False ceiling rattle

@Hani has had a similar problem before and I’ve read his thread. I was wondering if there was any outcome he could share.

Also, I’d be grateful for other tips please. A light rattle occurs only when playing at just below party volumes and only with tracks that have very low bass. Thanks in advance. Pic of the area that rattles FYI. The light fitting itself does not seem to the rattling. I don’t have access to the area unless I cut a hatch into it.

With or without the sub?

With and without.

It’s not the sub then, that leaves the speakers and the room and their interaction. Sometimes repositioning can help but you’re quite limited on your options there, I’d take the sub out completely while you try and sort this. What is under the spikes, something that will let you move the speakers easily like Herbie’s Gliders? If it’s a room mode coinciding with the resonance of whatever is up there you may be able to move the speakers to excite the mode less.

1 Like

You may find that the light fitting is connected to a terminal block or a transformer that is just barely touching the false ceiling. If you were to take the fitting out, can you then check that? Maybe putting a piece of foam sheet or similar under whatever it is to stop it touching the ceiling would work. Or maybe just bending something so it’s not touching any more….


You may be able to pop the light down and have a look around with a torch.

But, switch the lights off at the consumer unit and if you are in any way unsure…dont, you will almost certainly break something!

If your pretty handy…fill your boots!

1 Like

Thanks, the sub is really only there for low level listening. Will try removing it and pulling the speakers out a bit more too. They are on spikes and directly on the floor so not that easy to move, but a couple of inches further out may help. I’ve partially blocked the rear ports too and that seems to help a little.

Thanks good suggestion, will try to take a look around the light fitting.

I guess it is something above the ceiling, very possibly sitting on the ceiling, that when the sound energy level exceeds a certain point either resonates or simply the vibrates enough - or the ceiling vibrates enough against it - to become audible. It may be total sound energy, or a specific frequency, or a range of frequencies, but that is irrelevant. The only cure is to locate what is up there and either remove it, or secure it so it can’t rattle, whether against the ceiling or something else, and whether rigidly or with something soft wedged between.

As @davidhendon suggests, it may be possible to remove the light fitting and investigate behind, with power off in case there are live mains connections up there (if you don’t know what’s there and are putting your hand in ‘blind’ then switch off at the mains not just the normal light switch, as @Spb suggests). If your hand will fit through, groping around may find something, whether or not anything to do with the light - it is not uncommon to find all sorts of construction/services related trash in such places.

If you can’t get your hand in, or that draws a blank, you will have no option but to find some other means of access, either cutting a hole in the ceiling or somehow accessing from above, or live with the buzzing when you want to play above the trigger volume.

1 Like

Thanks, will use a telescope (hand plus phone!) to take a look later with the power off. You are right, there could be all sorts up there…

1 Like

In case its a 12V light, there is very likely a transformer sitting loosely on the false ceiling. It is a little plastic box the size of a stapler or less. Usually, the transformer is installed first and just pushed through the hole of the light fixture. Then the light is installed. If you remove the light fixture and pull gently (!) on its cable, you are likely to meet the culprit. If there is only one of these ceiling lights, the situation might be simple and a slight moving of the cables that sit loosely on the false ceiling might take care of the problem. Common sense safety precautions apply.
Good luck,

If it’s hard to see in the gap, use a mobile phone and take some pictures. It can make it easier to identify and see what’s going on.

Is this a house? If there’s a room above it quite often the access is that room. Fitting and laying cabling is easier from above. If possible (carpeted) you can pull back the carpet and see if any floorboards have been removed in that area. That will be your access point (possibly :slight_smile: )


1 Like

Must be a rattlesnake tarantula!

1 Like

Dead mice. (I speak from personal experience). Mind you dead mice don’t rattle…

1 Like

They may once consumed by maggots and reduced to dry skeletons. Rat skeletons possible as well as mice - I speak from experience! (Not of rattling, but the skeletons, fly pupa cases, and an unbelievable number of spiders! A reason why not to use mouse/rat poison, but to catch and dispatch.)

Hi @JamesBKK , i did have a rattling noise which was coming from my ceiling, though I was not sure if it was coming from the AC ducts (Dubai is super hot in summer) or if it was the result of noise created by metal vibrations which resonated through my ceiling and gave the sensation that the roof was about to fall off at low frequencies.

So what I did first was use REW with a calibration microphone to pin point the frequencies i was having trouble with, and using a sine wave generator which goes from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, i did dial in at a specific frequency which was the cause of the rattling nose, it was from 50 - 100 Hz (i.e., low frequency).

Then, I found a specialist company in Dubai which specializes in sound treatment, they came to my house and cut a small 1m x 1m cut into the false ceiling, once they have done this, it was clear that the source of noise was simply that my system was strong to the point that it showed weakness in the design of the false ceiling, mind you I did not have the same rattling noise when I had the smaller gear (smaller amp and speakers).

Moving forward, the best decision by the specialist was to take out the complete false ceiling and replace it by a Floating System False Ceiling, main elements were 2 layers of gypsum separated by MLV (Mass Load Vinyl), and a layer of rockwool insulation, and removing all metal parts and replacing them with metal parts that are isolated by rubber such as the hangers, plenums, etc…

The cost of this re-modeling was around USD 5k, and in my case, it treated 70-80% of the problem which was good enough for me.

Have you tried removing the light fixture and see if this solves your problem?

1 Like

Thanks for such a comprehensive reply, really appreciated. I haven’t had the chance to look up there through the light fitting yet. Will report back…

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.