for me. So in my eyes this was an area that I wasted product on.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:31 PM   #2
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Continued from "Q. Is there a right or wrong way to apply these products?"

The floor. The largest portion of the car and an area that transmits a ton of road/tire, exhaust, and even wind noise. It is also probably one of the most time consuming areas to tackle because of what is involved (removal of the seats, trim, carpet, etc.). Average floor of a passenger sedan from rear seat (where it meets with the trunk) to the firewall will consume about 40 sq. ft. of material (again some more, some less... a Lincoln Towncar will use much more).
In my case I used almost exactly 40 sq. ft. of material from trunk to firewall.


Were there any areas that I should have done differently? Not really. The floor was mostly flat and free of obstacles, so I would feel confident to do the same thing I did if I had to do it again.


Onto the roof. Similar to the floor this is a really large area that covers most of the vehicle. In my install I used a solid 20 sq. ft. to do the entire thing.


However there is a lot of debate as to whether or not doing the roof is worth tackling. In my case it was. Wind noise was decreased significantly as well as the noise associated with rain and hail, as well as creating a quieter listening environment. Another plus was the increase of thermal insulation during the summer months. What gets pounded more by the sun then the roof?

As for actually laying the sound deadening material on the roof, I could have saved some time and material by not applying it in a few areas that were reenforced and not use as much as I did, but for the most part the roof was super flat with no crossbeams to deal with, so I would lay it out the same if I were to do it again, just with less material.


And finally the doors.


A very complex area to do that yields in the most noticeable difference between deadened and not. Your average door will use up anywhere from as little as 8 sq. ft., all the way up to 16 sq. ft.. In my case the front doors used 12 sq. ft. and the rears used 8 sq. ft..
Now in terms of what I should have done differently in my install, I should have avoided installing the material on the collision bars/support beams. Nothing is gained by applying anything to this area.


I probably used close to two square feet per door (maybe even a bit more) covering those areas and I achieved NOTHING from doing so. And again just as above, I could have used much less material to achieve the same results.


So there is my guide to sound deadening.
There are many more questions that can be answered (feel free to ask those) and I hope this helps anyone who was wondering or thinking about sound deadening their vehicle.

Oh and feel free to ...
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:51 PM   #3
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nice write up
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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nice write up
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

I've seen many people on here asking about this subject and thought it might be handy just to have a informative guide laying around.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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Awesome. I think I might look into doing this.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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Has Anyone Used The 'rattle Can' Sound Deadener?
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:28 PM   #7
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Has Anyone Used The 'rattle Can' Sound Deadener?
By "rattle can", do you mean Cascade's Quiet Kote?
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:05 PM   #8
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Nice write up!
Your theory sections are nice and clear. It actually took me a while to figure out why you needed a decoupling foam on the MLV for a while, you summarized the need very cleanly.


About the roof, going with the idea that you only need to cover 25% of a surface to stop vibration, do you still stand by covering the whole surface with CLD?

Also, if you wanted to add a section about attaching MLV, that would be awesome. I've never done it myself, but I think I have the idea for it from DIYMA.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:10 PM   #9
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Dude, this is great!

I will be doing this sometime soon.

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Old 09-14-2009, 05:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheNextEpisode View Post
Nice write up!
Your theory sections are nice and clear. It actually took me a while to figure out why you needed a decoupling foam on the MLV for a while, you summarized the need very cleanly.
Glad I made it clear and understandable, that is one thing I was worried about when I was writing this. When there are so many different things to cover it can become very confusing.

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About the roof, going with the idea that you only need to cover 25% of a surface to stop vibration, do you still stand by covering the whole surface with CLD?
Yes, ONLY based on the fact that I am using it not only to control and lessen vibrations but also as a thermal barrier.
If you are looking at just making the vehicle quieter, 25%-50% coverage is adequate. And just a note, when using only 25% or so coverage, apply the CLD as smack dab in the middle of the panel as you possible can.

