Sound Deadening

So we finally get to start adding things to the bus rather than taking them out…finally.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of riding in am original VW bus, i can tell you that one of the things that makes the experience stick out in your mind s the deafening road noise.  Especially after pulling out everything that might stop noise from bouncing around, this is like driving an oversized tin can down the highway.  Trying to carry on a conversation of any kind basically requires leaning over and shouting in your passenger’s ear…and forget any communication with someone in the rear (as if anyone is willing to ride in a bus without seats in the rear).  Onto the project:

Have I mentioned I like to research? Well, I do. I hate making the wrong decision or wondering if something would have been better if I made a different choice. When it comes to soundproofing our bus I got damn near obsessive. I can tell you that I read every single post on every single forum in the samba and I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss much out there on the rest of the interweb either.

After reading all the pros/cons and product descriptions we decided to make the leap. We chose to use the stuff from RAAM audio and have been thrilled with the product and the service we received from Rick. Truly top notch, and with all the money we saved over the other products…we may actually be able to install a stereo at some point.

We installed a layer of the foil backed butyl (RAAM’s BXTII) on almost every surface to reduce vibration and provide the perfect thump testing grounds.  You can’t help but find yourself knocking on every piece of metal before, during and after installation because you just can’t get over the difference in sound from a loud high pitched twank, twank to a low, muffled-thud.  My knuckles did eventually heal.
Install is pretty quick and gratifying, although the cargo floor is a bit slow going as you pretty much have to go over every groove with a spoon… This is very gratifying, and also makes you feel like you’re creating something created by NASA…at least until the next phase begins.

We then went over everything with the closed cell foam (ensolite) to stop ambient noise bouncing around inside the bus.

The combo of the two is amazing, and suddenly we could carry on conversations with only a mild scream to another.

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