Quote:
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Also, if you wanted to add a section about attaching MLV, that would be awesome. I've never done it myself, but I think I have the idea for it from DIYMA.
There are several ways to attach MLV panels. One is to just glue the living hell out of it... that works but is messy and is pretty much permanent, so if you need to remove it to fix something... you are SOL.
One of the better methods to affix MLV is to use velcro. Apply the "hook" part of the velcro to your vehicles panel, and the "loop" part to the MLV. Cleaner, easier, and most of all NOT permanent and easily removable.
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Dude, this is great!

I will be doing this sometime soon.

-Jordan
Glad you liked it!
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:02 PM   #11
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elemental designs has some REALLY good prices if you go to their forum discount page:
http://www.edesignaudio.com/index.php?cPath=91_90

eDead v4 for 1.60 a foot. thats pretty damn good in my book and although i havent had any personal experience with their product, i have read many reviews that put them near the top.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:14 PM   #12
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elemental designs has some REALLY good prices if you go to their forum discount page:
http://www.edesignaudio.com/index.php?cPath=91_90

eDead v4 for 1.60 a foot. thats pretty damn good in my book and although i havent had any personal experience with their product, i have read many reviews that put them near the top.
eDead is nice and cheap, but like I said I'm not a fan of eD's stuff. I've personally had issues with their products not sticking and just peeling off after a week.

Here is some more food for thought.

Link #1
Link #2
Link #3
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:23 PM   #13
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eDead is nice and cheap, but like I said I'm not a fan of eD's stuff. I've personally had issues with their products not sticking and just peeling off after a week.
I have my whole car done with a combination of eDead liquid v4(trunk), v2(trunk, doors, deck lid, floor), and v3(deck lid, doors).

I had no issues installing it and what I did cut down on road noise significantly, BUT it is starting to drop off from under the deck lid. All the doors and trunk walls are fine, it's just where applied upside down that it's peeling. I want to do the roof eventually and would not feel comfortable using eDead v2 for this based on my experience.

Check out my MR thread for pics of the installation.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Yes, ONLY based on the fact that I am using it not only to control and lessen vibrations but also as a thermal barrier.
If you are looking at just making the vehicle quieter, 25%-50% coverage is adequate. And just a note, when using only 25% or so coverage, apply the CLD as smack dab in the middle of the panel as you possible can.
Makes sense.


'Link 3' severely damaged the faith I had in eD. That, along with their ICIX forum.
I guess its not ALL bad, but the corporatism seems awfully embedded.

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Old 09-15-2009, 10:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
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By "rattle can", do you mean Cascade's Quiet Kote?
i guess so, it's been a while since i've looked at it. i know its the same concept as laying out the sound deadening material, just in a spray form
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:54 PM   #16
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i guess so, it's been a while since i've looked at it. i know its the same concept as laying out the sound deadening material, just in a spray form
I put Quiet Kote in the same category as liquid sound deadening products/noise and vibration coatings. Basically they work in the same fashion as CLDs, just slightly different.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:03 AM   #17
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now do any of these insulate as well as deaden sound?
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:19 AM   #18
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now do any of these insulate as well as deaden sound?
Most anything you install between you and a heat source will help reduce or at least slow down the transfer of heat, some just do it better the others.

The CLD butyl based mats do a fantastic job at controlling/reducing heat transfer. I had Damplifier Pro installed on my hood for a few years and the hood NEVER got the least bit warm. My roof is covered with the same product and it helps with the summer heat.

Some of the liquid products are actually made to insulate. Second Skin's Spectrum Firewall is a prime example of a product that deadens as well as insulates.

The MLVs also do a good job at insulating because of how thick they are.

So most of the products will insulate as well as help with sound/noise transfer.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #19
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How do you think 1/4" Dynomat Dynaliner would compare to the Damplifer Pro you used for the roof?
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:10 PM   #20
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nice write up...My sound guy here charges $2000+ to do what you did, glad hes on my side... I'm starting in the trunk, and I filled all the voids with high density foam, and sealed all the skin to frame gaps to avoid the skin rattling away from the frame. then I will be doing the dynamat. As I do have a sub and do not want the stock glue to break apart
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